11 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Social Media Marketing for Home Builders
Is social media pushing you out of your comfort zone? You're not alone. There are many industries that believe it's not worth it to market their services or product on social media, or that their audience does "shop" on social media.
The truth is, the benefits of social media marketing for home builders are far reaching. Every industry can develop a strategic plan to reach their intended audience. Home builders are no exception.
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Skip to the section you're most interested in:
- Determine Which Social Media Platforms Are Best For Home Builders
- Include Visuals in Your Marketing Strategy
- Utilize Facebook Advertising
- Become a Thought Leader in Your Local Market
- Use Social Media to Grow Your Email List
- Use Live Streaming to Your Advantage
- Get on Houzz
- Share the Home Building Experience From a Customer's POV
- Show a Lighter Side to Your Brand
- Host Contests
- Get Involved In Your Community
Keeping up with the changes in social media can be scary. To fully understand its potential you will have to put your fears aside. Once you're up and running, making adjustments will be quick and easy.
The ultimate goal is to build a recognizable brand and create an authentic following. Your loyal audience will drive your visibility and help you grow into an authoritative voice in the home building industry.
1. Determine Which Social Media Platforms Are Best For Home Builders
There are multiple social media platforms available to choose from. Your goal is to find the ones that will benefit your business the most.
As we previously mentioned in Part 2 of our Definitive Guide to Branding for Home Builders, [ link to Jan 15 post ] your main focus should be where the majority of your audience spends their time on social media - Facebook and Instagram.
These platforms are great for home builders because since Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, they have been working to have seamless integration with each other. This is especially true for advertising, where you can target your audience and generate leads on both social networks at the same time!
2. Include Visuals in Your Marketing Strategy
If images speak a thousand words, let yours tell the story of your business.
As a home builder, you have the perfect opportunity to showcase your product online and Instagram is THE place to be. Share new images often, with the mindset of creating a product catalogue so your audience can get a good feel of the models you build and the quality they can expect from you.
Hire a professional photographer to go through each of your showhomes so you have plenty of new pictures to post!
This doesn't mean you can't pull out your smartphone and capture special moments, too. Share team wins, community events, and any volunteer work you do as a company. This all helps in defining your brand and your followers can see what you stand for.
When someone is deciding on a builder for their new home, they will remember the socially conscious builder on their timeline who gives back to the community.
Use Video Too!
Take your visual story a step further by using video. Drone videos are a major asset to home builders. You can give your audience a virtual community tour in the comfort of their homes or let them see a proud new homeowner getting the keys!
Video has the capability to tell your audience everything they need to know about you. Consider posting a video series on YouTube, where you highlight the floor plans you offer. Videos on frequently-asked questions are good, too. Share your newest videos on Facebook and convert raw video into an optimal layout for posting to Instagram, too.
3. Utilize Facebook Advertising
Any great home builder should have an active Facebook Page where they post at least once a day. They are also promoting certain posts to help achieve their marketing goals.
Let's say you have a showhome grand opening coming up and created an event on your Facebook Page to tell your followers about it. The best way to increase its reach and have more people come to the event is by creating a Facebook ad.
You can create a custom audience based on gender, age, relationship status, and geographic location so the right people see it: those most likely to be in the area and who fit your buyer persona.
Facebook's advertising capabilities allow you to optimize for multiple actions. You can create ads for people to like your page, be directed to your website, start a conversion in Facebook Messenger, or even generate leads without users having to leave their news feed.
4. Become a Thought Leader in Your Local Market
Getting comfortable on social media has its benefits. As more people follow you and engage with the content you share, they will begin to see you as a reliable source in the home building industry.
Take advantage of the opportunity to do live streams (more on this in tip #6) where you share more detailed information about the new home build process. Engage viewers by doing Q & A's on mortgages types for new homes, down payments, the average timeline of a new build, or anything else your audience would benefit from knowing.
5. Use Social Media to Grow Your Email List
As you continue growing your social media presence and more people begin to like and share your content, ask them to subscribe to your newsletter.
