Millennials and Gen Zers have grown up with the internet at their fingertips from an early age, if not from the time they could put fingers to keyboard. Effective marketing to these generations requires thinking like someone who has always known Google knows best – and that means you’re marketing to a generation who will turn to the internet before they turn to friends and family for advice.
These tech-savvy new home buyers will thoroughly research a purchase online before they make it, whether it’s a purchase they make online or in person. They don’t just want to weigh up the pros and cons of their purchase, they want to know that you’re a reliable and honest company to work with and they’ll look for past customer experiences on review sites, your site, and of course, social media.
Buying a new home is not something people choose to do lightly, especially if it’s their first or second home. They aren’t just looking to connect with companies with a strong online presence, they’re looking for authenticity. Here’s why developing an authentic social media presence matters:
4 Reasons Why Having an Authentic Social Media Presence Matters
- Avoid, Control, and Negate Negative Feedback
Social media platforms can be an intimidating place for businesses – you’ll often feel like you’re shouting into the void and when you finally start getting feedback and interaction with past, present, and future customers, it’s not always positive. Online negative feedback can be harsh and dramatic, even if you weren’t aware that someone was unhappy beforehand, and so it’s important to handle any feedback (good or bad) as if you were standing in front of that person.
When you deal with negative feedback with authenticity, you’re able to disarm aggressive “keyboard warriors”, publicly put situations right, and show potential customers how you deal with conflict. A customer will always be happy to see a customer with 100% positive reviews, but seeing the way you handle a negative situation with finesse will win you a customer’s trust and loyalty even faster.
- It Helps You Keep Your Marketing Budget-Friendly
Organic reach is becoming increasingly difficult on social media platforms as they become pay-to-play. With the 3 biggest builders spending around $80M a year on marketing, trying to compete through brand awareness and advertising alone isn’t an option. You need to show those who see any of your content (whether it be a social media post or an advert) that you’re authentic and trustworthy so they want to find out more about you and what you’re doing. Authenticity helps buyers connect with your brand and increase your ROI on your marketing dollars.
- It Helps You Build Social Proof
As we discussed at the start of this article, there’s nothing more important to millennials and Gen Zers than social proof. Not only has social media made it almost impossible for careless companies to continue to make money, but it also gives you as a company ample opportunity to have your best customers sing your praises where it matters most. Remember that these generations aren’t just going to go to your profile to find out more about buying a home from you, they’ll search for hashtags and locations to find posts by other customers who have already bought from you. When you interact with these posts in a genuine way, you’ll show potential customers your authenticity.
- It Helps Buyers Feel Good About Their Choices
Millennials and Gen Zers don’t just want to feel good about a deal they got, they feel more social responsibility than any generation before them. They’re more aware of the impact their actions and financial decisions make on the world and society as a whole, and they want to feel like they’ve made a good decision by supporting an authentic company. Brands that break down the wall and allow customers to see the inner workings of their company and the voices and/or faces behind the brand win the hearts of customers. They know they’re supporting real people, and that helps them feel good about buying from you.
How Do You Show Authenticity on Social Media?
Now you know why it’s so important to build an authentic social media presence, you’re likely wondering about the how. Here are some values and guidelines to keep in mind:
- Don’t try to be something you aren’t – what you show on social media has to be as close to reality as possible.
- Be honest and don’t be afraid to share when something doesn’t go to plan. When you can, also share how you plan to get things back on track.
- Stay aligned to your brand values, don’t try to jump on trends or emulate what your competitors are doing. Part of being authentic is being true to yourself as a brand.
- Don’t just put it on for show – continue to be authentic in private messages and other private interactions with customers through social media. They may tell others about their experience and if it doesn’t match what you’re putting out there, they’ll know something isn’t quite right.
- Have a team member (or a few) who is responsible for your social media accounts and can connect with customers with a consistent tone and manner. An OSC (Online Sales Concierge) can be a key part of this team, connecting with buyers one-on-one and maintaining an authentic voice for your company.
Developing an authentic social media presence will become second nature to you and your team, but it often takes some effort and getting uncomfortable (being authentic can be scary!) before it does. An OSC can be a key driver behind developing this authenticity and maintaining it throughout the customer journey, and we’ll explore all the ways an OSC can help maintain your brand’s authenticity on social media in our next article.