You’ve probably already started planning out your social media strategy for the year and thought about ways you can compete with other title companies with a larger marketing budget. Many title companies don’t have a dedicated marketing team, so it can be difficult to focus on the best ways to promote your business when it falls on the closing team, who is busy juggling other responsibilities. In fact, more than half of our 2022 State of the Title Industry survey respondents responded that they do not have a dedicated marketing team.
Anyone can get started with curating content, but sometimes the strategies aren’t well executed, and mastering it as a company is anything but simple. Unfortunately, many companies apply bad practices when it comes to social media.
We’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you plan out your social media strategy for the new year.
SETTING IT UP RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING
👍 Do: Use a business profile instead of a personal profile
❌ Don’t: Don’t set up accounts under personal emails
Social media management is a huge time investment, so take some time to set up accounts correctly, so you don’t lose access to important company pages. If you’re appointing an employee to be your company’s social media manager, make sure they are added to the Company Page accounts as individual contributors and that a company email you control is being used to sign up, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t set up these accounts for easy access and control in the beginning, it’ll be extremely difficult to change ownership later should the employee leave your company in the future.
Picking and Choosing Platforms
Any sized business needs to determine what its objectives are for having social media channels and then determine which platforms make sense to achieve those goals. Social media as a whole is not one-size-fits-all. You want to make sure you are creating content for the right audience. LinkedIn, for example, is a great platform for title agents.
Simple steps to begin:
- Define your marketing objectives
- Identify the best social media platforms for your goals
- Launch your profiles (or update current ones)
- Keep your accounts updated frequently
Setting up your Company Profile
👍 Do: Utilize Call-to-Action buttons
❌ Don’t: Don’t leave your company profile unfinished
It pains me to see company profiles with no logo image, no bio information, and no website link. This is a huge missed opportunity for people interested in learning more about your business. Be sure to utilize the Call-to-Action buttons that you can add to your company profile. These include:
- Visit Website
- Contact us
- Learn more
- Sign up
If you’re focused on brand awareness, for example, the “Visit Website” or “Learn more” is a good option. If you’re looking to increase leads, the “Sign up” or “Register” is well suited for that goal.
Don’t forget that you can also add CTAs to your website and email newsletters, encouraging people to like and follow you on various social media platforms to help grow your audience of engaged users.
Content Management Systems, like WordPress, have lots of plugin options to create and style these social media sharing CTAs. Marketing tools like Mailchimp also let you easily add these to your emails.
Once your accounts and profiles are up and running, it might seem smooth sailing from there, but it requires a lot of continued effort. Your company should engage, inform, and relate with your audience, but many struggle with creating and finding the right content mix to keep the conversation going. Keep it simple in the beginning.
Engaging with Your Audience
👍 Do: Respond to comments
❌ Don’t: Pay for likes
Engaging with your customers and partners is an important part of maintaining current relationships with real estate agents as well as procuring new homebuyers as customers. While many homebuyers defer to their real estate agent to decide which title company to work for, an effective social media presence helps a title company connect and build trust with the real estate agent and, ultimately, the homebuyer.
Engagement needs to be natural, not robotic. Companies shouldn’t be afraid to have fun with your social media accounts. We’re all humans at the end of the day, and the more natural your engagement is, the better response you’ll have from your followers. Title businesses work with various people and businesses, so staying engaged with a wide-ranging audience can be a challenge, but it should be a priority nonetheless. It allows a company to gain new followers and create a sense of loyalty among them so that they keep coming back for more.
In the world of social media, there is a multitude of actions that you can take as an account manager. For most of them, liking other account’s posts, sharing your own posts, and utilizing hashtags are part of the features. Make sure you’re responding to comments, interacting with relevant hashtags, liking and commenting on posts for accounts you do and don’t follow. All of these efforts make your brand appear more human and approachable to consumers and other businesses.
Paying for Likes and Followers – Good or Bad?
Here’s the deal with likes. It may seem like a good strategy at first to get more likes because that means you’ll have more people viewing your posts and more people viewing means more reach, right? That’s not always the case. Facebook’s algorithm is always changing but initially shows your posts to about 1-2% of your audience. If it gets a good response from that segment, Facebook shares it with more people. If not, they don’t continue to show the post to people, even the ones who “like” you.
It’s more valuable to have 1,000 highly engaged users than 100,000 dormant followers. So, instead of buying likes, focus on creating engaging content that your followers will want to comment on and share. Remember, your goal is to gain leads and authority in the industry.
Other successful methods for increased engagement include:
- Posting surveys to attract responses about a relevant topic
- Being a storyteller and attempting to trigger emotion from your audience
- Don’t be afraid to use memes for a touch of humor
- Ask questions to your audience to elicit responses
The “social” in social media
Don’t make it all about you. Make sure your company encourages employee and client engagement. Re-share your clients’ posts that mention. Respond to comments, and continue the conversation by asking a question.
If you have the resources, consider creating a group on LinkedIn or Facebook dedicated to discussing topics that your audience cares about. At the very least, be sure that someone is dedicated to monitoring your accounts on a daily basis.
👍 Do: Utilize social media management tools
❌ Don’t: Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many platforms
As you can tell, managing social media accounts requires a full breadth of approaches. Due to this, it’s better to focus your efforts on 2-3 platforms instead of trying to manage 6 at once. Keeping your actions and audience engaged on 1-2 platforms is much better than confusing them on a variety of platforms.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Make use of marketing campaign management tools too. Having technology work for you through tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Sprout Social is the way to go. Companies often jump onto social media without a proper management plan in place and they are unable to maintain those channels the way they need to.
