So, has everyone been enjoying the fine summer weather we’ve been experiencing? Oh, wait…fear not, I will attempt to inject a bit of sunshine into your life with part four of Property Natter, focusing on the growing importance of content-sharing and having a presence on a wide number of social media platforms.
Before the internet became the all-conquering colossus that it is today – yes, young people, such a time did exist – people and businesses didn’t know what a website was and often wondered whether they needed one at all. Nowadays, of course, that seems ridiculous, but back then the internet was something to be wary and fearful of. No business worth its salt would be without a user-friendly, bright and glossy website in 2015, which shows how much things have changed since the mid to late 90s.
Once websites were eventually embraced, it then became all about getting them seen by the widest possible audience. SEO, the acronym for Search Engine Optimisation, became the in thing. Before, it might have been written off as mumbo-jumbo tech-speak, but it soon became one of the most potent weapons a business had in its locker. Getting your website on the first page of Google, Bing or Yahoo – Google in particular, given how staggeringly big it is – became like the Holy Grail.
Now, however, SEO on its own is no longer enough. SEO as it was is old hat; combining it with content marketing/sharing, however, is the new way forward.
As an estate agent you want to appear as much as possible if someone types your company into Google. You want it to take up most, if not all, of Page 1. You want traffic being driven to your website as much as possible. You want traffic being driven to your website as much as possible. Yes, I have repeated this on purpose, because it’s by far and away the most important thing for your agency.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely been an evolutionary process in the past and probably will be again. Given so much has happened in the last two decades, it’s natural that there has been resistance to anything new or innovative. As humans, we’re inherently scared of change. But just as the importance of websites and SEO/content sharing have been generally accepted by most people, now the next step is an acceptance of the social web.
Social media has exploded in the last ten or so years, driven by YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. There are now so many social media platforms, it’s hard to keep up. The unstoppable rise of smartphones, tablets and faster broadband also means people are sharing, posting, tweeting, uploading and streaming more than ever before.
The property industry is slowly but surely clocking onto the benefits offered by social media – delighted by the sudden ability to post photos, updates and relevant content at the click of a button. Facebook and Twitter aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so agents are now willing to explore the potential advantages these avenues offer.
Social media thrives off content – it would just be endless selfies and complaints about Jeremy Kyle if that wasn’t the case. PropertyFlock has seen a gap in the market – helping estate agents to get the best results from social media – and has pounced on it. With a simple but effective concept, PropertyFlock aims to get agents more leads and instructions by sharing branded content instantly.
The site has three main aims: the first, building social authority, means providing agents with access to valuable, engaging content. As a result, the agent's audience see them as a trusted source of knowledge and the go-to professional for any enquiry; secondly, providing in-depth analysis on an agent’s social media performance. This means an agency can fully understand its audience and how best to target content towards them (this is something many social media experts do, including Angels Media! See the pics for more info). And, thirdly, link branding – so, if you share a story from the Guardian or Estate Agent Today, PropertyFlock will make sure your name, brand and contact details are at the top of every website you share, ensuring a call to action (that favourite buzzword of marketing professionals the world over) is present at all times.
The idea behind all this is that the name and branding of your agency will get stuck in people’s minds. If they ever need to use an estate agent in future, they’re more likely to think of you. PropertyFlock helps to share your brand across the internet without the need for a shedload of content – you simply piggyback off other content, but keep your branding. Inspired, right?
As we all know, traffic, traffic, traffic is what every website is after. If you get more traffic to your website, you get more potential leads and instructions. Generating traffic from social media is all well and good, but only if it is subsequently 'converted'.
So, what you really want to be doing is this: driving traffic through the social web back to your website, then converting this traffic into new clients. We’ve got a tool for that which can guarantee you a five-fold increase in vendor and landlord leads, turning that all-important traffic into something tangible.
The internet is only going to get bigger and more important, so embracing new ideas and innovation seems a better idea than the resistance through fear approach.
Until next time…when hopefully the sun will have put its hat back on and I’ll be focusing on virtual reality! Are we there yet?
*Nat Daniels is the Chief Executive Officer of Angels Media, publishers of Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today