As a realtor, being visible on social media is pretty important. Or so I read. Seeing as 90% of society has a smart phone glued to their face a majority of the day.
But what have you found to be sensible amount of social media interaction? I have the typical sites like Facebook Business page, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pintrest, Instagram and thought about doing a wordpress... in addition to the dozens of other social media/real estate sites and apps... But when is enough enough? At the end of the day do these things even really generate genuine interest?
My simple answer is No. They dont generate enough business to justify the amount of time it takes to maintain all of the sites and profiles. You need to look at where you are getting business from and focus there. FB is big because everybody you know is there but nobody cares about your business page. Your friends care about you. Use FB to talk about your succeses in RE and your friends will think of you when their friends need help with real estate. Dont talk about real estate investing on FB thinking people will care unless they care how much money you have. Its a necessary evil. Good luck.
Yeah I think a lot of people rely on social media but at this point it's been beaten to death. You need to generate REAL business and meaningful contacts. So many people are on social media nonsense that it has become the digital equivalent of junk mail you get at the house and just toss away.
I'm not saying it's worthless, but as any small business owner you need to understand the cost it takes to get new clients, that time spent on social media has a real ROI and my bet is that number is low. When advertising is free, as with anything, you generally get what you pay for.
As long as you provide real content and not that click bait garbage I say a once or twice a week. I have a real point of contention with the quality of some blogs, but it works and gets clicks so that why its still done.
@Patrick Jacques Social media is a powerful tool that most investor over look. Get on there and start engaging in conversation to become the authority investor in your city. Stay active as you can no matter what, so you can reap the benefits of it down the road. Keep pushing that rock up that hill until you reach the top.
I am going to have to disagree with @Alexander Felice on this and agree with @Antonio Coleman . Social media was developed to allow people to talk about themselves and their interest with other like minded people, or family. Social media has since become a very powerful tool, shaping the way we think, act, and consume everything. If it wasn't do you think that there would be anything more than Facebook? I wouldn't think people wouldn't waste money on trying to develop the next hit on social websites, if it wasn't profitable. This is where I think Alexander missed his point. ROI is X to the Nth power, based on the value of your time.
What I mean is that X is the amount of effort that you put into quality social media as @Tim Gordon if you feel it's a waste of time, that is ok too. Not everyone has the mindset that they need to invest in themselves 110%, 210% of the time. Just remember that studies have proven that the majority of people in the world, have a favorite topic to discuss more than anything else. Themselves!
@Richard D. the 70 million user argument is pointless. You will reach a few hundred people on FB. Maybe a few thousand if you invest some money. The reality is that its Social Media not Business Media.
I am not a realtor but rather an investor. I've done 6 rehabs with an even split of holds and flips. I can tell you how I've used FB and how it's helped.
On my personal page I post when I buy a house with pics and when I'm done I post pics. My wife and I do it together so I tag her in photos. From these posting I've generated some offline discussions that have led to private money lending.
On my business FB page I also post before and after along with a few during the project. I also post houses I go look at whether I buy them or not. I try to turn the post into some sort of advertisement. Almost all posts have my telephone number in them.
Here is what I've gotten off my business FB.
#1 when I tried wholesaling I was told by a seller that they googled my company name and found my FB. They saw I seemed legit. They actually messaged me through FB to go look at house. My FB info was no where on my mailer.
#2 this one happened twice. a buyer tracked me down through tax records, googled me and found my FB page which had my phone number. One of those did not result in a sale due to the rehab timetable. The other one did result in a contract to sale and we (hopefully) close on Monday with no realtors :)
I think FB compliments what you are doing and can give you credibility. I do not expect anything as far as new leads.
@Rob Beland I think what you are not understanding is that any exposure is good exposure. That's why people like politicians, Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban, and Donald Trump are all over the TV. Good or Bad, they want you talking about them. They want to "trend."
As @Antonio Coleman writes in his blogs, here on BP; (to paraphrase) you want to "trend" or go "viral" in your local market. If your local market is 100-300 people, get them talking about you, any way possible (preferably in a good way). Get them reviewing you. Reviews build legitimacy to your business, waiting for someone to go out of their way to write a review is not productive. Trying to hide from reviews, means maybe you should find another line of work. I am not trying to imply anything other than reviews build legitimacy.
