Social media has become a major part of most businesses’ marketing plans. Social Media channels like Twitter are able to not only drive traffic to a brands website but also create relationships with potential customers and generate leads.
While there are many industries that can leverage social media, one industry in particular inching very slowly towards fully grasp the power of social media is real estate. There are some real estate companies who have a Facebook page, an account with LinkedIn and Twitter but for some reason are seeing the same amount of sales as before social media, while a minority of savvy real estate professionals embracing the idea of social media and finding success. Below are three tips by the real estate agents who find success on social, on maximizing your potential and capitalizing the power of Twitter.
Develop a Personal Brand
Building a personal brand online is a must to gaining trust and earning the business online. The Real Estate industry is one where a buyer or seller is much more likely to do a background search on their agent before connecting face-to-face. For that reason, it’s more important than ever to build a brand through a mix of both educating and engaging your audience.
In a world where more than 70% of consumers are using social media, it’s becoming more and more likely for potential clients to make assumptions based on your online persona. Thus, it’s important for you to invest in putting effort into your network on social media and establishing yourself as an authority as it relates to real estate.
To be regarded as an authority in the real estate field, you must provide quality content that speaks to the needs of both buyers and sellers. You will wan’t to create and share content ranging from Tips & Tricks for Fixer Uppers to the Ultimate Guide to Home Staging but more importantly, you need to help people out in your area of expertise. This will allow you to stand out from the crowd and become an authority in your region and industry.
Spend Your Time Effectively
It’s easy to get distracted when using social media amidst the hundreds and thousands of notifications on Twitter & Facebook & LinkedIn.
When you’re using Twitter you need to ensure that your goals are being thought about. If you’re looking to increase the number of relationships you have within a specific community; you need to use Twitter to build real relationships with people. Send them a tweet wishing them all the best when they announce that they have a new job or respond quickly when they ask where the best coffee shop is downtown. These simple tactics allow you to build a relationship and ideally a future client.
An often neglected side of social media is that of listening. Listening is a great way to not only better understand what your customers want but also a way to truly add value to the conversation. Too often do people jump into Twitter without gauging the conversations. Sometimes these individuals make the mistake of jumping into conversations without accurately knowing what they’re getting themselves into.
Think about it: identifying, generating and closing leads is all possible if you listen to conversations on twitter. It could truly be the difference between being irrelevant and having great success over the next five years. You have the opportunity to start building relationships with people who are going to be on the market for a home in the future, today. You have an opportunity to not only build a relationship with them personally, but also an opportunity to develop a reputation for your brand.
Social Media, most significantly Twitter is the new word of mouth. And since Real Estate Agency is all about reputation, you can reign the market if you start early and use Social Media wisely.
If you work in a business to business industry, you’ve probably heard the buzz and attention that “social leads” are getting from the press and others in the industry. You’ve probably heard about the power of Linkedin and why it’s important to upgrade to a premium account. What if I told you that Linkedin isn’t the only channel you should be paying attention to; would you believe me? Sure. What if I told you that Linkedin isn’t the best for actually generating leads; would you still believe me? Maybe not. So let me explain…
The way people interact on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest is very different. On one channel you’re primarily using direct messages to discuss business, on the other you’re asking questions to a group of followers, on another you’re looking at pictures of high school friends and on the other you’re creating a digital scrapbook. Clearly, these are dumbed down descriptions of what you can do on each channel but you get the idea. If you’re looking for something and wan’t a third party recommendation, what channel would you use? Facebook or Twitter, right? To some extent Linkedin could be used but most people wan’t quick responses and not everyone uses Linkedin daily. Facebook is often blocked off to a limited group of friends while Twitter is available for the world.
Over the last 5 years social media has gone from being a place where people have back and forth conversations about Brad Pitt to a place where customer service is expected and embraced. It took brands a long time to quite get a grip on the way people were interacting and many actually believed Twitter would disappear by now.
