Social Media & Digital Marketing: tips for Calgary Real Estate Professionals

Human Resources and Social Media: recap for employers in Grande Prairie
September 21, 2017
Hospitals need social media guidelines & social media training too
September 27, 2017
Show all

Social Media & Digital Marketing: tips for Calgary Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate professionals are using social media to reach the right people at the right time online, but how?

I’ve had the opportunity to meet and train some of Calgary’s top real estate teams. A big part of my job is advising on social media, digital marketing and communications. I take great care to make sure that they understand the principles of communication, branding, customer service, as well as the unwritten rules of marketing online. The goal is always to make sure that clients feel confident in their social media program, as well as their understanding of how it all works. Reaching the right people, at the right time doesn’t just happen magically. First, you need to lay the foundation to set yourself up for success.

Start with the basics:

Define goals. 
Seems like common sense, right? Wrong. Often times we’ll get so focused on just doing things as fast as we can because everyone else is doing it, we forgot the ‘why’! Sit down and decide what your goals are for social media. Are you trying to create awareness about yourself or your real estate company? Are you trying to generate new leads? Make sure your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) Read Social Media & Analytics – Identifying goals, metrics & KPIs
Define your brand.
A brand goes much deeper than the colour or design of your logo, which typography you use and whether you have a slogan or not. It’s what makes your company unique. Think about what differentiates you from your competitors. Why should someone choose to do business with you over them? Why should they trust you? How will you help them? Do you have a better track record? Specific knowledge? Customer service focus? Read Defining Your Brand: The First Step In Your Marketing Strategy
Who are your people (demographic)?
I cringe when I meet with clients and they tell me that ‘everyone’ is their demographic. This is just not true. You know exactly who you want as a client, so you need to put that down on paper. What are their interests? Where do they live? What keeps them up at night? Read How to Define Your Target Market
Know where your people are.
Real Estate can be complex in that you may have multiple audiences (e.g.: local vs. Global; salary; age; location etc.) If you use Facebook, make sure to update your settings to reach your ideal audience. Realize that your people may be all over the place; consider your resources and the places that you will best be able to serve them. Read How to Research and Locate Your Audience Using Social Media
Look at the real estate landscape and decide where you can fit in.
The Calgary Real Estate market is competitive. There are hundreds of real estate professionals (a simple google search yields nearly five million results!) With that said, it’s important not to approach this with the scarcity mindset. Realize that what sets you apart will be a perfect match for your ideal client. How can you do things differently? (Note: there are major opportunities for realtors willing to take the time to do things right!) Read How Social Media Is Playing An Important Role In Real Estate
Always offer value. 
Value can mean different things to different people. But when you think of the people you most want to connect with – what do they need from you? If it’s first-time home buyers, maybe they’re totally lost and need a survival kit with checklists, websites and phone numbers. If it’s luxury, perhaps it’s weekly updates on the market right to their inbox. Always put yourself in their shoes: why should they give you their attention? What are you giving to them in return? Read Develop a Content Strategy
Put together a competitor snapshot.
What are competitors doing to market themselves online and offline? What are they sharing? Does the content they share add value or is it just for vanity? How are they communicating? (Podcast? Blog? Posts? Pictures? Video? Snaps?) What are buyers and sellers saying about them? Do they have reviews? Are they responsive to reviews? Read 5-step Social Media Competitive Analysis
Once you get set up and get going, don’t just post your listings day-after-day, while ignoring the comments on your page. Seriously. I’ve audited a lot of real estate pages and this is something I see all the time. e.g.: Realtors posts their listings 2-4x per day; and nothing of substance or value to their visitors. If someone comments, the comments go unanswered. Why?! Read Don’t Just Set It And Forget It
Don’t focus on vanity. 
Often times we focus on the number of likes or followers on our social media channels. But this really isn’t as important as reaching the right people to start building your community online. Don’t get me wrong, if you have a high ‘like’ or ‘follower’ count you may potentially have a farther reach but don’t necessarily focus on that. Focus on the attention that you have. Ask them what they want to see from you. Read Social Media, Follower Numbers and What Alberta Businesses Need To Know
 Know the rules. 
 Real Estate professionals are not exempt from marketing practices like disclaimers for paid endorsements. We couldn’t help but notice that in some cases, where a celebrity was involved in endorsing certain professionals, that disclaimers were missing on social media posts across the board. Let’s all just take a moment to remember that that is a paid endorsement. Remember that consumers typically don’t believe paid endorsements. They believe their friends. Read What You Need To Know About Influencer Marketing In Canada
Don’t forget to check in on those goals! If you have access to website analytics, make sure you’re checking monthly, if not weekly. If you’re using Facebook, Instagram or Twitter etc., make sure to access their native analytics. Are you where you wanted to be? What do you need to change? Much of social media and digital marketing is actually testing. It may take some time, but you’ll learn what works, and what doesn’t. Watch Social Media Analytics For Beginners
Social media can be overwhelming when you’re just starting out. If you need help navigating and leveraging social media (whether that’s creating a plan or training) let’s chat! 
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.