There are over 1.76 billion people using social media, so it comes as no surprise that property agents are flocking to social media to help grow their business. In 2008 only 33% of Realtor.com survey respondents engaged in social media, but by 2011 this was as high as 91%. But many letting and estate agents are finding that social media isn’t the holy grail solution for renting or selling.
• There is a conflict in the way these social networks make money, and the way you the business owner make money.
• Social media tools are great for direct contact with fans, but are slow and tedious for tasks such as advertising a property.
• You can’t guarantee that your entire fan-base will see a post, as only around a third see them for free, with a fee being required to promote your post to everyone.
• Once you have these fans you don’t know how many have hidden your page rather than taken the steps to unfollow you.
Engagement is the key to a successful social media strategy.
Having followers is of little importance if they never interact with you. Take the Facebook page of Starbucks, which has a staggering 33,640,844 likes, with around 136,805 talking about the brand. This data looks impressive, however it means that only 0.4% of those Starbucks fans are truly engaging with the brand. A Vertical Response survey discovered that only 25% of small businesses spent 6-10+ hours a week on social media. Mark Routledge of Mr Residential explained to Spontly that as a small business owner he didn’t have much time or money to invest in a broad social media strategy, so he was always on the look out for innovative ways to connect with his customers.
How do you create engaging content when as a business owner you’re already short on time?
• Engage with the fans – this will create loyalty. The property market is a risky business, and people want to deal with people they trust.
• Use pictures – it’s cliche, but pictures really do speak a 1000 words and are easy for your fans to share. With almost every phone having a camera this can simply slot into your current work day.
• Drive fans to your site – if fans are on your site you control your brand’s message and can offer a more engaging experience. Use your social media posts to link to your site, then tell stories on your site to interest viewers, but don’t write a novel, a picture gallery would easily suffice.
• Hook into social media - if a potential tenant finds a property that they like the look of and they can share its picture with their friends and family, it offers you free organic advertising. This shared image can then link back to your website, starting the process again and requiring no work on your part.
There is no easy answer for how to turn social media into sales, but there are tools and methods to turn the tides in your favour, and Spontly is one of them. Our aim at Spontly is to have social media work for you by making content creation easy and affordable. For more information about Spontly visit: http://business.spontly.com/estate-agents.
Spontly is technology company based in Newcastle Upon Tyne with numerous clients in the property agency market. The Spontly tool is an innovative collaborative tool for instant publishing. More information is available at business.spontly.com/estate-agents and business.spontly.com/about-us.