Social media marketing offers a tremendous opportunity for real estate professionals to engage directly with current and potential clients. But it doesn’t replace your website, and here’s why.
Social media is powerful. At times, it feels like people would prefer to use Facebook along with tools like Messenger exclusively. The temptation is there to drop your website (and associated cost and time of maintaining it) to focus on social media – where the people are at. Don’t give in until you’ve worked through these 9 reasons why Facebook doesn’t replace your real estate website.
1. Lease vs Own
Just like with a property, there is a difference when you own a piece of the internet. Your Facebook page belongs to Facebook. If they believe that you have violated their terms of service, enough people have labeled your content spam or they have a system glitch, you could lose your Facebook page and all of the connections that you’ve worked so hard to make. Your website is your online property – you can take steps to protect that information with email opt ins to connect with visitors and regular backups.
Facebook is the perfect vehicle to direct people to your website and email opt in opportunities so that you can make more direct contact in the future.
Anyone who markets on Facebook knows the frustration of putting out great, useful content that is only seen by a fraction of your audience. There are ways to maximize that reach – but it can’t match the value of being able to communicate directly with someone through a valuable, carefully planned email campaign.
Millennials in particular are often discovering new businesses through social media in a new form of word-of-mouth recommendations. Creating content that gets shared and commented on is a wonderfully organic way to get your business in front of new leads. That’s only the first step, though. Those potential clients are then going to check your business out by exploring your social media, visiting your website and looking to confirm that your business is a good fit for them. An attractive website reinforces your branding, communicates the value you bring to the table and builds credibility.
4. List Building
The value of a vibrant and growing email list has already come up more than once in this article but it’s so important that it deserves a more specific mention. Share opportunities to sign up for your list on Facebook and then make the conversation directly between you and your new lead.
5. Website Tools
There are now tremendous tools out there for real estate professionals looking to build or improve their website. Integrated MLS listings, mapping properties through Google maps, and connecting with local businesses and resources that are important to your leads can be done right on your website. These tools allow you to become an invaluable resource for your clients, contributing to those relationships and driving successful sales.
While social media is a large and growing part of how we interact online, it’s not the only way that people search and discover. Search engines, directories and links from other websites also bring new leads to your virtual door. Without a website, you would be missing out on those opportunities.
When your client moves, a real estate professional isn’t the only service they need. That network of businesses involved can be a consistent and rewarding source of leads and connections for your business, plus you can return the favor. Featuring related services that your clients need on your website is a simple way to engage with that network. Social media shares are also a good idea but with a short life span in their value.
8. Content Marketing
Are you familiar with the idea of content marketing? Every time you share useful information on social media, you are using content to engage with your audience. Take this a step farther by creating your own content to share with people checking out your website. Bonus: this does the double duty of improving your search engine ranking when you carefully integrate keywords that people are searching for!
Social media, including Facebook, is a form of content marketing but your website has the capability to offer much more value to potential clients. Create a guide to your local area, share resources like popular restaurants and useful short cuts to avoid traffic and give people a reason to trust you as an authority on your local area.
9. Professional Evolution
As you learn and grow as a real estate professional, you will evolve and your online identities need to do the same. A website re-design or update is the perfect way to mark these changes and begin attracting a new level of clientele. Your social media will also grow with you , but your website is the key to highlighting new services, offerings and expertise.