Social media has grown substantially in more ways than one. What began to balloon in the mid 2000s as a free way for brands to promote themselves, has become a circle of revenue driven corporations that no builder, brand or organization can afford to ignore in their marketing strategies. Not convinced? Well, in 2014 alone, 1.5 million businesses combined spent (a total of) $2.66 billion on Facebook advertising. That number is actually an increase over 2013.
In its infancy stage, brands seemed to struggle with the various platforms. Social media appeared to level the playing field in terms of marketing, making the sole barrier to entry a PC, Mac or smartphone – and many brands attempted to participate by simply existing. Then the platforms (most notably Facebook) did something drastic. They began to throttle engagement and impressions, forcing brands to pay in order to reach a larger audience. What this shift to pay-to-play models has done, beyond creating ways for these platforms to sustain themselves and grow, is put the power back into the hands of professionals and force more creative uses of the platforms. Marketers and brand champions must now understand the financial implications of haphazard campaigns, and strive to use their clients’ budgets to achieve more concrete ROI.
Some great examples are Facebook Ads and, more recently, Pinterest’s promoted pins. Both platforms seem to understand that their users aren’t overly excited about being advertised to, and thus have implemented restrictions upon advertisers that require them to bring creative, personal and engaging content to the table – or face failure. Restrictions include the use of sales heavy messaging and copy heavy images. The result is an attempt to create authentic relationships through the use of great imagery/copywriting and personal connections.
Within the real estate industry, this concept of creating authentic relations seems like a no-brainer. The use of targeted advertising to potential homebuyers on a platform like Facebook, where 829 million users spend an average of 40 minutes a day, can result in not only registrations, but also referrals. It’s a unique opportunity for users to engage and share one of the most exciting times of their lives with you – and everyone else (including their friends/family) can watch it unfold.
Your strategy and approach to advertising should be tailored to the specific network you choose to use, whether it’s the use of YouTube pre-roll ads, Twitter sponsored tweets or even promoted LinkedIn posts – but there is definitely a platform that is right for your specific campaign. Ignoring these platforms, unfortunately, is no longer an option.