What can letting agencies do to maximise the potential of social media while minimising the risks and hassle of managing it?
How to get the most from social media
Have a social media plan
Social media cannot be set up on the spur of the moment. It requires a purpose, and a plan of how it will be used day-to-day.
You could use it for promotion of special offers, sharing links to blog posts or other content on your website (or someone else’s), or answering enquiries in a customer service function. The best social media accounts do all of this.
Combining engaging content and friendly customer service resulted in loyal fans who were willing to be vocal in their support online.
Essential requirements: Time and skill
It is not enough to tag social media management onto someone’s workload in a vague and untargeted way. Whoever is responsible for your social media needs both the time and the appropriate training to get the most from it.
Depending on which platform you’re using, you need to be updating your account several times a week, and at least daily for Twitter. If you are providing a customer service function, this needs to be more frequent (recent research suggests that 72% of people making a complaint on social media expect a response within an hour!)
And be wary of tasking this to just anyone in the office. Good social media managers can communicate succinctly and effectively across different channels, mixing sales, marketing and customer service skills with technological expertise.
Engage with people
Good use of social media involves conversation (reaching out to other users, contributing to conversations started by others, and starting your own threads) not just one-way promotion.
Building relationships is key. Work with the right property industry social media practitioners in the right way and they will be happy to share your stories and therefore promote you to new audiences.
Following these three simple rules will help you get the most from your social media activities, but if you’re looking for examples of how to get started, why not consider:
- Running a competition – ask your followers to like your page/retweet your message and pick a prize winner at random (just make sure you are working within the terms and conditions of the site you’re using)
- Sharing a relevant and helpful blog post, whitepaper, or video from another organisation (they will be grateful for you sharing their content, and you also demonstrate your industry savvy to your followers)
- Set up a forum for regular scheduled industry chat – Check out #ScotlandHour on Twitter as a good example
- Offer your followers the opportunity to ask questions in a dedicated topic session, for example focusing on deposits
- Ask your followers to share their best stories on a certain topic, for example their funniest stories about moving house