How to Use Social Media to Sell Real Estate: Expert Tips to Build your Social Media Strategy
In 2019, between 58% and 68% of Australians logged into Facebook at least once a month. While Facebook remains Australia’s undisputed social media champ, other networks are not far behind. LinkedIn growth is up 10% and Instagram use has increased by more than 2%. All in, this adds up to the average Australian spending more than 1.5 hours a day on social media. That’s a huge active audience - but how can you leverage social media to help sell real estate in Australia? (source: https://wearesocial.com/au/blog/2019/02/digital-report-australia).
Cracking the social media conundrum
There’s no denying the reach and influence of social media - it’s everywhere and everyone is using it. There’s just one catch: buyers aren’t using it to buy real estate. While over 80% of property searches begin online, the bulk of these are through mainstream real estate portals like realestate.com.au. It can be frustrating and intimidating for private sellers to get a foothold in this online market. If this is you, PropertyNow can help with your online sales and social media strategy.
Identifying your target audience is key
A whopping 68% of “Gen Z” social media users (that’s people born between 1991 and 2005) use Instagram. Now compare that to the “Pre-Boomers” (the pre-1946 crowd) and the number plummets to a mere 7%. If your target demographic is 20-somethings looking for their first home and you know your way around Instagram, this could be an effective network for you. But if you’re targeting retirees anxious to downsize, you’d be much better off using Facebook - their network of choice.
Sometimes, you need to think outside of the box. While only 7% of pre-boomers are on Instagram, that still adds up to thousands of people (people that precious few social media campaigns target). Don’t discount the power of a clever, creative, well-executed social media campaign that appeals to an under-served demographic. (Source: http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7979-social-media-trends-march-2019-201905170731)
Social media is a great tool to drive traffic to your domain portal
Social media rarely drives direct real estate sales, but it does drive traffic. It's visual, interactive and - the key part - VIRAL! With an intriguing image and message, you can quickly stimulate interest and encourage sharing. People love to share information and inspiration which brings value to their lives - and that of their friends. And social media is one of the first places people share their house-hunting trials and tribulations.
But remember, social media is rarely a vehicle for direct real estate sales. It's unlikely a person will see your house listing on Facebook and say “I need to buy that house!” But they will notice the property with the gorgeous stained glass windows and share it with their friend who’s looking to buy a home with character. And that means more web traffic and page views to help sell your home quickly.
Social media allows you to make an intimate connection with people. Nobody knows your house like you do. So, in contrast to slick marketing campaigns that repeat the same 10 words, you bring a unique point of view and can describe your property with warmth, sincerity, and detail. And, depending on your comfort level, you can even answer prospective buyers’ questions in real-time.
Social media is frugal
Print campaigns and billboards are expensive.. but a social media post that goes viral is completely free. And viral doesn’t mean your real estate post is caught up in some kind of online scandal.. it just means you’ve created a post that’s generated interest. A hugely successful social media plan can cost as little as your time and creativity.
Selling real estate and selling on social media takes strategy
You wouldn’t advertise your home for sale without foresight. You might plan how to stage a photo, where to position the lights and how to write a description. A social media campaign is no different. It takes strategy to trigger a reaction. Who’s likely to be interested in your property? What social media channels are they using? What is it about your property that appeals to them? It’s about understanding the different social media channels and how to use them effectively.
Here are some applicable tips for each network:
Make your posts public. Many personal Facebook accounts are set to private or to friends-only by default. Spread your posts over the course of a week so there is sustained, ongoing awareness.
Send your friends a private post and ask them to share.
Link to your listing on PropertyNow so people can click through to see more pictures, details and have access to your contact details.
Identify your target market in your listing description: Are you appealing to families, young couples or seniors?
Post/share in relevant local groups or on marketplace. Community Facebook groups with a weekly share day allow you to get your home in front of a new audience.
Share visually-appealing photos that highlight the character of your home. Sometimes, a close up of some beautiful flowers on a window-sill looking out over a manicured garden generates more appeal than a wide shot of a kitchen.
Add the link to the PropertyNow listing in your bio. Remember, links included in individual posts aren’t click-able so putting the link in your bio is key.
Use hashtags wisely. Between 5 and 15 are manageable. More than that look overwhelming and can be mistaken for spam.
Choose targeted, relevant hashtags. There may be lots of people using #Property, but your post will be lost among the millions. It’s easier to make an impact using a targeted hashtag strategy that’s followed by your audience, like #MelbourneApartments or #SydneyRealestate.
Encourage engagement. Respond to comments with a considerate, helpful response.
Twitter has a vast and diverse following. While selling your home, it's not a bad idea to remove references to politics or other controversial topics so you don't lose appeal.
Post often. The average life cycle of a tweet is short. Posting several times a day - an irritation on Facebook or Instagram - is widely accepted on Twitter.
Talk about community events. News and activities are a natural fit for Twitter’s content style. Plus, you aren’t just selling your house, you’re selling your neighbourhood. Go ahead and post from the playground, cafe and community barby.
Follow more local accounts. Many of the people you follow will follow you back, increasing the reach of your posts.
Be cautious about “hashjacking”. This is when you add a trending hashtag to one of your posts to take your slice of the viral action. At best this is spammy, at worst exploitational. However, if there’s an applicable trending hashtag that matches your content- like #SunsetSaturday - use it to your best advantage.