In the minds of some people, “Social Media” is just one of the new buzzwords in today’s global marketplace. However, it’s so much more than that – especially for real estate professionals.
Social media marketing has become one of the most popular methods used by agents today to generate more leads, customers, and revenue.
Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have paved the way for many agents to connect with local consumers who are in need of their products and services.
However, many real estate professionals are still avoiding social media as a way to grow their businesses. Many of them have concluded that it may be “too much of a hassle” or “too much of a challenge” or “ineffective” without even trying it out.
In fact, a lot of agents have different “misconceptions” about social media that are keeping them from realizing its potential to truly make a difference in their bottom line.
Here are the top 10 common misconceptions real estate professionals have about social media, along with clarifications to help you get a better understanding:
Misconception #1: Social Media is a Fad for Teenagers
This is probably the biggest fallacy regarding the use of social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and others. In fact, mobile users and adults are driving social media growth worldwide.
According to Pew Research Center, 67% of online adults use social networking sites.
Facebook and Twitter’s adult audiences have grown tremendously over the past few years. The best part about this is that these people are in the “consumer buying” age groups.
Therefore, agents that spend time growing their social media presence are extremely likely to make sales from their efforts. In addition, social sharing amongst users is getting more and more popular by the day. This means that these “buyers and sellers” are sharing your information with other “buyers and sellers”.
Misconception #2: Social Media is Too Time Consuming and Hard
For any marketing method, generating sales comes from putting in the time and effort to understand and reach your customers; social media is no different.
Initially, it will take a little time to set up your social media profiles, but once they are up, it’s just a matter of using them. Due to the fact that your social media updates should be short and to the point, it doesn’t take a lot of time to post small snippets of content on a daily basis.
Within minutes, you can add photos of your listings, company updates, help tips, special offers and more.
There are many different software apps available that can help you manage your social media even faster, such as Hootsuite or Social Oomph. These apps can save you a lot of time as you continuously grow your social media presence.
However, many agents have found it easier to hire someone specifically to handle their social media accounts, which is also not a bad idea.
Misconception #3: Social Media is Expensive
When it comes to social media, using the various networks doesn’t cost anything. The only real investment is “time.” Even hiring someone to manage your social media profiles is a lot less expensive than most marketing and advertising methods.
If you decide to use apps to help you manage your profiles, they usually require as little as $10 a month. If you want to run ads on some of the social media platforms, even they cost just pennies compared to traditional advertising costs.
It is important to understand that these minimal investments allow you to display your listings and services to your local target audience on a wide-scale.
In fact, many people use social media to learn more about real estate. So without a presence there, you are seriously missing out on potential business.
The cost of time, effort and perhaps other small fees are minor compared to the potential earnings your social media pages could generate.
Misconception #4: Social Media: Just Set it and Forget it
Would you leave your listing unattended? Probably not. The same goes for any online marketing methods you are using – including your social media profiles
Take a few minutes to visit your social media accounts at least once or twice a day to check for buyer or seller requests, comments and other feedback. Be sure to respond and communicate with your followers and fans.
Once you have some followers, social media is an excellent way to keep your clients and potential customers up-to-date about your company.
Not only that, but you can share engaging videos, articles, and other valuable content related to real estate.
Yes, it will take a bit of effort to grow and nurture your social media presence. But over time, it should yield a following that you can convert into loyal customers and financial gain.
Misconception #5: Social Media Replaces Your Company Website
Social media should not replace your website – it should be used in addition to your website as an online marketing tool. Your website is your virtual internet “home” and should contain details about you, as well as the services you offer.
Social media, on the other hand, is a place for your business to connect and build relationships with future clients and past clients.
Social media will help drive customers to your website simply by having a link to your site in all of your social profiles. This way, your audience is just one click away from seeing more details about you and what you have to offer.
On the flip side, you can use your website to drive people to your social media profiles to build an even larger following. This can be easily accomplished simply by placing social icons on your site with a call-to-action that prompts people to join you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.
It’s a win-win cross promotion situation. Social media is a great way to send traffic to your website…and your website is a great way to send traffic to your social media profiles.
Misconception #6: Social Media Takes Too Long to Generate Sales
Social media is not meant to be a platform all about “selling;” it is more about building relationships with consumers, which ultimately turn into sales.
However, it also has the potential to have a viral, snowball effect. One person sees your social media profile and if they like it, they share it with others.
In a short period of time, you can have thousands of people visiting your page and seeing your updates on a regular basis.
This means you will have more eyes on you without any additional efforts on your part; traditional advertising methods cannot offer this type of targeted exposure.
By providing good updates and information that your audience will enjoy, they will trust your brand more and look to your business when in need of the types of products and services you have to offer.
Misconception #7: You Have to Post a Lot to Get Results
You don’t have to be obsessive about it as some people believe. In fact, posting too often could hurt results. Some agents make the mistake of posting many times throughout the day, which could become annoying to followers.
Post regularly and be consistent, but there is no need to over-do it. When it comes down to it, it’s not about quantity… it’s about quality.
Misconception #8: You Need a Lot of Fans and Followers to Get Sales
Again, it’s not about quantity as much as it is about quality. Engage followers that fit your profile for potential sales.
You can get 20,000 non-targeted followers and not get any results. On the other hand, you can get 200 extremely targeted followers and quickly see results.
Once you have them as a fan or follower, it’s what you do with them that will determine your ability to convert them into clients.
Misconception #9: You Need to be on Every Social Media Site
Once you embark on the social media journey, don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to be on ALL of the social networking sites – there are lot of them out there.
Be selective. If you are trying to connect with a specific type of customer, join the sites that will enable you to access potential customers who fit the description. For some agents, LinkedIn may generate more leads than Twitter. For others, Pinterest may be the better option.
The important thing is to figure out where your local ideal client is spending most of their time and establish profiles on those sites. In addition, choose your social media sites based on the features and tools they have that will best fit you.
Misconception #10: Social Media Isn’t a Good Method for Real Estate Professionals
It’s true that social media may not be a good fit for some agents. However, many agents assume that it’s not right for them without actually knowing that for a fact – so they avoid it.
While you may be uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the concept, it should not be ignored as a viable marketing option that can grow your business.
Any agent that needs leads, website traffic, or better search engine rankings could potentially benefit from social media.
The Internet is now 20+ years old and started as just a way to find information. Now, it has blossomed into a way for individuals to stay connected and build relationships with friends, families, and businesses.
Social media and social sharing is here to stay. Agents that realize this fact are benefiting tremendously from the rewards social media has to offer.
Word of mouth has always been important, but its scope was previously limited to the people you knew and interacted with. That limitation has been removed by social media, which has given new power to consumers to easily and quickly spread the word.
As ever, if you need help, or want more information, get in touch!