Dear Marketing Mastermind: Social Media Edition
I am proud to be Inman's Marketing Mastermind. Every month I answer real questions from real estate pros across the country and around the world. You'll find the Inman version of April's column here.
We’ve had so many questions come in lately about social media. As you try to step up your game for the Spring Market, this is a great time to look at what’s working and what’s not in your marketing plan. Thus, our questions this month are all about strategies for not only creating great content, but measuring and evaluating it so that you’re always improving. Let’s get started!
Our first question comes from Boca Raton Realtor Jen Sommers:
Is there a way to measure how effective my social media marketing is working?
And from Orlando’s Todd Hutcheson:
Is it better to spend a lot of time on one social platform like Facebook or spread out your time and energy across multiple platforms. If multiple, what is a resource to track your effectiveness across the platforms.
Great questions, Jen and Todd! Measuring effectiveness can be tricky because “effective” is a subjective term. Effectiveness in this sense can be about raising brand awareness, increasing market share, or bringing in leads for conversion.
Here are a few ways to measure the impact of your social media marketing efforts:
Determine your goals: Your goals for your social media marketing will probably vary
by your business model
by the amount of time you have to devote to social media
by the support staff you have
and a variety of other factors. For example, if you are going all in on content marketing with a gorgeous website and top-notch blog, your social media may be primarily about driving traffic to that great content. If you are just starting out, it may just be about getting your name out there and trying to make some connections. If you have support staff, you will be able to do more with social media than if you are a one-person shop.
2. Determine what you want to measure: If you are looking at brand awareness, measure volume, amplification, and reach. If you are driving traffic, you’ll need to track shares, clicks, and conversions. If you want to look at how engaged your users are, track comments, replies, and retweets. If you are trying to increase your share of the market, look at your competitors social media platforms as well to get a sense of how your content compares.
Once you know what you want to measure, use services like SproutSocial, Google Analytics, or BuzzSumo to help you find out how your various platforms are performing and what your audience is looking for.
3. Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Every month or two, sit down and spend some time with these numbers. See what is working and what is not and make adjustments accordingly. It may be that you will decide that you want to keep tweaking a variety of platforms or you may decide you want to go all in on one that is working particularly well. Even if you get to a level you’re happy with, keep monitoring to ensure continued growth and to head off any slip-ups.
Question Two, from Chicago’s Sonia Figueroa:
What makes for good real estate videos people want to watch?
There are so many different types of video content that you can create and share as a Realtor. These may include:
Q&As with Real Estate Pros, Lenders, Contractors, etc.
Process Videos (How-to or Informational)
Neighborhood or Local Events
And the list goes on (and on). But what makes a great, shareable video?
Great visuals and sound: No matter how engaging you are or how engaging your content, it won’t help anyone if they can’t hear or see you. Terrible video or audio quality will turn off viewers -- and they’ll turn off the video before you even get started. Make sure you are properly lit and miked (if needed) in order to ensure a top-quality viewing and listening experience.
Valuable Content: People are too busy to spend time watching a video that doesn’t give them a payoff. Whether it’s entertaining, humorous, or uniquely speaks to their pain points, the video you produce needs to create a fulfilling and meaningful experience for viewers. Part of that also includes a clear Call to Action (CTA) to let viewers know who you are and what they should do based on the video -- call you to schedule a tour, email you for area listings, or go to your blog additional information.
Planned Spontaneity: There’s not much entertainment value in watching someone read from cue cards or a teleprompter. While you may want to put up bullet points to help you track your overall message, spend some time prepping for your video so that you can give the illusion of a spontaneous, off-the-cuff message. The more you can loosen up and have fun, the more likely your viewers will too.
Question Three is all the way from Chennai, India’s Tara Sundaram:
Though I have 7+ years experience -- most of it in Digital Marketing -- as a small business I still struggle to get fast results in areas such as social media, blogging and even sales/marketing automation campaigns for more sales. How can I speed things up?
This is probably the hardest thing for people beginning a content, direct mail, or social media marketing process -- it takes too long! But there are a variety of ways to see results more quickly.
Create a great foundation: Your social media, direct mail, and other marketing efforts will ultimately lead people to one place -- your website. Make sure it’s set up to load quickly, capture contact information, and offer meaningful value and content.
Define your objective: As previously noted, you need to know what success looks like in order to measure it. Do you want to boost your brand, bring in new clients, or dominate a particular part of the market? Are you marketing to your sphere? Targeting a niche? Circle prospecting?
Build trust: Find ways to telegraph your expertise to website visitors quickly in order to get them to buy in. A brag board of media mentions or a scroll of stellar testimonials will let people know that you’re legit. If possible, place these “above the fold” or toward the top of your webpage so that they are prominent and quickly noted.
Create great content: Find a way to communicate your expertise to potential clients. A blog, vlog, or podcast where you can showcase your market knowledge and personality will give you something engaging and valuable to share, which will then be shared by fans and followers. It also increases SEO and keeps people at your website longer, where they will continue to engage.
Use paid content to boost what is already working: No amount of money will make stale, boring content suddenly shareable. Figure out what people are responding to and boost that ultra-engaging content. That way the maximum number of people will be seeing the very best of your content and your marketing dollars will go further.