There are a number of advertising avenues and social media is one of the new important marketing tools you can use to skyrocket the visibility of your business across multiple online channels.
The online exposure via social media networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube can result in increased success for your business.
Today, so many real estate dealers, fumigators and florists have taken to famous social media networks to market their goods and services.
Real estate online marketing
Whether it’s searching for listings or contacts of real estate dealers, some people head to the internet first.
That’s why some dealers have decided to create websites and social media accounts to integrate digital marketing into their real estate business in order to make sure it’s their website and listings people are finding online when they mount the related search.
While Twitter and Facebook offer great opportunities for interaction and promotion, your online marketing strategy shouldn’t rely solely on these two accounts. A website can play an important role here.
You can post available listings on your website and post a link on Facebook or Twitter account that leads to your site.
Saddam Mwanje, a real estate dealer, explains how he uses social media to get buyers.
“I post houses for sale and rent plus land for sale on popular Facebook groups like Liquidation and Kings Salesman. This has worked for me because I have gotten serious buyers out of this.”
He divulges that he has a website called ugaccomodation.com where he posts listings.
“I mainly aim at Ugandans abroad who may not trust their relatives by sending them money to build. So our website has fully furnished houses for sale, houses for rent and also land.”
When someone is abroad, they can log onto our website and look at the houses that are on sale.
After the website visitor has picked interest in a particular house and has filled the form, we receive a notification on our email.
As a broker, I communicate to the owner of the house and we go into negations with the buyer,” Mwanje explains.
He adds: “After sending our company registration details and convincing the buyer that we are indeed legitimate, they then send part of the payments so that we don’t sell the house to some other person.”
Benefits to the seller
Mwanje admits earning a good amount of money off social media marketing.
“I just sit at home with my modem and laptop, post and tweet my listings and get calls from potential buyers.
All I pay is my rent here at home; I do not pay for office space. In a good month, I can have Shs3m on my bank account and sometimes totally nothing in a bad month,” he explains adding that he meets his clients at cafés and restaurants.
While social media marketing is a strong promotional tool, it also has a dark side to it. With a host of benefits it offers, there are some drawbacks that may become a nightmare for the marketers if not addressed.
Mwanje admits having encounters with crooks and online hackers. “There are so many people who call me every day.
Some are serious buyers and others are just “jokers”. Like sometime back, someone called me and claimed they were interested in renting a certain house. We set an appointment to go and see the house, on reaching there, the person’s phone was off. I have had many encounters like that and I end up wasting my transport.”
He also points out that online marketing causes laziness. “Sitting down all the time is not good, one may become completetely lazy over time,” he adds.
Johnson Sempijja is a field officer at Stainless Cleaning and Fumigation Services, a company offering door to door cleaning and vacuuming of dirty sofa sets, carpets and mattress vacuuming. He admits gaining a lot from online marketing.
As opposed to Mwanje, Sempijja has office space despite using majorly online advertising. “I have an office at Plot 1, Anena House, Musajja Alumbwa Road, Mengo. In a day, we normally receive about 50 calls from clients placing orders. We move door to door to offer services so we thought it necessary to use social media.
We know when we use online advertising; we have the world in the palm of our hands. So many corporates are online these days. It is therefore easy to get clients using social media. When we receive these orders, it is easy to get directions and allocate placements to our different workers.
He adds, “We have a few challenges using social media. We have a website, www.stainlesscleaning.net. We have received so many emails from my web host indicating attempts by so many people to hack into our website.
That is our main problem. There are hackers everywhere, they have even tried hacking into our Facebook and twetter pages,” Sempijja adds. He also says social media marketing requires one to always be online to attend to clients’ demands like cost of services and other queries.
Sempijja reveals that he is making good money out of this business all thanks to online advertising. “At first it was not easy. Clients did not trust us. Social Media advertising needs patience. One may spend even two months without getting clients. It needs dedication, resilience, consistence and hard work.
Benefits to the buyer
Nathan Mulindwa, CEO Awdisonic Group of Companies one of Sempijja’s clients testifies that the efficiency of social media. “I got to know Stainless Cleaning services’ website on Facebook.”
He adds, “They had posted something about pest control. Since I had a problem of pests, I visited the website and got the company contact details. I called and gave them directions to my place, within no time; they were already at my home with the equipment ready to start spraying.”
Mulindwa explains that it has been a while since they sprayed his home but the pests completely disappeared.
More so, Phyllis Akongo a florist has also picked followed the trend of social media marketing. “I created a Facebook, Twitter and Google+ account to market different collections of my flowers. So far, I have had only one client off social media buy my flowers,” she adds.
Therefore, social media is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions.
For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short
messages or “updates” with others.
Facebook, in contrast, is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities. It is then up to you to utilise them accordingly to create a big impact on your products and services.
PRECAUTIONS WHEN BUYING ONLINE
• In the online space, free listings are more likely than others to make false claims. Agents often use wrong photos, false specifications and low prices to draw attention and generate leads. When people contact the agent, they are told that the listed property is not available and they can choose from other properties.
• Ask for references from other people who you know that have already done business with anyone you are thinking of buying from or selling to. This can help you get a general idea of the character of the person before you commit to any deal with them.
• Make sure you check through the Feedback forum to see if there have been any posts made about the person.
• Always make sure the information they give you checks out before you proceed with a transaction.