We all know that social media is a powerful marketing tool for businesses when it's used correctly. The problem is determining how to use it correctly. At times, it seems a new social media platform is being launched every other day. Do you need to embrace everyone that comes along? If you think this is the answer, be prepared to hire a full time person or staff to keep your content current. And put metrics in place to determine if you are getting your buck for the bang across all of the social media that you are using.
Marketing to social media isn't all that different from the "product" launch technique used in the past for online marketing - but there are differences. Maybe it's a house that you are remodeling to flip on the retail market.
In the old launch technique, you'd begin marketing to your email list of potential retail buyers about six weeks before you actually have the home ready to sell. You would send out emails hyping the benefits, quality, location, etc. of the property for sale. You would probably include s few preview testimonies from people that toured the house while it is under construction. As the date of completion neared, you'd increase the number of emails going out and talk about the buzz and interest the home is generating.
There are major differences with social media. First of all, you don't hype whatever you are selling. In fact, you seldom even mention what you are selling. Instead, you offer lots of value added information to build a loyal following of readers of your social media posts. People that pass useful information on to others that join your following. In the old world this was growing your email list. With social media it's increasing the number of people that follow your posts. Rather than posting marketing materials on social media, you're better off just providing value added information with a link to your inventory page.
A value added post might be that during a recent remodel you learned about a way to install kitchen counter granite back splashes in 2/3s of the time and cost that it used to require. Or that the new generation of security systems that allow you to remotely view people at your front door are proving popular with younger and older buyers a like. No hype, no strong marketing. Just value added information.
You don't need to be on every social media out there. You'd be wise to be on the biggies such as Facebook and LinkedIn. However, you need to question how valuable to your business some of the ones are like Periscope, Pinterest, and even Twitter really are. Begin by considering the target audience of each smaller social media. Several, such as Snapchat are geared towards a young audience (teenagers) that have no interest in buying a house or forwarding leads to you. Why bother putting energy here. Same thing with startup social media. Instead of being an early adopter, wait at least wait six months to see if these are even still operating.
Only open accounts on platforms that you can manage effectively. Spreading yourself over too many platforms can be counter productive when you can't find the time or resources to keep them current and to respond to reader's comments and questions. A question that was posted in 2014 and remains unanswered looks as if you have gone out of business.
Instead of joining every social media platform out there, consider multiple accounts on the specific media that your target audience participates with regularly. As a real estate investor, you likely have three or more distinctive target audiences. Retail end buyers are a very different audience than wholesalers, birddogs, and contractors. You want to create separate accounts for each of your major audiences so that you can post values added information that is meaningful to each audience.
The number of members subscribing to your account can be social proof that you provide reliable value added information. Or it could mean your members only stop by to read the daily jokes that you insert in your posts. When you create multiple accounts targeting different audiences, each is going to be smaller than the whole. Smaller groups can be extremely effective when you connect and engage them in subjects they have a stake in. This turns them into loyal followers and brand advocates.
Don't expect to see over the top results in 30 days. Once you have a strategy in place, give it 6 to 12 months to grow and become successful.
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Author bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for 10 years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest. With the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.