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As marketers continue to saturate every corner of the internet—and social media—we are finding that organic engagement is becoming a greater challenge for small businesses. With over 4 billion internet users, roughly 3 billion users on social media, and a staggering 5 billion mobile users, more people are online than ever before. So businesses should have no trouble reaching incredibly large audiences, right? If that’s the case, then why is organic engagement such a struggle? Let me give you a little history, then a few solutions, especially for smaller businesses!

In the good ole’ days, platforms catered heavily to businesses’ demands by providing plenty of space for them to be seen natively. However, we have begun to see a massive shift in the game due to oversaturation and periodic backlashes, which has required platforms to adapt. Social media specifically, has continued to see major changes these past few years with the way businesses can reach their targeted audience. Between privacy revisions and advertising alterations, sites like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, etc. have shifted their focus to protect their consumers.

Platforms have begun to deprioritize businesses from people’s news feeds in exchange for focusing on “building community.” This basically means you’ll see more weekend activities, family vacations, holidays, and selfies from your friends and family, and less content and advertisements from businesses. While this is a great change, small businesses may see a few caveats. As a small business, you are no longer going to see the same results from organic growth as you did a couple years ago. It doesn’t mean your audience has shrunk, just that you won’t be able to reach them as easily as you used to.

Finding new ways to build engagement, a suggestion made by many advertisers, is a great avenue to explore. But what about building community? I find that building community helps create engagement in and of itself, and much of it begins through conversation. Starting a conversation is tough; no one likes to be the first to speak. However, conversation is what many small businesses thrive on. This is particularly true for real estate. You rely on obtaining business from relationships you create with others and the additional referral business they send you.

4 Steps to Building Your Value Through Conversation

1) Build Your Audience

Building your audience is key for any online success; you can’t connect with an audience that isn’t there. Start with your sphere of influence. This is a great way to begin growing your business from the ground up: through word of mouth! After that, advertising your business is the next step to creating your audience. If this is unfamiliar or beyond your expertise, let our team of social media experts know!

2) Share Your Knowledge, Stand Out

Once you’ve begun to build your audience, it is important to showcase your knowledge in real estate, specifically in your area. Housing market trends, events, projects, and initiatives around your area are all examples of terrific ways you can showcase your knowledge to your followers. This will help you gain trust as an expert. Giving value to your audience helps to instill a trusting relationship.

3) Start a Conversation

Once someone is on your business page, it opens up the door to creating a meaningful conversation with members of your audience, or as the young kids would say, “slide into their DM’s.” Keep in mind, this is not a professional suit-and-tie affair. Do a little prospecting, but avoid getting too “salesy.” Remember the goal is to start a conversation, not close a deal. Apply a similar concept when chatting to someone at a holiday party or community function.

 4) Focus Your Efforts

Focus your efforts on the 20 percent of people who will give you 80 percent of your business. Free leads don’t just appear; you have to put in the effort to get them to work with you.

Luckily there are countless ways your business can really stand out online and churn over some fantastic results, such as using Homes.com Social Fuel. Our team is happy to assist with your online marketing efforts and prepare you for the brilliant conversations ahead! Reach out to us at (866) 236-0313 and/or socialsupport@homes.com. Or, visit the Social Fuel landing page for more information.

Homes.com Social Fuel

Homes.com Social Fuel is your winning game plan for social media success! Designed specifically for real estate pros, Social Fuel manages your Facebook Ads, LinkedIn profile, Twitter Account, Google My Business listings, Landing Pages, online reputation, and more!