Let’s face it, being active on social media as a business is no longer an option; it’s a must. Garnering the attention of prospects in the real estate industry now requires more intent, creativity, and flexibility than ever. What better way to reach prospects than on the platforms they frequent most? Social media serves as a primary outlet for real estate marketers to engage with prospects in real time, publish quality content, advertise in a more personable and targeted manner, and reinforce the cornerstones and voice of their brand.
Rolling out a meaningful, strategic social media campaign is not as simple as merely posting daily and walking away. An impactful campaign is both specific and measurable. While the exposure social media brings is a plus, real estate marketers’ end goal is conversion. An effective real estate social media strategy should develop a pipeline of new leads, an avenue to nurture prospective ones, and a channel to follow up with past clients in the various phases of their customer journey.
Seventy-nine percent of Americans have at least one social media profile, so it’s safe to assume that most brands have some level of online presence to reach them, whether this entails a company website, Google reviews, e-commerce site, etc., but that’s sometimes where it ends. Real estate-focused websites often don’t properly reach or appeal to prospective residents alone. Marketers must leverage social media platforms to advertise directly to the right audience at the right time, especially with Gen Z and millennials.
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To engage with prospects on an impactful scale that’s both measurable and manageable, focus on social outreach through strategic placement, sponsored content, and smart digital advertising. Let’s explore three musts for a successful social media marketing strategy in the real estate space:
Pinpoint the audience
The first step in any social strategy is to determine who the audience is, what they’re looking for and where they’re spending their time online. This will help real estate professionals differentiate platforms by their strengths in relation to individualized marketing goals. Generally, professional social networking platforms such as LinkedIn are more effective in B2B marketing, while Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are best for engaging B2C audiences.
Each channel has its place and purpose – for example, around one-fifth of all B2B digital ad dollars in the US are spent on LinkedIn alone, making the platform the optimal medium for reaching real estate investors seeking to build their portfolios through investment in high-performing properties. Next, Facebook has the broadest reach for demand-gen and its geographic targeting is highly effective at reaching local prospects. Sixty-five percent of people aged 50-64 and 41% of those aged 65 and up use Facebook, meaning this platform also has the most promise for senior living outreach. On the other hand, Instagram’s visual focus allows multifamily marketers the opportunity to highlight the unique amenities and differentiators of their communities. No matter the industry, product or business landscape, the target audience is there and ready to be reached.
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With infinite streams of information available at the click of a button, today’s consumers only pay attention to the most relevant, personalized, and credible content. Ensuring all outreach efforts meet this standard is a vital step in effective advertising and budget allotment. Reaching the right audience digs deeper than just pushing out a message – it ultimately affects your bottom line.
The social media secret is out in the real estate industry and the competition is growing, so leveraging new marketing technologies and solutions through the channels best tailored to key audiences is pivotal in breaking through the noise. Algorithmically formatted social media ads grant real estate professionals insight into who, what, and where their advertising should be targeted. This helps eliminate wasted time and budget spent on broader, unfocused demographics. The data then determines which advertising initiatives are generating the most interest, where the interest originates from and what demographics have the highest levels of engagement. This offers exacted, results-driven intel for current and future marketing campaigns and strategies, ultimately leading to smarter, more cost-effective advertising efforts.
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Monitor the Results
Successful advertising strategies don’t have a finish line. Continuously gathering data and analyzing reports is a priority for all marketers, but especially for those in the ever-evolving real estate industry. Data-driven businesses that utilize smart technologies such as machine learning and predictive analytics to provide more relevant experiences for their prospects will always be better positioned to outperform their competitors. As companies engage with more audiences through social media, it’s crucial to monitor the conversations surrounding their product or brand. This allows for timely and tactful communication with online critics, positive reinforcement for brand and customer advocates, and overall, a depth in understanding of prospects’ sentiment and needs.
Through monitoring marketing data and online conversations, real estate professionals should strive to answer the following: if they are effectively monitoring 360-degree sentiment surrounding their brand; which social platforms and advertising initiatives are delivering the strongest ROI; and how this insight can be used to improve both organic and paid social strategies as well as tailor future content and messaging.
It’s important to remember that social media advertising strategies will continue to evolve with the transformation of audiences, their needs and their digital behaviors, so it’s imperative to operate at the same pace. Evidence enough – over the past decade, social media has completely overturned traditional advertising methods. In fact, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn contribute to 90% of social traffic to B2B and B2C blogs and websites. If a company doesn’t properly leverage social media, its business objectives will fall short and its efforts will likely be drowned out by more agile competitors.