When it comes to the estate sale industry, social media plays a big part in marketing estate sales and advertising for estate sale companies. A successful marketing plan should be varied and robust. Having a solid social media plan for your estate sale business only adds to your marketing efforts and makes them more successful.
As humans, we are naturally born socially active, some people are more active than others. For years people have been looking for ways to network and make connections with each other in person, over the phone or via email.
Now, we have a way to be socially active, network and connect via the internet. It doesn’t mean people no longer need personal interactions and handshakes anymore, but depending on the industry, this can be true. Relationships these days can begin and end via social media.
For estate sale companies, a face-to-face meeting and a handshake are essential in order to conduct business and deliver excellent customer service.
To make new connections, get leads, and advertise estate sales and services, use these social media platforms in addition to what you already do in person.
In recent years, social media sites have grown in numbers, as of 2015, there were 2 billion social networking site users and this number is expected to grow to 2.6 billion by 2018.
In this article, we couldn’t possibly cover the over 100 social media sites, but we chose the most beneficial ones specifically for the estate liquidation business.
If you already use these platforms we hope you will learn something new, if you don’t, we aim to shed some light and urge you to give them a try.
Identify Goals for Marketing Your Estate Sale Company
Before we dive into each one of the social media platforms, let’s identify some key benefits or achievable goals one would set forth when trying to create an estate sale company online presence.
- Grow a following of estate sale shoppers
- Connect with influencers and referral sources for new leads
- Rank your website on Search Engines
These are a few of the top benefits one would achieve by marketing an estate sale company and advertising estate sales. Ready to get started?
Marketing Estate Sales Via Facebook
One of the most popular social media platforms in the estate sale industry. There are many benefits to having a professional Facebook Business Page instead of just a personal Facebook profile.
- Create events or albums and boost them via paid ads to reach a wider audience beyond your page followers, this is only available on a business page, not on a personal profile.
- Create a branded Facebook cover and profile picture. A great way for marketing estate sale companies locally. Become a recognizable local brand for estate sales.
- Ask your audience to follow links to informative content on your site when it makes sense, thus helping your website rank on search engines.
- Sell online? Ask them to follow a link to purchase. Not all social media marketing platforms allow you to place a link in a post, take full advantage of the features when you can.
- After you list a sale on EstateSales.org, quickly share it on your Facebook page or manually upload photographs and sale details to your page to get more shoppers to the front door.
- Connect with Realtors, attorneys, funeral homes, and other lead sources. Send them messages introducing yourself and your services.
Marketing estate sales doesn’t always have to cost money, it can be as simple as taking the time to send a message to the right person.
We asked Lisa Kroese with Expert Estate Sales in Tehachapi, CA about her experience with Facebook. She’s been providing estate sales for the past 7 years and is quite active on Facebook. This is what she had to say:
“We have accounts set up on all social media platforms, but I mostly focus on Facebook because managing all would be very time consuming, and we do get a lot of engagement on our Facebook page”
She continued, “We recently held a sale outside of our area, using the targeted ads on our Facebook page helped us get a lot of people to our sale who don’t normally follow our Facebook”.
I asked Lisa if she can imagine not having a social media presence?
She said “I do know people that still do estate sales without any online presence. They rely on newspaper ads, post card mailings, etc.. But I can’t imagine it being as efficient as having social media as an option.”
Facebook for the estate sale business benefits all 4 goals mentioned above. Branding, more shoppers, lead generation, and search engine ranking by getting more visits to your website.
Individual Facebook posts themselves won’t rank on search engines, but your Facebook Business Page profile will when someone searches for your company.
LinkedIn for the Estate Sale Business
Possibly the least used platform by estate sale business owners, and the most important one to have for lead generation. Why?
When you meet a potential client to earn an estate sale contract or a Realtor to send you new leads, they more than likely will Google your name. They’ll want to see who you are if they’re going to work with you or have you in their home.
99% of the time, your personal LinkedIn profile is the first one to appear in Google Search. It’s important to have your profile 100% updated with your experience, and history in the estate sale business.
You’ll want to stay active on LinkedIn by connecting with other professionals in the industry. You can quickly send messages to them introducing yourself and your services.
If they are existing connections that support your business and send you leads. LinkedIn gives you many ways to reach them and put your estate sale customer service techniques to work via messages and notes.
If they are on LinkedIn, why aren’t you?
Youtube for Marketing Estate Sales and Companies
Did you know that YouTube is the second biggest search engine? Google owns YouTube, of course it is!
We are fortunate being in the estate sale industry because we never really run out of content to share.
Most businesses are eager to add YouTube to their estate sale business marketing plan, but don’t really know what videos to make. You have the opportunity to dive right in to the benefits of a YouTube Channel with every estate sale you stage and schedule.
If you already have a Google account, use the same login to create a YouTube business branded channel.
Make sure your branding (photos, cover page, etc) are consistent across all platforms, and your information is up to date. Name, address, website, etc…
Benefits to using YouTube for estate sales
- Videos are much more engaging than an image when posted on Social Media.
- Each video properly uploaded and described will rank on Google search as if it’s a web page (very powerful stuff).
- Video marketing helps you build trust, highlights your expertise, capabilities, and build relationships.
YouTube is also efficient and easy to use. You can quickly upload a video directly from your phone or iPad using the YouTube mobile app. Need some ideas on what sorts of videos to produce? Take videos of your team staging an estate sale to highlight your expertise. Share a video before, during or after the sale to build trust and engage your audience.
Videos uploaded to YouTube can automatically be shared on Google+. “Hmmm, what’s that”?
Google+ for Estate Sale Companies
Even if you’ve heard of Google+, you’re probably thinking “What’s the point of investing my time and money in another social media platform?”
