How to keep your social media presence consistent to build your business.
Social media is one of the best marketing tools for the modern real estate professional. However, using social media incorrectly is also one of the best ways to kill trust in your target market and ensure they will gravitate toward your competition when they are ready to make a decision. To avoid that, you need to have congruence among your channels and use social media effectively. Here’s how.
Why Congruence Leads to Trust
When a home buyer or seller researches realtors they are considering working with, they want to know what to expect. Do you specialize in the type, price, and location of the home they want to buy or sell? Do you tend to work with clients who match their age, income level, and other demographics? Will you use language that makes sense to them and makes them feel comfortable? All these questions and many more will be going through their minds when they look at your social media channels.
If a potential client sees that you are consistent throughout the channels, they can start to get to know you. Soon, they will feel comfortable with the thought of working with you and will feel confident in taking the next step to contact you.
Now imagine that potential client sees you using complicated language and talking about high-end investment properties on LinkedIn, but then being more casual and targeting first-time home-buyers on Facebook. They’ll likely wonder which is the true person. They may want to work with the person you portray on Facebook, but would feel very uncomfortable talking with the one you portray on LinkedIn. Eventually, this will lead to confusion and cause them to seek out an agent who has a more consistent reputation.
Mistakes That Lead to Lack of Congruence
A congruence among social channels shows your potential clients and referral partners that you are professional, have kept up with the changes in the market, and that you have a solid, consistent brand. Unfortunately, many agents make a number of possible mistakes that lead to lack of congruence and kills trust. They include:
■ Having multiple people post to their social media accounts.
Do you have your assistant handle your Twitter account while your daughter posts to LinkedIn and you post to Facebook? This is a common scenario with solo agents who try to do everything on their own and randomly delegate tasks they don’t have time for. When you have multiple people post to your accounts, your voice and message are not consistent and you can’t build trust.
■ You don’t know your voice.
If you have not established your ideal client, how they want to be talked to, and how what you specialize in can help solve their problems, you have not created your marketing voice and won’t be able to use it consistently on social media (or anywhere else).
■ You haven’t created a reputation style guide.
Once you know your voice, you have to be able to put it into words and understand how it should be communicated. This can then be shared with others on your team and your referral partners so you can achieve consistency.
■ You don’t have a posting schedule or strategy.
If you haven’t established a social media marketing strategy and schedule your posts, you’re likely posting whenever you get a chance without much forethought about what you’ll post. This leads to inconsistency and poorly constructed posts that do nothing to build your reputation or trust among your potential clients.
■ You don’t fill out your profiles with consistent information.
When some agents create their various social media profiles, they don’t spend a lot of time filling them out and ensuring they are consistent with the information they have on other channels, their websites, and their other marketing materials. This leads to confusion when a potential client researches you and finds discrepancies in your information.
■ You put only listings on one platform and educational information on another.
Think that Facebook is only a place to promote listings while LinkedIn is the place for educational articles or infographics? You’re wrong. Each platform should have roughly the same percentage of educational or informational posts and listings, with an emphasis on the first.
How to Create Congruence on Social Channels
Starting to see how important congruence among your social channels is (and how easy it is to create confusion and erode trust)? Use the following tips to ensure your online reputation and consistency and is one that builds trust.
■ Designate one person (or company) to post to all your channels. It’s likely you cannot keep up with a social media posting schedule in addition to your full-time job of buying and selling homes. That’s why it’s better to hand over this job to a pro, whether that’s an in-house marketing specialist or an outside company who can handle it for you.
■ Establish a consistent branding voice and style guide.
■ Use similar professional images for your profile picture and background images.
■ Schedule your posts so you stay consistent.
■ Engage with followers on all platforms in the same voice. Social media is meant to be social, and your goal is to have followers comment on and share your posts. Make sure you always respond to questions or comments and do so in a consistent manner.
■ Blend your listings and salesy posts with plenty of posts that are information, educational, or humorous. Your followers want to know they can trust you as a resource and that you won’t just try to sell them on your services.
■ Have consistent contact information. Your ultimate goal is for your social media followers to reach out to you for more information or to schedule a meeting. Make sure that’s easy for them. Have an email address or phone number that you check frequently and use it on all platforms.
Need some assistance creating and managing congruent social media channels? Reach out to the expert marketers at Luxury Presence for guidance. We’d love to help you build trust and take your agency to the next level.