As @Shawn Thom provides evidence, any small amount of exposure, could lead to more opportunities. As a business owner, that is all you want daily, more opportunities to grow your business. I looked at Shawn's Facebook page. It is professional, and of good quality. He separates his social life from business, unless it sheds a perceived positive light on his moral character. It doesn't surprise me of his results. Even with the small amount of information he provided.
Feel free to ask Shawn how much it cost him to build the page and just get 2 more people looking at it? I would wager it was about 2-3 hours of posting photos & comments. But if you click like, you just exposed him to another x number of friends you have, for free! I know he would appreciate the exposure, I gave him with the 150+ friends on my list. Many of whom live in his market.
I focus on Linkedin and Craig's List (not social media I know but online media). They both work for me. I don't think much of FB for real estate, unless you spend big bucks on a campaign on there.
@Richard D. Thanks for the mention..keep up the good work out in Fort Worth
I used to use a tool about 5 years ago that posted to about 40 social networking sites in one shot and multiple video sites at once. It was starting to be a lot to keep up with and the quality of social sites varied and they were trying to build up a base to sell off. Some of them would take off and other wouldn't.
You could potentially come in exposure with millions of users but are they the RIGHT contacts??
I have discovered that targeting marketing is best for me. For example do I need 1,000 people taking up my time that have no interest in what I am doing or 10 people who are very interested etc.
I do not need the 990 others.
These days I use Bigger Pockets for connecting and base building. I have Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook. I do not use them as much as this site.
What I can tell you about blogs and websites that I cannot stand is when you click on a video and have to watch an advertisement or there are flashing ads all over the site etc. Think about this people. You are trying to convey a message for yourself or your company and all of these competing messages are littered all over your site. How effective is that??
It's just not something I believe in. I want ONE MESSAGE with having the user connect and engage to effect an action. I do not want anything else distracting from that.
Yes Joel, I agree - microtargeting is often more effective. Having 50k followers or whatever on FB and/or twitter doesn't mean much if they aren't involved in REI !
Hi everyone. I'm new here so I'll just jump in.
I don't agree that social media is a waste of time or too much. It's only a waste when you try to play the numbers game or go in without a plan and a target market. Interesting, consistent content and a target market are key to social media success. Remember, it isn't about "hey look at me, click my link, buy from me". It's about building a community and engagement. Look at BiggerPockets.com. Yes, this is considered social media. They follow the rules to doing social media right (consistent content, user interaction, community engagement) without forcing you to choose which social media outlet to use.
Well you can do the same with any of the others, provided your target market regularly use that medium. I started using social media as an alternative to the more expensive online mediums and tools before it became known as social media. I started with forums, then moved to chat, then as each social media tool developed, I tried and experimented. I'm not going to tell you which social media site you should use. You have to figure that out for yourself based on your message, purpose and audience.
There are six things you must know going in to make it work for you AND streamline it so you're not spending hours per day, but still making regular use of it.
1. What is your strategy and what would you like the end goal to be? You have to determine what you want the people who engage with you to ultimately do once they've found you and began engaging.
2. What kind of content will you be sharing? You can't just post pictures of homes and expect people to fall all over you. You can't just share deals because people will accuse you of spamming. People search for content to answer questions for them. What questions are you answering?
3. Who exactly is your target market? Who cares if there are over a billion users on Facebook? They aren't all your target audience. Trying to justify using it based on the population is like saying the whole world is your market. It could be, but it isn't. You have to get super focused and figure out if your people (your market) are using a specific tool. If you choose Twitter, but none of your people really use it, you're wasting time. If you choose Pinterest or Instagram just to post photos but there's no context of conversation, you're wasting your time. What are your people looking for and why are YOU the one to give it to them?
4. What will you do to make them opt in voluntarily? Look at BiggerPockets.com. I can almost guarantee that the free ebook, podcasts, and downloads were the first reason people opted in, followed by the educational blogs and forums. I was searching the internet for information on real estate investing. I took to social media first and nobody really caught my interest. They weren't having interesting conversations to make me want to follow them. But a Google search lead me here and I was hooked. It's not enough for someone to friend or follow you. You want them to connect and engage. This is where you own website and/or blog and email opt in are so important to link to your social media efforts (which I won't get into now). Podcasts and video channels are also huge social media draws.
