MODULE 10: SOCIAL MEDIA
The Internet is called the World Wide Web for a reason. When you access the Internet you have access to the world.
Social media is just one way people interact in the world.
Social media represents public gathering places: bars, restaurants, coffee shops, schools, churches, parks, and theaters.
Sales (real estate included) is a contact sport. Your success depends on the contacts and relationships you build. In today’s day and age social media is a part of it.
There are a few popular gathering places in the world of social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
You don’t need to be in all of these places. But you should be aware of each and what opportunities exist in each so you can identify if it is a good fit and how to maximize your opportunities with each related to staying in touch with your database.
Facebook is currently the #1 social media channel with over 2.167 billion users. The next closest is YouTube with 1.5 billion users:
Maybe you’ve heard that Facebook growth is stalling in comparison to other social networks. Well, the data says something different. In fact, Facebook is still the fastest growing social network with 527 million new users over the past 2 years with the closest social media channel being Instagram (owned by Facebook) with 400 million.
Hopefully that clears up any confusion about whether or not you should have a presence on Facebook…you should!
That is where the majority, if not all of your contacts are spending time. If your contacts are there, you should be too.
What is YouTube? Is it a social media channel or something else?
YouTube is a bit unique in comparison to the other traditional social media channels with a focus, of course, on video. But with 1.5 billion users and the #2 search engine (behind Google who owns YouTube) there is some power in this network. In fact 60% state they prefer YouTube over live television.
YouTube is becoming a dominate player in the world of information and entertainment. The average viewing session on YouTube is 40 minutes which encourages the 300 hours of new content being uploaded per minute!
YouTube draws a majority male audience (62%) with the 35+ and 55+ age groups being the fastest growing audience on YouTube.
Instagram is the second fastest growing social network, behind Facebook.
51% of Instagram users use it daily (second highest percentage behind Facebook at 76%).
Where Instagram dominates is in the area of interaction. The average interaction per 1,000 followers on Instagram is just over 50 compared to Facebook (second highest) at about 7. In other words Instagram users are more engaged, interacting with others.
Twitter can not be ignored as a dominate social media channel. Twitter has over 330 million active users growing at the pace of 23 million over the past 2 years with 42% using it daily.
Twitter’s focus on content delivered in small doses more regularly it is a unique platform for people to share and interact with one another.
Twitter is most popular with the younger crowd (16-24 years old) which is likely not your target market.
First and foremost social media should be used as a method of building relationships.
When people go to Facebook & Instagram they are going to be entertained and find out what’s going on in the lives of their friends and family. They are not going to be sold or to learn more about your business.
When using social media in your business it is very important to always keep this top of mind as you post, comment and interact.
How do you build relationships on social media? The same way you do in person. Through consistent effort, interest and engagement.
One of the most common questions that comes up about social media is whether or not you should create connections through a personal account or business account.
Ultimately, the choice is yours based on what you want to keep personal (or private) versus professional. However, keep in mind that people do business with people. The more human, relatable and genuine you can be the more you will attract the people who like you.
That’s why it is recommended that you friend people on Facebook from your personal account and then invite them to like & follow your business page. With Instagram the connection does not require mutual approval (unless the user has a private account) so follow your clients from your business account with your personal account mentioned in your bio so they can follow you there, if they prefer.
Depending on the size of your database, number of connections you have on your social media networks and your level of activity on these networks it may be difficult to focus on relationships with your clients. Just like anything, what you focus on will improve. That’s why you need to make it a priority and create a system or discipline surrounding your clients on social media.
In Module 3: Getting Personal we shared the tip about using Facebook Lists. This is a fantastic method to focus on those in your database that you would like to develop relationships with without the “clutter” of your other contacts distracting you. With a daily or weekly discipline of looking through your clients’ Facebook feeds you will be able to identify opportunities to engage and develop your relationships further.
Instagram is other channel to use for relationship building but does not have the same List feature Facebook has making it a bit more difficult to focus solely on your clients. However, with a third-party app like HootSuite (free for 1 user and 3 social profiles) you can accomplish the same goal. Or set alerts for your top 20% so you know every time they post so you can see what they’re up to.
3 X 3
Looking for a specific strategy you can use to develop relationships using social media? Follow the 3 X 3 strategy:
Comment on 3 posts.
Not just a 😀 or 👍 but a real comment. Something like, “Wow, it looks like you had a great time. When I went there I…”
Share 3 posts.
When one of your clients posts something you think others might be interested or would help your clients spread the word, share it or repost it!
Tag 3 people.
Whether it’s your own post or someone else’s post if you think a particular client would find it interesting or valuable, tag them and let them know you are thinking about them.
