Social media has become an integrated part of our daily lives, but learning how to strategically manage each social platform to benefit your business takes time and skill. However, by the time you finally figure out how to truly incorporate a particular site into your business, a new one magically appears out of thin air.
As real estate professionals, time is money and you would rather be spending that time with prospects and clients, but in the interests of growing your database you tell yourself, “Here we go again, time to learn a new social platform.” However, we have come up with these questions you should ask yourself before creating another social media account.
Is your target audience using this social network?
Connecting with followers and customers through social media differs depending on what site you are using. You will also find different audiences throughout the different social media networks. The average age of home buyers in the U.S. is 44 years old (NAR 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers), making this age group (+/- 10 years) your target audience. Furthermore, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, 79% of American, adult, online users are on social media. Of that number, 78% of Facebook users fall into this age group, followed by 25.5% on Instagram, and 22% on Twitter.
If your business already has a well established social profile on a different network with a large following, you don’t necessarily have to start from zero when you move into a new social platform. Most networks let you upload a list of followers from other sites and/or email lists. This will save you time when searching for new followers and help you locate current clients who may already be using the new network. For example, you could go on Snapchat, upload your list of Facebook followers and see how many of them are using Snapchat to help you determine if you should consider the new account. The key is to figure out where your target audience is and create a strategy to reach, connect, and engage with those individuals.
Does it fill a need?
Each social platform has its own unique style to engage with its audience. For example, Twitter requires users to communicate in less than 140 characters while Instagram is heavily image based. Facebook is built around others’ comments and clicks, and Snapchat creates higher engagement through the use of “real time” content that disappears within 24 hours. You must determine if the new social account is going to fill a need that your existing accounts do not, also taking into consideration your audience base.
Do you have the time?
Keep in mind that each account you have can easily require a couple of hours of time to maintain each week. Creating the initial profile might be relatively simple and quick, but you will want to take some extra time to create brand cohesiveness with your other social accounts. Additionally, content creation will be an ongoing obligation on any profile. Your content is a representation of your products, services, and the type of business you manage. Each profile needs to have a continuous flow of content, because as quickly as you become relevant, you can be forgotten. One of the worst things you can do is create a profile that is left unattended. Consumers are likely to see an unattended account as a reflection of how you run your business.
Do you have the budget?
Money is power, and in this case money could mean more engagement. Yes, you can organically grow your social presence online, but investing in your social accounts will be the smartest and quickest way of seeing your fan base grow and engage with your brand. Each platform offers different options and levels of advertising; setting aside a marketing budget just for social ads is the safest way of not overspending. Before running any form of advertising, make sure you establish a goal. For example, are you looking to gain more followers? Are you looking to promote a listing? Are you looking for more web visits? These are all important questions you should be asking yourself before investing in social ads.
Finally, if you feel creating that new profile is worth it, ask yourself one last question: is it best to spend your time creating content, monitoring engagement, and frequently posting on all of these sites or should you spend your time with other marketing tactics? It all comes down to what is best for you and your business. Here at Homes.com, we have a solution for you. Our social media account managers take care of everything from account setup to creating engaging posts and managing your Facebook Ads. Homes.com Social Fuel even manages your online reputation and monitors how your business ranks in search results so you can focus on selling real estate while we manage your social presence. For more information about Homes.com Social Fuel, call (888) 651-8956 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.