I get it, you’re too busy running your home builder or development business to write your social media content each month. That’s why I have created this article so you can use it as a reference when creating social media content for your business. Continue reading about how to create the ideal social media calendar for home builders and developers…
The very first step in writing a social media calendar is to establish a presence on the platform. I suggest you take advantage of all the social media channels that are out there. For example, create a business account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google My Business (GMB), and even on YouTube if you have any videos you want to promote.
Be sure all platforms are completely filled out and optimized. In other words, this means filling out each field in the About section of the given profile. Add a link to your website for each site, use the same profile image, address, and email on all platforms for consistency. Include the same description in your business listing globally so everyone knows what your business can do for them upfront along with important contact information.
I suggest even making all of your header images the same across the board as well. Header images can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, GMB, and LinkedIn. For a cohesive brand strategy, make each social media profile match and display the same information everywhere. You can even link them up to one another by adding your social profiles to your GMB listing and linking your Instagram to your Facebook page.
Before writing anything, you need to determine which days to push content out on social media. I recommend publishing content at least three times a week. When we develop content for our home builder and developer clients, we write content for every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Before you start using my social posting days, I suggest you take a look at your Google and social media analytics. Take note of which days are the most heavily visited days by your audience and push content out on those days. That way you are building on the traffic you already have.
Another important thing to take into consideration is which days to post regarding holidays. The holidays are always an easy, personal post to include in your monthly social media calendar. This is especially important if your business has any special holiday promotions such as running campaigns during Veterans Day to promote a VA Loan program.
While publishing holiday-themed posts can be a fun and warm touch, don’t go overboard. As you probably already know, there has been an upswing of “social media holidays”. These include “National Day of Unplugging”, “Denim Day”, and even some strange ones including “National Sneak Some Zucchini into Your Neighbor’s Porch Day”. Yes, that’s really a thing on August 8th.
Don’t create posts for every single social media holiday, unless a specific one speaks directly to your target audience. For instance, if you have majority baby boomers as your main buyers, consider creating a post for “Senior Citizens Day” on August 21st. Be sure to create social posts for the big holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Fourth of July, etc.
Now that you’ve established social media accounts and determined which days to post, it’s time to create a template. What I like to do first is to start with a blank Word document. I fill out the name of the home builder/developer company at the top then list their established social profiles. Then I write down each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday there are in the given month.
Name of Home Builder/Developer Company
Facebook – example profile name
Instagram – example Instagram handle
Twitter – example Twitter handle
LinkedIn – example LinkedIn account
YouTube – example YouTube Channel
Monday, Month & Day
(Content, link, hashtags, and media)
Wednesday, Month & Day – Name of Holiday
(Content, link, hashtags, and media)
Friday, Month & Day
(Content, link, hashtags, and media)
The Monday, Wednesday, Friday pattern will continue until all of the days are accounted for in the month. On average, you should have at least a dozen posts. By laying out which days of the week, as well as labeling the holidays beforehand, it allows you to plan and write content specifically for those days.
On some Friday posts, I tend to push out local family-friendly events that are taking place over that specific weekend. People really enjoy doing things on weekends and these types of posts are always of interest to your potential buyers. Here is a Friday post for a condominium project as an example:
Now it’s time to get down to business and write the content. As you can see from the example above, it takes advantage of Facebook’s ‘how are you feeling’ feature. I noted with this client that they are “looking for fun”. Also, it includes the location of exactly where the community is so viewers clearly understand where the community is situated in the region. You can do this by using Facebook’s location feature.
It also includes the community’s branded hashtags, local hashtags, and niche-specific hashtags in the content itself. Plus there is a link to direct the audience to where they can find local family-friendly events and an image showing the event or lifestyle photo. This example is only one out of the many you will create every month, but offers you insights as to how to do it well.
Essentially, include content that is useful and helpful to your target audience. The goal is to not create fluff, but instead provide meaningful posts that will generate clicks, comments, engagement and shares. No one will read lengthy content from a company’s social media profile unless it’s extremely important. So, keep these posts short and sweet – about three to four sentences max.
By now you’ve established social media profiles, know which days to post, created a template, and have a better understanding of what content to include in your calendar. What’s next? Driving engagement rates. You can drive the engagement rates from social in a number of different ways.
The first is to include hashtags. Hashtags make it possible for other users to find your content without having to follow you. This opens the doors for gaining new followers and increasing the members of your target audience. Hashtags work by connecting similar content in the platform’s explore or search page.
When I search for the #homebuilder, this is what pops up in my feed. Each one of these posts is from different accounts that included #homebuilder in their caption. For Instagram specifically, the top nine posts show first, and the rest are by chronological order. These top nine have the most likes, comments, and engagement.
The next way to drive engagement rates is in the copy of the post. One of the best practices of social media posting is to ask questions rather than just making statements. For instance, you can ask, “Do you have any weekend plans?”, then suggest your family-friendly events in the local area. Or you can ask your audience “Which floorplan is your favorite?”, then attach your most popular floor plans in the post. Questions naturally encourage engagement so always try to keep your audience involved in the conversation when possible.
Yet another way to increase engagement on social media is to reply to all comments, messages, and shares in a timely manner. When a prospect or current resident comments on a post you created, show them you are actively monitoring and responding to their posts by either liking the post, retweeting them, commenting back, or all three.
The last step is to repeat steps two through five (since step number one is to establish the profiles). I create the templates monthly to help the content flowing. For hashtags, I suggest using the same branded ones each month for every post and also include niche-specific hashtags on selected posts appropriately.
If, after you read this, you’re finding social media is consuming too much of your time by, then you may want to consider partnering with a digital marketing agency to take it off your hands. While I have shared with you my strategy for crafting a social media calendar, each agency or professional will have their own process to consistently create new content.
Before you decide to go the agency route, I recommend interviewing several agencies to see which one will fit your personal needs best. All and all, social media developers need to be able to put themselves in your (the homebuilder/developer) shoes. When you hire an agency for social media, you’re giving them the keys to your profiles, so you want to be sure they have your best interest at heart and will be a trusted partner for your company.
Do you have any questions about my social media strategy? Let me know your thoughts below.
About Terry Zelen
Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications
Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.
He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.
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