Lead Generation vs. Engagement in Social Media

Lead generation and engagement are both desirable and measurable. Agents need to understand which tools work best to achieve each of these objectives. Social media channels are necessary in order to connect with potential clients but agents needs to know what results to expect for different kinds of efforts.

Learn more about lead generation and social media engagement, and why agents need a mixed marketing plan to take advantage of authentic connections and attract new leads.

What Is Engagement?

What is Engagement on Social Media?Social media engagement is relatively simple to explain. On social media, engagement is a response from someone looking at a piece of content. There are positive and negative forms of social media engagement.

Positive engagement comes in the form of:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares

Negative engagement is shown as:

  • Hiding Content
  • Unfollowing Pages
  • Blocking Pages

Simply put, engagement is the way in which an audience interacts with a brand’s online content. While positive engagement is more easily seen, being aware of negative engagement is crucial to brand success on social media.

What Is Lead Generation?

Agents need to decide on which metrics to use in order to measure real estate lead generation. Avoid “vanity metrics” in favor of KPIs like conversion rate, social traffic and shares or “mentions”. These KPIs demonstrate various levels of engagement with people responding to content.

What is Lead Generation?Lead generation, or getting individuals to notice organic or paid content and inquire for additional information, is not easy to achieve on social media platforms. More competition makes for increased noise and it makes it harder for agents and businesses to get noticed. Organic reach is particularly difficult lately. However, assessing the content that does perform well with an audience can help when it comes time to create “native ads” or offer attractive offers and downloadable material as part of an ad. Use of analytics and targeting options available on selected social networks to structure advertising campaigns and gain new leads.

Why Active Lead Generation on Social Media Is No Longer Effective

Social media is no longer a tool for active real estate lead generation. The primary reasons to use social media is to strengthen a brand and foster engagement. Agents can provide answers to questions and resolve customer problems using social media, as seen with well-known brands such as Nike, Starbucks and KLM.

Messenging apps have also become a popular option. The customer’s journey is not direct. It is potentially through a mention, and multiple touches, that an individual may decide to finally purchase. Agents should not expect a single piece of content or marketing collateral to result in a strong lead. It does not work this way using social media.

Engagement as an Indirect Lead Generation Tool

Engagement helps keep an agent top of mind. There are multiple ways that engagement benefits agents. First of all, engagement increases brand awareness. Every piece of content has the potential of leaving an impression on a viewer while subtly connecting with a brand. GoPro and Oreo are brands that use content to reinforce brand image and do not attempt a direct sales approach.

Clicks are still needed but this has become increasingly difficult to achieve and content needs to speak to people on a personal level in order to get attention. Content needs to get past the noise and into the mind of the reader on a regular basis in order to develop brand awareness. Social media has become all about engagement and engagement has the potential of generating leads when followers and those in their circle are looking for an agent to assist them with real estate transactions.

“Engagement helps keep an agent top of mind. Every piece of content has the potential of leaving an impression on a viewer while subtly connecting with a brand.”

Then there is the content exposure. This has become a bit more difficult to achieve as organic reach and referral traffic has fallen significantly. Engagement then counts even more when it is the quality of conversations that can occur rather than the quantity that are happening online. Engagement helps deliver content to a wider circle and platforms like Facebook prioritizing sharing content with high engagement rates. There is a direct correlation between the amount of positive engagement on a post and how many people will receive the content.

The Danger of Overemphasizing Sales and Lead Generation

Sales and lead generation are important, but there are many factors that can affect followers on social media. Consumers can easily become numb to messaging and not engage as expected after some time. If consumers fail to connect to a brand, there will be less authentic engagement. This may mean that a brand has to revisit their image and how they are engaging online in order to build community authentically. Directly promotional content that exceeds the 20 percent suggested in the 80/20 rule can impact the behavior of an audience and turn off potential prospects. All of these factors can negatively impact social media strategy.

Best of Both Worlds

Company pages and profiles can balance high-value content for organic reach and engagement with scheduled ads for new leads. Stay on top of comments and discussions with either method. Regular engagement and analysis will help refine an approach to improve the quality of leads. Social media and social advertising are both useful for gaining agents an engaged community and future sales. Speak to a professional social media agent today to gain the insight necessary to get a better return on social media and social marketing efforts today.

Tony Gilbert

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