5. How often will you communicate with them? Some people, depending on what they're sharing, have an audience who crave the next post of share from them. Look at the podcast Serial. People were so intrigued, they couldn't wait for the next installment. Let's look at Twitter and the show Shark Tank. People look forward to Friday nights because they can chat with others and live tweet during the show sharing opinions, critiques and laughs. Almost every week, #SharkTank is a trending topic. Don't believe me? Check for yourself. It's all about building momentum and popularity within your community. Sharing tips, a journey (like a rehab project or getting into real estate investing from your point of view or whatever), frustrations, are all popular because you will always have people who relate, commiserate, or aspire. So gauge how receptive they are to you and your content and that'll determine how often you need to share. I chose not to over share in my social media efforts because when I did share, I really gave a lot. Instead of every day of constant content, I chose to space it out but make each engagement more intense.
6. What is your core message or common interest that they will be searching for and how can YOU be the one they want that information from? People want to know what makes you the expert. They want to know that you've been through what they've been through or how you can help them solve a problem, pain or validate their path. Not saying this is your responsibility to complete strangers. But if you want social media to work for you, you have to put in the work initially then keep it going with a system that still allows you to remain authentic and interesting. And no, posting and praying isn't a strategy! It doesn't have to be hard. Just give your people what they're looking for.
7. (Bonus) where will you lead your new found target market so they will continue being your loyal engaged community? While Facebook, Twitter, etc. aren't going anywhere any time soon, you have to always thing in terms of Myspace. People rarely use it any more and it met it's demise because Facebook came and kicked butt. Always operate with the end in mind. You want to funnel your social media following to your own website. ALL social media should lead people back to your website. Nonnegotiable. You can register your own name or whatever name you choose for $15 per year. And some places will have coupons bringing it down to $1.99 for the first year. Hosting service can be inexpensive as well, especially if you set up a basic Wordpress or Joomla site. So there's no excuse to not have a place to lead people back to. Don't believe me? Do a search on Twitter, Facebook, etc for conversations about BiggerPockets. I can guarantee you many of those people end up right back here on this site.
When you tie social media together with a website, blog, video channel, podcast, community, and even products (such as ebooks, tools, etc) and let's not forget SEO, amazing things can happen. So remember, this isn't just about tweeting and posting. It's not that hard, but it should be made to be simplistic either. Have a strategy, implement a plan, and remember, quality over quantity when it's in front of the right audience.
Hope this helps!
Social Media is an extremely effective tool when used in a strategic way. Throwing a bunch of posts up on Facebook and hoping to get business out of it will never work. You have to understand Facebook's business model; they're a full-fledged advertising platform, and an extremely effective and relatively cheap on at that. The days of free organic impressions are over, you have to pay to play now. However, Facebook presents an opportunity to laser-focus your targeting right down to their location, age, interests, buying power, home value, etc. By coming up with a creative target strategy and useful content, you brand yourself as a top expert, gaining the trust of people seeing your posts. Facebook is in no means something to give up on, when done professionally it can yield amazing results.
There is not such thing as too much social media. I agree with everyone who said it is a powerful tool. There is sale guru out there by the name of Grant Cardone who believes and I agree with that there can never be too much use of social media by a company or individual. It is a tremendous way to get your name out to millions of people with the click of a button, nothing can beat that.
Social media is simply word of mouth marketing - on steriods. When performed the right way, social media can be extremely valuable. When used the wrong way, it's a complete waste of time. Learn how to use social media the right way (give value, connect with people, measure results..etc) and social media will be extremely worthwhile.
@Patrick Jacques I've been using FB ads to get buyer/seller leads. The beauty of it is, unlinke posting to social media sites, is that once you've set up an ad, it really only takes a couple of minutes to see how well/poor the ad is working.
While I agree with many others on this thread that you cannot ignore traditional means of getting business, I think social media ads are a great (and cheap) way to supplement your business.
So, to answer your original question, I'll post to social media less and focus my time on the ads I want to run to generate leads. I'd be happy to share my strategy with you if you're interested.
Best of luck!
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