Knowing How Often to Post
👍 Do: Strike a balance with your audience
❌ Don’t: Clog up people’s feeds by being an “over-poster”
The exact formula for how often to post is a bit of a mystery, but the typical guidelines for each platform are:
- Facebook: 1-2 times a day
- Twitter: Multiple times a day but try to keep it under 3-5 times a day
- LinkedIn: Roughly once every business day, or five times a week
- Instagram: 1-2 times a day, or more if using Stories
Remember that these are suggestions based on other company’s efforts and results, so striking the right balance with your specific audience will take some testing. It also depends, again, on your goal for each platform. If you want to drive engagement directly with you on the page, posting twice a day makes sense. If you’re more concerned with driving people to your website, take the time to craft one great message with a strong call to action once a day or maybe even as little as 3 times a week.
Experiment with frequency and time of day to get the right balance for your audience. The most important thing is that you don’t clog up people’s feeds by being an “over-poster.”
Use a social media scheduler like Buffer or Hootsuite to create and manage your posts and better manage the time you spend on social media strategy.
Lead generation strategy
👍 Do: Measure conversions
❌ Don’t: Forget to add Call-to-Actions
Social media provides a great opportunity to capture new leads to turn into customers. While it may take longer to close a deal for a B2B company, social media, is a powerful and sustainable lead generator.
Regardless of the content type, each post should have a clear next step or call to action that aligns with the goal of that post. An example would be to add links to relevant blog articles posted on your website to drive traffic and brand awareness. If you’re launching a new blog post as a resource, make sure to build suspense for the release date and that your audience is prepared to read it. You can also recycle some of the content from the long-form copy in your social post captions to give your followers a taste of what’s to come.
In order to take full advantage of retargeting the people who come to your website, be sure to install the Meta Pixel and the LinkedIn Insight Tag. These snippets of code are added to your website to help you measure conversions, create custom audiences, and improve your return on investment.
👍 Do: Review what works and doesn’t work with your audience
❌ Don’t: Rely on vanity metrics
You won’t know the success of your social media strategy unless you take the time to look back at the data. Reviewing what works and doesn’t work with your audience will help you make better content in the future.
Some important key performance indicators to track include:
- Audience growth
- Post reach
- Post engagement and interaction (likes, link clicks, comments, and shares)
- Lead generation and conversions (i.e. landing on your website or downloading a content offer)
There are a lot of vanity metrics that can distract from your most important metrics. Vanity metrics are metrics that make you look good to others but do not help you understand your own performance in a way that informs future strategies. What matters most are interactions and conversions.
Type of Content
👍 Do: Strike a balance between quality and quantity
❌ Don’t: Post content just to post content
Knowing what to post depends on the following:
- The platform
- Your audience
- Your company’s brand
The content type you share will first be determined by the platform.
- Instagram is highly visual
- LinkedIn is filled with business professionals
- Facebook is more laid back,
- Twitter is filled with rapid-fire news updates
There are new platforms, like TikTok, popping up every day with slightly different twists on these formats.
Leave Out Boring Content
Boring or repetitive content is one of the social media mistakes your title or real estate company should avoid. Your audience should be at the center of the content you create and post, so you want to provide as much value as possible. The majority of the content posted should reflect what matters to your clients and how you can help them. Also, be sure to research any hashtags you use to avoid any awkward associations.
If you’re not sure where to get started, LinkedIn has a content suggestion feature based on your industry, audience, location, and more.
You want to find a balance between promoting your business and selling your solutions with helpful and entertaining content tailored to your audience.
Creating a Good Content Mix
Like a well-balanced meal, there should be a variety of content that is created for your website and social media pages. Each has a different purpose.
Light-hearted jabs at professional pain points are great ways to engage and delight your audience. TikTok and Reels are great platforms to do this on.
But this should be treated like sugar, too much humor can start to get old, and your audience may have important questions about real estate they expect you to answer. This is why you’ll want to sprinkle on the fun sparingly and be sure to add heartier portions of other types of content that inspire, inform, and demonstrate your industry knowledge.
Inspiration can take many forms. While quotes from industry experts are great for engagement, they are commonplace. Instead, stand out with video. You can get started with just your iPhone and post it to LinkedIn. It doesn’t have to be a high production. What matters most is understanding your audience and creating content that resonates with them.
To inform or educate
Sharing industry knowledge, news, and resources should make up the majority of the content you create and share. Fortunately, it’s also some of the easiest to come by since there are a plethora of title and real estate industry publications and organizations putting out content you can curate for your social media feeds.
However, if you have the bandwidth, creating your own content will help build your authority and trust among your audience. Whether you create your own content or share content from others, focus on consistency and purpose.
There are lots of different types of content that you can share, including (but not limited to):
- Articles or blog posts
- Thought leadership
- Industry news
- Downloadable guides
Sharing others’ content
👍 Do: Give credit where credit is due
❌ Don’t: Don’t steal images
Most companies appreciate when their content is shared but there can be some serious financial pains if not shared correctly. Every day, companies are being fined for using images that aren’t theirs and the fines are hefty. You can either use your own images or invest in something like stock images.
Stock photo websites contain libraries of images that can be used without needing to request permission or give credit to the artist. Users can browse the image libraries and then license and download images for use. Many stock photo websites also offer free and royalty-free images to download without a license for commercial purposes.
Some examples include:
- Getty Images
It’s exciting to see businesses take the time to work on social media marketing, but growing an audience and generating leads from these platforms takes time and effort. If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated marketing team or person, share these tips with them. There is no magic bullet for success; it takes time to build your authority and trust with your audience.