I have often found that stories and metaphors are great tools for teaching and informing, so I am in pursuit of some wisdom and guidance from the most prolific group of Realtors on the internet.
We all know that digital marketing has taken our industry by storm, and those of us who are actively creating content and using social media platforms to expand our reach should have a top-notch presentation that explains the usefulness of the different social media platforms to home sellers.
The use of effective digital marketing is a competitive advantage that Rainers hold in their local market places, so it is imperative that we have a method to communicate this value to prospective home sellers. After all, there is a lot of competition for listings; you must set yourself apart.
For this purpose, I created an analogy comparing the suburban shopping mall of the 1980s with the internet of today. I began assembling this story for home sellers back in 2011 in an attempt to explain to the less-than-savvy home sellers who did not use social media. I felt that I could take the traditional suburban shopping mall and analogize different features within the mall to explain how social media works in the same manner.
The Analogy For Home Sellers
Consider that one Mega Mall has replaced all shopping malls around the world, and we're about to take a stroll through the mall and try to explain what we see.
As you enter the main doors of the mall, you immediately encounter the “you are here” display that provides a guide to the entire layout of the mall. In the digital world, this display is built backward, rather than showing you where you are, it asks you where you want to go. Guidance is provided and these Google displays (and similar search engines like Yahoo!, Bing, Ask, etc.) are situated conveniently in every nook and cranny of the mall. Every marketer knows that to gain Google’s favor is to guarantee a steady flow of customers through the doors of the store.
In the center of the mall is the food court, where people go to hang out, people-watch and socialize with friends over a bite to eat. Facebook is by far the most active place in the digital mall - as of the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.27 billion monthly active users9. The smarter marketers in the mall know that while everyone at the food court may not want their product right now, store owners should still have a display present in order to remain top of mind. When people are ready to buy, they’ll remember the food court signs and head your way.
Youtube is the mall music, that sound in the background you hear when you are shopping. Of course, there are regular interruptions to the music, reminding you of stores with items on sale. On the internet, Youtube often shows up in organic search results with videos, and people love to see videos. A recent forecast from Cisco suggests that video content is going to make up a whopping 82% of all internet traffic by 2021, up from 73% in 20168. Whether people are too lazy to read or if they simply retain information better from videos, the numbers speak for themselves. The prudent marketer is creating content and boosting it on Youtube and other video platforms.
All the snippets of conversations you hear from the other mall visitors as you walk through the mall, sit in the food court, or browse through shops are like Twitter. A constant stream of opinions and information, much of it disregarded by mall visitors. However, sometimes you hear almost everyone in the mall talking about that one store having a great sale. Well, that store is now "trending."
Instagram is like the window displays in the traditional mall. Each store displays their best products, fashioned in such a way as to bring visitors into their stores. People love to window shop, looking at all the pretty and shiny things and that is exactly what Instagram should be for your company. It's a glimpse into the best parts of your company, a behind-the-scenes look into what visitors will find when they walk into your store or work with your company.
As you walk through the mall, you see people carrying bags from all the stores. Colorful, classy shopping bags are proof of happy customers going out into the world and letting everyone else know exactly who made them so happy. These shopping bags are like Pinterest, a marketing vehicle with low cost and high visibility, with appealing ads that link viewers to a source (the store) and are shared with the masses. Effective marketers use Pinterest by creating appealing content that users want to share with others.
Linkedin is the mall’s back office, containing a record of all the shop owners and employees, enabling them to communicate best practices, acknowledge great employees and network. It’s also a great way to spread the word around the mall when you are hiring, having a sale, expanding into new space, etc. It’s a great way for the shop owners to leverage internal mall relationships in order to stay up to date with the latest mall news and developments and to share information among themselves.
I Need Your Help
I have about 25 more elements of this analogy but would love examples or thoughts from ActiveRain readers and writers. What other social media platforms would you include, and how would you explain them? How do I perfect this story to blow away sellers during a listing presentation?