Blog : Social Media

Planning Your Marketing for 2022

Planning Your Marketing for 2022

There are only a few weeks left until the end of the year! It’s time to get your marketing plans for 2022 in place. 

Given our clients’ experience, we know that a large portion of your plans must involve online activities. Over the past 18 months, consumers have spent a lot more time on their devices using social media and checking email than they did pre-pandemic. Those habits will continue, making it more important than ever to have a credible online presence. Your competition is already online, and they will capture your client’s attention if you aren’t there in a credible way. 

These are some digital marketing initiatives we recommend to build your online credibility in 2022: 

Up to Date Google Business Listing 

Your Google listing is one of the first things people see when they search for you. 

Be sure your Google Business listing is current. Is your brokerage information correct? How about your contact info? 

No listing yet? Click here. This free tool allows people easy access to your website, contact information and reviews. 

Website

Make sure your website is up-to-date and mobile-friendly. If it’s not, Google will penalize you when someone searches online – you may not show up at all. There are several reputable companies offering customizable sites at a reasonable price. It’s worth the time and investment to do this properly. 

Email Marketing – Your client retention plan

According to email marketing company Constant Contact, 72% of consumers prefer email as their main channel for business communication. I believe it is the best tool to proactively communicate with your community and it’s critical for realtors who rely on repeat clients and referrals. 

A monthly plan for email marketing will ensure you stay in touch with your past clients and, when done right, it can make it easy for them to refer you to their friends and neighbours. 

Now’s the time to update your contact list. (You’re not alone if you haven’t done this in the past few years, or ever!)

In compliance with the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), you can legally add anybody you’ve done business with in the past two years, people who have sent you an inquiry over the past six months and people you are already emailing on a regular basis, like friends, family, and colleagues. Click here for more on CASL.

Include first names wherever possible, allowing you to personalize your email. 

Social Media 

Invest a little time updating your LinkedIn account (if you don’t have one, there’s no time like the present). When people Google you, your LinkedIn account is one of the first things that people see and it’s your opportunity to control the conversation. LinkedIn will let you know what needs to be completed. This is also a good time to reach out and connect with past clients, many will have an account here. 

Content

Original content generates engagement online, especially if you’re in it. Here’s a positive challenge for you; create one original piece of content per month. Start with a photo – it can be your family, your dog or cat, a visit to a local landmark or even a selfie in front of your favourite restaurant or coffee shop. 

If you enjoy writing, generate some ideas for a blog. I often find it’s easier to dictate an article than type it. And hey, while you’re in front of your computer talking, why not consider… 

Video

If you’re not yet using video in your marketing, make 2022 the year you do it! (I said the exact same thing last year!) Short of being in person, nothing conveys your personality, your charm and your charisma (and I know you’ve got them) like video. Click here for a past article on some how tos. 

Whether it’s a market update, a profile of a local business or a walk-through of your latest listing, video is content that keeps on giving. you can put your video in an email, on a YouTube channel, on your website and on your social media. 

Pick One and Make It Happen 

If you don’t know where to begin, simply pick the one initiative you like the most and start there.  Look at what people you admire are doing and take inspiration from them. When that initiative is complete, pat yourself on the back and pick the next. Implement one digital marketing improvement at a time.  

If digital marketing makes you squirm and you just want to get on with helping your clients, get in touch and I can help you set your digital marketing plans for 2022. Looking forward to hearing from you. 

Facebook vs Instagram

Facebook vs Instagram

I’m often asked by business owners if they should be on Facebook or Instagram or both and the answer is a solid “it depends”. 

Although Instagram is just six years younger than Facebook, it seems to be the platform more people are talking about than Facebook. but that doesn’t mean Facebook is disappearing. There are still good reasons to use it.  

