If you are a real estate agent, then you know a thing or two about marketing. In fact, according to a blog called The American Genius, Marketing is one of the 10 Advanced Skills required of a Real Estate Agent.
The focus of marketing for Real Estate Agents and most other consultants should be on Digital Marketing and primarily, social media. So here are seven tips to get started with or improve upon in your online marketing strategy.
Create Your Business Page
If you are an agent working for a broker franchise, such as Coldwell Banker or Keller Williams, you probably have a web page on the broker’s website. Some of those companies may even give you access to write a blog. If not, you should definitely create a blog so people will get to know you a little more personally.
Blogs and Vlogs are great, but your Facebook Business Page should be your hub and the main funnel for your Digital footprint. and should provide a means to gather your followers’ email and phone numbers. You can do this with messenger, ad forms, or with a chatbot. Facebook is doing the hard work and providing a familiar place for people to find you. Think about it – The interface provides access to your photos, calendar, stories, bio, contact information, timeline, events, and more. People don’t hesitate to contact you there and don’t feel like you will SPAM them, like connections on LinkedIn.
Your business page will have your phone, preferred email, message me button, contact hours, an appointment calendar, connected to your Google Calendar, and various information about you and your business.
Now you can even manage your Instagram business from your Facebook page. The power of the Facebook page is so underestimated.
Focus on Customers
Traditional marketing is based on understanding your target customers’ needs, creating your strategy and ads campaigns to those needs. Then push those ads in front of your customers until they scream uncle! Eventually they will find a way to ignore you and avoid your website.
Inbound marketing is based on the strategy of creating content that your target market will search for and get directed to you. The process is to Attract —> Engage —> Delight. Inbound is based on a process that tosses out the funnel and replaces it with the conceptual flywheel. Personally, I prefer funnels and they seem to work. The new buzzword is customer persona. While this may seem like another tactic to get the same results, it is a high level philosophy that has roots in real market research and is essentially the basis of the algorithms of all the search engines.
I don’t think that sales funnels are going to be replaced with flywheels because most small businesses are focused on short-term cash flows. Great content is based on research and research is expensive.
Google ranks web pages based on quality of content and authority of the website. Facebook pages are a way to create backlinks with authority to your website/blog and improve your website traffic. This is also referred to as off-page SEO.
In case you were born in another day and age, let me explain SEO. Search Engine Optimization is the process of preparing content so that your website is the bullseye for specific keyword searches on Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, and others search engines. The objective is to rank your content on the first search results page.
Tell a Story
Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories were not created by accident. The format was tested and tested and tested. They determined that people enjoy seeing posts like this, even though they DON’T REALLY tell a story. This should be your template for creating new ads. Tell a story with photos and video. Don’t try to sell, first you must attract and engage your audience. Engaging content is the key. In his press release, where Mark Zuckerberg tells the world how to use Facebook, he states:
Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.
Press release January 2018https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/01/news-feed-fyi-bringing-people-closer-together/
So we are competing with our family for attention on Facebook. I’m sure some of us have siblings that do the same thing.
So when you are creating ads, think about what your clients would like to see in your ad. Please don’t make it about you, we are assuming you are a real estate agent, not a personal trainer. It’s best to post pics of your clients and their family instead of your hot body in a bathing suit.
Don’t Boost Your Post
Facebook will throw the BOOST Ad button in your face over and over again until you get tired of seeing it and eventually break down and go there. It may be your curiosity, or lack of willpower. Facebook uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to optimize your campaigns depending on which objective you choose. Your objective should always be LEADS or CONVERSIONS. Forget everything else! As a real estate agent, LEADS is what you are paying for.
If you choose the Website Clicks objective, Facebook will optimize for link clicks to your website. If it’s Leads or Conversions – Facebook will analyze everyone who converted already and will try to reach similar people first.
If you boost a post, Facebook will always optimize just for more post engagement – more likes, shares, comments and so on. That is a waste of your ad money. Even if you decide to boost a link post, Facebook will still optimize for engagement and not link clicks.
Pay for Ads
Okay, so you have 3000 friends on Facebook! Wow that’s great! Most people think that when you post an ad in your feed that all of those people will see it? Not a chance. Organic traffic on social media is extremely difficult to grow and maintain. You are fighting against the Facebook Ad selling machine.
The truth is, about 1% of Your Followers may see the ad. So, unless you are a rock star, not all of those 3000 people are following you. In fact, many of them are Facebook is in business to sell ads, not post stuff. If you want all of your friends to see an ad, select them and only them as the audience.
Then pay for it. Better yet, create a look-alike audience which includes them. It is best to upload your email list to the Facebook Ads Manager to create a look-alike audience that matches people that have already done business with you. Run your ad for 7 days and measure your results. Switch it up and create ads that relate to the current time, like holidays, local events, and going back to school. Video ads and photo carousel ads work best with short messages. Use video on Social Media whenever possible.
That’s the best way to boost an ad.
Test Your Audience
Marketers know the benefits of A – B testing ads. You should also understand this process and improve the effectiveness of your ads. Use the Ads Manager to create multiple Ad Sets using different audiences and a single ad. When you optimize the audience, try using different ads and optimize the ad copy. Read more at Facebook for topics on Split Testing.
Follow Up and Sell
It is best to use a CRM system to track your leads and keep track of your follow ups. This is up to you. Everyone has a different sales strategy when it comes to following up on Facebook Ads. Perhaps I will write an article on that subject at a later date. The biggest problem I see with my clients is that they get leads but loose them in the follow up process. Follow up on likes with a comment, thanking them. Qualified leads should be followed up with a phone call, not text. Good sales people practice good old-fashioned relationship building. Selling real estate is all about relationships.
Your social media marketing should start with a Business Page on Facebook. You should be on multiple platforms, with the minimum of Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Snapchat is becoming more powerful, and Messenger is becoming more popular. If you have a hobby, maybe post a blog and share on Pinterest and a Blog. The key is to drive all your social media leads to one place that makes it easy to manage. Please comment and let me know how you are doing with your marketing strategy.