Social media isn’t just full of cat pictures and memes. It’s an awesome forum for sharing helpful information and clever content to market yourself and your brokerage. But are you and your agents leveraging social media effectively? Chances are the answer is no.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 67% of agents’ new business comes from within their sphere of influence, i.e., the people in their personal and professional networks over whom their opinion holds some sway. This is well over half of new business! Now here’s the problem: the National Association of Realtors also found that only one in ten agents is effectively marketing to their sphere. The ineffective marketing efforts of those nine remaining agents represents a huge opportunity cost for both agents and brokerages.
What’s keeping agents from marketing better to their spheres? Often, they don’t know what they should post or where to find content. Others report being too busy, feeling unfamiliar with the platforms, feeling uncomfortable with putting themselves out there, or that they simply “don’t do social media.” As a result, they aren’t top of mind when someone in their sphere needs to buy or sell property, and the lead goes somewhere else.
Whether you’re a digital native or not, it pays to have a quick social media refresher.
Use social media to drive traffic and leads.
Social media can be a fun place where you can share what you’re up to. It can also be a great way to generate leads and website traffic. So, think of social media as a marketing tool, not just a way to have fun in your spare time.
Prepare a social media strategy and schedule.
A destination is easier to get to with a map. So, figure out your social media destination and make a plan to get there. What do you want to focus on? The possibilities are endless, if not a little overwhelming. You could commit to posting about your favorite local businesses on #smallbusinesssaturday, feature new listings at regular intervals during the week, do Facebook Live open houses for all new listings, and more. Having a plan will make it easier.
Post regularly and consistently.
The key to growing a social media following is regular, high-quality content, even if you’re only posting once or twice a week. Once you’ve made an outline, try your best to stick to it.
Social media users will quickly cut through pitchy, salesy, and unnecessarily flowery posts. You don’t need to be quoting Socrates or Rumi to get your point across, nor do you have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Write in your own genuine voice and your followers will see and appreciate it.
Engage often with other accounts or colleagues you look up to.
The key to social media is engagement, and nearly everyone is eager to engage and share. You can learn a lot—and potentially extend your reach—by following and engaging with accounts you find interesting, motivating, and inspiring. If you share their content, they’re likelier to share yours, too.
Social media shouldn’t be all sales all the time. The key to content marketing is first providing useful information without an agenda that your followers and prospects can use, then explaining what you have to offer.
Use a tool like Brand Builder.
Social media tools like Brand Builder help brokers create branded content they can push and post to agents’ connected social media accounts as though agents had written the post themselves. This means brokerages are marketing to all their agents’ spheres without relying on each agent to post the right content at the right time, and agents don’t have to think as much about social media marketing.
Post questionable, inappropriate, offensive, or illegal content.
It’s easy to forget that your comments and posts will live forever online, so make sure you put out content you’re proud of. You do not want your posts to alienate others, or worse yet, break the law. If you wouldn’t share your post with your grandma, reconsider posting it.
Share too much or too often.
No one likes a spammy over-sharer. To be effective on social media, you don’t need to post hourly, nor do you need to report on what you have for breakfast every day. Post a variety of relevant content as often as you like, but don’t overshare.
Promise more than you can deliver.
First, don’t commit to posting ten times a day, 365 days a year if this isn’t feasible for you. Social media marketing shouldn’t be a burden, and thankfully there are incredible tools for making it easier. Secondly, don’t promise your followers the impossible. It’s easy to exaggerate on social media, but it’s better to keep things real and down to earth.
Be negative or a complainer.
Your mom probably taught you, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This goes for social media, too. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms are not the appropriate venue for airing your grievances, naming names, shaming others, or engaging in negative online behavior. No one likes a whiner, either. Be a beacon of positivity whenever you can. If you can’t, take a break.
Post without proofreading.
Social media is fast-paced and time-sensitive, but spelling and grammar still matter. A typo or misplaced autocorrect every once in a while is no big deal, but don’t make a habit of posting error-filled messages. Remember, your posts are still a reflection of you, your company, and your brand. If you aren’t taking the time to proofread your own social media posts, will your clients feel assured that you’ll proofread their offer before you submit it?
Use too many hashtags.
#Hashtags are a great way to extend your reach and share content with people who want to see it. Too many or irrelevant hashtags not only make your post more difficult to read, they can put it at a disadvantage. Research the best real estate hashtags in your area and use them wisely (and sparingly).
There you have it! Thirteen do’s and don’ts for effective social media posts.