Have you been on social media for years but still aren’t seeing any ROI? It’s possible you’ve fallen victim to some of the common mistakes real estate agents make on social media that can seriously derail your efforts. In my job as a real estate creative content director, I see a lot of agent social posts. Like, a lot. So here are my tips on how to avoid the most common pitfalls.
Let’s Talk Politics
No, let’s don’t. Agents who discuss, or worse, rant about a politician, party or the latest conspiracy theory not only risk alienating a huge percentage of the population, but they also look unprofessional. If you’re using your social for business, leave the politics out. The same goes for any topic that is controversial or polarizing. I know it’s hard not to jump in and offer your two cents during an election year (believe me, I know), but resist the urge for the sake of your business.
Have You Seen My New Listing?
Or this listing? Or this one? Using listings as your only content is not only lazy, it’s boring.
Think of social media as a huge cocktail party – you don’t want to get cornered by the guy who drones on and on about one topic, right? Try mixing it up and telling the story of your community and why people would enjoy living there. Post about the cute new café that just opened, the holiday festival that’s coming up or the neighborhood park where you love to take your kids. You can also post tips about how to get pre-approved for a mortgage, how to stage your home to sell and what home improvements will help a property sell for more.
It’s ok to post your listings as well, but make sure that’s only part of your overall content and not your only content. Also, avoid just posting a link to the property. It’s more interesting to show your favorite picture with a description of the lifestyle that property offers, with a link.
Social media is all about engaging with real humans, so be one. Don’t automate your posts from another social media profile, a vendor, your brokerage or the MLS. You’ll look like a robot, and what’s appropriate for one social media platform may not be appropriate for another. For example, Instagram loves lots of hashtags, but if you auto-share that same post to Facebook it’s going to look out of place.
Time to Engage
Social is a two-way street and making posts is only half the battle (and opportunity). Don’t just watch what people post – engage with them, because that’s how relationships are built. If someone comments on your post, respond to their comment like you would in a real-life conversation. When you’re scrolling and see a post about someone who just had a baby, got married or started a new job, then comment and wish them a heartfelt congratulations. And if you know them well, mail them an actual card. Spot someone looking for a good contractor? Recommend the one you used on your last listing. This friendly interaction will get you noticed and keep you top of mind.
Hang Your “Open” Sign
Don’t leave your social profile pic or Facebook/Twitter header image blank. That’s like a shopkeeper forgetting to light the “Open” sign in their window. Show followers that you are open for business by using a current headshot as the profile pic and an image that represents your niche, community or business for the header.
And don’t under estimate the “current” aspect of your profile pic. I once met an agent who I’d seen on social media many times, but was quite surprised to see they were actually about 30 years older than I expected. (I don’t have much of a poker face, so hopefully my shock wasn’t too obvious.) Now I’m the first to admit that I looked better 10 years ago, but you want people to recognize you when they see you around town. So use a current picture, please!
No Rules, YOLO!
In most states, the same rules you have to follow in your marketing apply to social media. Whether it’s your state board, REALTOR association, brand or brokerage, make sure you are compliant on social media to avoid any issues. The rules vary significantly across state lines, so don’t assume that if you see someone else do it, it’s ok. In California and Hawaii, you have to include your license number. In Connecticut, your office address. In New Jersey and New York, don’t even get me started. Tons of rules. Make sure you know what rules apply to you and follow them on social media.
Lastly, never post anything negative or critical about your brokerage, competitor, town, HOA or really anything that sheds a negative light on your business or yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own post or a comment on someone else’s post. It looks unprofessional and will not win you any friends.
Follow these tips and you’ll have an engaging real estate social media profile that will help you win clients and listings.