6 ways to stimulate social media engagement

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry

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Here’s an industry guide on how to structure your social media and content strategy for the real estate industry. In my experience, employing these tactics will help you to get the best outcomes, such as qualified sales leads and call-back requests.

1.   Plenty of visual and video content

This principle is really a no-brainer. It applies equally to all industries. Visual and (even better) video content are the clear winners for engaging with prospective buyers.

Research shows that 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%). And Tech giant Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.

The importance of great quality renders of the interiors and exteriors of the homes/buildings can’t be emphasised enough. This is the bedrock of any real estate social strategy. From these renders you can build stories about the new development that are future-focused and aspirational.

In terms of generating this high quality visual and video content – many real estate developers enlist the help of a creative design agency. Although your social media manager should able to generate this content themselves using affordable or free tools like Canva and HitFilm Express.

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry

2.   Updates on construction through timelapse footage 

Social media updates on construction will help to allay the concerns of prospective buyers. This is particularly important for buyers who have already made a deposit. These people need reassurance that the build is all going to plan and that they can move into their amazing new home on schedule. 

Social media is a way to showcase construction progress through the use of timelapse footage of buildings going up. Not only does it have a practical purpose of addressing buyers concerns, but it’s also a remarkably engaging piece of visual storytelling which can be used in a multitude of ways. A timelapse could be pitched as a part of a media kit to real estate media, used in the property or development ad, or used on social media.

Timelapses demonstrate the competency and care taken by the developers and all those involved in the construction process too. Failing the ability to obtain timelapse footage, the next best thing is still images. 

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry
An example of a Facebook post I created, containing a timelapse video and used in both a paid campaign, with the mainstream media and in organic Facebook posts.

3.   Don’t forget the middle of the sales funnel

Although a lot of time and effort goes into attracting prospective buyers, not as much effort goes into maintaining the communication once the customer is over the line and has put down a deposit. 

This is a mistake, because there is a huge opportunity that is missed. The interim period between putting down a deposit and the settlement date is a great time to nurture and grow the relationship between the developer and the buyer.

This is “middle of the funnel” time. It’s an opportunity to inform and entertain people about their new neighbourhood. You could provide future-focused content about the community in five or ten years time. This allows prospective buyers to get the complete picture of the economic, social and cultural landscape they will be experiencing once they move in.

You could use a private Facebook group or a segmented eDM for specific buyer profiles such as owner-occupiers or investors, or local versus foreign buyers. Then you can provide content relevant to this audience in a language they will respond to. This builds thought leadership for the brand, and generates a sense of anticipation from buyers about what’s to come. Also this tactic makes the audience feel valued and listened to. As they should, after all they’ve just committed to making possibly the biggest purchase of their life from your brand! 

4. Quizzes and Surveys

Traditionally, quizzes and surveys on social media are treated with disdain across the board. They are considered to be fluffy, silly and pointless. 

But the truth is that quizzes and surveys can yield some of the most valuable insights into the audience. This is the “top of the funnel”, awareness and consideration phase.

It’s important to note though that you mustn’t make the quiz overtly promotional. This is an exercise in giving people a fun exercise to do, while also providing them with information about your product along with other general information. It’s infotainment, but if it’s too promotional you won’t get any quiz completions – don’t treat people like they’re stupid! Assume they know as much as you do about marketing.  

An example of a good quiz:

For a new development showcasing luxurious apartments with over 50 apartment plans on offer, a social quiz could be about ‘What kind of apartment décor suits your personality?’. 

The quiz can match personality traits and behaviours to different kinds of interior design trends along with beautiful images. You could also talk about the different design options in your brand’s new development.  

There’s no scientific veracity to this kind of quiz; it’s purely for fun. But, as a result of the quiz answers you can find out the most popular design preferences for your audience, their motivations and desires, and their age, gender and other demographic information. 

At the end of the quiz you can include a lead form which when completed allows them to get a call back from your sales team about the properties (subtly) mentioned in the quiz. 

5. Embrace marketing automation

It’s possible through the almighty power of marketing automation to sync and organise all of your sales leads, email subscribers and social media followers into one CRM. This means that you can see a clear pathway through the sales funnel for each customer. 

This has the advantage of offering the ultimate in transparency across teams. Or, if you would like to keep it simple, you could set up automated zaps using Zapier. This will ping or trigger a certain action, once a certain marketing action is taken. This is relatively easy to set up and requires no coding experience. It can automate an enormous range of actions from Google’s products, many CRMs and payroll programs, social media, scheduling apps, you name it. 

Using bots to complete your marketing activities for you is highly effective. You can implement a bot as a chat pop-up on your landing page which will speak to visitors and segment them, without you having to lift a finger!

Bots nowadays can be made to sound human and natural and can be used on Facebook messenger and in your website chat for great results. It has gotten to the point now where it’s difficult for people to distinguish between a bot and a real person. 

6. Sync your media and social strategies

Sales leads through Facebook will peak when positive news coverage appears in the national news media. 

