Are you stuck in a social media rut? Are your only three Twitter followers the Branch Manager, a spam account and your Nan? Fear not - here are our top tips to help you boost your social presence and have fun doing it.
1. Don’t just post property listings
You’re likely paying to post all your property listings on a portal such as Rightmove or Zoopla, and these are some of the first places a prospective customer will look when searching for a home or investment opportunity.
Social media’s all about sharing interesting snippets, news, content and stories with your family and friends. So, stick to your most impressive, best value or most interesting property listings, as these will be much more shareable; and posting every single one on Facebook or Twitter will likely get on your followers’ nerves.
You could even add a comment inviting your followers to tag a friend who might be interested in that particular property.
2. Post local content
Whether they’re tenants looking for a place to live, or landlords looking to invest in a buy-to-let property; your customers are first and foremost going to be from, or interested in finding out about, your local area. So this is the ideal opportunity for you to step up and show that you’re an expert in your community and a trusted local business.
Follow local businesses and news channels on social media and share anything you think your own customers would be interested in – especially stories you can relate to the local property market. Join in local conversations and offer support to local charities too, to show you’re truly a part of the community.
3. Always use images
Your customers are much more likely to engage with your posts if you include an image. Ideally, you should be taking photos regularly to go alongside your social media activity.
You don’t need a fancy camera for this – a smartphone and some free online photo-editing software should do the trick. You want to make sure your photos are clear, bright and interesting. If you’re feeling creative, you could even add words and graphics to your photos, using a free design site like Canva.
If you do need to use somebody else’s photos, make sure you do this legally by seeking their permission where possible, or paying for images through a service such as iStock.
4. Be original
Creating your own content is always the best way to boost your social presence and promote yourself as a knowledge leader in the local area, and it doesn’t need to be as time consuming as you may think.
Write a quick blog post once a week about property issues in your local area, tips and tricks for tenants, advice for landlords – the list is endless! It doesn’t need to be really long and in-depth, a quick list-style article a-la Buzzfeed, or something short and punchy can often be just as effective! Add an image and share your article on your social channels.
5. Create videos
If you’ve got a particularly exciting property on your books, why not put together a quick ‘video tour’? This could make for a really shareable piece of content and persuade people to tag friends who may be looking to move.
If you’ve got a new product or service, you could make a quick video explaining the benefits. Fifty-Squid.com will create a good quality animated video for as little as £50 – great for uploading to YouTube and sharing across your social feeds.
6. Don’t oversell
Social media should be less about selling and more about connecting with your customers and enhancing your brand reputation.
Think about your own personal social media accounts and the brands that you like and follow; you’ll probably agree that the ‘hard sell’ is quite off-putting!
That’s not to say you can’t promote your products and services, just be selective about what you do promote and when – save it for particularly quiet periods or when you’ve got a big marketing campaign in progress.
7. Double check your posts
You could have the best content, best images and best intentions, but if your spelling and grammar aren’t up to scratch, it’ll be hard for your customers to take you seriously.
A simple spellcheck before posting, or even asking a colleague to have a glance over your work, can save your blushes and ensure your message isn’t being diluted by basic writing errors.
8. Shout about your best properties
So, although we’ve advised you not to post too many links to property listings, that doesn’t mean you can’t advertise your properties on social media at all!
When you go to take pictures of a particularly interesting property, try and take a few social-media-worthy images too. They don’t need to necessarily be photos of full rooms, they could be quirky design features, funky furniture or anything that’s a little bit different.
Share your images on any social channels you fancy – this would be a great opportunity to set up an Instagram or Pinterest account, for example.
9. Tell people where to find you but don’t beg for likes
By all means, tell your customers where to find you on social media. Have social media logos and URLs on your website, doors, windows and leaflets.
But don’t beg people to ‘like you’ or ‘share’ your posts, you want these things to happen organically and because a customer genuinely likes you or finds your content interesting.
If you really are desperate to build up your initial follower count – why not run a local competition that requires social media interaction from entrants? Make sure you read up on the rules of hosting a competition on whichever social site you choose though.
10. Always think social
Finally, always be on the lookout for opportunities to post something interesting on your social channels and get all your staff to keep their phone cameras at the ready.
Charity fundraising days, decorating the office Christmas tree, handing the keys over to a thrilled first-time tenant – there’s always something going on that’s worth sharing with your followers!