According to a new study by digital marketing software provider Optify, social media generates less than 5% of overall traffic and leads to B2B websites with Facebook leading the pack. While this may be the case as it relates to traffic, the stat that stoof out in this study for me was related to social leads. We just talked about the type of interactions that happen on the various networks which further shows why this study makes sense. It showed that Twitter is by far the strongest social media channel for B2B lead-generation with 82% of social media leads coming directly from Twitter, outperforming Facebook and LinkedIn by 9-to-1.
Here is an interesting visual from the report:
So how do you take advantage of Twitter? Well first you need to find these potential leads. Look at these individuals job titles, look at their locations and identify where they actually work. Once you’ve identified potential customers based on a specific persona, follow these people so that hopefully they’ll follow you back. To increase the chances of getting a follow back, engage with them through conversation about anything and everything. At the same time, ensure that you’re constantly provide relevant content through your tweets that they might find useful or interesting. As people get to know you, they’ll become interested in what you and your business does. And when that happens, magic happens. They’ll go from social media conversations to social media conversions.
Interested in taking theses insights and turning them into results? Here are 5 social media tactics that will help you get there.
Oh, you work in Sales? So you know what it means to keep a lead hot and ensure they don’t get cold?
Raise your hand if you have ever had a lead that went rogue at the last minute and you had no idea why. It’s a bummer that this happens everyday to sales professional and marketers, because it typically stems from a total lack of understanding of the impact their communications efforts have on their leads.
Those who are trying to close deals using lead generation techniques through social media and content, need this post. And if you’re a marketer who’s tired of explaining to clients why they aren’t finding ROI from social media, bookmark this one.
While we strive for the opposite – Here are a few ways businesses and professionals can ensure their leads in social go cold:
1. Only communicate on your terms and your turf.
Have you ever filled out an application and only asked for a phone number? From there, you’re added to a list of potential leads and are called over and over again for the next two months. If only this business would have had the decency to figure out how they could BEST reach you would they actually have a shot.
At the end of the day, in a world of every changing technology and shifting forms of communication. It’s become obvious that some people prefer email, others like to pick up the telephone, some want to tweet at you, some want to live chat and a handful want to actually drop into your office and meet your team. If you’re not providing customers with an opportunity to meet you on their own terms; you could very well be missing out on a big segment of your business. It’s your job as a sales professional to open up as many opportunities for communication between leads and you as possible. Your team will love you for it, and so will the finance team.
2. Take things slow. Like, as slow as you would in Jr. High.
So I’m ready to sign the bottom line on a deal but you want to show me a few additional bells and whistles. You know, the flashy analytics dashboard that will provide me with deep insights into my customers and that cool warranty that I’m probably going to ignore anyway. Cut. It. Out. This is a sure fire way to make a potential lead lose interest, change their mind, take this to “the higher-ups” or urge them to consider the competition.
When you’ve found a lead on Twitter, Facebook or through your blog you can’t just sit on them like a Sumo Wrestler. Take this lead, nurture it and as soon as you’ve entered the purchase stage you need to identify how you can close that deal before it’s too late. Don’t go for the up-sale immediately, start with the sale as it stands and then consider the possibility of an up-sell down the road. How do you do that?
Be Effective. As soon as the deal is done, give the new customer a few hours or days with the product and then follow up (on their terms, see rule #1) and discuss their experience.
3. Follow up over and over and over…..and over again.
Take it from me. If you’ve been trying for the last few months and are still not getting any response, call it a night and come back later. This isn’t a lead playing hard to get, it’s a lead who’s about to unsubscribe from your mailing list and block you on Twitter.
Often, a lead will provide you with a wide variety of information simply to recieve a quality piece of information from you. Sometimes it means they want regular content from you but that doesn’t always mean they are looking for constant pitches. I’m sure you go through your own inbox and think to yourself, “Time to delete these 30 unopen emails, why don’t I just unsubscribe from these?” Think about how often is too much and understand that there is a thin line between following up and being annoying.