Make sure that your media strategy harnesses plenty of milestones and opportunities to get the message out there. The mainstream media still hold some clout in terms of building the reputation of your real estate brand. All positive news coverage should be shared on social media and reflected upon through the brand’s lens, in order to increase sales and engagement.

I hope you have found this guide to social media marketing helpful for your real estate business. If you would like a fresh perspective on your marketing, get a FREE CONTENT AUDIT today, give me a call on +61 3 9028 7745 or message me below


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Eight sassy design principles that underpin great web design projects

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Here are eight core fundamentals that tend to underpin website design and development work. Although take these with a grain of salt. Perhaps, if you’re in the mood, add some lemon and vodka which tends to add further creative fuel to design projects.

1. Be innovative

The best graphic design pushes the boundaries and involves critical thinking about approach and UI. It’s always a good idea to stay abreast of changes to industry standards and then know when to break the rules too.

2. Start with a problem

All design from graphic design to web design to industrial design, should take a problem and solve it. Think in terms of UX and the presentation of information. Make sure that the content on the site is useful to human visitors. And also useful to robots parsing the site. SEO and exceptional content are equally important to good design and should work hand in glove.

3. Be unobtrusive

Keep the design as simple, clean, unobtrusive as possible. Create systems and navigation that are transparent and simple to use. The best design doesn’t scream out for attention, but is subtly beautiful. It announces itself with a whisper and a murmur.

4. Understand aesthetics

Space and Grid: Information on websites should be ordered in a logical way for the eyes of visitors. Work the white space really carefully.

Typography: Keep it tight with only three different types in a maximum of six sizes used throughout the site.

Colour Choices: Keep in mind colour choice, along with integration of an overall brand identity. There’s an intricate psychology to colour choice in design. It’s important to be aware of that.

5. Keep the end goal in mind

Don’t obfuscate the website or design by adding too many elements. Have one call to action. Then neatly and simply guide the user towards this through the design.

6. Design for a long shelf life

Great web design and graphic design employs classic design principles and isn’t faddish or fashionable. You should use a flexible template that can be changed or modified with new content, images and other small modular iterations. It should be mobile-first and driven by the user experience, rather than pushing an obvious agenda. Future-proofed design looks beautiful on all devices. It uses HTML and CSS that’s easy to read and change as required.

7. Build integrity

The purpose of design is to be open, honest and provide everything that a user needs. A great user experience provides all of the sign posts, guidance and help that is required for the user to achieve clearly defined conversion goals on the website. The purpose of design isn’t just about creating the ‘wow’ factor. It’s also practical and helps visitors to reach a specific goal (or conversion) or to gain a deeper understanding into a subject.

8. Aim to fail fast, and pick yourself up

In order to completely capitalise on your skills, you need to fail fast and early on. Sounds rather counter-intuitive but it’s really not.

James Dyson of the bagless vacuuming empire failed with his prototype vacuum 5,127 times before perfecting his bagless model. Through an iterative process of trial and error he eventually made it. This required some grit, perseverance, determination on his part. In order to succeed, one needs to fail over and over again.

Agile Project Management 101 teaches us that failing fast and early on is a low-risk strategy. This means a project may be more likely to ‘break on through to the other side’ and succeed.


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Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

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There’s not much involved in writing 150-160 character sentences for metadescriptions, right?  Well actually these descriptions appearing in search engine result pages (SERPS) are critical for engaging with potential site visitors. So here are some tips on crafting compelling and engaging 150 to 160 character selling points.

1. Write for Users First

In order to dominate search engine rankings, it’s crucial to write for the user first and the search engine second. So that means no badly formed sentences of tautologies, including multiple keywords crammed uncomfortably into the short sentences.

It’s also important to keep that human element to your metadescriptions. Try injecting some personality or localised phrases into the wording, however steer clear of using jargon or cliches.

Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

2. Inject Some Personality Into It

People are less likely to respond to ”Game of Thrones. DVD and merchandise here. Game of Thrones Merch. Visit us”.  However, they could be likely to engage with ”Game of Thrones: Summer is over, winter is coming. Game of Thrones Sale On Now.”

Write in a personalised way as though speaking to a friend, in a warm and welcoming tone. It’s like holding up a sign in the airport arrivals lounge, smiling at everybody’s approach saying ”Here I am, this way Mr. Jones…Mrs. Smith, etc.”

3. Stick to the Value Proposition

Write from the users’ perspective. This means articulating your offer in a way that answers the question: ”What’s in it for me?”.  When you position the metadescription in this way, the results will be immediately positive. If you’re stuck for words, take the time to evaluate competitors’ metadescriptions.  Then try to create a more punchy and powerful value proposition.

Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

4. Keep it Short and Simple

Keep the metadescription to a limit of 150 to 160 characters. This can be really challenging, particularly for complex web pages that require more explanation. Although it’s an absolute necessity, otherwise the SERP will cut off the description mid-sentence. This tends to obfuscate the meaning and rarely encourages visitors to click through to the web page.

5. Use a Strong Call to Action

It’s important to use a call to action in the metadescription. There should be a clear purpose to the ad and a reason to click on the ad. So isolate this reason and think about the benefit of the offer to your potential visitor. Then ask for their cooperation. It’s amazing how actually asking and requesting an action from a user gets better results. A short call to action at the end of a metadescription can really boost click-through rates.

