Cultivating Connection Using Social Media

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Spring is a season where all types of life awaken from their wintry slumber. Spring is also a time where renters, buyers and sellers increase their activity and the real estate market picks up …

Spring is a season where all types of life awaken from their wintry slumber. Spring is also a time where renters, buyers and sellers increase their activity and the real estate market picks up momentum. Join Ansley Sudderth, Social Media Training and Communications Coordinator with ForRent.com® and Homes.com®, as she shares ways social media can be used to:

- Plant seeds of valuable information across your social channels
- Water your prospects and watch them grow into lasting business relationships
- Cultivate connections to broaden your network online

More in: Real Estate
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  • Good afternoon everyone, I’m Ansley Sudderth, Social media training and communications coordinator with Homes.com and For Rent Media Solutions. Thanks for joining me today and welcome to today’s FRMSChat. Since most folks have holiday plans on their minds, we’re going to keep today’s session short but impactful as we talk about ways to cultivate connection and drive engagement using social media.
  • What better way to create engagement as we talk about engagement than with a twitter chat!? We are using the hashtag #RESocialChat on twitter so if you have any feedback, questions or maybe some insight, this is your forum to do so. Use the hashtag and one person using our hashtag will receive a $20 gift card! And we’ll announce the winner at the end of the webinar so sit back and relax!
  • Keeping in line with today’s theme, we will touch on ways you can plant seeds of information to jumpstart a connection between you and your target audience. Nurturing your leads is important for new business as well as strengthening that bond with current brand advocates. We’ll wrap things up with some tips to help you tend to your garden or network of prospects and clients then we will close with a few links you may find helpful.

    As always, I welcome your questions and can see them come in in real time so don’t hesitate to ask away!
  • At its most basic level, all gardening starts with planting a seed. It’s not so much the seed that has to do all the work but more so, the foundation in which it’s planted.
  • In social media and any other industry, successful professionals understand that there’s a reason why people do what they do. Sure, social media is evolving at an exponential rate but that’s not what drives us to use it. We crave connection, instant gratification and look for a place to belong and social media fulfills that and much more. When you realize that our basic instinct is to satisfy our sense of belonging and be part of a commmunity, you will be able to direct your marketing efforts to fill those needs.
  • When you plant a seed or invest your time in a lead or prospect, you don’t expect results overnight. Instead, you water that seed and nurture that relationship to give you a larger window of opportunity to close the deal when the time does come.
  • We recently hosted a webinar with social media pioneer, Gary Vaynerchuck or Gary V as most of you know him. If there’s one person who has been there and done that, it’s him. He provided insight as to why brands aren’t generating new business and why there’s such a disconnect between brands and consumers. He made a point that the reason brands aren’t seeing an increase in engagement is because they’re coming right out of the gate with their hand out asking for business. That turns consumers off. He shared a simple solution to this issue with his book ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook’. Briding that gap and driving up engagement start with brands that can get out of their own way and offer solutions, information and support BEFORE they ask for business.

    They way this would be conveyed on your social channels is you sharing really informative information of the state of the market in your local area to better inform buyers and sellers. This would be you sharing get tips on maximizing your square footage for your residents if you’re a property manager. No matter what side of the housing industry you’re on, real estate or multifamily, your goal with your social strategy should always be customer service which online, is going to be providing help and useful information before anything else.
  • A while back, we were lucky enough to have Jay Baer, another social media and marketing thought leader come to our home office to share his stance on how you as an individual and as part of a brand can make yourself an in demand commodity. He calls this ‘youtility’. Youtility is marketing so useful, people would pay for it. Imagine that! How easy would it be to be so good at what you do that people are clamoring to use you as their agent or live at your community? It’s a whole lot easier than having to tell them how great your are, that’s for sure. #WorkSmarterNotHarder #RESocialChat! He wrote a book on this topic that’s a really great read if you ever get the chance.