Your social followers will benefit from a bi-weekly or monthly email with your latest content, promotions, and offers and your marketing funnel will too. You can reach more of your audience consistently this way and track movement from your social channels into your list, all the way to closed sales!
Subscribers want to feel special so reward them by giving them the inside scoop on announcements they won't find on your social media platforms. This could be anything from an extra clue on a contest you're running to an early entry deadline or an exclusive promotion available only to subscribers.
6. Use Live Streaming to Your Advantage
Live streaming has become a popular social media marketing tool for home builders. Facebook Live is a must if you want to increase engagement with your audience because it notifies all of your followers when you go live.
There is no secret formula when starting out, but you can benefit from a few best practices. Before you start a live stream, invest in a tripod or camera mount for the phone you use to keep the stream steady. Post content as frequently as you like, just be consistent so your audience knows when to expect you next.
One great video format home builders should focus on are Q & A sessions where you go to one of your show homes and invite the Sales Manager to help answer questions from the comment feed.
This is a great resource for people who follow you and want to get a quick answer about the home buying process. You can finish off each "episode" with a tour of the home to encourage watchers to come down and see it for themselves!
7. Get on Houzz
Houzz is a great online community for those in the home building industry. Here, you will find everyone from architects to interior designers to consumers looking to build a new home.
Create a profile and post images of your projects. Users can search for you by location, leave comments and rate your services.
It is also a great way to locate and network with a list of professionals that brings the home buying process full circle.
8. Share the Home Building Experience From a Customer's POV
There is no better social proof than a story of the home building process from the viewpoint of a customer. Ask one of your newest customers to allow you to chronicle their journey, from start to finish, on your social accounts. Once their possession day comes along, show your appreciation with an incentive like free landscaping or a shopping spree at a furniture store.
You can post images, and videos, include interviews with contractors and updates from the future homeowner. Get creative with it and have some fun! Authenticity goes a long way with brands and how others perceive them.
9. Show a Lighter Side to Your Brand
Your social media pages do not have to always be serious and full of business posts. Show a lighter side of you and your employees.
Post pictures of your staff sharing a laugh, share funny videos (try to keep them home related!) and give your best employees a shoutout for a job well done. Industry related memes and gifs are encouraged because people often scroll social media for a laugh and will appreciate a builder who shows off their fun side from time to time.
10. Host Contests
As a home builder, you're in a great position to offer some really cool contests that won't cost you a dime.
Go into partnership with reputable brands to create some amazing giveaways. Your contest prizes could range from free interior decorating consultations to new kitchen appliances or even an all-inclusive vacation.
Contests can be open to anyone or come with restrictions. If your goal is lead generation, a no-strings-attached contest is best because you will add much more people to your funnel and nurture them until they're ready to buy. The end result will be more sales in the future just by running a simple contest for a sweet prize that anyone can enter.
You can take it a step further and limit bigger prizes to those who buy in a new community you're building in as a way to promote more lot holds and pending contracts.
Stretch your contest over time; depending on the contest this can range from several weeks to months. This gives people time to share the information and tag their friends and family. Expand your reach by boosting posts about the contest.
11. Get Involved In Your Community
One of the greatest benefits of social media is letting others know about the things you do in your community.
Businesses that are involved in their communities are highly respected. You can support a specific cause you care about or choose to sponsor events by non-profits.
Don't be shy when it comes to posting about your community involvement! Not only does it show your business as a community partner, but it can introduce the causes you care about to a new audience.
Make sure when you sign on as an event sponsor, your social media pages are tagged in the event's social media promotions.
Will You Use These Awesome Social Media Marketing Strategies?
The benefits of social media marketing for home builders are endless. With the above tips in your arsenal, you are ready to take charge of your social channels and achieve the marketing goals you've set out for your team.
If you are looking for additional information on how to get the most out of social media marketing for home builders, please get in touch with us today!
Photo credits: depositphotos.com
About Casey Cleary
Casey is passionate about marketing and using his skills to plan, implement, and run social media campaigns. He also creates and promotes content and plans digital strategies. He loves split testing and tweaking programs for maximum conversions! Also... #GoOilers!