A few weeks ago we spoke to Chelsey Keenan, the Director of Digital Marketing at Group Two, a full-service advertising agency for home builders across the US. Chelsey manages the teams in social media, SEO, and SEM, so she knows what it takes for home builders to make real connections with buyers.
You may have seen Chelsey before – she’s a high-energy speaker who has appeared at The International Builders’ Show, Builder 20 group meetings, and NAHB AMC 2019, amongst others. With all this under her belt, it likely comes as no surprise that she was selected as one of Professional Builder’s 40 under 40 in 2020!
Since she’s one of the leading experts, we’re honored that she agreed to tell us what she thinks home builders need to be doing on social media in 2023 and beyond.
5 Top Tips on Social Media for Home Builders
1. Utilize Your OSC
Your OSC can be the face of your business and one of the major touchpoints for homebuyers at any stage in their customer journey. Your OSC should have access to your social media accounts so they can connect with homebuyers there. Buyers are reaching out on social media, and home builders are losing the lead because they aren’t lead nurturing there. Your OSC can ensure homebuyers contacting you on social media get prompt and accurate information.
2. Trust Your OSC
You need to trust your OSC to have free reign to talk to leads through social media and to post on your behalf. Often home builders (and businesses in any industry, for that matter) are reluctant to relinquish control and desire to carefully curate everything that gets posted online. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it can remove the humanity from our businesses which makes it difficult for homebuyers to connect with us.
You need to trust your OSC to post on behalf of your brand and present your brand accurately. You should also consider allowing them to post on their own account as their personal brand to share what you offer with their audience. You trust them to be the first touch point for your leads elsewhere, so why not on social media?
To help guide your OSC in their social media content creation and interaction Chelsea recommends setting guidelines around how your team members should interact with leads and curate content for your social media platforms. Your guidelines should be as strict as they are for interacting with people through email and phone calls. These guidelines should also be in accordance with your branding guidelines.
(Tip: if you don’t have brand guidelines for social media, here are a few things to include: Dos and Don’ts verbiage guidelines, what tone should be used and when, design templates, and share details about what apps and assets your team can use to create posts.)
3. Use the Right Channels
You need to think beyond what you’re posting on social media – think about where you can nurture a relationship with your audience and connect with leads. Make sure your OSC has access to direct messages on all platforms you use (such as Facebook messenger and Instagram direct messages) and to reply to comments on posts. Your OSC should be the person manning these channels and making that first contact.
Remember that the people commenting on your posts are at the very top of your funnel – the post they choose to comment on may be the very first thing they’ve seen from you, so this is a prime opportunity to make an outstanding first impression.
4. Don’t Forget to Connect with Realtors
When we talk about social media we often focus on our customers, but don’t forget about the other connections you can make online. Namely, make sure a part of your social media strategy addresses realtors. Realtors are active on social media so share a post regularly that is designed to create a relationship with them.
Don’t forget that they may be looking to connect with you in different places than your customers. Realtors are usually on Linkedin, so spend a little time there each week and make the content you post there sharable. When you or your OSC makes a good connection with a realtor, post about it. Show them off by posting a picture with them and tag them in the post. Not only will this make them feel appreciated, but it will show other realtors that you want to make meaningful connections with them.
5. Mix Up Your Posts
Posting on social media isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t feel like you’ve got a lot to shout about because it’s a quiet time for you. But don’t get stuck in a rut of planning all your posts at the beginning of the month with whatever you’ve got to hand, and then posting them without thought. Try to mix up your posts and think about what more you can share with your audience. Video posts are getting a lot more traction than static photos now, so have your OSC post a short video talking to camera a few times a week to connect with leads.
You can also share images of staged homes, whether that be a render or a real staged home. Don’t limit your feed to exteriors and progress updates.
Finally, don’t neglect the written portion of your posts. Use descriptive language that helps evoke emotion in the reader to help them connect with the home you’re showing. Ask questions to engage the reader and to start a conversation in the comments section.
As you can see, your OSC can ensure you utilize your social media platforms to the fullest, getting referrals, connecting with realtors, and building relationships with leads. With a social media strategy that focuses on connection over numbers and statistics, you can nurture leads and ensure your social media strategy drives your sales forward.