Of the Realtors® who use social media for their real estate business, 70 percent use it to build relationships and 64 percent use it for visibility, exposure and marketing (2013-2014 REALTOR® Technology Survey). When it comes to building and maintaining your image across multiple social networks, it can be challenging to establish a strong identity and build trust with buyers and sellers as each platform offers a different user experience and requires a distinct marketing approach.
The key is presenting a consistent tone, message and image throughout traditional and digital media as it allows consumers to verify the authenticity of your brand. It reinforces your identity, strengthens brand recall, drives positive sentiment and distinguishes you from your competition. Homes.com has five helpful tips for extending a solid brand identity across multiple social channels, web site and traditional mediums alike.
1. Understand your Audience. By this point, as a broker, you have a grasp on the type of buyers and sellers you typically service and understand their wants and needs. Find out which social channels they favor and their communication preferences in general. Be mindful of your message’s tone, approach, the rate at which you post and any other criteria that might be of value to your stakeholders.
2. Be Active. Post regularly on social media, but don’t overdo it either. There’s a fine balance, because if you post too often, you could risk losing your followers. Consider the advantages of posting your content on multiple channels to reach a wider audience, but be sure to customize your posts to each respective site’s style and so that it doesn’t appear repetitive.
3. Be Helpful. Today, building brand loyalty is about giving buyers and sellers instant access to valuable information. Consumers are researching almost everything online from the best tech gadgets to their next home and real estate agent. Agents and brokers have to stand out, be a resource and share content that will aid buyers and sellers in their decision-making process. Develop blogs, videos, checklists and other content that will resonate with buyers and sellers, distinguish you as an expert and keep you top of mind when they’re ready to buy or sell a home. Searching for free, helpful resources? Homes.com offers a variety of brandable consumer resources, like our “First-Time Homebuyer Mortgage Check List”.
4. Be Real. As a brand, we need to keep in mind that social media is a form of socializing. You’re building relationships here just as you would when networking with them in person, so it’s important to establish your voice. When engaging with your followers here, relax a bit, show your human side, be authentic and genuine. Lose the stiffness and show that you’re more than just a real estate service; you’re a real person who shares their interest in buying or selling home. By the same token, reciprocate the communication by following them and interact with their posts where appropriate to show that you’re listening and have a true interest in the relationship.
5. Use Consistent Design and Style. Consumers should recognize your brand no matter what the setting or medium. To that end, be sure to extend your brand style from existing materials, like your web site, and traditional pieces, like signage and business cards, to your social channels. The goal is to ultimately convert social followers into clients who will call or visit your web site to peruse properties and research your team.
What’s great about social branding is that you can customize your cover photos so that your image has a consistent look and feel from one social network to the next. Remember to tailor the graphics to each network’s size requirements, and use your logo where possible, along with uniform colors, fonts and design style. For personal branding, agents should use their professional headshot. Sharing that smiling face on all networks will create a warm first impression.
To truly nail a consistent social image, connect with the branding specialists at Homes.com Studio who can unify your social media pages with custom graphics. Simply set up an appointment with the Homes.com Studio Team, choose from five different cover photo design templates and then select an image that will best fit your business.
Click here or call 866-697-8807 to get started. For more social branding tips for real estate pros, “like” the Homes.com Facebook page for a chance to win $500 from the “Rake in Success” sweepstakes!