Be on the right side of that fence and you’ll be in the customers good book.
4. Fill their inbox with larger than life PDFs
Now, it’s one thing to fill an inbox with frequency. It’s another to fill an inbox with a file the size of Africa.
Chill out on the large interactive PDF that has a video embedded with a dynamic voice over connected to the flash animation on page five. Understanding the ideal size of an email to send a potential customer is quite simple. If the file and email is expected; feel free to send a large one. If the file isn’t expected and it’s over 5MB – It’s time to rethink the delivery of this file. Can you upload the document to a site like Sendspace or Dropbox and share a link? Remember, you’re not the only one they receive emails from over the course of a day. If you’re the reason they miss an important email because you filled up their inbox you can bet they’ll run to your competitors when the opportunity arises.
One of the things we truly love about sales and social media in general is your ability to integrate the two to find meaningful measurable results. There’s no fluff, there’s no magic tricks, it’s business as usual with a slight twist.
Many organizations are still trying to get a grasp on how they can take that first step into using social media to generate sales. Well, look no further, here are four easy steps that any sales team can take to developing an excellent sales strategy for social media:
Establish Sales Goals & Objectives
Before you dive into developing a sales strategy for social media you need to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Immediately you’re going to think that you’re trying to simply achieve an increase in sales. Incorrect. You need to understand the difference between leads, opportunities, visitors and actual customers.
Once you understand the business mechanics of a social media program such as the different types of conversions highlighted above you can start focusing on sales. To do this, start with the bottom line and make your way back to get to your goals. As you do this, integrate your understanding of the objectives and funnels to develop the KPI’s that will demonstrate if you’re on the right track.
Develop Soft Conversion Channels
Developing soft conversion channels is built around the idea of capturing a users attention before they make a buying decision. It’s a great tactic as many prospects may not be ready to make a purchase; however, with soft conversions you have an opportunity to convert relevant leads over time.
Soft leads are people who are willing to provide personal information like an email address or Facebook account in exchange for highly relevant and valued content. This content they see as valuable and relevant could range from an eBook to a Webinar that’s offered for the first 60 people who subscribe. These users are valuable leads who have demonstrated some form of interest in your content; but haven’t necessarily said they want to spend cash on your product.
Upon developing a compelling and relevant email marketing campaign, you will start to push these users through the sales funnel more effectively. As a result you will have a better opportunity to convert what was once a soft lead into a buyer and potential brand advocate.
Identify where leads are talking
Think about who it is you’re trying to target with your advertising. If you’re startup that sells velvet track-suits, you’re going to need to develop the persona for someone who would want this product. Start to think about the channels they use, start to think about how they interact with these channels and what type of content they would find valuable. From there, also understand your potential leads from a real world perspective – What are their general interests? Where do they live? What’s their name?
If you’re able to define your potential buyers it will allow you to be more strategic with your thinking and marketing approach. Defining their persona will help you in identifying your target customer and understand how they will actually search for your business online. This process seems quite simple and a bit silly but it’s one that can play a huge role in increasing your conversions.
Measure, Analyze and Report Stuff
Finally, you have to do something that a lot of people don’t want to talk about. It’s sort of like one of the rules from Fight Club except online marketing club. MARS. Measure – Analyze – Report Stuff.
It’s very important that you understand how you’re doing along the process to ensure you’re able to maximize your dollars spent. The quickest and most cost-effective way to monitor social media is by utilizing tools like Google analytics or Hootsuite Pro. The combination of these two tools will make your life a whole lot easier by demonstrating the number of click-throughs on various links.
Once you have received all the data and measured your results it’s time to analyze. During this phase you want to study cost per impressions, engagements, etc.. You also want to run a mini-SWOT analysis to show your team what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are present. If you can do this, you will find success. It’s much more difficult to go somewhere without knowing where you’ve already been.
Have you been using Social Media for developing and generating leads? What have been some learnings from your approach? We’d love to hear your ideas and any learnings you’ve found in your career.