Real estate professionals with active, robust social media strategies already know the value of social selling. This method can offer unobtrusive touchpoints to prospects using social media as a method to check in. Social selling is becoming increasingly popular in the world of real estate as more millennials become serious buyers.
Agents ready to dive deeper into social selling should do a bit of research first. Social selling is not simply using social platforms to spam prospects. Instead, it’s a sound approach to selling that relies on aligning your social media presence with the sales funnel.
As with any marketing campaign, it’s essential to determine which platforms are most viable and which are worth ignoring. To do this, look at your buyers’ profiles. Where does your target audience spend the most time online? Which social networking sites are the most popular?
After sufficient research, these six tips can help you master your social selling strategy.
1. Establish credible, value-driven social media profiles.
Social selling, like traditional selling, is all about providing value. Agents who want to make new connections on social channels should first build out their pages with value-driven content. When receiving a connection request, people want to be sure of two facts: that the profile can be valuable to them and that it isn’t spam.
Social media profiles that have lots of posts—about relevant content, not spam—and many followers are more credible. If you’re building up a new profile, be sure to post regularly, including daily posts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and at least twice daily on Twitter. At this point, you’re aware of which social channels to post on and should be following best practices for each network.
When posting on these social networks, it should be top of the funnel content that tackles the target’s pain points, such as trying to find a house in the right school district, and opportunities, such as selling a house in a seller’s market. The posts about why clients should choose you to work with should wait. Prospects can then examine the profile, understand the value they could get from making the connection, and accept a request.
2. Monitor conversations and know when to jump in.
Part of social selling is diving into the conversation to showcase helpful industry expertise. An easy way to track conversations is through relevant hashtags. Agents should have a list of hashtags that they follow, most likely derived from keyword searches. They can monitor the conversation and comment when appropriate. For example, comment on an Instagram post with an interesting thought, such as a fun fact about the neighborhood. You can use hashtags such as your company’s name or the neighborhood as well.
For agents using Twitter, try partaking in a Twitter chat, which is a public Twitter conversation around one set topic. There is a Twitter chat schedule to help find relevant conversations where agents can jump in and add insight or value.
3. Find additional conversions in each platform’s groups.
Many social networks have groups or circles that are topic-specific and help users connect on an individual level. Groups dominate sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, so agents building up a profile ought to join groups on these networks. There are many real estate groups on LinkedIn, and many are location-specific. Agents can join these groups, pose questions, and answer any inquiries others may have. Talking in these groups is another way to build credibility and find prospects to add to the social media sales funnel.
Agents can also build their own groups and attract prospects based on a topic. This is another method of building a following and gaining online authority.
4. After showing your value, connect with people.
Once you’ve started to garner credibility through your online presence, you can start reaching out to prospects. Since most agents use LinkedIn, they can use the advanced search function and put in their target market’s demographics. Real estate professionals can also reach out to clients with tailored information that could be helpful to them. For example, they can provide facts about their neighborhood or, if the agent knows the prospects are buying or selling, tips for easing the process.
Much like traditional sales, cold calling can happen—but this time, it takes place on social media. But when reaching out on social media, your message has to be relevant and useful for the prospect. No one likes spam, online or offline.
5. Try targeted ads.
Implementing ads on social media can allow agents to get highly specific results in their criteria. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram all have ad platforms to help anyone get in front of their ideal customer. Ads are another way to build out a following and can really help agents just getting up to speed on social media. Agents can set ads to gain more followers, gain more views on a specific post, or get clicks to their website. Success with ads relies heavily on accurate targeting, so agents should review best practices for using ads on each network.
6. Track results and replicate the positive efforts.
The most crucial part of social selling is tracking your efforts and replicating those that yielded substantial results. Not every tactic will work, so keep track of which are successful and which should be tossed. Furthermore, you need to log your interactions on the social networks you’re using. You could add a comment onto a prospect’s post but forget about it later. This is why it’s vital to track your social moves.
There are several software platforms and CRMs designed to help take your virtual selling game to the next level—REALTOR Benefits® program partners Adwerx (digital marketing) and Back At You Media (social media marketing) offer their own services and special offers for NAR members. Another option is PropertySimple, which has its own easy-to-use social CRM.
Though there are many ways to use social selling, it’s really all about building credibility and nurturing prospects through social media. No matter the target market, almost everyone uses some amount of social media channels. Now, it’s up to real estate practitioners to become fluent in those networks. Engaging in follow-ups, tracking your efforts, and duplicating successful methods are key to helping your client base flourish.