Social media can be a fantastic tool to build your brand and generate leads, but it requires a clear strategy to do so.
In this useful guide, we’ve included our top tips for using social media to grow your estate agency. We’ve broken it down as follows:
1. Which platforms should you use?
2. What should you post?
3. How do you increase your reach?
4. How do you increase engagement?
5. How often should you post and how can you automate?
The main social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. But which should you use, and do you need to use all of them?
When deciding on which platforms to use, think realistically about your dedication to the platform and the content you are producing. We would recommend using fewer channels that you can dedicate more time and attention to, rather than creating multiple profiles on various platforms and not being able to maintain them.
It is better to tailor your content for each platform than to push the same content out on all channels every week. So, we have created some rough guides for each platform that can help you achieve your goals.
Facebook is beneficial for reaching a more mature audience and often has local active groups which can be a fantastic tool to increase reach and engagement. Search for groups in your area to reach potential buyers and sellers and share properties on content there.
Facebook tends to work well for companies, but often requires paid money behind posts to increase reach significantly. This can be done through Facebook boosts, which is ideal for targeting your chosen demographic. You can choose gender, age range, locations and interests.
Instagram is a brilliant platform for sharing visual content and can build a large following for free. Instagram users tend to be younger and more tech savvy and so this is a good platform for increasing brand awareness. It can work to build both an individual and company following. A lot of estate agents use a professional profile to sell properties on Instagram, and this can be useful in bringing personality and likeability to the profile. However, if this is something you are looking to do, make sure to always check your company’s brand guidelines before doing so.
Twitter is a great tool for connecting with your local community, joining in local conversations and sharing thought leadership or knowledge. It is much less visual than the other platforms and is mostly used as a source of news. It is also a good platform if you are an active individual who wants to be at the forefront of your company’s social media. Again, make sure they are ok with this and that you keep with brand guidelines.
To increase your reach on Twitter, check what’s trending and get involved, and use popular hashtags. Get involved in conversations, but remember to avoid controversial topics such as religion or politics, as this can easily get out of hand.
LinkedIn is widely considered a B2B platform, unlike the other social media sites. It is a fantastic recruitment tool and is much better for expanding a company than for generating leads. With this in mind, tailor your content to other businesses, as opposed to taking a sales-heavy approach. Look for interesting industry-based articles to share that your audience can engage with as well as your own content.
We’d recommend making sure that you mix sharing sales content with helpful and local content to ensure you keep your followers engaged. You can share the following:
· Local information that could affect house prices – new stores opening, redevelopments happening, etc.
· Properties you’ve recently listed and sold. Our Go-Vid product allows you to create engaging property videoettes using photo stills you’ve taken and combine these with video footage we provide and your branding. These work especially well on social media as video stands out more in peoples newsfeed.
· Local good news stories – especially if these focus on people or animals they will receive high engagement.
· Any charity work that you or your company are doing, especially if it involves the local community. Try to showcase individuals within your office.
· Anything you are doing to support the local community such as working with local schools or the elderly.
· Helpful information to those moving such as blogs or guides you’ve written.
· Any special offers you are running – whether it’s a seasonal discount or free instant valuations.
· Testimonials from clients.
There are many ways that you can increase your reach on social media. We’ve included some suggested options below.
· Join local groups on Facebook such as Buy and Sell groups in the area or groups that are focused on support and love for the area. Make sure you respect any rules they have. These groups can be a fantastic way to reach a wider audience and to generate free valuations – remember you can include any properties you are selling in Buy and Sell groups. Only share content that is relevant to the group, as you may be removed for too many unrelated posts.
· Consider boosting posts or creating adverts on Facebook. You might want to boost properties that you have For Sale to people in the local area or consider promoting a free valuation or instant valuation. If you are not sure how to create a Facebook advert, you might want to consider working with Zoopla AdReach to do this for you.
· Research popular hashtags such as #propertyoftheday and #homeforsale, as well as hashtags for your area. This will increase your visibility and will help you reach a wider audience.
· Use local and relevant hashtags to increase your reach and visibility.
· Comment and engage with other people posting local content or who might be talking about selling.
· Check to see what’s trending and get involved in the conversation.
· Create brand ambassadors within your company who personally share information (make sure you give guidance on what type of information you want them to share).
· Try to include photos or videos within your posts to help them stand out.
Make sure you are engaging with others and posting high-quality content that you believe will be of interest to others.
· Reply to comments on your posts.
· Engage your staff and encourage them to like and comment on your posts.
· Like and comment on posts by people who are in the local area. Make sure any comments are genuinely helpful and try to ensure they are three words or more.
· Posting daily is ideal as posts on social media have a short lifespan. However, posting good-quality content is more important than posting for the sake of it. Social media algorithms will prioritise popular content over chronological content. Remember, they want to keep people on their networks so are going to show them the most engaging content to do this.
· Consider using a scheduling tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite so that you can plan your posts in advance. This will save you a lot of time in the long run and will help you organise a good-quality schedule each week.
· Social media retargeting is a fantastic way to stay at the forefront of your audience’s mind, and connects you with customers who have already visited your site on social media. If visitors browse elsewhere once they leave your page, it will reintroduce them to the content they have already shown interest in. This will encourage them to return to your website, hopefully increasing your conversions. Facebook and Instagram are great platforms for this.
If you are looking for more ways to increase your leads, why don't you take a look at our ultimate guide to lead generation which is packed full of helpful tips.