It is that time of year. Time to take stock of your efforts last year, and set your targets for 2024; part of that is a brand assessment. You should be looking at how your brand shows up online. It’s a thing – like measuring the growth of your children. If your measurements in 2023 are lower than 2022 – fix that. Here is a simple idea called Draft Marketing.
Sometimes we use social media to dive deeper into something. If you have ever scrolled through a bunch of webpages, aka “gone down the rabbit hole,” where one page takes you to another page. You find so many of them to be informational to your interests that you click ‘follow’ on a slew of companies. You are not alone.
Marketers understand the rabbit hole, and social media is structured in a way that highlights similar pages to whatever sparked your interest. Funny thing – most real estate brokerages (and agents, and teams) have not figured this out yet.
Let’s start out with an example of how Draft Marketing works. I am going to use Taylor Swift as an example. I did not follow Taylor on Instagram, so I went to her page and clicked the follow button. Below is the page before I followed her.
Then I clicked the ‘follow’ button.
Pay close attention to the red arrow that points to additional pages that I might like. These artists are draft-marketing off of Taylor’s brand.
Because I liked Taylor Swift, Instagram suggested that I also follow Selena Gomez, Olivia Rodrigo, Ariana grande, “Taylor Nation”, and Sabrina Carpenter. All competitors to Taylor Swift.
Let’s take a look at how it works on Linkedin… Pretty much the same way.
Once you hit the follow button – look what happens…
Here, you will find that major brands are draft-marketing on Taylor’s brand.
So, take this idea to real estate in your market. The largest brand in my market is Compass.
Good news – Compass is not developing social media at the office level. It is easy to beat a competitor that has not built office pages. Compass has over 300 offices and has not deployed a hyper-local social media strategy everywhere yet. I know that they read this blog – so maybe this will change soon.
Shown in the image above here is the top independent brokerage in our area – San Luis Obispo Realty. They have a Linkedin page that has not been claimed, yet. Please – if you have a brokerage – claim it on all social media platforms. These pages show up in search, and it looks bad when you have not taken some basic steps to do something as simple as claiming your own page.
For those of you who hate social media – claim your page anyway – make sure that your address, phone number, and link to your website is correct.
This is most likely what you see when you google a competitor. Again, in the example above, I have not followed them yet.
Once I hit the follow button, here is what happens….
Oddly, I get Generative AI and OpenAI as other companies to follow. In general, even the “People also viewed” links on the sidebar only have one competitor, JDR Property.
This is a great example of a company that you can draft-market off of. I mean, they only have 56 followers – which is not a great showing – but it’s something. Clearly their efforts to build and grow their community are not significant. If you build up your community to be larger and more engaged, that will not be a bad thing for your brand.
Side note – agents look at this stuff when they are being recruited. If the digital footprint of your brand sucks, that is a strike against your recruiting efforts.
Draft Marketing is the simple pursuit of finding look-a-like customers from your competitors’ social media pages.
To get started, create a spreadsheet in Google Drive or another shareable document space.
Go to your competitor sites, add links to their profiles into the spreadsheet along with a screenshot. Do the same thing for your pages. Pay close attention to the number of posts per month and the number of followers. This is a race, so you need to track your progress.
Look what happens when you follow, or unfollow them.
Who shows up?
Do you show up?
If you don’t show up – you need to invest in the time to fix that. Here is an article that explains how to get followers on Instagram for draft marketing. You can do the same draft marketing on Linkedin.
If you do show up as a suggested follower – where do you show up – Position 1, 2, 3, 4, 5? Keep track for the race.
Be sure to check mobile apps vs. browsers too.
As you do your work, track what happens and how your position changes. It takes time for this to happen. The race is more of a marathon. Good news is that most real estate brokers are not paying attention to these things. Per the teachings of just about every real estate guru, it is not super hard to put enough effort into winning on social media. 99% of brokers do a crappy job.