    The difference between helping and selling is just two letters. I hoe a light bulb just came on for all of you. It’s as simple as offering help whether it be in the form of news and weather updates for your residents or a forecast of the real estate market for your clients. Maybe you could share some great blog posts with DIY home décor tips. The possibilities are endless.
  • Here’s my case and point: Many people who are in the market to buy a pool have a really hard time finding information to help them make a purchase. Marcus Sheridan of River Pools and Spas capitalized on that void and created a blog solely focused on informing readers about fiberglass pools. Sheridan outlined all of the many categories of pools and related products that a pool buyer needed to consider along with their price ranges over the expected life of owning a pool. His list included products that his company didn’t even sell.
    This information built Sheridan’s credibility and provided context for a better informed decision. It also changed the price decision from a first cost in year one to the total cost over a number of years.
  • Again, when you position yourself as a fixer, a helper and a problem solver, you’re going to be the same person prospects run to when they are in the market to find a new place to live. With the tips and tricks you’ve shared on your Facebook page or Pinterest page, you’ve already established yourself as a source of information and credibility. These are some examples of content you should share if you’re in the real estate space. Make sure you’re targeting every demographic until you’ve found the niche group that responds best to you.
  • For you multifamily industry folks, you will find a plethora of information and blogs full of great ideas your apartment dwelling clients can implement and appreciate. Blogs.forrent.com is composed of consumer facing info that we invite you to repurpose when you’re looking to share real time, relevant content.
  • With social media, it’s not like the movie Field of Dreams. If you set up a Facebook page or Twitter account or Instagram account, people aren’t going to flock to your account in droves. You have to give them a reason to engage.
  • When a prospect encounters your brand, the first thing they are going to ask themselves is, “What’s in it for Me?”., why does this person deserve the commission when I buy or sell? Will the property manager at this community actually do what they say they’re going to do? This is what we call the WIFM Factor. The only way to prove you’re a brand that delvers is by delivering. And with leads coming in from sources like online form submissions or phone calls using a tracking number, word of mouth is still one of the number one business generators. So make sure you’re practicing what your preach so those referrals keep rolling in.
  • Once you’ve planted your seeds of help and useful information, you have to nurture and take care of leads since there’s that high possibility to convert them to a home buyer/seller or resident.
  • The best way to find a happy medium where you’re not bombarding your prospects and steering them away but you’re also not out of touch is by implementing a 30-60-90 day outreach plan. This is where you set up markers in your calendar to ping and get in touch with proepcts and current clients based on where they are.
  • Another great way to keep your prospect and residents informed without overwhelming them is with the Text a Residents/Text a Prospect program For Rent offers. This is a program where there’s no opt in, only opt out so you’re not having to wait for your contacts to volunteer. We’re also seeing stats that show people will avoid opening emails and but almost 100% of the time, they are opening texts. If this is something you’d like to look into, you can get in touch with your For Rent rep and he or she would be more than happy to talk about ways you can implement this into your marketing mix.
  • Let’s talk about ways you can grow engagement using free social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
  • With Facebook, people are spending most of their time here to maintain and build bonds between friends and family as well as source for information and engage with brands their loyal to…
  • This presents a great opportunity for you to infiltrate that user behavior and connect in a place where people are already engaging with peers and brands. This is an example of how different real estate agents are injecting information on their Facebook timeline and sharing it with their network. As a result, their base or following can comment, Like and/or share this informative content to their friends and family so the scope of reach can cast a wide net.
  • Same goes for the property management side. Share posts that humanize your brand and by the way, I have a great blog post coming your way that suggest thing you can do to add the human touch to your marketing. What you see here are posts that touch on resident appreciation, Mother’s day and the last post highlights a coffee bar free to all residents to help them start their busy work day.
  • We’re seeing people come to Pitnerest for idea gathering, future planning, home staging so Pitnerest is going to be great for you to use when you’re wanting to build engagement and paint a picture or convey a certain lifestyle.
  • Also, Pinterest is great for jumping on trends. Once huge trend is brands going in a more green and eco-friendly direction. It’s true, people will jump behind a cause before they support a brand so if your brand can support a certain cause or campaign, promote those themes via pins on Pinterest. It’s going to again, chip away at the colder, corporate side of your brand and reveal the humanized side of your brand.
  • Instagram is extremely visual so this is going to allow you to share real time, behind the scenes content
  • This is an example of a super social savvy property management firm, Bozzuto. One of their properties hosts a roof top yoga class and they use Instagram to promote the event. Events like these are a great change of pace where you’re making the experience less about your brand and more about your residents. In turn, the hope is that your residents will go and talk about exclusive events like these to their friends and peers. We actually have a blog post on how you can start a yoga group at your community and I’ll share that with you in just a few.
  • Another great way to cultivate connection with Instagram is with a mixture of events, holidays and trends. You see here that Bozzuto injects brand love with custom hashtags and contests, they answer the call to social responsibility with hosting and Earth Month event and a clothes drive. They created a month-long campaign in celebration of their 25th anniversary and they also recognized all the hardworking moms on Mother’s Day and used a branded custom hashtag for that. There is a lot of room for you multifamily folks to implement some out of the box tactics to share experiences with your audience.
  • The same goes for the real estate side. You see here that we have agents taking a photo of their business card and sharing the contact info as an Instagram share with hashtags to give them a larger reach for prospecting. Inventory updates are a super smart way to keep both prospects and clients up to speed on your listings. General industry humor is great to humanize your brand and sharing industry terms is going to be extremely helpful for first time home buyers looking to learn more about the home buying process.
  • So I just have a few tips to help you tend to your garden of prospects and clients
  • The first is…

