Social media gives you access to aspirational buyers and their networks, a benefit that can’t be quantified in dollars. It’s time to redefine social media success.
One of the trickiest things about implementing a social media strategy is that social media success can be difficult to measure. While most real estate professionals acknowledge that a social media marketing presence is important, it’s hard to make a case for resources when you can’t precisely quantify the value in terms of dollar amount.
Of course, you shouldn’t stop recognizing the importance of social media as part of a robust marketing strategy. You need to start thinking about value in terms of potential, rather than an immediate sale or rental.
Social media success in real estate will seem more attainable if you:
- Shift the focus from short-term sale to the long-term value of social media.
- Trust your efforts will pay off, even if not immediately.
- Find new ways to measure results over time.
Social media success comes from access to a new audience
Social media allows real estate professionals to discover and engage with a new segment of the market: aspirational buyers and renters. Suddenly, you are faced with an exciting prospect: access to a population that businesses in the past could not reach. Now that we can find out who they are, their long-term value cannot be overstated:
- They are your potential buyers.
- They can build brand loyalty for your business.
- They can engage with your properties.
According to a recent study published in MIT Sloan Management Review, aspirational buyers are likely to follow multiple brands on social media sites. Over half follow at least one brand that they haven’t made a purchase from. But, “our data suggests that they do plan to purchase in the future,” say the study’s authors. “Today’s followers are very likely to be tomorrow’s customers.”
It’s easy to see the implications for real estate marketing, as you can target your messaging for individuals who may not yet be ready to sign a contract, but who are following your properties with interest.
The social network = social media success
There’s another factor to consider regarding the value of social media marketing. At its core, these are networking platforms. That means you not only have access to a new audience base, but to their connections as well.
Your followers’ engagement on social media can expand the reach of your brand and properties, as they engage with their own networks. Putting a dollar value on such social reach is fairly meaningless — but it has the potential to add to your bottom line both now and in the future. For social media success, reach is an important part of the equation.
What’s more, a recent McKinsey study attributes word of mouth to be the primary influence for up to 50% of all purchase decisions. The study authors go on to say, “Followers who are not yet purchasers can share their experience with the brand, and deepen their commitment to the brand, even prior to that first purchase.”
It’s time we start thinking about social media success in this new way: in terms of potential and expanding value, rather than just immediate dollar amounts.
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