In terms of demographics, there’s more overlap than there used to be, but there are still more people over 45 using Facebook than Instagram. (source: Statista)

A little information about Facebook users:

  • 25 million Canadians have Facebook accounts (Statista)
  • 2/3 of Canadian Facebook users check the site daily (Facebook) 
  • 86% of internet users with $100k+ income use Facebook (Sproutsocial)

In terms of usability, you can post anything you like on Facebook. Links, listings, videos, photos, polls, anything you can view online, you can post on Facebook. (Except for a PDF). While you should be sharing some original content, you can also share third party content (from reliable sources, depending on your industry) so you don’t have to be creating all your own material. 

A little information about Instagram users: 

  • 13.2M users in Canada (Statista)
  • 41% of Instagram users in Canada are over 35 (Statista) 
  • 81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services (Hootsuite)

You’re limited to posting photos and short videos on Instagram, but there are more places to post: feed, stories, IGTV and reels, their answer to TikTok. 

It’s easier to generate a following and get engagement (or at least likes) on your posts on Instagram. The analytics are really easy to see on each post. The challenge is that if you want to gain traction on Instagram, it’s more hands on. You’ll have to be wiling to spend time looking people up to follow them, understanding how hashtags work and figuring out a plan to create your own content, though it’s fairly straight-forward.

The benefit to using both platforms is that you’ll be reaching more people, but the catch is that you should ideally be posting different content on each channel, although there can be some overlap.

A note to realtors about how advertising has changed: Facebook pulled the rug out from realtors in December. Previously, you could target an ad to different postal codes, you could narrow down by age, you could advertise to people living in a radius around a certain address or location and you could exclude people, so you weren’t advertising to fellow realtors. 

That’s changed. You now have to self-identify your ad as housing (if you don’t, the Facebook bots are going to catch you and reject your ad). You have to advertise to people aged 18 to 65+ and you have to advertise to the entire city plus a 15 mile radius. You can still advertise to people who like your page and their friends, and you can narrow it down by interest. If you’re comfortable using the Facebook Ad Manager rather than the boost button, you may find better results that way and you can advertise on both Facebook and Instagram that way. 

The decision about whether to use Facebook or Instagram or both comes down to both demographics and time. If your clients skew a little younger (under 45) and you have the time or interest to be creating content, you’ll see better results on Instagram. If you’re dealing with clients who are mostly 35 and up, they’re going to be found on Facebook. 

Is your social media working for you? 3 key metrics to gauge your success

Is your social media working for you? 3 key metrics to gauge your success

The pandemic has changed the way realtors market themselves. The days of open houses and door knocking are behind us and while they may return in the future, your marketing machine has to work now. 

While it’s becoming more difficult to generate leads in real life, now is an opportune time to deepen the relationships you already have using email marketing and social media to stay in touch and help build trust and credibility. 

Your past clients (and prospects) are spending more time on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn so it makes sense that you should beef up your presence there. But how do you know it’s working? It’s unlikely (though not unheard of) that a single post will lead to a sale. However, consistency and repetition will create recognition for you and encourage people to reach out. 

Here are three metrics you can use to gauge your success:  

Is your following increasing?

The number of people who are following you should be constantly on the rise. It won’t be dramatic, but your numbers should be going up steadily.

The three social channels I recommend agents be active on are Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. The approach to building a following on each of them is a little different. 

On Facebook, you want to start out by inviting the people you’re connected with personally. If you’re not already connected personally with past clients, connect with them as a friend, and then (not immediately, though!) invite them to like your business page. 

On LinkedIn, chances are you’re connected with more colleagues than clients, but you can be strategic and reach out to clients who will be happy to accept your invitation to connect. From here they’ll start seeing your posts. 

On Instagram, you have to be pro-active and follow people first. Begin by following people you know (Instagram will show you connections). Once you follow someone, they get a notification and there’s a good chance they’ll follow you back. 

Next, follow people strategically. Do a search for the kind of people you want to work with. Searching by hashtag, you can find people who live in specific areas or who have certain interests. As long as you’re posting interesting content (not just listings) many will follow you back and start seeing your posts. 

Bonus tip for all three channels: Make sure you have links on your website and in your email signature for all your social channels so that when people come across you online, they have the opportunity to follow you.

