We’ve known for years that social media plays an important role in the 55+ homebuyers’ customer journey, but it wasn’t until we conducted our Online Preferences of 55+ Homebuyers survey that we realized the level of importance mature consumers place on social media as a resource.
Just last week, Immersion Active released its new white paper based on this survey. As you can see by the infographic below, real estate directories like Zillow and Redfin are the first places people look, with specialized directories like Ideal Living, Private Communities, and 55Places coming in second. However, prospective homebuyers then list social media as their next resource, ahead of community and builder websites!
Why do homebuyers turn to social media? One reason is that they believe social media can give them a more intimate look at what living in a community or home feels like. They somewhat expect your website to be a marketing and lead generation channel, while they believe your Facebook and Instagram pages are more immediate and authentic.
Second, word of mouth is still one of the most powerful influences on mature consumer spending habits and social media has become the backyard fence of the 21st century. According to Ambassador, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others..
What that means for you, as a builder or developer targeting 55+ homebuyers, is that:
- You need a solid content strategy that:
- Demonstrates the personality of your product
- Makes users feel like they are part of a community
- Focuses on engaging users and promoting interaction, i.e. conversation
- Includes a mix of product/promo posts and lifestyle/humorous/personal content
- Monitoring and responding to comments and questions on your social channels is as important as the content you create.
- Facebook’s 2018 algorithm updates de-emphasized likes and followers and placed greater emphasis on user interaction and the page owner’s responsiveness.
- Unaddressed comments and questions provide a poor customer experiencenr. In fact, 80% of companies online are under the impression that they deliver exceptional social media customer service, while only 8% of their customers say that they agree, according to Smart Insights.
- At worst, lack of response can allow negative feedback to spiral out of control.
The bottom line is that social media can’t just take a back seat in your marketing efforts. You need to develop a solid strategy and allocate the appropriate resources to ensure this powerful marketing channel is leveraged correctly to improve sales.
To read the “Online Preferences of 55+ Homebuyers Survey” results in its entirety, visit http://info.immersionactive.com/homebuyer-preferences.