First, we need to lay out the difference between marketing and branding.
Marketing is generally trying to sell a particular piece of property.
Branding is building brand awareness. Think of the tag line “nothing runs like a Deere”. That isn’t meant to sell a particular piece of equipment it is meant to be favorable and memorable for their company.
Now, we can go over some of the many social media platforms and what each is best used to accomplish.
Facebook is the online equivalent of a backyard BBQ. It is an informal place where everyone is at least a friend of a friend. There is a lot of opportunity to market a parcel but remember that it is better to post something intriguing that makes them ask you about it than to go straight into salesman mode. You wouldn’t walk around a BBQ asking “Who wants to buy farm land?” But someone who overhears you talking about touring a cool farm may ask “Where was that?” And it leads to a very natural marketing conversation about that piece of land.
This is an example of how branding can lead to an opportunity to market a specific deal.
LinkedIn is a more formal place to show your professional knowledge. Here is where you have a chance to build your brand. Your goal is become the ag economist of choice. Your greatest opportunity here may be to get referrals from other professionals. If a busy residential agent stumbles across a land listing they may try to figure it out on the fly. However, if you are top of mind as the land expert in your area, it would behoove her to send it to you and collect a referral fee from the expert. The idea is to show how specialized your expertise is and the value you add to a transaction.
Twitter is like a crowded club where you pop in and out of conversations and stay with the ones you find interesting. It is generally better to just do some branding and if they are interested in a particular deal they will contact you through some other means, like a simple phone call. If you create interesting content, people will like your post and possibly share it to their friends. Think about President Trump. He may be controversial, but he adds content consistently that all fits with his brand.
Instagram is similar to Facebook but is nearly all picture-based. It is an effortless way to tell your story. Take that great sunset picture over a pond. Don’t let a gorgeous sunrise go without taking a shot and sharing it. How better to show you spend your days on the land than to share pictures of land? This is a very easy way to build your brand. Then, if someone ask where it is, you can do a little marketing.
YouTube host videos. Remember that people only watch short videos unless there is a super compelling reason sit still for five minutes. A 45-second video with subtitles is better than a rambling 5 minute video. Most videos are played on mute so make sure to add subtitles to grab attention.
Insights for Land Pros
My lowest level and most effective use of social media is as an excuse to Call People!!!!
So, if you see someone on Facebook just got a new car you can click “Like” or you can call and say congratulations. I will venture to say clicking “Like” will not lead to a meaningful conversation. However, a call may very well end up talking about why I need four-wheel drive when selling land. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to see how we can end up talking about the land market next when I’m calling to say congrats on the new car.
Next, you must be consistent with when you add content. If you don’t engage with people, they quit seeing you in their feed. Put it on your calendar to work on Facebook at least five minutes at a time, twice a day to start. LinkedIn moves a little slower, so I suggest adding one or two good pieces of content every week. You need to make it a habit on a small scale before you can become a social media tycoon.
There are less than 100 REALTORS® with more than 50 videos on YouTube today. That means if you can commit to making one video per week, in one years’ time you will be near the top of the list out of all the members of NAR. This shows the amazing opportunities that are available for very little or no cost. What else could you do at such a low cost to be in the top 100 nationwide with no cash out of your pocket? Not much.
I hope this gives you a few ideas that you can implement in your business.
This post is part of the 2018 Future Leaders Committee content generation initiative. The initiative is directed at further establishing RLI as “The Voice of Land” in the land real estate industry and to bring valuable information to land professionals and landowners.
About the Author: Tim Hadley is an agent with Keller Williams Realty in Gladstone, MO. He joined the REALTORS® Land Institute in 2017 and is currently a member of the 2018 Future Leaders Committee. #cowboyrealtor