9 social media mistakes to avoid

Social media can provide an excellent opportunity for real estate agents to expand your sphere of influence, demonstrate your expertise and make a name for yourself, but making mistakes can derail your efforts. To get the most out of social media, avoid these 10 common pitfalls that many Realtors succumb to:

  1. “Friend” My Business – You don’t want a prospect to have to send you a friend request to see your Facebook page, do you? By using your personal page as a professional page, you also subject them to your privacy settings, your thoughts on last night’s reality TV and silly cat videos. Instead, create a business page that focuses on building your business and not your personal life, then invite your friends, clients and prospects to like it.
  2. Have You Seen My New Listing? – Or this new listing? Or this one? Pages quickly get boring if all you do is post about listings. Do incorporate listings into your posts, but make sure that’s only part of your overall content and not your only content.
  3. Let’s Talk Politics – No, let’s don’t. Agents who discuss – or worse, rant – about a politician, party or political decision not only risk alienating a large percentage of prospects, but they also look unprofessional. If you’re using your page 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, but it’s best to resist the urge.
  4. Negativity Town – Never post anything negative or critical against your brokerage or a competitor. It looks unprofessional and will not win you any friends.
  5. Old Page Better than No Page – Actually, that’s not true. Having an old profile that hasn’t been updated or posted to in months or even years sends the message that you are out of touch, or worse, out of business. It’s best to take it down and start again (click here for directions), then make sure to post at least 3-4 times a week. Use a free tool like Hootsuite to schedule posts in advance, so you can keep fresh content coming without spending a lot of time.
  6. Mr. Roboto – Social media is all about engaging with real humans, so be
    Automating posts from another social media profile, vendor or the MLS will make you look like a robot. And that's not good. (Photo Credit: Kopf odor Zahl/Flickr)

    Automating posts from another social media profile, vendor or the MLS will make you look like a robot. And that’s not good.
    (Photo Credit: Kopf odor Zahl/Flickr)

    one. Don’t automate your posts from another social media profile, a vendor or the MLS. You’ll look like a robot, and what’s appropriate for one social media platform may not be appropriate for another.

  7. Privacy, Shmivacy – You would never run a picture of a client or their family in an advertisement without their permission, so don’t do it on social media. Respect their privacy, ask for permission to use their photo and get it in writing before posting.
  8. Hang Your “Open” Sign – Don’t leave the big image at the top of Facebook (called the Cover Photo) and Twitter (Header Photo) blank. That’s like a shopkeeper forgetting to light the “Open” sign in the window. Show followers that you are open for business by choosing an image that represents your niche, community or business.
  9. Borrowing Images – While a quick Internet search may present thousands of entertaining photos to share on social media, that doesn’t mean you have permission to use them. Avoid a costly lawsuit by:
  • Sharing links to websites
  • Using photos from Flickr Creative Commons — they’re free, just make sure to give a photo credit to the owner
  • Purchasing inexpensive images through sites like shutterstock or istockphoto
  • Taking your own photos

If you follow these rules, you’re on your way to an engaging real estate social media profile that will help you accomplish your business goals.

5 Tips for Engaging Social Media Content

You may have heard the phrase “content is king” – that just means that you need to have interesting social media posts to attract followers. Here are seven tips for finding and creating interesting social media content for real estate that potential buyers and sellers will want to view.

Show your followers why your community is a great place to live. Photo: Adrian Snood/Flickr

Show your followers why your community is a great place to live. Photo: Adrian Snood/Flickr

Love Your Community – Show what it’s like to live in the area that you serve. What’s going on today? What is your favorite restaurant, theater, non-profit or event? Does your community have something new that your followers will enjoy, like a new bike trail or shopping area? Show why your community is a great place to live, work and play, and you’ll gain followers.

Water Cooler Test – Post unique properties that pass the water cooler test, meaning people will chat about it and want to share it with their friends and followers. Or, find a way to relate listings to an interesting trend or tip. Just make sure your listings are only part of your posts, not all of your posts, or your followers will get bored.

Offer Answers – Think about the questions you hear most often from buyers and sellers, and then answer them on your social media pages to provide valuable information and tips.

Be Visual – Posts with a compelling picture or video tend to get viewed more often, so avoid posting comments without something visual to go along with it. It’s best to take your own photos and videos, or share videos from YouTube. Don’t borrow images you find on Google Images, though, because you don’t have permission to use them. Instead,  use free photos from Flickr Creative Commons (make sure to give credit) or purchase inexpensive images through sites like shutterstock or istockphoto.

Proofread – Nothing can make u look moor unprofessional then a big glaring typo or freequant misspellings in your soshial media posts. So profread everything twyce befor e youu post. (Nuff said.)

Follow these 5 easy tips, and you’ll be on your way to an interesting social media profile that you can use to build your business and expand your sphere of influence.