If you want to get more business, you would be crazy to pass up the opportunity of putting your company name in front of qualified leads, right?
Unlike Facebook, and other social media platforms, Google+ has benefits that go beyond the social aspect.
Today, 68% of searches are conducted on Google, so if I told you Google+ as a social media platform can help your business rank higher in their search results, would it be worth your time and efforts?
Unlike other social media platforms, you don’t need to worry about how many likes or followers you get, and don’t let the low engagement discourage you.
Everything you post on your Google+ for Business page is immediately indexed by Google, this means the content you post can rank in search results even if you don’t have a website or you have one that doesn’t rank.
Whether a lot of people follow you, engage with your posts or not, Google owns it, ranks it, and they love it when businesses play in their sandbox.
You can easily manage all Google products with one login. Once you enter the Google+ world, you can enjoy a wide range of opportunities, hangouts, estate sale communities (sort of like a Facebook group), YouTube, Google Business Listing, Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps and so much more.
Google products can be confusing if you’re not experienced, but there are many online tutorials to help you, or you can email our Founder, Mike Judkins and he will refer you to an experienced estate sale marketing consultant.
At EstateSales.org, we not only want you to have the best tools available, but we want to see your business grow, you can rely on our team for support or direction when you need it.
Is Twitter Good for Marketing Estate Sales?
So far, we’ve covered the 3 most essential social media platforms for estate sale companies. Twitter is a bit different and we must dive in to see if it’s really beneficial for your local market.
I’m sorry to tell you it doesn’t do much for local presence! So, if you’re investing all your time and efforts into the Twitter social media platform, I’d rank it at #4 unless you sell products online or your company is a National brand, and here’s why:
Statistics show the age distribution of Twitter users in the United States: As of 2016 the largest percentage of users were between 25 and 34 years old. Don’t get me wrong, Twitter has benefits such as sharing content that links back to your website or for users to purchase items online.
If you’re a National estate sale brand, it’s also a great way to reach a wider audience across the country and create brand awareness.
But, if you are a small to medium size estate sale company that wants to have a local presence, and dominate the local market, not saying ignore it, but dive into Twitter after you’ve mastered the first 3 social media platforms mentioned above.
If you sell items online, and ship across the country, Twitter is great and it should be included in your social media marketing strategy.
I always tell estate sale companies, if you’ve mastered all the ones I mentioned above, and have extra time on your hands (lots of time), go for it!
Instagram is a visual platform, it cuts through the clutter and lets your product photos speak for themselves.
Visual content is engaging, and it’s a great platform if you sell estate sale items online. People on Instagram are very engaged. You will get many followers, and likes from people all over the world.
Unlike Facebook and other platforms, users can see your posts whether they follow you or not based on the #hashtag keywords used when you post.
You can easily link your Instagram account to your Facebook Business Page. This will allow you to turn your Instagram into a business account that will give users the ability to visit your website, call or email you directly from your profile.
Instagram does not allow you to place a link in the posts, unless you’re running paid ads, or (as of the time of this writing) gain over 10,000 followers. Videos shared can only be 60 seconds long, so there is not much benefit in getting website or blog clicks specific to post content unless you plan to fork out some advertising dollars or use some savvy marketing tactics.
If you plan to use Instagram, be ready to post great photographs of estate sale items throughout the house, and some text to highlight it. Geotag the location by choosing the city where photos were taken, and get ready to go #Hashtag nutty! (up to 30 hashtags per post).
Additional tips for using Instagram effectively have been shared on our Estate Sale Company Network, a private Facebook group to join if you want to network, share and learn from others in the industry.
Instagram has some benefits when advertising estate sales, but doesn’t provide as many benefit variations as the other platforms mentioned above.
Advertising Estate Sale Companies
Marketing and Advertising work together but are different. Ask experts what the difference between the two is and you’ll get 20 different answers.
For the sake of this article which focuses on growing your business, let’s not mix the two together. Think of it this way. “Marketing is engaging, informative, and entertaining and advertising is when you pay for promotional ads or clicks”.
All social media marketing platforms mentioned above allow you to have a wider reach if you pay for ads. Knowing when and how to use them is key to the success of advertising your estate sale business and minimizes the waste of advertising dollars.
If you have a big sale coming up, or it’s out of your normal area you may want to consider paid ads and even a professionally produced video to get buyers specifically interested in the items you’ll have available.
If you want to promote your services specifically to Realtors or attorneys, target your paid ads based on specific interests.
Avoid These Mistakes on Social Media
It’s easy to do a Google search and find a million “how to” articles that will help you learn more about social media, and it can be overwhelming.
I’ve compiled a list of what not to do, which is a much shorter list and a much easier one to remember.
- Don’t beg for shares or likes in your posts, it’s pathetic, and no one likes it! Instead, post great photos and content your audience would naturally share or tag someone.
- Don’t ignore your social media post duties, be deliberate and consistent. If you decide to post once, twice, or three times a week, stick to it!
- Shy away from extremely lengthy posts, keep it short and sweet, and always try to include a link to your website when it makes sense. Want long posts? Linkedin, Facebook and Google+ love it. Twitter and Instagram, not so much.
- Don’t over promote (It’s no fun to hear me, me, me, all day every day). Keep it engaging, informative, and fun. Some promotional material in between is ok. Imagine you’re talking to a person in front of you, let your personality show in the posts.
- Don’t ignore your audience! You finally got someone’s attention, they ask a question and you don’t respond. Always respond to your audience’s questions and comments.
The world of social media marketing can be intimidating for many small business owners, but think of the unlimited possibilities available.
We are fortunate to have so many free opportunities at our disposal. It sure beats licking a bunch of stamps and envelopes with the hope that someone will call or show up.
If you already use social media to engage your audience, leave us a comment below and tell us whats working best for you. We’d love to hear from you!