Marketing expert provides tips for using social media to get your message out (and mistakes to avoid).
Web-based marketing platforms like Facebook and Twitter are crucial to reaching out to potential home buyers. Here, BUILDER talks with Woody Stoudemire, president of Hickory, N.C.-based X-Factor Web Marketing, about ways builders can maximize their social media outreach.
Why is social media important for home builders?
Home building is a visual business, so social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook are all good forums for showcasing homes inside and out. Use of social media also helps a home building firm come across as “progressive thinkers,” and it can offer a creative way to communicate a company’s culture and personality. Builders usually work within a 60-mile radius of their home base, which is perfect for reaching the local Facebook audience.
How are builders using it to attract buyers?
Great photography is essential to attracting buyers through social media sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz (a social media website dedicated entirely to builders, industry suppliers and homeowners). Builders are posting time-lapse construction videos on YouTube and corporate websites. Publishing testimonials on Facebook and LinkedIn also adds credibility to the company. In fact, a strong LinkedIn profile with testimonials and awards/accolades can make the difference when it comes to building leads and getting calls. Providing helpful tips for home buyers on a company blog, Facebook, and Twitter also help build consumer trust. Social media posts further enable homebuilders to reach potential buyers by spreading their message and reaching friends of friends.
What are the most popular platforms right now?
The most popular social media platforms include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Houzz, Google+ and YouTube; though not necessarily in this order.
How can builders best get their message out on social media?
1. Manage your reputation: If your company receives a negative review, it can’t be erased from the Internet. The only recourse is to encourage positive reviews and answer any negative comments politely.
2. If you are going to start any social media platforms, be sure to manage them at least weekly so they do not become stagnant and outdated.
3. Cross promote social media using your website, trade ads, email signatures and blogs.
4. Be authentic. Make sure your unique brand is communicated across all social media platforms.
5. Focus on visuals to appeal to women. Social media research finds that Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are most popular among the female demographic.
What are some social media mistakes you’ve seen over the years?
Common social media mistakes include misspellings on posts, which tend to convey “sloppiness” and ultimately, do not reflect positively on a builder; launching five or more social media platforms and then allowing them to languish; using photos that are bad quality, poorly lit or poorly Photoshopped; and not encouraging testimonials or positive reviews among happy clients.