Social networking for real estate is the single most obvious strategy every investor in today’s market should address. There isn’t a subsequent approach capable of reaching more people in a shorter amount of time. The advent of technology — specifically the Internet — has seen to it that nobody is impossible to get a hold of (with a few exceptions of course). In fact, you could argue that the phrase “six degrees of separation” has run its course, and all that separates the majority of us now are a couple of pages on our favorite social media platforms.
Whether you agree with it or not, we are now a global community connected to one another though countless Facebook likes, Twitter tweets and Instagram stories. Consequently, at no point in history has it been easier to reach such a broad audience, with a relatively small amount of effort, nonetheless. That means sending a single message to thousands of people is relatively easy, at least compared to where we were just a decade ago.
As an investor, you’d be crazy not to get in on the action, given the relatively low cost of admission. Think about it; all you really need is a good idea and access to any of several social media platforms to reach countless prospects — for free. There’s no doubt about it: social networking for real estate is the future of networking, and it’s already here. Those that are familiar with the intricacies of each platform stand a better chance at converting leads; it’s as simple as that.
Let’s take a look at the social media platforms no real estate investor’s marketing strategy should be without, and what type of message each platform is best conveying:
As recently as last quarter, data provided by Statista, an online statistics, market research and business intelligence portal, puts the number of monthly active Facebook users at 2.07 billion. At that rate, it’s hard to argue that there is a better platform to broadcast your message on, but I digress. Facebook, like every other platform I will discuss, should convey your message in a way your audience is most receptive of it. Having said that, to get your point across on Facebook, you need to understand four things about their audience: People use Facebook on their phones because they are bored, time-bound, muted and mobile. You’d be wise to remember that if you intend to use Facebook as your platform of choice. That said, prioritize visual components over audio, as people are most likely on the go when using Facebook, and unable to listen for one reason or another. What’s more, and perhaps even more importantly, the content should be entertaining in nature; leave news relevant content to outlets like Twitter. A Facebook post should, above all, be entertaining, sharable and short. The more surprising content you can get in front of your audience in a short period of time, the better.
As of the third quarter of this year, Twitter averages 330 million monthly active users, according to Statista. While it hasn’t reached nearly a third of the people on the planet like Facebook, Twitter’s active user base is nothing to laugh at. And, not unlike Facebook, Twitter represents a great way to reach a specific target audience. However, the method of communication is far from the same you would use on Facebook’s platform. Whereas Facebook users prefer short, entertaining, muted content on the go, Twitter users are more inclined to favor editorialized content in the form of news and updates. Therefore, if you are going to market through a platform like Twitter, center your content around factual information without too much else getting in the way. In other words, don’t convolute your message with too much meaningless, subjective content. Not that you could anyways, as Twitter recently increased its character allotment to 280, up from 140. While people can type twice as much as before, it’s still best to keep your message short and concise.
YouTube dominates the streaming niche to the tune of 1.5 billion active monthly users, and their recent push to popularize YouTube TV suggests the social media giant has aspirations of even further growth. Wise investors should jump aboard before it’s too late, as YouTube has proven — time and time again — that it belongs in the upper echelon of social networking for real estate investors. But what does that mean for social networking? How should today’s investors be using YouTube for networking? The answer may surprise you: Despite being a video streaming service, YouTube is primarily auditory. Of course, the visual element of a Youtube video is important, but most people are listening to YouTube — not watching it. As someone social networking for real estate purposes, I recommend making an educational video; one that can be broken down into four sections: A short intro (15 seconds), trust building (30 seconds detailing your own credentials), main point (however long it takes to get your point across) and a conclusion that reinforces your mission statement. Be sure that every action is complimented by a verbal component, as, again, most people will simply be listening.
While Snapchat has nowhere near the reach of Facebook, the popular multimedia image messaging app currently boasts 178 million daily active users. What’s more, Snapchat allows social networking for real estate to target an important niche: Millennials and Generation Z.
You see, the largest age demographic on Snapchat is 18– to 24-year-olds; in all they make up somewhere in the neighborhood of 37 percent of all Snapchat users. In second place, but nonetheless important to account for, are those between the ages of 25 and 34, who account for 26 percent of all Snapchat users. For al intents and purposes, Snapchat is a young person’s game, and that means real estate investors need to approach it as such. The same news-oriented approach I would recommend for Twitter is irrelevant on the Snapchat scene, so make sure your content is tailored for a younger audience. If for nothing else, the largest age demographic on Snapchat (Generation Z) is just now coming of age. While many of them may not be ready to buy a home just yet, it’s only a matter of time until they represent the largest portion of buyers. That said, Millennials currently represent the largest portion of buyers, so it’s in your best interest to present these ages with the content they want.
We know the Snapchat audience is highly engaged, posting a lot, and willing to interact with brand content that speaks to them. So if you can identify with a younger audience in your area, it stands to reason your brand will benefit immensely.
Content Is King
Social media is one of the single greatest networking and marketing tools made available to business professionals, but it’s only going to benefit those that know how to use it. Anything less than a full comprehension of who you are trying to talk to and how to talk to them will witness your message — whatever it may be — fall on deaf ears. If you want your social networking for real estate to pay dividends, I recommend taking a look at my suggestions above. You may find yourself doing less work and reaching a broader audience, all because you were able to place the right message on the right social media platform.