Are you burying your head in the sand by wishing social media would go away? Are you doing it half-heartedly? Or not at all?
Social media isn’t going away any time soon. If anything, it’s becoming an even more important part of any solid real estate marketing strategy. Social media is irreplaceable because it helps you connect with people in an authentic, human, way.
So if you’ve been hoping that you could ignore social media, we’ve got bad news for you. You shouldn’t ignore it. It’s time to double down and MASTER it.
Here are some common mistakes we see real estate agents make ALL THE TIME on social media. Luckily, these mistakes are easy to fix, so what are you waiting for?
1. Not Having a Plan
Not having a plan is a death knell to your social media posting. If you don’t have a plan, you’re sitting there trying to figure out what in the world to post. And then nothing gets posted.
It’s possible that we know this because it’s happened to us before. Ahem.
Making a plan is easy. Just create a calendar and jot down what you’re going to post and when. Make sure to think about things that are on your schedule that might be good social posts: meeting with a new mortgage broker, trying out lunch at the new place down the street, or attending a local parade.
Writing these things down makes it much more likely that you’ll remember to take some pictures and videos and post them. Without a conscious plan, many of these opportunities will likely pass you by. We have agents all of the time who say, “Oh, I meant to get a photo of that!” or, “That would have been a great post now that I think about it!”
If you have a business page, it’s also really helpful to have some kind of a scheduler so you can plan at least some of your posts in advance (schedulers can’t be used with personal profiles). You can preset the times and schedule them as far ahead as you’d like. Some say that using a scheduler can harm you reach, but this doesn’t appear to be true. (Though if you use a scheduler, you may be more likely to do other things that do harm your reach.)
2. Only Sharing Listings
I’m sure you’ve seen it—real estate Facebook page (or profiles, for that matter) where people share nothing but their new listings.
Just Listed, Under Contract, Just Sold.
But think about it: most of your friends and followers probably aren’t looking to buy a house right now. Seeing new listings is pretty boring for most of them and just looks like you’re humblebragging.
You should people things with people that they want to engage with—information that’s important to them right now.
We’re not saying that you should never share a listing (though we kind of are), but they shouldn’t be the majority of what you post.
We’ve used this example before, and we’re going to use it again. If you go to a cocktail party with some friends, would you sit around and read testimonials and talk about how much your last listings sold for? Probably not! People wouldn’t want to be around you for very long.
And yet so many agents post testimonials and sales numbers to their pages. Remember, this doesn’t provide any value to the people you’re trying to reach on social media. THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR LATEST TESTIMONIALS OR SALES NUMBERS.
If people are interested in working with you, they’ll find reviews about you without your posting them. And virtually nobody else cares about your sales numbers.
4. Not Engaging (or Engaging Intermittently)
You know what the point of social media is? It’s to be social. You have to actually interact with other people on social media if it’s going to do you any good.
You have to give to get. This means that you have to interact with people, which makes them much more likely to interact with you. Comment on their posts! Send them a message! Wish them a happy birthday! Treat people like they’re actually your friends.
You wouldn’t expect a one-sided friendship in real life, so don’t expect it on social media, either.
5. Ignoring Messages
You know that little red number that indicates that you have a bunch of unread messages? Or maybe you’ve read them but haven’t responded. We get that it can be overwhelming to have a bunch of messages that need your attention, but really, do you have that many?
The problem is that you’re losing an opportunity every time you don’t respond to someone. You’re losing an opportunity to strengthen a relationship and, ultimately, you’re likely giving up business.
Make an effort to respond to messages promptly (within 4 hours is a good rule). This means that, yes, you actually have to log in and check for messages.
To make this easier, download Facebook’s messenger app to get notified of a new message right away and respond to it then and there. If you have a business page, download the Pages app.
6. Not Publishing Any Original Content
How often do you see someone posting only content that other people have created? Often, this means that people are posting a whole bunch of links. (And be honest—do you click on them?) Tell me again what value this brings to someone else? Usually people do this to feel like they’re “doing” social media. They’re just checking the “done” box but are not actually trying.
