We are on the eve of a general election, whatever your political views there is no doubt that social media (especially Facebook) have played a major part in attempting to influence the result. With many users sharing articles, commenting and engaging, all adding their take on the political scene it’s clear this election; more than any before it, will be won or lost online. With our political parties investing so much time and money on social media, you have to ask yourself why are estate agents so slow to put real efforts into using it?
When we launched Saxon Shore in 2017, despite the huge exposure businesses were enjoying on social media, especially Facebook, and platforms such as Instagram, increasing in popularity, very few estate agents locally (or nationally for that matter) were using social media, and if they were it was just used to broadcast messages, with very few estate agent accounts being managed or engaging with their followers.
Move forward three years, things have changed a little. More estate agents have accounts on social media but still many are missing a trick. The accounts are automated, listing their properties for sale/to rent, their achievements or opening hours etc. These posts are often backed up by paid advertising to help maximise exposure, yet there are still very few accounts that have a person behind the account that is engaging with their followers, finding out what they like (or don’t) or making them feel valued.
A customer may be engaging with you via their computer or phone but they want to know there is someone real behind the page. People buy off people as they saying goes.
I had this reinforced just this week, at a time when going through my Facebook feed is quite a depressing exercise. Every other post seems to be political in some way with half of my online friends accusing the other half of being out of their minds for their choice of Prime Minister. Gone are the cute kitten pictures, the elf on the shelf antics, the spirit of Christmas doesn’t seem to appear too much on my timeline at the moment and I don’t like it. Then Facebook reminded me how powerful and positive it can be if you use it well.
This week my husband wrote a post, about a young man who he didn’t know, who my husband had felt moved by his story, he shared this to his timeline together with a photo. It’s an emotional post talking of love and loss which meant something to him and moved him to write the post. It was posted and we thought little of it. One week later, in a time that is dominated by politics my husband’s post has not been lost in the online void of political unrest, instead it has been loved, and shared and read by thousands of people. At the time of me writing this his post has received over 730 comments, over 9,200 interactions and been shared almost 24,000 times. Remember this is an unpaid for post, on an individual’s timeline.
Obviously these kind of occasions are rare, not every post will go viral with this kind of result. But it does demonstrate that the right post has the ability to travel a long way and be seen by a lot of people without having to throw huge marketing budgets at it.
Saxon Shore have a very engaged online community and this takes a lot of time to build and maintain, we rarely pay for advertising, we prefer to talk directly to our followers, we like to think that over the past three years we have built a really nice virtual community that has no doubt helped with us to become a leading estate agency locally and to win multiple customer service awards.
Many agents still claim that social media doesn’t sell houses, preferring to invest their budgets into the property portals and leaflets over social media. We believe social media will continue to be a very effective marketing tool for all businesses including estate agency and we will continue to invest time and money into it.
So, if you want to sell your home you may want to ask your agent how they will market your property using social media?