The 4 Keys to Building Relationships Via Social Media
In my conversation with Katie Lance, who consults with real estate professionals on using social media to grow their businesses, she provided specific strategies for building more and stronger relationships within your RE network.
The first, and most important strategy is to be intentional about building relationships. When seeking out Katie for strategic social media advice, many professionals ask questions like:
- What should I post?
- How many times per day should I post?
- Should I be on Facebook? What about Snapchat?
While these are all really relevant questions, but the other part, in regards to building relationships, is the personal side of social media.
For example, as a real estate agent, (hopefully) you are connected with past and current clients on Facebook, which has become the online version of the water cooler where everyone hangs out and connects. However, when you are on Facebook, it is really noisy and polluted. Your newsfeed is full of cat videos, Pokémon Go, and maybe somewhere in the mix, you can find a post from a client. Therefore, one tactic that works extremely well is creating a private Facebook list that only consists of your clients. That way, when going on Facebook, you can bypass the noisy newsfeed. Instead, you can focus solely on your client list, taking a few moments to engage with them in some way (i.e. Happy Birthday wishes, congratulations on an accomplishment, etc.). These interactions may seem small, but they make a really big difference when added up over time. Relationships are built with small, tiny interactions over the course of time, so each individual interaction counts!
Don’t Be a Social Media Creeper
Obviously, you don’t want to like and comment on everything that your clients post. However, by being intentional, you can still make sure you are able to connect on a personal level without coming across as a “creeper.” For example, you can take the online offline. Instead of being one of 300 people that wishes a client happy birthday on their Facebook wall, you can be one of a few people that sends them a private message or picking up the phone and giving them a call.
Content Creation Social Media Strategy
Katie can attribute the majority of the growth of her consulting business to creating consistent and informative content. She really likes to think like a media company in order to build a reputation as the thought leader and expert in her field. Therefore, her pillar piece of content is a weekly blog post. To support the blog post and reach as wide an audience as possible, Katie is also aggressive on building a large email list via email marketing and Facebook advertising. In regards to Facebook advertising, she believes that it is a really under-utilized opportunity. Katie finds that many real estate professionals are timid and only dip their toes into the Facebook advertising water. But currently, Facebook advertising is one of the most effective methods of targeting people to a high level of specificity. The level of targeting you are capable of doing does not exist anywhere else in the social media realm.
Create a Social Media Distribution Strategy
But she doesn’t stop there, because it is not just about creating the content, but distributing it as well. Like a media company, she brainstorms ways to slice and dice weekly blog posts in order to create additional, smaller pieces of content. For example, she can pull a week worth of Tweets and Instagram posts from one blog post. Depending on the blogs topic, she can create a few video clips to post on YouTube. Or she can go on Facebook Live and provide a 5-minute synopsis.
Katie also creates content (editorial) calendars. A mistake that Katie sees many people make is only thinking about what they will post today or tomorrow. If media companies had 2-day forecasts, they wouldn’t survive. Therefore, Katie advises that you think like a media company by creating a 30, 60, or 90-day calendar. To help schedule content weeks and months in advance, Katie asks herself questions like:
- How do I want clients to feel working with me?
- What is my end goal?
- How can I create content that will support my end goal, to generate leads, and to generate business?
Overall, a effective social media strategy is about putting a content creation and distribution system in place and being very intentional, especially from a relationship building perspective – connecting a personal level is the key to it all!