ARA Social Series: Vol 4
When I started with the Arkansas REALTORS® I knew I wanted to do something different, something that struck at the heart of communication. After many cups of cold brew and brainstorming sessions came Social Series: A place for REALTORS®, by REALTORS®, with real REALTOR® experience.
It was back around Christmas break that I found myself sitting in a booth at the local Little Rock hit: The Heights Taco and Tamale waiting for my next Social Series interview with another incredibly successful twenty-something who is using social media to elevate their business to the next level. Enter: Samantha Crawford.
I’ve personally known Samantha since 2010. Having both attended the University of Central Arkansas and being interlocked with similar greek organizations, Samantha has not only been a great friend but also someone to admire. I have had the pleasure of witnessing Samantha’s rise to REALTOR® success over the past four years through online platforms, this made her the perfect candidate to talk about social media and how it’s keeping her business cruising at a successful speed.
Can you first tell me your name and what company you are with?
My name is Samantha Crawford and I am with Crye Leike REALTORS® in Conway.
What made you go into real estate?
I liked the idea of freedom, [the idea] of being my own boss and running my own schedule.
Being 29, do you worry that your age works against you?
Yes. I think that when I first got in, you know, you’re new, you’re female, and you’re young. A lot of veteran REALTORS® have been in the industry for 20-30 years. At first, the inexperience hurts you. I do feel that I relate to a lot of first-time home buyers because of my age. Being an agent though, and often in life in general, females are often seen as the inferior sex.
According to Forbes “it is imperative for any real estate agent to use social media in marketing their businesses and listings.”
Do you agree with this?
What social media platforms are you on?
I love Facebook and I love Instagram.
Do you separate your personal from business profiles? Why/ Why not?
I did at first. I do have a business page. I have found that I get a lot of leads off of Facebook. I think that it’s important to combine business and personal, it makes you more relatable. They can see that I love my dog and I’m a normal person. I have all these other interests, I have people that I care about in my life. I try to, when I post, make 50% personal and 50% business.
Do you ever worry that your personal page could hurt your business?
No. When I got in, I went into my Facebook and cleaned out anything that could give a negative image of me. I try to be as authentic and real as I can be. I want them to see that I’m relatable.
Which, if any, would you say is the key platform for business?
Facebook. Facebook allows me to do lengthy videos, posts obviously, but ads on Facebook allow me to target specific genres and populations. It allows me to push my ads to my target markets.
So that’s all great, but just because you have a Facebook account doesn’t mean you’ll automatically see success. So what is the strategy behind it all?
Do you have certain times you post to certain platforms? Or a limit on how much you can post daily?
In 2016 I took a marketing class on Facebook. It taught me primetime to post. For stay at home moms 11:30 is [a] good time to post. And then for 9-5 workers, 4:30 is a good time. I only post once or twice a week. I don’t want it to be overkill or for them to be like ‘Oh, Samantha’
What is the healthy ratio of posting what you’re selling versus valuable information for customers/ personal information?
If you constantly post sales in front of people they get bored with you. So I try to throw in information about my dog or something. I think a good balance is 50/50. 50 percent of content out there that’s valuable for people to learn and absorb, then 50 percent just learning who I am, let’s connect, let’s find a common base.
Having an account on platforms is one thing, but getting traction and attention is a whole other monster.
Do you believe that there is a thing of quality versus quantity of followers?
One hundred percent. I want my users to engage with me. I want to be friends with everyone on Facebook and Instagram. I want people to know who I am so when they’re ready to buy I know I’m going to like them and they’re going to like me.
What is the fine line of doing business with your friends on Facebook?
When I got started a lot of other REALTORS® told me not to do business with friends and family. I do business with all my friends and family. I treat all my clients like my momma, I treat them with love and respect.
Is there certain material your clients enjoy more? Videos? Pictures? Blog?
I get a lot of inboxes from my Instagram stories. Videos are huge. People love video.
Do you do all of your own material or do you outsource?
I do 100% my own.
Do you have a social media budget?
I have a very low budget. I only advertise on social media. 100% of what I do is generated by Facebook or Instagram. My entire advertising budget goes directly into social media.
What would you say to someone who fears bringing social media into their business?
Do you want to stay in business? The internet is not going away. These platforms are billion dollar companies, they’re not going anywhere. 20 or 30 years ago we didn’t have form simplicity, you had to drive all around town to get contracts signed. Form simplicity made that easier. Now, social media has made reaching clients easier. It’s easier to connect and advertise. If I want to be successful in 10 years I have to adjust!
What would you say to someone who thinks social media is a waste of time?
It’s probably because they are not educated enough to really understand the value. I read a book called “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk where he talks about all social media platforms. If you look at big companies that’s what they are doing. They are paying for influencers, social media ads. If you want to be big you have to think big. You can’t be stuck in a past time.
How accurate is the social media version of you versus the real you?
One Hundred percent me. My whole tactic behind my social media is I want people to watch my videos and say ‘I want to be her friend.’ She looks kind, giving, and hard-working. She has good energy.
Between Facebook live videos, Instagram stories, and social media giveaways Mrs. Crawford has used these digital platforms to not only support her business, but to make her one of the top producers in Conway. You can find out more about Samantha by following her social media accounts:
Until next time, dear REALTOR®, may your days be filled with happiness, good health, and closings.
Cam, Director of Communications: Arkansas REALTORS®