By Patty McNease, Director of Marketing, Homes.com
When on a social media site like Facebook, picture yourself going to a Chamber of Commerce meeting and being in front of people, asking questions that are engaging. This is a key to connections.
This was just a bit of the wisdom that was shared in a recent Watercooler episode moderated by Chris Smith and Jimmy Mackin, co-founders of Curaytor.com, and guest host Joe Sesso, national speaker for Homes.com.
Sesso, a real estate agent and expert, has traveled across the country speaking to real estate professionals about the latest trends in marketing, technology and social media.
The first tip the group offered is to not feel intimidated by social media and think of it instead as something fun and not a chore.
“You certainly need a strategy and tactics that work, but you shouldn’t wake up in the morning and feel like you are going to the gym; it’s just people communicating with people in a new way, intertwined with marketing and advertising opportunities,” Smith says. “We all need to chill out.”
Fun with Facebook
This may seem contrary to what a lot of social media experts tell you, but Sesso says that if you go all-in on Facebook and do it correctly, you don’t need to have a strategy on every other site.
For a real estate professional to be successful on Facebook, the trio recommended subscribing to the WET principal. The acronym stands for Works Every Time, and revolves around the notion that when you ask really specific stuff in a brief format, it tends to have the best results.
Ask questions like: ‘How old were you when you bought your first house?’, ‘When you got married?’, and ‘When did you graduate college?’ Questions that are short and specific and work in a mobile, microwave mentality world, mentioned Smith. “When you use ‘why’ on social media, it comes across as thinking out loud. While not a terrible thing, 50 percent of the posts become thinking out loud. I try to avoid philosophical posts.”
Smith cites a quote he heard recently: “Social media has become a highlight reel of our lives,” and feels that asking “why” questions gets away from the highlights and makes one see the “whole game,” which they don’t want.
Another powerful tool on Facebook that is important to success are Facebook groups to build a community around people who use you. Sesso says this is an opportunity most real estate pros are missing out on.
“Everyone should have one,” Sesso says. “Your Facebook page attracts thousands of people, your profile has hundreds of friends, but at the bottom of that funnel is this small group of people who actually did business with you, and you should find a way to provide value to those customers long-term, the same way you would a potential lead.”
Power of Photos
It doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media site, you have to have stopping power in the news feed, and a lot of that comes from photography.
Smith gives a great example of this, praising a contest that Chicago-based Dreamtown Realty recently held. They asked people to submit the best photo of Chicago, and each day, they post a “photo of the day” on Facebook and always link back to their site.
“They have hundreds of likes and shares on these great, amazing crowdsourced photos,” he says. “What it proves is that amazing photos or curated content is going to be more important.”
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