Why your audience is your most valuable asset, and how to look after it
I posted this picture on Twitter the other evening.
It opened up a bit of a debate.
Some agents insisted that it works for them, generating enquiries and viewings. Others, including Julian O’Dell, estate agent and fellow trainer agreed with me: “We have never tweeted our properties and never will”.
I have a question for you – what are you trying to achieve?
When you advertise in the local paper (if you do), your objective is clear: you want to attract more vendors. When you canvas an area with ‘Sold in Your Street’ cards, it’s because your goal is to generate more valuations. Stock is worryingly low in most parts of the country right now and most agents are spending a huge amount of time on trying to simply get more quality properties on their books.
When you’re on social network sites, it’s easy for you to lose sight of your objective. Perhaps because you’re searching around for something to post, and all too tempting to reach for your properties as an easy form of content. But is it what vendors want to see and read?
One agent asked me, “What harm can it do?”
Quite a lot, actually. You see, your audience is the most valuable asset you have. I would argue that you are abusing your audience by broadcasting a message that is all about you – not them.
So what does a vendor want to see when they come to your social channels? Lots! Tips and advice about selling and moving; local information about your local area; lifestyle information – Northfields is great at this – take a look at their Twitter account here and you’ll see what I mean. Here’s one of their latest tweets:
Guess who they are trying to attract?
Another agent argued, “Even Tesco tweet sales stuff”. Actually, they don’t. They tweet really engaging, funny, informative stuff about eating, living and well – anything really. Check out their Twitter stream here.
Here’s a good example of a tweet that worked for them.
Another brand you could be forgiven for thinking tweets sales messages all the time, is Everest Double Glazing. Whilst their Twitter account isn’t great – certainly not up to Tesco’s standards – they also tweet lifestyle tips and information, like “With summer just around the corner, take a look at our top tips to get your patios spruced up for the season”, and “What’s the weirdest energy saving tip you’ve ever heard? Read these 5 energy myths”. Not bad for a rookie account.
Tesco never tweet, “Come on in and buy our bread”, or “Oranges are buy one, get one free today”. Everest don’t post an update on Facebook saying, “Our double glazing is half price this month”. Because if they did, they know that they risk losing some of their precious audience. And you’ll never see on the Northfields’ account tweets like these:
If I add up my social audience across all the platforms I use, it tots up to a total reach of around 17,000. That’s 17,000 people who have decided that my posts and messages are worth reading. If I want this figure to continue to rise, all I have to do is keep posting relevant and engaging content. The first time I tweet “Buy my product for just £50”, my audience may forgive me. If I persist in bombarding their newsfeeds with sales messages however, they will leave in droves, off in search of a more relevant social account that values their attention.
I want my audience to stick around for the long term. I’m leveraging the technology that’s been made available to me via social media to build deeper and more meaningful relationships with my followers. It’s just not worth a potential sale or two to risk losing any of my audience. It’s too great a sacrifice. I’ve paid for my audience, in time and effort, over several years, making sure that each post and update is worthy of them. Of course, some rubbish sneaks in from time to time; I’m only human. But never a sales tweet. I want to make sure my audience knows how important they are to me, by only sharing with them stuff that is relevant, useful and entertaining to them.
Jeffrey Rohrs has just written what is probably the best book around on the subject of valuing your audience – Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers
Who better to leave the last word on this blogpost to?
“Attention is the precious natural resource that all companies are struggling to acquire and retain.”
Thanks Jeff for inspiring this post.
Let the comments begin…….
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