Transcript

  • 1. Cultivating Connection with Social Media Ansley Sudderth Social Media Training & Communications Coordinator
  • 2. Join the conversation! Use #RESocialChat for the chance to win $20!
  • 3. • Plant the Seed • Water Your Leads • Grow Engagement • Tend to Your Garden • #RESocialChat Valuable Links • Q&A Agenda
  • 4. Plant the Seed
  • 5. Psychology in Social Media
  • 6. Plant the Seed
  • 7. Plant the Seed “Offer a solution, share information, provide support, THEN ask for business.” -Gary Vaynerchuk
  • 8. Plant the Seed
  • 9. Plant the Seed. Wait. Reap the Reward $2 million in sales all because of useful information!
  • 10. Plant the Seed Share informative articles for the client you want!
  • 11. Plant the Seed Share tips to keep residents informed!
  • 12. IfYou Build It,They Will Come Or will they?....
  • 13. Less Tell, More Show
  • 14. Water Your Leads
  • 15. 30-60-90 Day Plan - 30 days: Reach out to prospects via email and include links to your social channels in the email signature. - 60 days: Send new clients or residents a hand-written letter. Offer assistance should it be needed. - 90 days: Ask new clients or residents to leave a review of you or your community on Yelp, Google+, Yahoo! Local or Bing Local.
  • 16. Connect with Your Leads Text-a-Resident/Text-a-Prospect
  • 17. Grow Engagement
  • 18. Facebook
  • 19. Grow Engagement with Facebook
  • 20. Grow Engagement with Facebook
  • 21. Pinterest
  • 22. Growing Engagement with Pinterest People will jump behind a cause before they support a brand.
  • 23. Instagram
  • 24. Growing Engagement with Instagram: Self Improvement
  • 25. Growing Engagement with Instagram Brand Love Social Responsibility Popular Holidays Milestones
  • 26. Growing Engagement with Instagram Contact Info Inventory Updates Industry Humor Industry Terms and Education
  • 27. Tend to Your Garden
  • 28. Tend toYour Garden and Grow Your Network! • Always make room for prospects, but make the loyal resident/client base a priority. • Become the expert in your LOCAL market; you’ll connect on a more intimate level, creating more intimate ties. • Share, support, solve…then ASK for business!
  • 29. It’sAll about the Connection
  • 30. #RESocialChat Valuable Links
  • 31. Valuable Links • How a Fiberglass Pool Co. Made $2 Million with Useful Content • http://heidicohen.com/blog-post-generated-2-million-sales/ • Connect by Giving Your Brand a Human Touch • http://yoursolutions.forrent.com/property-managers- owners/giving-communitys-brand-human-touch • Breathe. Stretch. Namaste: How to Start a Yoga Club at Your Community • http://yoursolutions.forrent.com/property-managers- owners/breathe-stretch-namaste-start-yoga-club-community
  • 32. Q&A
  • 33. Sources https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQimEwjmD- EdpUMRg0OjMf4bOKKWf4U7U9i9_8FmdQwGFrgohI1 http://toddhedberg.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/quote_on-emotional-connection-in- branding_k2md-brand-consulting_albuquerque-nm-1.png http://whatjathinks.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/social-media-phrenology.jpg http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/52/cf/51/52cf51d279dfd3fd1b5eb4dd7ecc4c82.jpg http://www.flower-seeds.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/147512291.jpg http://summit.nativeadvertising.com/nyc13/img/faces/gary_vaynerchuk_large.png http://jdblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/iStock_000021858605XSmall.jpg http://cdn.technoratimedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Baer_0326-1.jpg http://www.brittanyberger.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/youtility-quote.jpg.jpg http://www.onpage1.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/RiverPoolsLogo-resized-600.png http://www.the90dayactionplan.com/img/dates.png http://info.tommypennington.com/Portals/203633/images/11-7- 13_downsizing_home_empty_nesters_a.jpg http://deetsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/5_Tips_For_First_Time_Home_Buyers1.png http://www.centsationalgirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/solutions-for-renters-in-the-kitchen.jpg http://sellmoresimply.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/build-it-and-they-will-come.gif http://www.newincite.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Know-Like-Trust-white1.png http://3.bp.blogspot.com/- 0Q6rG8GkYaE/UmrXU8lkyZI/AAAAAAAAAys/vmcVOo2F7Rs/s1600/TRUEBrandCompass.png http://www.jatxt.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/text-message-marketing-green.jpg