6. Bring in the Big Guns

If your business has some big names, brands, certifications or celebrity endorsements behind it, then add this into your metadescription. This may be difficult in the allotted 150-160 characters, but if you’re clever enough, by all means do it!

Metadescriptions are the bread and butter of search engine optimisation. They combine the best of both worlds, SEO and copywriting. With these tips on writing excellent metadescriptions you will be on your way to high volume click-throughs in no time.


Did you enjoy this brief foray into the weird and wonderful world of metadescription writing? Then pull up a pew and talk to me. I would love to help you with your marketing. Straight off the bat I can offer you a FREE CONTENT AUDIT of your existing marketing assets. Let me at it!

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Push your social media to work harder, better, stronger over the holidays

Push your social media to work harder, better, stronger over the holidays

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The lead up to Christmas and the holidays is the biggest time of year for retailers. This is prime time to use social media marketing to gain new customers and brand advocates. Social content is a vital part of the overall marketing mix. To help you to make the most of the busy period, have a read of the following tips.

1. Build genuine trust with your audience

During the silly season, you could noisily tout your wares like a old lady brandishing fish in a village market. Or you could use your social media to listen to the chatter and conversations about your brand. Then respond and attempt to create a personalised, generous and positive interaction.

Unlike other forms of marketing, social media is a two-way dialogue with evenly distributed power dynamics. It’s all well and good to blatantly sell on social media, but if the storytelling around your offer is non-existent, then your posts won’t resonate with your target audience.  

​ 2. Plan, plan and then plan some more

In order to win market share, it’s a great idea to start planning early. The earlier you begin planning, even as early as July or August, the more your business stands to gain out of the holiday period.

When you start early, it’s easier to avoid getting bogged down with BAU  operational needs. Instead you should focus with laser-sharp  awareness on long-term strategic marketing goals. Also social advertising and search marketing gets expensive in December. So filling the top of the funnel in July makes more sense!

​ 3. Don’t be afraid to get creative

The more creative and edgier your holiday season offerings are, the more likely your business will be to stand out, in a crowded room of competitors all tooting their own horns.

4. Don’t forget brand storytelling

In amongst all the excitement (and pressure) of having to make yearly sales targets for the year, it’s possible to lose sight of the long-game of growing and nurturing brand advocates and fans. The holiday season isn’t just for selling stuff. It’s about building loyal customers who continue to come back time and time again.

5. Remarketing is important

Remarketing strategies through social media and PPC are going to attract huge returns during this time. In other words, the more frequently a relevant target audience sees your message, the more likely they will be to buy from your business. So make sure you wow them in your ads, so that they remember your brand.

​ 6. Combine social with search

Search marketing is where you can really see some sales conversions. So be sure to change up your keyword strategy so that it’s relevant for the holidays. Also you should adjust your social strategy so that it’s relevant.

7. Social ads are a must

Even if your social strategy only goes so far as organic posts, it’s always a good idea to initiate a paid campaign over the holidays. This is when the majority of shoppers will be primed and ready to purchase. Sweta Patel of Silicon Valley Start-Up Marketing found that social conversions can increase from 0.6% to almost 20% from social ads alone.

Christmas online is akin to a fluorescent nightscape in Tokyo…its LOUD!

8. Up the ante with your ads

Your ads need to be memorable. To do that they must stand out and be compelling for prospective customers. Split test a broad variety of ad copy and artwork combinations, to find that magnificent combo that your audience resonates with.

9. Think broader than social media for your overall marketing

Social media platforms will be thoroughly saturated over the holiday period. So in your holiday marketing strategy, be sure to integrate unexpected guerilla marketing campaigns, and competitions to spice things up.

10. Consider Facebook groups for people with specific interests in your business.

After all, people prefer to purchase from an individual and not a company. They would like to engage in a two-way dialogue with an individual who can help them, not a nameless social account. Any sort of selling in this group needs to be incredibly laid-back and a subtle for it to be effective. The primary goal here is to resolve challenges that people face by offering solutions.

11. Email marketing and social combined are a cash-cow

Gift card offerings, competitions and last minute offers to email subscribers and via social are going to be highly effective for revenue growth. Start testing and retargeting your ad groups as soon as possible, to get the most out of that opportunity.

12. Scarcity works

Create limited time offers and limited stock offers to generate FOMO with your target audience. Create a limited number of coupons or exclusive offers that are only available until a certain date.

13. Visit and engage with people in niche online communities

Are you selling rental furniture to a young Uni crowd? Then visit the forums of a subreddit and post valuable information there. Avoid any kind of sales approach and instead aim to be solutions-oriented. Take a personalised approach to resolving challenges.

“We’ll just hold up these empty signs and smile…hopefully nobody will suspect anything”

I hope that this guide to surviving the silly season helps you to seize the opportunities of email marketing, copywriting and content marketing. Get in touch with me today to see how we can blow the cobwebs out of your content marketing strategy!  


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