For all builders, selling homes and increasing profits is the ultimate goal. But in order to achieve that goal, various steps need to take place. And marketing of some kind is always one of the first steps.
Social media is a natural place for builders to connect with prospects and realtors. In addition to being free and easy, there is verifiable proof that this is where purchasing decisions are influenced.
- 71% of people are more likely to work with a company they follow on social media.
- 80% of people trust the recommendation of another person – even if they’ve never met them.
The first rule of successful business social media is that you need to show up. You need to be on the social media sites that your potential buyers are on. For builders, that means Houzz, Facebook and YouTube, which are great for testimonials, referrals, and photography. You can use Google Analytics to gauge traffic to your website and make sure the time you’re spending on social media is getting you results.
There are 25 million active Houzz users. If your goal is to show up where potential homebuyers and current homeowners are, this is the place! When you set up your Houzz account, remember to use the best photography you have. Houzz is pretty much all photography. Hire a professional photographer, if necessary, to make your work look its very best.
There are 1.4 billion active users on Facebook, and the site has endless ways to reach people. You can test different ads and messages, and tailor a message to a very specific audience. In addition, Facebook’s Insights feature lets you see the demographics for the people you’re reaching. The key is having a network before you start posting. Grow your network first. Email past customers and ask them to like your page. Put Facebook links in your emails or on your website. Target potential followers with Facebook ads. When you post, remember that Facebook is informal, conversational and more personal. You want to connect with your followers, not “sell” them something.
Just 1 minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words. And YouTube works for any business. It is so easy. Don’t worry about shooting professional looking videos. Just use your smartphone. Hold it horizontally. Keep the video short – 30 seconds to a minute tops. Craftsmanship demonstrations, chats about your company (who you are, what’s important to you), “Meet the team” (who they are, what they do), and Company events.
Social media for business is an affordable and flexible marketing tool. If managed correctly, you’ll see a significant increase in your connections, and a measurable return on your investment.
No matter what kind of marketing you’re doing, remember: Don’t think like a builder; think like a buyer..
- What’s important to them? What message will encourage them to take next step (i.e. call, visit the website, or come into a sales office)?
- Look at things from their perspective. What kind of post will catch their eye… tug at their heart… and ultimately get them to connect with you?
While the call to action is different for every builder, the motivation is the same: Before someone can buy, they need to walk in the door.
About the Author:
As President and Owner of Group Two, an ad agency for home builders, Mollie Elkman is an authority on marketing for the home building industry. She specializes in understanding the consumer experience and creating successful, traffic-driving advertising programs for builders from coast to coast.