How To Use Social Media As An Estate Agent
We get plenty of questions every day from estate agents, hoping to receive some advice on social media use and management. It’s not that surprising, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming the cornerstone of local businesses.
For regional estate agents, social networks are a dream. You can connect with people in your local area and advertise to anyone that’s searching for property nearby. There are around 31 million Facebook users in the UK, and close to 15 million Brits on Twitter. With that in mind, and the amount of time people spend on Facebook and Twitter each day, maintaining a presence online is far more important than advertising in your local paper or property magazines.
So what are the most common questions receive? And more importantly, what are the answers?
Which social media networks should my estate agents use?
Facebook for estate agents
It’s a no brainer. We’ve all heard of it, we’re all on it, Facebook is the king of social media. There are over 1 billion daily active users worldwide, 31 million of which are in the United Kingdom. The average time spent on Facebook each day is an hour.
Facebook accommodates businesses by providing business pages and PPC advertising, both focussed on improving your conversion rate. Unlike print advertising, Facebook ads and business pages come equipped with call to action buttons, allowing customers to book visits and appointments with the click of a button.
Around 4/5 Facebook users access the site through their mobile, meaning you can contact interested customers round the clock, whether they’re out shopping or on the train to work.
Twitter for estate agents
Twitter like Facebook, boasts a large number of mobile users and a high level of audience engagement. People are 69% more likely to use a business they follow on Twitter, compared to businesses that they do not follow. 2/3s of users have retweeted content from a small business that they follow. The average number of Twitter followers is 208, 2/3s of which is 139 people. Even if only half of their followers see the retweet, you’ll have reached 14,456 Twitter users.
Twitter also offers unparalleled interaction with your customers and potential clients. Anyone after a house for sale or rent is just 140 characters away and, with region specific trends, you can stay up to date with the latest news in your area.
What should my estate agents post on Facebook and Twitter?
These posts show how on the pulse your estate agents is. They can be images of the hottest interior design trends of the month, or articles about the sort of houses you’d see on Grand Designs. They should be aspirational, the sort of shot that a follower saves for the future.
Property industry news
We’re all obsessed with property prices. How much your neighbour’s house went for, how much a flat in London costs to rent, new government regulations on buy-to-let properties. People that follow estate agents on social media want to know the latest industry news, they want to know when to sell their house or when prices are set to fall. These posts make your business worth following.
Local news and stories
As an estate agents, you’ll have a specific area of operation. This may be a certain area of Manchester, an outskirt of Liverpool, the centre of Blackpool. Wherever it is, you’ll want to stay up to date with the local news and, more than likely, your customers will to. Posting stories and news about your nearby area is helpful for your followers and has the added advantage of showing customers that your company is a member of the community.
Spotlight features on your properties
You need to be careful with these posts. If you’ve listed a great property, the sort of house that everyone wants to live in, consider posting a spotlight feature on it. You’ll need to be wary of making it to promotional; play more of the lifestyle angle than the sales angle.
These are the most obvious. They sell your properties and services, the bread and butter of your business. They should be your least common type of post. This may seem strange, to avoid tweeting about your properties, but customers will avoid following a business that posts nothing but adverts.
The ever dependable Pareto’s Law applies here, also known as the 80/20 rule. 20% of your posts can be promotional, they can be property listings or tweets about getting a mortgage. 80% of your tweets should engage with the local and online community. Put simply, the first four types of posts listed here are your 80%. Promotional posts are your 20%.
The keys to social media success for estate agents
There are a few rules of best practice that will improve your social media feed:
Post at the right time of the day
No one sees a tweet on Sunday at 6am. Social media posts need to be planned around your customers’ use of Twitter and Facebook. To make the time planning process easier, you can use a Facebook and Twitter scheduler, allowing you to set posts to appear at certain times and days.
Commuting hours and the lunchtime period are usually the best time to tweet. These are the times that people are most likely to be checking their phone, reading their Twitter timeline. On Facebook, save your most important posts for Thursday and Friday. Facebook users show a higher level of engagement as the working week draws to a close.
Interact with your followers
Whether it’s a compliment or a complaint, responding is vital. You should aim to reply within two hours; a quick response will improve your reputation and interaction is a sure fire way to leave a lasting impression on a potential customer.
Use images and videos
Simple fact: pictures and videos gain far more audience engagement than words alone. Thankfully it’s fairly easy as an estate agent. Include shots of the house, the stylish interior, the spacious rooms. Videos often automatically play on Facebook and Twitter users’ timelines, lowering the chance of your post going ignored.
If you’d like to find out more about using social media as an estate agent, take a look at our Ultimate Guide To Social Media For Estate Agents. Our comprehensive guide explains everything you need to know about Facebook, Twitter and Google and includes tonnes of tips to improve your social media feeds. You can follow @digitalmediatm on Twitter and like our Facebook page to receive the latest information on social media for SMEs.