Social media, when utilised well, can be the most effective tool for letting agents and has become pivotal for developing an established agency brand.

It was only recently that the lettings industry began to harness the power of social media, stepping away from the more traditional marketing methods of TV, radio and newspaper advertising.

Through leading social networking channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, agents can reach a broader audience, increase engagement, and further amplify their business.

Figures from Statista report around 53 million active social media users in the UK in January 2021, up 4.4% from January 2020 – likely buoyed by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

As social media evolves, it's more important than ever to stay connected, produce curated content for new and existing clients and boost your business's overall online presence.

But social media is vast and can be white noise if not fully understood. Having a consistent strategy and a reasonable level of perseverance will be vital in augmenting your business and, in turn, yielding beneficial results.

Create vast, visual multimedia content

Humans are hardwired to engage and pay attention to great visuals, which certainly extends to online content.

Your users are more likely to connect with your page if you include a variety of multimedia. To boost engagement on your website, consider using images and videos of your properties and creating infographics of helpful information for your clients.

On your associated social media sites, accompanying the majority of your posts with photos can avoid the endless scrolling of blocks of text.

The photos themselves must also be varied to remain engaging. Instead of the typical shots of house exteriors and interiors, consider images of attractive pets or stunning views to add variety to your timeline and draw your audience in.

If you use your images, adding graphics to them can enhance the post. Visual content such as this works particularly well on Instagram – the emerging platform for property professionals.

Plan your content ahead of time

The most vital thing a business can do to maximise its social media potential is plan – and plan thoroughly.

Creating (and sticking to) a content schedule will enable agents to use social channels effectively and achieve more consistent engagement. It also means you can ensure your social platforms remain active.

A good approach is to divide your social media output into groups and alternating weekly or monthly. For example: 30% of industry news and third-party content, 20% of your own content, including properties to let and adverts and 50% of your own content that isn't sales-based, such as blogs.

It is also beneficial to take note of key dates in the year to schedule seasonal posts or posts around industry events and local events for the community.

By offering a healthy mix of content to your users, you can gradually build brand awareness and gain a following of those who appreciate an agency that is business-focused and relevant in the industry.

Establish powerful connections with clients

Interacting with organisations via social media has become the norm. For this reason, agents must place themselves amongst the local community, monitor their accounts and respond in a prompt and friendly manner.

Agencies that thrive on social media are the ones who are at the heart of relevant discourse and provide a professional source of valued insight and content.

Regular contact with potential and existing clients can help you build a rapport, increasing the likelihood of instruction or repeat business.

If you receive a negative post or bad review, investigate and tackle it head-on. Honesty is the best policy, so always be transparent with your clients, explaining what you've done (or plan to do) to resolve the issue.

Your social media channels should be informative but also fun. Consider using entertaining posts to drive engagement, such as running competitions, quizzing your followers, and creating polls on topics related to the industry.

Building online relationships and establishing yourself as an active brand – not one that posts countless property adverts – is a sure-fire way to strengthen your social media presence and engagement.

In an increasingly digital world, applying social media to your marketing strategy is paramount that letting agents engage with their local audience and mitigate against the sector's challenges.

Even if you don't generate leads through social media daily, being a positive brand in the eyes of potential landlords and tenants cannot be underestimated. Your agency will be revered as the go-to for services and information at this stage.