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Social media engagement starts at home9 Jan 2017

There are so many articles written about social media for businesses and such a vast array of opinions, that any novice would find it hard to see the wood for the trees.  I started my business social media journey 6 years ago after being present at a particularly insightful talk, which really made me think long and hard about who my customers were (mainly local people) and what message I would like to portray to them about my business (that it’s friendly, approachable, knowledgeable and local).

Something clicked, and I started a Facebook page for my (then) estate agency, showcasing the heart and soul of my company, the lovely staff – local people, who knew about local events and could pass on community ‘chit-chat’.  The page took off pretty quickly, followers grew organically, customers commented about our posts and started to really engage with us.  I could not have done this on my own, I needed the participation of my staff, who wanted to share their funny stories, their insights into the community, their customer interactions, and their local knowledge.

Now I am consulting with many other estate agencies, helping them to improve their community following using a variety of social media platforms.  The one thing I have discovered is that, without the buy-in of the staff it is a much harder journey.  Working with a team of people who want to interact with their customers on a social level, share their highs and lows, show their vulnerability, their personalities and really connect on a level which is somewhat removed from their actual job, makes engagement better, quicker and more rewarding.

Last year my team started working with a fabulous independent letting agency Maxine Lester, based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire and took over their social media in the summer. Our Social Content Manager Katie has loved working with the Maxine Lester team, mainly because they believe in the power of community engagement (and they are very nice people), and we are delighted to feature in their 2016 round-up due to the results of some amazing social media content, fuelled by the team and their absolute acceptance of this type of marketing.

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Social media engagement graph for Maxine Lester 2016

Here are my top 5 points to assist  anyone who is struggling to increase engagement on social platforms, or anyone who is just starting out:-

  1. Don’t post property details unless you have a quirky story to accompany them – Rightmove, Zoopla and property portals are made for this type of post.
  2. Social media means ‘be social’ so make sure your posts are chatty, friendly, and interesting to your followers – start with the followers in mind. Ask ‘what do customers want to read?’ rather than ‘what do we want to say?’
  3. Never, ever buy followers – the numbers might look impressive, but what’s better – 100 followers in you target demographic, who regularly engage with your posts, or 1000 followers who are, more than likely, fake accounts, so will never interact with you?
  4. Use short videos and photos with people in, wherever possible.
  5. Don’t be scared to ask for what you want, ie. ‘please share this post’, ‘please vote’, ‘please comment’.

Good luck, and remember we are here if you need any help – just enquire by clicking HERE.

Thank you for reading, and THANK YOU to the team at Maxine Lester Residential Lettings!

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Jane Gardner 

[email protected]