You need to be publishing content you create—blog posts, photos, and videos. People follow your profile expecting to see you delivering valuable information, so get people to pay attention to the things you create.
This is how people are going to remember who you are. Trust me when I say that posting a bunch of links from realtor.com is not going to help people remember who you are, nor is it going to help you stand out and make people want to work with you. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee hardly anyone is even going to see those posts.
7. Using Only a Business Page
If you’re relying on the organic reach of your business page to get yourself out there, well, you’ve got a problem. Organic business page reach is at an all-time low (about 1 to 2%, maybe slightly higher if you don’t have a ton of followers).
If you’re putting in the effort to post something and it’s only being seen buy a few people, you’re not using your time very well.
The solution to this is two-fold. One, post to your personal page as well. You’ll get a much better reach, and people are also more likely to pay attention to a real person than a business. It’s up to you how much business-related content you want to post to your personal page, but don’t shy away from sharing your expertise with your friends.
(And on that note, don’t shy away from friending your clients on social media.)
The second solution is to run ads against the content you put on your business page to increase its reach. Social media isn’t free anymore. Facebook (and Instagram by ownership) are publicly traded companies. They answer to shareholders who want a return on their investment. So they reduce pages’ reach to force you to pay for that reach.
8. Not Taking Social Media Seriously
We mentioned this at the beginning. If you’re not taking social media seriously, it’s time to start doing so right now.
You can’t afford to ignore social media or do it halfheartedly. If you don’t, you’re losing one of the very best ways you have to interact with people. People are on social media all the time—talk to them where they’re at.
Not taking social media seriously means that you’re leaving real business on the table. Have we got your attention now?
The best way you can start to take social media seriously is to be conscious of how you spend time on social media. You’re not on there to pass time anymore. You’re on there with a mission. Your mission is to share, educate, provide value, and engage.
Set aside some time in the morning and in the afternoon/evening to post photos and videos you took throughout the day and to engage with other people’s content.
9. Letting Someone Else Do It All for You
We get that you’re not a writer, graphic designer, and web developer. Nor should you be.
Many agents make the decision to hire out their social media marketing, and this is actually a really good choice. It frees up a lot of your time. It’s called leverage.
BUT you should never hire out all of your social media marketing.
No one can be you but you. And on social media, being you is the only thing that really matters.
So yes, hire someone to help you design graphics, do some writing, edit some videos, and help you come up with and execute ideas.
But don’t ever expect someone else to take your place. Remember, you’re the star of the show! Every show has producers, directors, make-up artists, and wardrobe help. But your name is the one in lights. People expect to see you (and they’re pretty savvy at figuring out when you’re nowhere to be found).
I mean, if you go to a Celine Dion concert, you want to see Celine Dion—not her backup signers lip-synching to her songs.
10. Not Being Consistent
We see so many agents turn over a new leaf and decide they’re going to post consistently. And then they don’t see the results they want right away, or they get busy with other things and let their posting die.
No matter what, don’t do this! Social media is a long game, and it can take a long time to see any kind of results. But just keep doing it, and it will eventually pay off.
This is why having a content calendar is so important. You’re hedging your bets against something coming up in your life that derails your consistency. Life will always happen, so plan accordingly!
11. Responding Negatively to Criticism
It can be very tempting to have the shiniest, most pristine profile around. But don’t delete negative comments or respond negatively to criticism. These things have a way of coming back to bite you.
If you get a negative comment, respond in a kind, factual way and let it go. This proves to people you know how to handle a tough situation (like, oh, I don’t know, negotiations?) and that you can be kind yet firm.
12. Not Spending Any Money
People like to think that Facebook is free. It seems like it should be. But if you’re a business, Facebook is very much not free. We mentioned this earlier, but Facebook’s business is built on advertising, and if you’re a business too, you have to pay to play.
If you’re not spending any money to promote posts on your business page, virtually nobody is seeing those posts.
Just a small amount of money ($5 to $10 a post) can ensure that a lot more people see the things you post on your business page.
We hope this helps you get your social media act together! It’s well worth the effort, and you just might find yourself having fun in the process.
We also have some helpful resources if you find yourself wanting more help on this topic: