Social media is the new database, and you should treat your followers as you would your client address book. Here’s how to get started.
How many of us remember the Rolodex which was first introduced in the mid 1950s? Before that was the task of copying all of your contacts in an address book, perhaps a shoebox filled with business cards, maybe a catalogue for those cards, notes scattered around your desk with names and numbers and let’s not forget about those index cards.
Then came along database software, contact management systems, and a spectrum of services offering automated letters, newsletters and greetings to your database. Cellphones took our need to remember phone numbers away, and our databases were transformed into electronic formats.
The lack of physically going through our paper database caused complacency. Our business was running on autopilot. Then came social media. At first, it was regarded as something the kids shared photos on. Well, now it is a primary communication tool, a place for engagement and interactions, a source of news and information, and where we turn to for validation and fulfillment.
What our business has not fully realized is that social media is your new database, your followers and those you follow are the contacts that need to be managed. Connecting over social media has become the No. 1 way to engage with your clients.
Cultivate that contact list and treat your followers as you would your address book. Here are 10 ways in which to optimize your database through social media:
1. Post daily
Each day, post at least one piece of content which encourages conversation. Share business content and balance it with some personal content.
2. Personally respond to comments
Scroll through your social media platforms at least once per day, and make a point to respond to each comment.
3. Engage with your audience
When people you are following share a post or little Jonny gets his first goal, be sure to cheer him on. When a proud parent shares that their child got accepted at a university, send a note to congratulate them.
4. Reward your followers
Have regular giveaways, sponsor events and donate to clients’ favourite charities.
5. Track behaviour
The interests and habits of your followers should be your guide to engage with them in ways they can relate to you.
6. Grow your followers and social media community
Ask for followers and subscribers. This is no different than asking a client to think of you when they are ready to buy or sell. Have contests that involve posting and sharing your content on their page, and don’t forget to ask them to follow you.
7. Provide content
Simply put, post information of value — neighbourhood data, just sold, just listed, important news related to real estate, helpful tips and resources. Consider even a 30-second or one-minute video of you sharing something of interest. We love videos!
8. Share posts of your followers
Become the source and hub. Their followers will turn to your page to see what is happening in the community. Simply by sharing, you are entering, engaging and becoming a member of the spheres of your followers.
9. Utilize sponsored ads
Boost your posts, target your audience. Print media is not where today’s buyer or seller turns to for real estate listings or news. Consider the cost savings from the weekly newspaper spreads, the magazines, the flyers and the postage costs. We simply don’t need to do that anymore.
Start with a small ad budget on various social media platforms. As your audience grows, engagement occurs, shares and likes will increase, in no time you will see organic growth and your ad spend will decline.
10. Know your audience
Utilize the various analytic tools offered in your social media platform to cater your ads to your followers. You will learn the best times to post, who is tuned in during certain times and who you are engaging with the most.
Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate and keep in touch. Instead of choosing who to contact at certain times, you have an entire database tuned into you daily, possibly even hourly.
Your database is no longer just names and numbers. It is a collection of videos, pictures and stories, personalities and insights into your followers and clients.
Your platforms will generate business for you today and undoubtedly, be something that you can pass on to your successors. Now this is something that is monetizable even more so than your book of business.