Negotiator 2013 Conference Seminar ‘Understand & Build Your Client Base Through #SocialMedia’

Many thanks to everyone who attended the seminar ‘Understand and build your client base through Social Media’ delivered by Christopher Walkey at the Negotiator Seminars and Expo 2013, Park Lane Hilton Hotel.

Really pleased that so many people booked tickets for this 30 minute quick fire burst of Estate Agency social media information for agents across the UK, I do hope that each of you found some of the points interesting and useful enough to help with your own social media accounts. As promised, here is a detailed summary of what I spoke about and top tips to keep close by when you next log in to social media.” Christopher Walkey.


How do I get more followers and likes on Social Media?

Follow and connect with others on social media, a percentage of them will return the favour.

Tap in to other peoples networks locally. Many businesses within your town/city will already be on social media so look at who is following them as they are likely to be local too – Start to connect with them, ie your target audience!

Update daily and use the three E’s – Entertaining, Educational and Engaging content.

People are more likely to follow active accounts, some people see an account that has been inactive for a couple of weeks as a ‘dead account’ and not worth following.

Be social – Share other people’s content especially if you feel the content will benefit your own followers.

Blogs – Make sure you write blogs which are then published on your agency website. People love blogs and on social media they are frequently shared and liked.

Have a complete and professional profile and use the same branding across each social media platform you use.


How can I become more influential on social media?

Think about ‘Building a Community’.

You need to lead on social media for people to ‘want to’ follow you back. Look to:

Create relevant groups across Linkedin & Facebook, ie ‘LifeStyle in Cambridge’ or ‘Property Prices in St Johns Wood’. This will gather a target audience which you can tap in to as the group grows.

Start Q&A hours on social media, invite local people to ask questions relating to the local property industry.

Create your own hashtags that are exclusive to you and themed within property.


What are HASHTAGS and why use them?

A Hashtag in front of a word makes in searchable. This will highlight the word (ideally a keyword) and which will then appear within searches outside your own network.

There are various hashtags you can join in with discussions such as hashtags for your town, ie #ColchesterHour or #DevonHour and these will engage local audiences / interactions.

Create your own hashtag, ie #PropertyNorwichHour where you invite people to discuss property.

#ZPP100 and #EAUK100 are bespoke leaderboards and create communities on social media by way of league tables.

Find out more at:

These leaderboards help to bring together a target community on social media, theythen  interact with your account, the league table sits on your website helping to build traffic, the hashtag becomes shared and referred to with potential of added PR outside social media.


What social media platform is best for my estate agency?

Twitter allows you to build a natural audience quickest.

Once traction is gained on Twitter, look to then share URL’s of your other social media platforms and push your following to each of them.

Remember that YouTube is a social media platform so if you use videos / property audio tours then look to place them on to YouTube as this will give you great SEO. Even if the house sales, correctly worded video listings such as ‘house for sale in birmingham’ will appear within Google searches.


When is the best time to be active on social media?

Update daily, show a consistent presence.

Remember evening and weekend updates too.

During property shows on TV as when they are airing social media chat on the programme will occur and some shows even use a hashtag for you to follow and comment on.

Follow hashtags which some will only run during set times each week, put a note in your diary for when your favourite hashtags are running.


What kind of updates perform better?

Shorter the update the better.

Compliment updates on social media with images and videos.

Use keywords on updates and once again, use hashtags when you can.

Tag in brand and celebrity names when applicable, you may just get a reTweet or mention from them.

Blogs – These get shared like wildfire especially if you get a name for writing in a particular style which gathers an audience.


Can I run competitions on social media?

Yes you can though make sure entries are local and as target as possible.

Remember, people always seeking freebies and competitions so stipulate that the winner has to collect the prize from your office and ask the winner if it’s OK to take a photo of the prize giving to share on social media / local press.

Use hashtags in competition posts / updates such as #GiveAway #Competition


How much time do I commit to social media?

As much as you can!

Recommend at least one hour per day for researching, posts, sharing and following.


I see adverts telling me I can buy followers and likes cheaply, should I?

NO! There are millions of fake accounts on social media.

Looks unprofessional to have fake accounts following you – Says to people you are desperate.

The fake accounts will spam your timeline.

Your ‘following’ numbers will fall as the fake accounts become deleted / suspended by Twitter, Facebook etc


How can I use my shopfront to increase my social media following?

Let people know that you are on social media by at least displaying the icons.

Contactless technology allows for window stickers with Twitter / Facebook etc to be simply touched by your mobile phone and that person is taken straight to your social media channel to follow. Use QR codes too.

Display competitions / giveaways and your hashtags in the window for local people to follow.


What do I do if I receive negative comments on social media?

Never delete negative comments.

Reply ASAP saying you will contact them to resolve the situation.

Give responses on social media and a conclusion to show that the complaint / negative comment has been resolved.

Check your agency name regulary on social media in case it is mentioned.


What shouldn’t I be doing on social media?

Ideally, stay clear of topics on religion, politics and football – Try not to enter debates outside of your full knowledge. OK to discuss local property prices, but not OK to discuss what should be happening in Syria.

If you think it is OK to talk football on social media via your agency account, if it is OK to state that you are a die hard certain ‘football team supporter’ then the next time you place an advert in your local newspaper with your latest property listings, or go for radio adverts then surely you will be happy to include your love of football on them too? Remember that on social media you are on full view of not only friends and businesses contacts, but the general public / potential customers.


Dangers of social media.

Who owns your social media accounts, what email addresses have they been set up with, what are the passwords?

Make sure if you have multiple members of staff with social media accounts on behalf of your company, make sure they are owned by you and not them incase they ever move across to another local estate agency and take their accounts with them!


Key Top Tips:

Know your target audience, when and where they are active on social media.

Update daily to include evenings and weekends.

Tell everyone you are on social media such as icons on your website / shop windows / business cards / email stationary etc.

Use hashtags and look to create your own hashtags. Follow existing hashtags such as #ColchesterHour etc.

Share content from others.

Write blogs, post them on to your website and share them on social media.

Create relevant groups on Linkedin and Facebook etc.

Use images and videos in your updates to increase chances of them being shared.

If you can, no footabll, politics or religious chats.

Keep an eye on who is discussing your agency on social media.

Have rules in your office for social media usage, especially ownership of accounts.

Study web analytics, see what results social media is bringing you, what posts and updates perform best and when.


Still confused or simply do not have enough time to run the Social Media within your Agency? Visit the website that has been created specifically with Estate and Letting Agents Social Media needs in mind РGrowthSocial:



Marketme is a leading small business to small business news, marketing advice and product review website. Supporting business across the UK with sponsored article submissions and promotions to a community of over 50,000 on Twitter.