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Social media pitfalls and how to avoid them

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Successful real estate agents know a few things about the online universe, including how to avoid social media pitfalls. It is almost impossible to network without the assistance of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Electronic marketing experts estimated that approximately 1.43 billion people utilized social networking by the end of 2012. When used appropriately, social media is a cost-effective and targeted tool that helps agents connect with their desired clientele.

Public relations experts recommend the following items when tackling social media to avoid disasters encountered in the past by a number of well-known companies.

Learn the respective platforms.
A revealing small business article exposed why so many real estate agents fail at social media platforms: they just don’t get ‘em. Post interesting home-related articles instead of simply listing your available properties. Include information on all types of great housing deals, not just your own, so people feel like you care about the industry and not just making a dollar. Regular interaction makes people feel like they are dealing with a human being and not a potential spammer.

Create a company use policy.
This item works in conjunction with productivity guidelines. Business pages are no place for beach photos or family reunion pictures. Decide exactly what the pages will consist of, for example available properties and/or business-related activities among the agents. Avoid public banter with angry clients. Once you have a formal usage policy, make sure everyone else is fully aware of company expectations and knows the associated penalties for rule violations.

Keep productivity in mind.
Whether it is a one-person show or a 50-member organization, the business should maintain maximum productivity levels. An information management team created a hypothetical situation where 50 people spent 30 minutes per day on social media sites, resulting in 6,500 lost productivity hours per year. Assign one person to the task or hire an outside firm.

Maintain a positive online persona.
From user forums to fan pages, social media allows existing clients to share their experiences with potential clients. One unhappy individual can create a firestorm of bad press that inflicts serious damage on a company’s reputation. Employ the services of a firm that routinely monitors the Internet for negative postings and handle the alleged problem immediately. You can also create a page listing favorable reviews to steer clients where you want them to go.

Remember that bragging is a turn-off.
Some real estate agents feel that listing their accomplishments or other personal information helps them gain familiarity with online communities. Public relations experts feel the move is similar to bragging and has the ability to drive away potential clients. Stick to sharing information that enriches the reader and maintain a friendly, approachable tone.

Use keywords to target your audience.
Small business experts recommend listing a minimum of 12 words to describe your business like Florida, single-family homes, condominium, beachfront, etc. Turn the words into hashtag items (#condominium), placed immediately after each post. This technique immediately lists your post in client search engines.

The Internet offers lost-cost marketing that can generate healthy sales for your real estate business. Approaching social media in a concise, professional manner typically results in a productive outcome. Allow your business to expand using the virtual universe.

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