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Social Media Marketing to Millennials — Building Relationships

By Brian Kline | November 28, 2022

Take a moment to consider where the online marketing world is at today for real estate. Much of the older generation continue struggling with social media marketing while the millennial generation insists businesses first build a relationship before trying to make a sale (or real estate purchase). The older generation came of age in the non-digital world. Change happened but at a much slower pace. Obviously, the internet came along many years ago, but it took some baby boomers years to comprehend the significant changes the information age had brought. Some caught on fast, others took years before they began managing bank accounts and bill payments online, some still can’t use a computer, and some still consider smartphones only for emergencies. But are savvy online marketers missing something that has not changed? Word-of-mouth marketing is alive and well… 

Word-of-Mouth Marketing to Millennials

Not long ago, marketers thought that putting up a Facebook page was all that was needed. Then came Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and a slew of other social media platforms. The rate of change has become mind-boggling to those used to measuring change over decades but now face dealing with constant change.

Millennials grew up and came of age in a world where the internet and cell phones had always existed. They have no idea what a Rolodex is. For them, every business transaction comes from either an electronic contact list or is easily researched online. One thing that social media has revealed is how much the opinions/comments of others affect the decisions of friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers. We've long known how powerful word-of-mouth marketing is, but it has taken on a new life with instant messaging, Facebook “Likes,” Yelp, and all the multiple ways people now have to quickly and constantly communicate with each other.

It’s good to stay current with changes but there are also times when it is useful to reflect on core social behavior that does not change. Word-of-mouth advertising is a core social behavior that has not changed. There are many important aspects to social marketing. Value-added content is critical but effectively placing this information in front of the right eyes is just as important.

Social Media Influencers

Recent statistics show that 79% of adults have a social media account of one type or another. This is a 2% increase over last year and can be expected to continue increasing until 99% are connected. But using a business shotgun approach that targets all people, in the same way, is not very effective. You need to break your audience into groups by how much influence each has.

  • Top influencers are previous and current clients that love what you offer and deliver. These people may already be sharing your value-added content and promotions with others that are within their sphere of influence. These people are often the ones that have signed up for your email list and those that have already completed a transaction with you. You want to take extremely good care of these people. They already love your brand and you want to keep that relationship growing. Offer these people discounts, deep insights into your brand, and market trends, along with other value-added information. Your reward will be that these people share their enthusiasm for your brand with others in their digital community.

Eighty-two percent of Americans say they seek out advice from family and friends when making a significant purchase or transaction. Studies show a personal recommendation is 50X more likely to trigger a purchase by others than traditional advertising.

  • The next type of influencer that you want to establish a solid relationship with is other social media marketers that have an established community of followers. Typically, these are other business people having an audience that is similar to yours but are not in direct competition. These marketers benefit when they can offer their audience high-quality services or products from you as value-added content to their audience. Obviously, your takeaway here is reaching another audience of readers/viewers likely to become buyers of your services/products. In the real estate world, look around your community because these people are everywhere — from the local grocery store to wine-tasting shops attracting tourists.
  • Local online celebrities are the third level of influencers that you want to reach out to. Online celebrities are not movie stars. They are people in your community that do a lot of posting and attract a lot of comments to their posts. These people may or may not be close to your niche. However, they have a large online following through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media. One tactic here is swapping content with each other. Since these audiences may not be directly connected to your market, you'll want to start with basic information but be sure to include highly valued content that readers can immediately put to use to attract them as followers to your advanced content.

The Social Media Funnel

The formula of social marketing has expanded to multiple platforms but, again, the basic strategy remains mostly unchanged. You first want to learn which platforms are the most popular with your followers and/or potential followers. When you go with multiple social platforms, be sure your message clearly communicates the same brand message across all platforms.

Your next task is connecting with your target audience. Not only do they want to hear from you, but they often also want to hear from other people active in the community. You accomplish this by encouraging comments, posting testimonials, and even asking readers to make guest posts on your outgoing message platform.

Social marketing continues evolving at a very fast pace and goes much deeper than this short article. However, you won't go wrong when you begin by understanding who your influencers are and providing them with content that encourages them to share it with their community.

This is just the next step in word-to-mouth marketing. More to come as digital media continues evolving... 

Please comment with your social marketing insights.

Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years with articles listed on Yahoo Finance, Benzinga, and uRBN. Brian is a regular contributor at Realty Biz News
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