Engagement 

Engagement is critical to social media success. If you’re not receiving likes, shares and comments, you need to revisit the sort of content you’re posting. Even in a best-case scenario, the engagement is going to be low, but it should be there. 

Go into the analytics on each channel. Instagram allows you to check the analytics on both individual posts and your account. Facebook has insights and on LinkedIn you can look at each post and see how many people you reached.  The benefit of paying attention to these numbers is that you start to learn what kind of posts people are interested in, which will help you refine your future content. 

Conversations 

In your post, pose a question or ask for comments to help start those conversations. Make sure you’re responding to comments, questions and direct messages. It is called social media and people expect a response from you. One easy way to stay on top of this is to make sure that notifications are enabled on your phone.

If you would like to go deeper into any of these topics, please get in touch. I also offer free webinars on email marketing and social media. If you would like to know more, let’s talk!

What you need to know about the new Facebook algorithm

What you need to know about the new Facebook algorithm

As seen in REM Online

Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was making some changes to the content shown to users. According to his Facebook post, “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions…As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands and media.”

Naturally, this caused some negative reactions from businesses, brands and media about the effects of fewer people seeing their posts.

Click here for the full article

3 Easy Tips For Building Your Mailing List Online

mistakesContinuing to build your mailing list ensures that you have more chances to reach people and increase your business!

Here are three ways you can grow your list using online tools:

Promote a sign-up link on social media

Social media is great for building awareness of your business – use the contacts you’ve developed to get them to sign up for your email. One of the reasons you want to do this is that you now have control of when you send them information. As well, you now own their information as oppose to having them like your page on Facebook, which owns your content.

Use your email signature

This can work for everyone. Add a signup link to your email signature – again, it’s a one-time set up and it means that there’s a chance to build your mailing list with each email you send. An added bonus is that when people click your link and add themselves to your list, they fall under the category of express consent, which means you can keep them on your mailing list until they unsubscribe.

Forward to a friend

Make sure you include the forward to a friend button in your emails – and that there’s a place that allows them to sign up. One of the goals with email campaigns is that you want to get your current clients to help you build your database. Often a gentle nudge or suggestion is all that it takes to get someone to send your email to somebody in their network.

3 Easy Ways to Find Content

3 easy waysOne of the main issues people have with putting out a monthly email is coming up with content on a regular basis. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be original, just interesting!

Of course, original content is the most valuable but sharing something else can still be effective – think of those articles your mom or your aunt cut out of the paper for you!

Here are three ways you can save time and easily find content:

Google News Alerts

Sign up for Google News Alerts here, using any number of keywords you like. Set your preferences and Google will email you as often as you like with articles relating to your search. Tip: If you share your location, the results will be more targeted.

RSS Feed

RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. A site like Feedly helps by collecting all your sources in one place. It’ll take a few minutes to set up all the websites you’re interested in, but then Feedly will pull in all the headlines. Now you just have to visit one site for your content.

Sign up for industry email newsletters

I like to make things as easy as possible by having content delivered to me. Sign up for email lists relating to your industry or any other business who sends out interesting content, depending on what business you’re in and the sort of emails you send out.

4 common social media mistakes to avoid

mistakesSocial media can be exciting, enjoyable, and effective as a marketing tactic. However, you have to ensure that your presence stays consistent to build relationships that translate into business!

Here are four common mistakes small business people make with social media:

1. They never complete their page: Start slowly with one site at a time and make sure your profile is completely filled out! It can really pay off with increased interest and traffic.

2. They try to sell all the time: A good general guideline is four pieces of information or entertaining content for every post that makes a sales offer.

3. They post too infrequently or too often: Pace yourself so you’re neither leaving large gaps of time between posts nor posting so often people get tired of hearing from you. A professional can help you time your posts for maximum return.

4. They ignore their fans: When people take the time to comment on a post or send you a message, follow up as quickly as you can; definitely within one business day! That’s the way to build a fan club!

MB Digital Communications