In this two-part series, we’ll look at some of the major social media channels and how you can use them to effectively market new homes.
Last month, in “Using Social Media to Market New Homes: Part 1,” we discussed using Facebook, Twitter and Google + to market and sell new home communities. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll take a look at LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube, and how to leverage each of these networks to achieve the goals of brand awareness and increased web traffic.
LinkedIn: This is the ultimate business networking site. While a business page for your company or community is useful, the real power of this site is in individual user profiles. Onsite sales agents should each create a user account and reach out to their circles of influence, join professional and community groups, and share content on market trends, communities for sale, neighborhood happenings, and financing info. The key is establishing yourself as an authority in your field and staying top-of-mind with influencers who may refer you or your community to potential prospects.
Pinterest: Due to the visual nature of real estate, this is a GREAT social networking site for new home communities to use. Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Linked In, Google+ and YouTube combined, almost 70 percent of users are women, and nearly a third have an annual household income of $100,000 or more. The best home builder boards we’ve seen not only include photos of exteriors and model homes, but also home décor tips, ideas for cooking or entertaining and even neighborhood happenings. Stepper Custom Homes does a great job of this. Photos can be optimized with tags and descriptions so that users can easily find your content, plus you can increase your referral network by incentivizing users to pin your photos to their own boards, like Keystone Custom Homes did with a recent photo contest.
YouTube: You’ve heard time and time again that video is an effective way to increase search engine rankings. It’s true; videos create interest and can offer a unique perspective on a topic. People love watching them – that’s why search engines like Google give considerable weight to optimized videos in search results. YouTube and Vimeo are video-hosting platforms that allow you to edit, post and share video content. Although professionally-produced video is polished and lends credibility to your brand, technology today makes it easy to record a quick tour of the latest model home or community opening, add music or voiceovers, and share it with the online world. It’s important to use keyword-rich descriptions and tags since search engines cannot “read” the dialogue of video content. For an example of a home builder that posts regularly to YouTube, see Adams Homes’ channel.
With 9 out of 10 home buyers starting their search on the Internet, it’s a no-brainer to invest in online marketing. Though time and resources are necessary to properly maintain social networks, they are free to use and can create powerful brand awareness, drive increased traffic to your website, and help establish positive relationships with both prospects and existing home buyers.