Win a free iPad? Facebook giveaways, raffles and contests are an incredibly effective marketing tool for Realtors
Would you like to win a free iPad?
Of course you would! After all, who doesn’t like winning free stuff?
And that’s the basis of an incredibly effective – yet underutilized - marketing tool for Realtors that I’ll talk about today: social media contests, giveaways, and raffles.
In fact, psychologists have found a strange nuance of human behavior that's nearly universal – we love to win just about anything, and we love free. Studies have shown that people vastly overvalue an item, good, or service if the word "free" is attached. Such is the case with an advertising campaign conducted by Krispy Kreme years ago when they offered a free donut to each patron on one particular day. The lines were so long that people had to wait up to two hours just for one donut (how much is two hours of your time worth?), and the promotion was so frenzied that the donut retailer ended up having their most profitable day ever!
Real estate agents can use this same psychology to promote themselves, albeit online and without the donut (eat that yourself).
To give you a broad definition, we’re talking about giveaways, raffles, and contests (GR&C) as one interchangeable promotional tool, since they are basically the same things despite small and subtle differences. Likewise, these can be conducted online via your website, social media accounts, email blasts, or any combination.
But today, I'll talk more about GR&C's for Facebook.
The basic premise is simple: we offer something of value for free for the winner(s) of these GR&C’s as a way to promote your brand.
The benefits can include:
• More page likes
• Increased sharing of your page/post
• Increased engagement, energy, and interest in your page and services
• Develop a fun rapport with your followers
• Add new people to your database
• Generate more reviews and testimonials
• Build overall awareness of you, your brand, and your services
So what might a GR&C look like on Facebook?
Here are a few common ideas:
-A quiz or trivia
-A random drawing for new people that like our page
-Random drawing for all of your followers
-Random drawing for people who say they want to be eligible, either by liking or commenting on the post
But my favorite GR&C’s involve some form of a photo contest:
-Take a funny selfie in or around your house
-Take a photo of a DIY home improvement or decorating project you did around the house
-Take a selfie in front of one of your For Sale signs
-Take a selfie somewhere recognizable in the city/neighborhood you sell real estate in
-Take a photo of a home you’ve helped buy or sell
-A social media scavenger hunt, where you give clues, and people have to take a photo at those places around town or per your instructions
The possibilities for great GR&C’s involving photos are endless, and they also gain far more interest than text alone and give you important social proof, humanizing your brand.
You can also extend this to videos, but you'll get far fewer participants.
The key to a good GR&C is that you make it simple and document the rules clearly.
That includes who is eligible, what they have to do to enter, what exactly you’re giving away (and how many), how they can enter, and how long the promotion will run.
Create a big, clear, nice image for us that explains the contest, the prize, the terms, etc. You can also post about the GR&C on your blog, website, on Instagram, and via email blast.
When the deadline ends for submissions, there are several ways you can decide the winner. It can be a random drawing based on names-in-a-hat or random number selection, or you can simply choose your favorite.
But my preferred method for picking a winner is by posting all of the photos from the participants (assuming you ran a giveaway with photos) and let your followers vote for their favorite. The photo with the most likes, wins!
That also encourages participants to share their photo/your post to encourage their other friends to like your page, follow you, and vote.
To step up the promotion for the sake of enhancing your business, partner with a local business in the city or neighborhood where you sell homes. Businesses will often gladly give away a restaurant coupon for a free meal, a free car wash, a free massage, a free coffee, etc. just because of the advertising it will yield them.
By bringing in a local business, you also encourage them to share it with their extensive customer database on Facebook and elsewhere, so you’re really gaining massive new exposure to a new audience.
But, before you fly off and start setting up GR&C’s on Facebook, there are some rules and regulations you should be aware of.
From what I’ve read, you can only run these GR&C’s on your business page (not personal). You also have to clearly define the terms and rules, who is eligible, and share a standard Facebook disclaimer that states that Facebook isn’t involved in any way.
You also CAN’T ask contest participants to:
Recommended you or your business on their page
Share your Page to be eligible
Tag themselves in a random photo (one they aren’t actually in)
Post something on their own timeline
Share your page or raffle on one of their friend’s timeline
Here are Facebook’s specific rules for promotions like this:
1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
a. The official rules;
b. Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
c. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b. Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend's Timeline to get additional entries”, and "tag your friends in this post to enter" are not permitted).
4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.
My advice is to start small, with a simple Starbucks card giveaway or random drawing. But begin to do it regularly – like Free Giveaway Friday, as an example, or on the first day of every month. Eventually, people will flock to your site regularly as word gets out and they realize that you're consistently giving great prizes away.
Need help setting up a Facebook giveaway, managing your Facebook marketing, or with any real estate marketing? Contact us!
In the 2000s, I was a licensed real estate agent and owned a small mortgage company in California for a while. I realized that I LOVED real estate - but wasn’t as passionate about actually selling it. So, I shifted gears, and since 2011 I’ve have specialized in providing marketing services for Realtors, loan officers, and real estate professionals.
