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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Leveraging Social channels to build your brand

What is the purpose of Social Media?

Have you ever stepped back and asked yourself that question?

By now, Social Media has become so engrained in our culture that it’s often difficult to view it as it is.

It began with college kids embracing its innovativeness, and dissenters arguing, “this is just a fad.”

As it opened to a larger population, more people slowly began to utilize it, and more people became believers. Soon, those who previously swore by MySpace switched over to Facebook, and Facebook enthusiasts found a new love in Twitter.

Google+ entered the foray, along with mobile services Instagram and Path, and the recipe and home remodeling-happy Pinterest.

It hasn’t been all that many years, but Social Media has evolved from a somewhat laughable leisure to a lasting lot in our lives.

And guess what happened to the late teens that spent much of their college years playing on Facebook.

They grew up, many got jobs, and several are now looking for their first house.

And guess what channels they’re using to communicate…

In less than a decade, Social Media has become so ingrained in our culture that it’s now evolving to work as a sales channel and primary influencer in consumers’ buying decisions. That’s a trend that began with Generation Yers, transferred to Millenials, and now has trickled up to Generation Xers and even Baby Boomers.

Word of mouth, which always served as a top influencer among Baby Boomers, has now turned to Social influence. In reality, Social just allows for a different kind of word of mouth. But it’s a more vocal “word” from a much bigger “mouth” heard by many, many more “ears.”

What is said on Social Media has the capability of spreading very rapidly. That can work to the good of a product or service, but it can also work in a very negative way. If a consumer is looking for a good, reliable baby sitter, she might ask on Facebook to hear the opinions of her friends.

But if she has a negative experience with a baby sitter, she might post it on Facebook and even people who aren’t currently looking for a sitter will take note, and may even sway their friends away from the horror stories they read on Facebook.

And while a baby sitter can be easily replaced, a real estate agent is ultimately asking a customer to trust him with what might be the biggest deal of the customer’s life. That places a lot more value in the good, and much, much more harm in the bad.

You may attempt to sway public opinion with your own Facebook page. You may tweet articles about real estate, community news and events, even new homes for sale in the market. You might create a Pinterest board with attractive, cheap ideas for new home owners. You may even create videos about the local market and post them to your YouTube channel. But your service and your reputation can spread by your customers through those means, and your own presence might not be strong enough to combat it alone.

The positive feedback you can get will help shape that opinion. The recommendations you receive, and the type of service you provide that prompts those recommendations, combined with the types of easily accessible mediums on which consumers can post their recommendations, positive feedback and great experiences.

The more Social Media has changed the way the world communicates, the more we can see that the world’s communication and its influence doesn’t drastically change. And while you can’t control all that’s said about you in these new mediums with their larger audiences, you can influence it, and you can provide the avenues that encourage your customers to turn from people who have done business with you to raving fans.

It’s not an overnight process, but it’s a business philosophy that can be well executed with the help of a team that knows how best to use modern technologies and Internet Marketing principles to your advantage as a real estate agent.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to better leverage your customers and Social Media presence to increase business and referrals.
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