Social media is one of the best tools for keeping in touch with your current and past clients, but when used properly, it’s also a great way to generate new leads and new business.
So, how can an agent or broker generate new leads using social media without seeming smarmy or too pushy?
Here are a few strategies that we’ve seen work extremely well with our #GetSocialSmart Academy members as well as other agents and brokers who are getting a high percentage of their business from social media.
Before we go through the strategies, keep in mind that using social media to generate leads isn’t the ‘quick fix,’ nor is it the easiest solution. Each of these strategies requires time and a commitment to consistent effort.
1. Facebook Groups
Creating a Facebook Group around a specific community or neighborhood is a great way to generate new leads. The key to creating a great community Facebook group is to truly make it about the community.
Here are some best practices for generating leads from a Facebook Group:
- Get organized. Use a spreadsheet or a calendar to get organized with posting about upcoming events and issues that are important to the neighborhood (like school and safety issues); also, invite local leaders to be a part of the group (i.e. other local business owners).
- Set the rules. Make the rules clear that you are an admin and that you are a Realtor, but make sure to make the group not about you.
- Provide value. They key here is to provide a tremendous amount of value to the community, and when questions come up about real estate or homes, that may be an opportunity to share your knowledge or expertise.
If you don’t have the time to run a group, search to see if there are local groups in your area that you could participate in and provide value to on a consistent basis. Make sure to read the rules carefully, and don’t go into a group with the intention to sell or get leads right away. Remember, it’s about the marathon, not the sprint.
2. Content Marketing
Are you creating content that tells the story of what it feels like to work with you or highlights your expertise? One of the best ways to generate new business using social media is to create a content strategy.
Here are some best practices for generating leads from content marketing:
- Have a plan. Using a Google document, spreadsheet or calendar, plan out the next six to 12 months of the type of content you could create. This content could be in the form of written blog posts once a month that live on your site (or on another site like LinkedIn or Medium), videos that live on YouTube, Facebook and/or your site, or live streaming/live video such as Periscope, Facebook Live or graphics that you create.
- Brainstorm. Start by brainstorming topics – ones that are relevant to the time of year work well, such as “3 tips to selling your home this summer.” Your topics could also include questions you get asked all the time. If you get asked a question more than once, this could be turned into a blog post, video or live stream.
- Implement and promote! Once you’ve brainstormed topics, lay them out on your spreadsheet or calendar to create them. Once they are created then you need a plan of attack for promoting that content through social media and your email database.
The key here again is consistency. The leads that are generated through content marketing are far better leads than many other online leads generated – because they already feel like they know, like and trust you from the content they have seen you produce online. In my experience, the very best leads are the ones who come to you saying things such as, “I’ve been reading your content for years” or “I feel like I know you”. Again, consistent, value-adding content is the key to generating this know/like/trust factor and generating these high quality leads.
Many experienced agents are also discovering creative ways to repurpose their content to extend the life of it and to be able to use different mediums to get their message across (more information can be found on that here).
3. Facebook and Instagram Advertising
Advertising on social media platforms, combined with content marketing, can be a really effective tool for advertising. Using Facebook’s Ad Manager, an agent or broker could create a Facebook ad (or an Instagram ad which are created using Facebook’s ad platform at facebook.com/ads) that is extremely targeted.
An agent or broker could target demographics such as specific age ranges, native language, ZIP codes, interests, income level, net worth and so much more. Facebook dark posts allow for even more customization, and allow an agent to run the same ad on Facebook but targeting different audiences.
Here are some best practices for generating leads from Facebook and Instagram advertising:
- A/B test. Test multiple ads with different text and images to see which ones perform better. Test and re-test – you never know which ones work better.
- Start small. Spend at least $5 a day to start. Start small but if possible, increase your ad budget to $500/month for all of the ads you are running to really get more traction on who is seeing your ads.
- Capture leads with landing pages. Use a landing page tool like LeadPages.net to create a simple landing page to capture leads much more effectively.
- Get creative. Use a free tool like Canva.com to create unique ad images that are branded to you or your brokerage.
There are many options when it comes to lead capture and conversion, but ultimately, it’s about following up quickly and effectively. In addition to the ideas I listed above, it’s important to have a CRM that you use consistently to follow up quickly with these connections and turn them into leads and potential clients. It’s also important to have systems in place to be able to answer inquiries on social media quickly and effectively.
Lastly, as I always say – social media never replaces a phone call or an in-person meeting. Use these strategies to connect with people face-to-face. When you can take the online to the offline, that’s where the magic happens.
What other social media strategies have you found effective for generating leads? I’d love to hear! Leave me a comment below or join the conversation in our Social Media Forum Facebook Group.