I love it!
In fact, I estimate that in that time, I’ve written about 2,500+ blogs and articles for Realtors, along with countless social media posts sharing this content.
Part of my job is also keeping track of analytics, so I measure how many people are clicking, reading, and reacting to these blogs.
Based on that extensive experience, I put together this list of the TOP PERFORMING BLOG TOPICS for any real estate agent.
Basically, I’ve noticed what works best for Realtors and gets the most reaction from their audience, time and time again.
I’ve even formulated a scoring system based on total number of page views, clicks, likes, comments, sharing, and other engagement metrics. You’ll see that I rated each blog with this engagement score, just for purposes of comparison.
If you want likes, followers, inquiries, and a fast-growing database, go down the list and offer these blogs via your professional social media accounts, emails, newsletters, on your website, and other marketing.
Written and crafted correctly, these blogs will yield the results you want: more leads, clients, and, ultimately, closed deals!
The top-10 highest performing blog topics for Realtors:
1. Neighborhood profiles
Home buyers aren’t just interested in a brick and mortar structure, but the lifestyle that their new home affords them. Therefore, blogs and profiles on certain neighborhoods score remarkably well with real estate audiences, who are looking to compare locations as much as houses. In these neighborhood-centric blogs, you can cover a brief history, what it’s best known for, restaurants, parks and recreation, festivals and events, typical architecture, nearby amenities, commute times, and staple mom-and-pop businesses. Yes, you should also cover real estate market data and recent home prices.
Tip: You can even document famous people from that area, local trivia, and other interesting facts, but there are a few things that you CAN’T mention in these blogs (see below).
Blog engagement score 96%
2. Pointing out common mistakes (negative-slant themes)
What are the 10 mistakes first-time homebuyers make? What 5 mistakes are costing sellers big bucks? Why should you definitely avoid these landlord mistakes with your new rental properties? Research shows that the human motivation to AVOID PAIN (in this case, usually wasting money but also time, energy, liability, etc.) is even stronger than our motivation to pursue GAIN. For that reason, blogs with a. negative spin, i.e. what NOT to do, or which mistakes NOT to make, perform surprisingly well with audiences.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to hit ‘em with the truth, because this is your one chance to scare your audience a little bit - for their own good and to be helpful.
Blog engagement score 92%
3. Local market updates (including home values)
Do you specialize in a certain neighborhood, or have a marketing campaign “farming” a specific area? You should exhibit to your audience that you’re the authority on the matter, offering up-to-date and accurate data on home values, buying and selling information, and other pertinent housing and economic data.
Tip: I recommend drafting a Special Report every quarter with local housing data.
Blog engagement score 89%
4. How to make more money
Did I catch your attention already? Home ownership is the most significant lifetime investment for most consumers, so a lot is riding on getting it right. In fact, just by knowing how to fix up your home before selling, whether to stage or not, or knowing if it’s the right time to sell could put tens of thousands of extra dollars in your sellers' pockets. And for buyers, their choices are just as critical, so any information that helps inform and guide them towards a great home that will appreciate exceedingly well is invaluable.
Tip: Be specific. While “How to make more money when selling your home,” is fine, a blog with the title “How to increase your net profit by 1.5% in 3 easy steps when selling your home” will practically jump off the page at the reader (or jump off the computer screen.)
Blog engagement score 87%
5. Ways to save money
Seriously, who DOESN’T like to save money? Blogs that offer money-savings tips around the house, strategies to cut energy costs, how to save when it comes to home buying or selling, and even how to get the best contractor for the best price will pull in a very thankful audience. In fact, it will be clear to them just by your headline, lead sentence, and accompanying image that they’re actually going to waste money by not clicking and reading your blog!
Tip: If you’re target demographic is people with means, then saving money may not resonate as much. However, people in higher income brackets ARE constantly interested in saving time, reducing liability, and also other more actualized concerns, such as having green homes that leave a smaller environmental footprint.
Blog engagement score 84%
Important! What NOT to write about!
Before you start writing blogs rapid-fire and sending them out, remember that there are certain things Realtors are prohibited to talk about. For instance, the Fair Housing Act was enacted in 1968 to help eliminate housing discrimination by urging certain people to live in certain neighborhoods.
Therefore, you CAN’T write about school systems, crime rates, race, religion (including nearby churches and places of worship), politics, demographics, (great young couples, etc.), family status (perfect for singles, bachelor pad), or disability. But if asked, you CAN direct them to impartial third-party resources like an article online, a title company guide, or other tools.
Consult our broker or state or local Realtor organization for regulations and statutes, but always stay in bounds of the law – especially when you’re putting information in writing.
Look for part two of this blog coming shortly, where I'll discuss the next five highest-performing Realtor blog topics.
The 6 pillars of online marketing that every real estate agent needs to survive and thrive (and why!)