It wowed, surprised, and intrigued us. Facebook hit 1 billion users in one day, while Periscope brought live streaming to the forefront. One of the biggest boons for social media this year was Google making changes to show the importance of social posting. All good stuff.
So what are the big predictions for social media in 2016? I researched to see what the social media influencers are saying and found some interesting information. Everything from advertising (you should be if you’re not) to texting and virtual reality. If we learned anything about social media in the last several years, it’s that trying to get a firm hand on it is a bit like nailing jello to the wall. There is no exact science, no real playbook. After analyzing a lot of the experts predictions for next year I really think it comes down to only a few essential areas. Below is what I think real estate professionals should concentrate on to see the most benefit.
Social media marketing predictions 2016:
1 - Content is king of the world. Show off your crown.
Ok, this isn’t new information, but it’s still the single most important element of social media. Good quality content that is interesting has a wide appeal, and gets shared more. Period. And that’s the goal. So start with the best content you can muster. Present well written blogs, engaging Facebook posts, fun Vine video, intriguing pics on Instagram, etc. It is more important than ever to make sure your content is clearly targeted and fits your audience. If you still aren’t sure who that is, spend time with your analytics and figure it out, now.
While you are focussing on improving your blog content quality, you will also want to start shifting to longer content if you haven’t already. With LinkedIn publishing, and Facebook’s Instant Articles, you’ll have more places to put all that excellent info you are providing your customers.
If you can only do one thing in 2016, create better content. You will see improvement across all of your social media platforms.
2 - Video. Video. Video. Do it well and do it often.
Your customers (and prospects) pretty much expect it these days, and they are demanding higher quality, even from small businesses. 50% of users say that videos and images are more engaging as compared to simple text posts. If you’re showing up in their Facebook feed with autoplay video ads, you better make it something worth feeding on, or they will skip it. Concentrate on engaging, well-produced video. Don’t skimp on good lighting, sound, and quality. Audience standards are rising and they won’t stand for bad pictures, and slow loading, especially on mobile. And since most of us are living on mobile these days… Enough said.
Don’t limit yourself to property listing videos. Record engaging interviews with local influencers and share them across your social platforms. Why not schedule time to visit local influencers such as owners/managers of popular restaurants, art and music venues, sports arenas, etc. and video the interviews? It’s great exposure for the interviewee and will give a glimpse into an area where you’d like to promote your listings.
3 - Live streaming. How do multiply the social aspect of social media? You share captured moments instantly.
By being able to capture a moment and share it instantly, the social aspect of social media is multiplied. All of that funny stuff that happened at work that you used to write about? Now you can stream it live. Instead of submitting a question to a celeb on Reddit’s AMA (Ask Me Anything)You used to submit a question to a celeb via a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), you can now ask them in real-time via live streaming. Social media users are eating up these ‘in the moment’ content. They like that it’s more personal - less edited, authentic. The social platforms are loving it too. Users who don’t want to miss out on what’s going on are spending even more time on social media to take advantage of these live moments.
How do you incorporate this latest hot button of social media in your real estate business? How about live streaming your open houses? What if you sent an email to your customer base that you would be live streaming an open house for them to tune in to see if the house is in line with their requirements enough to warrant an in person visit? It could certainly stream-line their house hunting efforts. And it gives you a chance to answer questions in advance. It lets the homebuyer see raw, real footage of a home, rather than images that have been doctored. Remember what I said about authenticity in your content? You can’t more real than real time. Seems like live streaming is a no-brainer for out of town buyers too, don’t you think? Live streaming and in-the-moment content is only going to increase. Use this technology and offer something fun and creative with it.
It’s not quite a crystal ball, but the indicators and influencers have been pretty accurate in their predictions the last few years. Pay attention to some of these areas in your business and marketing and this time next year when you are doing your year end review, you’ll pat yourself on the back.