BONUS: Direct message 3 people.
Are you an overachiever? Another way to engage with people on social media is through direct messages. Whether you send a simple, “Thinking about you.” note or sharing something with them through a DM this can be a good way to show you care.
Simple does not mean easy.
Just because this strategy is simple does not mean it is easy. The only way this works is through dedicated focus and consistency. You will need to block out some time each day to follow this strategy so you can make meaningful comments, find the posts worth sharing and identifying the people you can tag. Start out by blocking an hour each day and as you get more engaged and better at this you can reduce the time.
Social media is an amazing way to educate your audience of past clients, leads and future prospects. Consider these ideas:
Pick one or two of these and then deliver the information consistently. For example, maybe you do Q&A on Tuesday’s and Property Spotlight on Saturday’s. Each platform provides a unique way to deliver this information to your clients:
- Facebook: go live using video, upload a recorded video or share a relevant image with a caption full of information.
- Instagram: use your story to share a video, upload a video, or use Instagram as a micro-blogging platform.
- YouTube: post in-depth informational videos, create a series of videos on a particular topic or record a video of you interviewing one of your partners (mortgage lender, insurance agent, inspector, etc.)
- Twitter: share interesting stats, community events, or announce an open house.
The possibilities are truly endless and limited only by your own imagination.
Sometimes you just want to keep the content fresh to develop your brand and allow people to learn more about you.
Give & Take
Building relationships is done through give and take. That’s why the strategies shared include both showing interest and promoting yourself.
Think about this for a moment…
If you gave and gave and gave to a relationship and never got anything in return how would you feel? Think about a marriage, family member, friend or even a co-worker. I bet the relationship wouldn’t last, right?
That’s why it is important to not only show interest but to also share information about yourself. You need people to interact in order to build a relationship. Which means they need something and someone to interact with. So, don’t be shy about sharing information about you, your or your business.
Part of developing relationships with your clients to generate referrals is standing out. You must stand out.
To stand out, you must be different.
When everything is still you need to move.
When everything is moving, you must be still.
When everything is black & white you need to be in color.
When everything is in color you must be black & white.
With everyone engaged in social media and technology you must focus on high-touch strategies to stand out.
People get in their cars, open their garages, drive to work, head to their office, eat at their desk, get in their car, head home, open the garage and go inside.
Human interaction is not what it used to be…and that’s where the opportunity is.
How can you take a high-tech strategy, like social media, to stay in touch with your clients?
In Module 3: Getting Personal and Module 5: I’m So Glad You Called we discussed how to identify and act on high-touch opportunities. Every time you are focusing on social media you should be looking for the high-touch opportunities you can acknowledge.
There’s an additional element you can add in to your social media strategy to go from high-tech to high-touch.
Let's Meet Up
Your goal should be to meet with your top 20% every year, or at least every other year.
Your clients wont want to, unless they have a reason to. That’s your objective…to find out why they would want to meet with you. The challenge is that this is different for every person. But here are some of the main reasons you should watch for:
- Considering a move…duh! 😃
- Deciding whether to refinance
- Remodeling their home
- Curious about their home value
- Business owner (who needs referrals)
- Manager looking for ways to help their staff
- In need of a referral (landscaper, insurance agent, lawyer, etc.)
As you browse through social media you will see what is going on in the lives of your clients. Pay attention to the subtleties of their posts, comments, and responses that will lead you to an opportunity to reach out and say, “Let’s meet up…”.
“I noticed your post on Facebook/Instagram about … and wanted to reach out to you to see if I could help. As your real estate professional I am always looking for ways I can provide ongoing service. Based on your interest in … I thought we could meet up so I could share some insight based on my experience and connections. What do you say?
Sometimes, it can be as simple as just saying:
“I was browsing around on Facebook/Instagram the other day and your post about … caught my eye and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed working with you. I’d love to catch up and see what you’ve been up to over the past [#] weeks/months/years.”
“Recently I’ve been working on putting together some home value estimates for some other clients of mine and would love to do the same for you. I will bring it along with me when we meet up. When would be a good time for you to meet up for 15-30 minutes?”
The Same 'ol Stuff
- Select the social media platform(s) you will focus on and adopt a posting strategy for each. Ask yourself, will this help move my business forward? If not, it may be the wrong platform or strategy.
- Choose a branding strategy for your Facebook business page and put it in an outline and set reminders in your CRM or Digital Calendar to post.
- Spend a few minutes each day scrolling through your Facebook list(s) to look for opportunities and then call, text, email or send something to acknowledge them.
- Remember, this is not an exercise to waste time or amuse yourself. You are looking for opportunities to connect!