Dr. Lee Davenport is an Atlanta-based real estate coach and blogger who has been featured in REALTOR® Magazine and the Huffington Post, to name a few. She trains real estate agents and brokers across the country on how to work smarter with technology. Join Lee's free RE Tech Insider's Club at LearnWithLee.REALTOR for tips and tools to help your business thrive. Follow Lee on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, and search the #LearnWithLee hashtag.
16 Ways to Win Leads in 2016: Social Media
Part one of this three-part series on online lead generation includes six best practices for connecting with prospects on social networks.
December 28, 2015
Are you ending 2015 feeling “meh” about online leads? Shake that feeling off by starting some new, simple habits in 2016 that will bolster your brand’s online appeal and connect you to prospective clients.
In this three-part series, I will share 16 changes you can make in social media, blogging, and e-newsletter outreach. Let’s kick things off with six tips to properly engage and share on your social networks. Remember that lead generation from social media is no longer a popularity contest. It’s not about how many views you get or gaining more superficial “likes” but about making genuine connections.
1. Don’t be a link litterer. Posting random links on social media without giving the articles context is what’s referred to as “link litter.” Stop sharing real estate articles that do not provide value to friends and followers.
When you have something to share, ask yourself this question: “Who cares?” You could post the best article in the world, but if you don’t say why it’s relevant to your fiends, followers, and potential clients, it will be lost on them.
Try sharing a housing market tip without a link or information on the latest construction project in your community. Post client testimonials. Talk about the fun new restaurant in your farm area where you had lunch today.
2. Try using Sniply to connect with your readers. You may not always have time to create original content. You’re busy; I get it. But when you share someone else’s content, you’re directing potential clients away from your site. Sniply allows you to share content from other websites while keeping your face/call-to-action presence on the page with a button linking back to your own site. Sniply is available as a Chrome browser extension so you can quickly share great articles and still make connections with prospects.
3. Always include a value-driven call to action. A call to action is simply an offer of value that you make to your network. This should not only be done on social media, but also in blogging, e-newsletters, postcard mailings, and anything else you distribute for your business.
For example, when you or one of your agents has a great new listing, share some interesting photos and write, “Could this be your dream home? Click here to see if you qualify.” Include a link that takes the viewer to your preferred lender’s prequalification form.
If you have a creative graphic of a listing you recently sold in less than 15 days, your call to action could be, “Sold in 15 days. The market is hot! Find out how much your home is worth.” Then link to your CMA automated software (such as CloudCMA).
Are any of your targeted new-home communities offering buyer bonuses, such as additional money towards closing or free appliance packages? If so, find out more information about the conditions and share that with your friends and followers. For example, "Would you like free appliances to go in your new home? Text me today for details." There are many other ways you can present this to add value and get people eager to contact you.
4. Share items of interest to your ideal client. If your target clients are millennial first-time home buyers, why are your social media posts about high-end, move-up homes? Conversely, if you want to reach move-up buyers who are searching for a bigger house, then why are you posting about small condos and high-rise lofts?
A good exercise for your next sales meeting is to help your agents do some soul-searching and evaluate whom they typically attract as clients on social media and whom they want to attract as clients. If these two target markets don’t match, it may be because the content they share doesn’t resonate with their desired clientele.
5. Automate your weekly posting schedule. I’m sure today’s real estate market (and everything else going on in your life) has you and your agents busy. But if you’re not connecting with your social media friends weekly, then it’s no wonder you’re not reaping the rewards of lead generation.
Real estate requires that you stay top-of-mind, so create a schedule where you post something of value at least once a week. The key here is scheduling more than “automation.” There are various tools to help like Buffer (my personal favorite for real estate), Edgar, Friends+Me, Hootsuite, and others. Try them out to see which one works best for you, and have your agents do the same. But don’t simply set up the same posts to go out multiple times. It’s still important for each post to be original and thoughtful. When used correctly, automated scheduling apps will start the conversations for you, which is half the battle.
6. Build relationships through engagement. Now that you’ve started the conversation with relevant content, the next step to social media lead generation is responding to the comments you receive and commenting on other people’s posts.
Try using the search function on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest to search for life events like “new job,” “buying a home,” and “selling a home,” to see who may be in need of a real estate agent in your area. This can make you and your agents privy to potential leads without spending money on ads.