Why Social Media for Agents is so important
I read an article the other day saying Social media doesn’t work for letting agents, i really think the author has missed the point.
You see the problem that many of us are unaware of, is that SEO has become a bit of a dirty word within the ranks of Google and just like the government who are continuously trying to close loopholes to stop tax evasion, Google are trying to stop web specialists from improving the rankings of websites falsely, so what are we agents to do to drive traffic to our websites now?
It used to be that adding a few strategic keywords, some links inbound and outbound and a few fancy articles with the local areas mentioned a few times, would sort of do it, give it a bit of time, set up a Google place page and get a few reviews and hey presto, you were near the top of the search engine…but not anymore, so where is this all going?
As fast as the SEO experts come up with new strategies, they are getting closed, it’s like a never ending race down a huge corridor looking for open doors, but as soon as you’ve seen one it closes before you get there. The problem is, that no one really know how the algorithms for the search engines actually work, so it’s all a bit of guesswork and well “this sort of works” let’s do that.
So what is a poor agent to do these days to actually get found on the web? Well i think we need to change our mindset as to what we are trying to do. Most of us (well my age group anyway)that remember the old phone books, could be guilty of seeing Google as a big telephone directory, and that when the consumer wants a number they go to a search engine and search for what they want, like “letting agency Wolverhampton”, but is that really what the consumer is doing?
Just walking around, sitting in restaurants, at the cinema before the show starts, in bus stops, watching the staff at lunch breaks, and around the home EVERYONE is on the internet… apparently the world is now spending 4 hours per day average, socially online, (is that all?) you can’t tell me they are all on Google searching for companies numbers. No they are socially grazing, consuming articles, videos, blogs, photos, games information and news, that THEY want to read, entertaining themselves, educating themselves or trying to solve a problem they have… so how is getting to the top of Google going to help you anyway?
What the consumer wants (which is what Google want) is companies to create engaging, educational, or informative or fun content, that people “WANT” to read in their spare moments, easily accessible by mobile and desktop devices and easily shareable. THIS is what is being pushed higher and higher by the algorithms and what will drive traffic to your website, THIS is how websites and companies are getting found now and will more than likely be the only way in the future.
Unfortunately this means that there is no “quick fix” anymore, like get your cheque book out and pay a man to get you to the top of Google, the new style of marketing requires hard work through content creation, alongside a social network to get it out there, meaning a new attitude of sharing, educating and informing your client base to draw them to you.
Be warned, from someone who has probably spent 8 hours per day on social media for the last 3 years, it’s not that easy, one thing i can assure you though is that a 16 year old sitting in the corner of your office, CANNOT do this for you, it needs an experienced communicator, it will take them hours and hours of social media interactions mainly in the evenings and weekends too, just to make it more painful and this person will become the voice of your company so choose them wisely, they also need to have a good understanding of your business.Ultimately though sharing and caring within your client community is what will drive people to your website in the future and get you found.
I’ve been heavily involved in our social media and content strategy since 2010 and as a result now teach this to other agents and companies, I now have on average across all my websites 33% of all our traffic coming from social media, with one website achieving over 50% of its traffic from social, this is phenomenal. This means that people are finding us because they want to solve a particular problem, we give them the answer through our video, article, download or blog and as a result they now know about us and want to deal with us, it’s truly amazing.
I’m sorry but if you’re hoping to just pay someone for a quick fix forget it, i’m afraid Google is out to stop you. Start working on your online presence and content strategy URGENTLY or get left behind, CONTENT is the new SEO.
Sally Lawson is the CEO and Founder of Concentric Franchise and is also an industry educator, running courses on letting agency and modern marketing methods for property businesses, she can also be found speaking around the country on the subject of both property and social media to many different business industries countrywide.
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