Is social media marketing right for your real estate business?

There’s a lot of cheer-leading going on about social media marketing at the moment. Gushing PR and marketing consultants are only too quick to claim social media as the solution for all corporate woes. Start a blog, get on Twitter, have a FriendFeed account and your profits will soar. But social media isn’t always the best tool. Is it a wise choice for your real estate business?

The pros

  • In The New Influencers, Paul Gillin says, “A focussed blog, podcast or videocast that stakes out an unclaimed niche in the market can come to dominate search results in a short time. The more you write, the faster you’ll move”.
  • Gillin also says, “if you bring a a distinctive voice, a sense of humor and a hint of passion to your commentaries, people will feel like they know you. And that will make it easier for them to do business with you”.
  • A blog improves your chances of being picked up as the subject of a news story in mainstream media. Main stream and social media share an increasingly important symbiosis.
  • A blog gives your readers an idea of your skills and abilities. It builds a relationship before that all important face-to-face meeting.
  • Thanks to an abundance of free social networking platforms, the initial investment is close to zero and ongoing costs are little more than the best use of a staff member’s time.
  • Social media marketing can be a cost effective way to maintain momentum and respond to the world financial crisis.
  • Active participation in social media helps drive traffic to your website. Traffic brings buyers and sellers to your front door.

The Cons

  • Many agents are time poor. Writing blog posts, moderating blog comments and uploading photos can be unwelcome additions to an already busy schedule.
  • Social media can be addictive. It’s easy to waste hours making comments on Facebook when there are calls to return and appraisals to prepare.
  • Not all agents are great writers. Writing a regular blog post if you don’t enjoy writing can be torture.
  • Some agents prefer to keep their personal life personal. If you want to reduce the number of times your photo appears on Facebook don’t join.
  • Being transparent can be painful or frightening. Some find it just too hard.
  • The initial ROI of social marketing can be frightfully low. If you’re expecting the phones to start ringing just as a result of starting a blog think again.
  • Blogging won’t make you cool. Trust me, I know. And so does Paul Gillin.
  • Measuring ROI can be difficult.

If, after giving it serious thought, your marketing strategy still includes social media, it’s best to decide on which platforms or networks you’re going to use and stick to these. Don’t try and do too much. It’s best to build consistently and gradually then make a splash then disappear.

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About Peter Fletcher

Speaker, trainer, and consultant helping real estate agents sort out their online communication strategy.

@peterfletcher - Google+

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