Social media. The term is everywhere, it’s unavoidable, and whether you’re scared of it or just sick of hearing about it, there’s no denying its power as a marketing tool. However, social media for real estate agents is not as easy as posting a link to your new listing a few times a week. An effective social media strategy conveys your personality and knowledge, and has the potential to develop a connection with potential buyers. When it comes to establishing your social media presence, there are some big DON’Ts that can hinder your ability to connect with others. Here are some guidelines to make sure you’re not coming across as “that agent”, and to help you get the best value from your social media.
1. DON’T only post your listings
If someone wanted to see all of your listings, they wouldn’t go to your Facebook page, they would go to your website. Your social media pages give you an opportunity to showcase your personality, your knowledge, and your enthusiasm. A variety of posts will ensure that as much of your target audience is engaged as possible. Not everyone responds to the same thing, so balance your neighborhood guide posts with decorating tips, and your restaurant guides with curb appeal how-tos. The ultimate goal is to showcase yourself as professional but approachable, an involved community member, and the first name that comes to mind when someone decides to buy or sell a home.
2. DON’T forget your target audience
Focusing on relevant, valuable content is better for your business than a post that will result in a “like” and nothing more. A visit to your web page or an e-mail sent your way is always the end goal for any social media post. The best way to focus your content is to think hyperlocally. Posts related to your immediate area have a better chance of being shared by members of the community, and have the best chance of generating a lead, or at least some engagement.
3. DON’T let your account go stagnant
Regular updates are expected on all of your social media accounts, or your followers will pass over you when you do finally update. Make sure that your posts are coming at different times of the day, too. A product such as Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts, helping to keep your content fresh and consistent. This will also help make sure that your social media doesn’t suffer during a busy closing week. Just schedule a few automatic updates at the beginning of the week, and check in when you get the time.
4. DON’T overshare
It can be easy to get caught up in social media and post something regrettable, particularly when working with a variety of people like in real estate. You must always think of social media as a professional platform, and treat it just as you would your personal website or anything else with your name on it. If you have a nagging seller or a cranky buyer, bite your tongue (or…thumbs?) and resist the urge to post a spiteful tweet. As blogger Chris Pirillo said, “Twitter is a great place to tell the world what you’re thinking before you’ve had a chance to think about it.”
5. DON’T just talk
Social media isn’t for lectures, it’s for conversations. Like and follow local businesses and prominent city figures, and engage them frequently. Consider sharing or retweeting when a local business posts a special offer, or when the local high school posts their football schedule. Connecting with others in your target community gets your name out to the public in a positive way. As people continually associate you with the local community, it starts to build trust. When it comes time for them to list or sell, you want to be the first agent they contact.
6. DON’T quit
Building your social media presence is a process. Thousands of likes and hundreds of leads won’t flock to you after one well-formulated Facebook post. But with patience, a solid strategy, and consistency, your hard work will pay off. Even if you NEVER get a lead directly from one of these sources, using them to stay “top of mind” is an important part of your overall brand and marketing strategy.