In times of crisis, many business owners’ initial reaction is to cut back on the marketing budget. It makes sense to plan for uncertain times ahead, but for home builders across America, there has never been a better time to invest in your social media marketing.
Right now, your target audience is spending way more time at home — which means they’re spending way more time on social media. In March, Facebook reported a 50% increase in messaging and increased usage of newsfeed and story features. While your audience notices their cramped kitchens and tiny backyards, they’re beginning to make a mental list of all the things they wish they had in their homes instead… and then they turn to social media.
This means that if you do everything right, your target audience will see your social media ads and start to plan their next move. We’ve made a list of simple adjustments that can be made to your current strategy to ensure that your social media helps your company come out stronger.
Adjust Paid Social Messaging
First and foremost, check the call to action on all of your social media ads. Regardless of the current status of your state, you should not be heavily pushing people to leave their homes to “Visit the Model Home Today!”
- Take a Virtual Tour
- Schedule a Private In-Person Appointment
- Learn More on Our Website
Make sure the ads you’re running are relevant and reflect your company’s response to the ever-changing situation. Now is a great time to replace that photo of a 10+ person party in the community clubhouse to one of a happy family hanging out on the sofa. Read more about messaging that matters now.
Optimize for Desktop
Back when traffic from mobile devices ate up 60-80% of the devices’ pie chart in your Google Analytics, it was a no-brainer to create ads that were optimized for mobile, like with Facebook Collection and Instant Experience. But desktop usage rates have been steadily increasing since mid-March, when most states began issuing stay-at-home orders. People are no longer commuting, which means they’re no longer straining their eyes and neck to stare at a 6-inch, commuter-friendly device. They’re moving onto bigger and better screens! Make sure ads remain mobile-friendly, but optimize your creative for desktop using single-image or carousel ads.
Shift the Focus to Organic
Paid advertising is and always will be essential to reach your desired audience on social media. In pre-pandemic times, the all-powerful Facebook algorithm seemed to strictly favor boosted posts, knocking organic posts right down to the bottom of the newsfeed. Recently, however, organic content is showing up and showing up strong. Are users now online for so long that they’re scrolling straight through to the bottom, or has Facebook’s algorithm shifted? It’s difficult to tell just yet, but organic content is receiving more impressions and engagements. In certain markets, it’s even driving more website traffic.
It’s important to shift your organic content strategy to match society’s shifted needs. Right now, social media users are looking for fun, relevant, and useful content. They want to be distracted. They’re playing virtual bingo, filling out Instagram Story prompts, and participating in push-up challenges. So how can you make the shift?
Engage followers with gamified graphics and interactive stories that challenge them to build their dream home.
Show your followers that it’s okay to shop for a home right now with construction updates and #happyhomeowner photos, even if those photos show virtual appointments or an at-home docu-sign! This reassurance can inspire the confidence they need to start looking.
Make the virtual experience feel like the real thing and show off your model home on Facebook Live.
Give followers a reason to continue following your business by sharing content that serves them, not you.
Embrace Facebook Messenger
Website leads are ideal, but don’t rely on your prospects to head all the way to your website to ask a question or submit their contact information. Prospects have always turned to social media for quick customer service, and now is the time to make that process even easier. Set up messenger ads, sit back, and watch the questions come in. Enable the Appointments feature so prospects can book an appointment directly on the platform.
Right now, social media is one of the most relevant platforms to keep you connected to an isolated audience. With these simple adjustments, you can make them feel like you’re there for them every step of the way.
Vicky Bak is a social media specialist at Group Two, a leading new home marketing agency that focuses on connecting builders with buyers. She manages and creates engaging content on the social platforms of over 80 home ddbuilding companies across the country, many of which are on the top 100 and 200 builder lists. She is a regular guest on the Building Perspective podcast for new home sales and marketing professionals and in 2019, she hosted the popular Social Media Corner at homebuilderTECH — a cutting edge digital sales and marketing conference.