One of the great things about social media is – no, not posts of cute kitties – but the ability to leverage it for lead generation. Social media can extend your reach to prospective clients in a way that not only demonstrates your expertise but also familiarizes the prospects with who you are. A warm lead is always welcomed on your end, and prospective clients also appreciate having some familiarity with you.
Of course, this may all feel “easier said than done” if you haven’t ventured much into using social media. And even if you have, you know there are a LOT of considerations – What should I say? Which platforms do I use? How often should I post, and is there a best time of day? What’s a hashtag and how do I use it?
We know there’s a lot to take in, that’s why we’ve put together these helpful tips and how-tos to make generating leads with social media a snap.
In this first installment of a 3-part series, we’ll look at the different social media platforms and why you might consider using them.
Let’s get started!
While you might not find many grandmothers on Snapchat, you will find them on Facebook. All ages are participating in the conversation on this platform. The Pew Research Center found that 56% of online adults were using Facebook in 2014. That was an 11% increase from the year prior. Pew says 71% of adults online are using Facebook, making it a sure bet for reaching a wide audience online.
Twitter is one the other best-known social media networks and nets 23% of online adults as users, according the the Pew survey. But this smaller group is a select bunch – it’s typically popular with college graduates and more than half of users earn upward for $50,000 a year, 27% of those earning more than $75,000 a year. And millions are actively using Twitter, which means once you’ve established yourself on the network, you great have potential to capture new leads.
Pinterest generally attracts women as users (42% of women online are also on Pinterest), and online adults in the 50+ age category are quickly adding their ranks on Pinterest. Pinterest has become a hub of sort for interior design ideas, which naturally pairs itself well with the real estate industry.
Instagram has a high percentage of African American and hispanic users (more than Twitter, but not more than Facebook). With its visual appeal, and some newly added features, this platform is quickly growing in users, from 17% in 2013 to 26% in 2014.
Google+ offers the benefit of improving your website’s search engine rankings. This alone is a good reason to consider this platform, although some studies suggest its users are not as active as other networks. You can turn others’ inactivity on Google+ to your benefit by actively posting and capturing leads where other agents have yet ventured. Additionally, using Google+ and Pinterest in concert can have exponential positive effects for your business:
Like ActiveRain, LinkedIn is a good place to connect with other real estate professionals. And, if you’ve been in another career or industry before, it can be a great place to reconnect with past co-workers who may become clients. Be sure to build out your profile, this is where the real value lies in this platform. You’ll be able to essentially post your resume and a host of other skills (do you speak another language?) and interests all in one spot, giving a well-rounded view of your capabilities.
Snapchat is the place to engage with millennials. This mobile app allows users to send pictures and videos that “self destruct” after a few minutes. The app is often used for messaging. Snapchat is known for its high user engagement rates, and has proven to be a useful client engagement and retention tool for agents.
Blogs are often overlooked as a form of social media. Like all good social media, blogs are a way to start a conversation. In the case of a blog, that conversation starts when reader comment on your post. At the end of each post, invite readers to engage via the comments section, whether it’s asking a question to spark conversation or requesting readers share their take on your topic. Blogs have the added benefit of bolstering your website’s SEO, or if you’re a guest blogger elsewhere, giving you the exposure to new audiences.
Deciding which of these social networks to target depends somewhat on your affinity toward one platform or another, but also look closely at what markets you are trying to reach as well as what differentiates you from other agents. With a clear vision of your business, you can make targeted decisions on what platforms are right for you.
What platforms do you find most effective?
Be sure to tune in next week for insight on what types of topics and content to post on your social media.
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