Is your property portal taking advantage of the opportunities offered by social media? Here are our top 10 tips for portals on how to make the most of tools like Twitter and Facebook:
1. Start by thinking about how you want to use the key social channels. What are the objectives of the channels? How do they dovetail into your overall brand strategy? Is it to service customers? Is it to create a consumer community? To give your brand advocates a voice? Do you need a separate channel for consumers vs customers? For example, Dell has a number of Twitter accounts for various audiences.
2. You can be a curator AND creator of content. Being social is not just about sharing your own content. Share others' content as well. If it’s interesting to you, it’s likely interesting to your audience. Retweet on Twitter, share on Facebook, offer something relevant on Foursquare.
3. Social media channels are not for selling! Social is just that – being social. Engage your audience, have conversations with them, let them have conversations with each other, creating a community of like-minded individuals. Be responsive to your audience. If someone comments on your social sites, try and respond. Be attentive, appreciative, and responsive. Show you are listening to them.
4. Don’t fill your social networks with real estate listings content – it’s not a replica of your site. Do populate it with relevant information that supports the objectives of your brand. Include links back to your site, so your audience can access listings content if they want to.
5. Do enable your audience to share your site content with their social networks. Can they like, tweet or +1 your listings or other content? Can they share it to their Facebook or LinkedIn feeds? This is the real power of social.
6. Do keep abreast of new developments in the social media world. Are you on Google+ so that when the network allows brands you can have first mover advantage? Check here for some examples.
7. Do look within and outside your own category. How are other industries or brands using social media? How can you apply learnings or usage to your own industry or brand? Check out The Corcoran Group as a good example.
8. Do monitor your social media presence. Agree on the measures of your success, and how you will monitor these. If you don’t want to use a paid tool, there are plenty of great free tools available to monitor your own presence along with competitors' or keywords (e.g. Tweetdeck and Hootsuite).
9. Do make sure your brand is well represented in each of the channels. It’s not just about having your logo on a Facebook page – it’s another opportunity to promote your brand professionally. The tone of voice must be in keeping with your brand.
10. Do be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you are clear about the role of the social channels, and your content is relevant, and you engage with your audience in a meaningful way, you will add value to your brands through social media.