Build loyal relationships on social media
Lasting relationships with your online audience can be achieved with the right techniques

By Ron Feir, ABR, CRS, e-PRO
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Many REALTORS® see social media as one giant scoreboard: The team with the most fans or followers wins. But “friending” people, liking their page, them liking yours … what does it really add up to?
When it comes to social media, it’s not the numbers, it’s the quality content that counts. If social media is about building relationships, then it’s the authenticity of those relationships that will truly determine the return on investment.
Don’t censor your followers. A visual identity includes logos, color schemes, imagery and more. Ask yourself if it conveys the sentiments you are striving for in your message framework.
Strategies for building robust relationships on social media
Don’t pass the buck. Social media is an opportunity to engage with your clients and brand ambassadors. Respond directly and promptly whenever possible.
Be real. Use social media to promote the exchange of real ideas. Participate in the conversation in an authentic way. Avoid content that is outside the scope of your understanding. We can all spot a phony a mile away.
How to keep followers year after year
Building trust on social media is just like at the workplace
Don’t advertise all the time. Social media marketing is a misnomer, because if you only use social media for real estate marketing, you’ll alienate your entire audience. The right way to market on social media is to give some sort of value to your audience. Show them the scope of your knowledge by using information rich in high-quality content. Highlight your preferred communities and the type of real estate services you offer; post videos, tips, infographics; and answer inquiries with direct links to relevant content sites. If you make your goal providing value to your customers and not just selling to them, the trust will come naturally as a result.
Trust is a process. It takes commitment to see results. If you can establish a mutually trusting relationship with your audience, your posts will have a greater impact, your followers will be more likely to stick with you, and ultimately, you’ll have a far better chance at converting those followers into repeat clients and raving, motivated brand ambassadors.
Create brand ambassadors. Once you’ve found your niche, develop it! The reality is, you don’t need to convince everyone about your brand; rather, you need to find a few people who are likely to convince others for you. To get them to do this, make sure you’re worth talking about! Go out of your way to make your clients happy. Deliver world-class customer service. Never take a single client for granted, make them believers in what you do. If those few people are excited about you, they’ll spread the word about you.
Find your niche. Sure, having a million followers is great. But what percentage of that group really represents your target client? It’s your core audience that is most worth engaging via social media. Client feedback will help you find your social media “sweet spot.”
Post regularly. This is not the same as posting all of the time. You want to be active, of course, but every business is different and it may take time to find the right balance of content quantity and timing. Social media tools like Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts ahead of time, and to multiple social networks at once, which helps to ensure that you are getting the message out and at the right time.
Share interesting content. There should be a purpose behind everything that you post in social media. Social media relies on quality content and graphics. Without it, there isn’t anything to share and there’s no reason to continue following your social media account.
Think twice before posting. Social media is instant. There are no “take backs”. If you aren’t quite sure about a post, get a second opinion. Posting something that you may later regret can be detrimental to your brand.
Have a conversation. Take advantage of the captive audience that you have in social media. Use it as a focus group. For example, if you’re struggling with blog topic ideas, ask your followers what they’d be interested in learning. Followers will appreciate that you care about what they have to say.
Communicate in a consistent, personal brand voice. If you want people to trust your brand like a human being (rather than a corporate entity), write in a way that reaches your readers on a human level. Once you’ve established a brand voice, you’ll need to be consistent with it.
Make time for humor and entertainment. Most of your posts should be about things happening in your industry, or a showcase of your real estate business. However, it’s also important to make time for humor and entertainment. Sharing these types of content is a way to lower your audience’s defenses, and demonstrate that there is a human being behind all these posts. It gives your brand a fun and trustworthy personality, and lets people know that your main goal is communicating with an audience, not just pushing a business.
Post unique, original ideas. Thought leadership is a key quality among trusted brands. On social media, sharing posts is easy and commonly accepted. If you want to earn the respect and trust of your audience, you’ll need to demonstrate yourself as the trendsetter and visionary by posting unique, original ideas of your own.
Respond to as many comments and questions as you can. When a user reaches out to you on social media about one of your posts or has a question about your business, it’s a demonstration that they’re interested in your brand. If you respond to those comments and questions in a timely manner, you’re demonstrating that you care about those comments. Write each response personally if you want to establish trust with your audience.
Be transparent. Transparency lets people know that you don’t have anything to hide. It’s also a good idea to resist the temptation to delete posts (unless they are offensive to other users).
Hold yourself accountable. Mistakes and/or issues will eventually happen. No matter what kind of negative news comes up, hold yourself publicly accountable and address it on social media. Doing so will build trust.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Ron Feir, ABR, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, RSPS, SFR, SRES, SRS, is a REALTOR® with Century 21 Gavish Real Estate (offices in Pahrump & Las Vegas), Pahrump, Nev.
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Win-win relationships
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Build healthy relationships with members of the real estate team.
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Build trust on social media
Tips for creating lasting online relationships with real estate pros.
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Give some, get some
Using laughter and philanthropy to build client relationships.
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Mentoring relationships
Learn tips for building a solid mentor/mentee relationship.
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Referral mania
Discover the importance of referrals to building relationships..
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Must-dos for relationships
Great relationships with clients and colleagues is essential to success..
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Good relations for loan officers
Lenders can improve relationships with clients by attending closings.
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Relationships - Real estate agent handing a referral to another real estate agent.
Be a most-preferred agent
How to build lasting relationships with clients and other agents.
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Go the extra mile
Commercial real estate relationships require extra care.
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