Stacey Moseley and Simon Parker
Social media initiatives that lack clear strategic goals will fail to generate market interest and/or revenue, two of the country’s leading real estate agency social media experts have said.
“The main reason principals fail to see results when using social media tools is because they have not worked out a strategy suited to their business,” Greg Vincent, founder of Sydney-based X Factor Agents, told Real Estate Business.
Mr Vincent's comments are in response to a recent Real Estate Business straw poll, which revealed that 63.7 per cent of respondents believe their social media initiatives do not generate revenue for their business. The online survey, which was conducted between February 2 and 14, showed 123 of the 193 respondents said they did not see a monetary gain from their social media initiates, whilst 17.1 per cent said they were unable to measure the benefit.
“This result doesn’t surprise me, but it just gives an overwhelmingly clear view that agents are just not getting [social media],” he said.
“Many principals see social media tools as a not very important tool for their business. They tend to have an employee, like the 'weekend girl' or the 18 year-old receptionist, who doesn’t know or understand real estate to control the social media.
Social media is like the mega phone for a business. They’ve got the wrong person as the voice of company.”
According to Mr Vincent agents need to create a digital footprint that customers can identify with and trust.
“Customers need to know their agent is trustworthy and knowledgeable about their market,” he said.
“A great way to create a positive online footprint is by writing a well written and well informed blog. An agent should be seen as the indisputable trusted advisor in his or her area.”
Peter Fletcher, who conducts a variety of workshops and presentations about marketing with social media, told Real Estate Business that a lot of agents make the mistake of comparing social media with direct marketing.
Direct marketing, done correctly, allows you to garner exact response rates to campaigns. Social media, on the other hand, is more qualitative by nature.
“Social media is all about relationships and building networks,” he said, and these are tough to measure.
Yet, like Mr Vincent, the Perth-based Mr Fletcher said agents that know exactly what they want to achieve from their social media activities have a better chance of measuring the success or failure of their initiatives. In one example, one well-known agent’s strategy was to build his network, and from that, build his brand, which he has done to great effect. What this involved was a high – and consistent - level of social media activity, which is another area agents often fail in.
“Facebook punishes pages and profiles that aren’t active,” he said, as an example. “Those that post then abandon [the site] – this is an exercise in futility.”