With a well-thought-out social media strategy, you can take your real world reputation into the digital domain. Social media networks give you the chance to develop relationships and build trust. But, you need to avoid these key mistakes.

You’ve all been there. Urged on by your peers and managers to create multiple social media profiles, to build our brand. So, you’ve delved in and grappled with each social network. However, I see many agents making the same, very obvious, blunders. So, here’s what not to do and what you can fix right now.

1. Creating and ignoring your social profile

Yes, I get it. You’ve listened to the ‘experts’ like me and created several social media business pages. Now what? Do you have a plan?

Too many real estate agents leap into social without a clear social media strategy, and this can cause you headaches later on.

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So what is your audience looking for?

If you’ve managed to attract followers to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media pages, then those people need reassurance that you’re a legitimate business with useful information to share.

Think about it…your number one goal when building an online audience is to drive traffic to your website and convert those prospects into clients.

But, unless you have a clear social media management plan in place, your posts will be random and may dry up altogether. Consistency builds trust.

“Don’t let your social media well run dry.”

Top tips:

  • Pre-plan your social media content, and create a schedule of posts. You can use a spreadsheet at first, to come up with ideas and content to link to, before you dive in and start posting.
  • Delete any social media business pages you can’t manage effectively. If all you can handle is your Facebook personal profile, then stick to that and put all your energies into creating awesome content your audience finds useful.
  • If you have a reserved name or page that’s inactive, make sure that it’s not visible or, if it is, make sure the branding is consistent with your website and other social media pages, and that it’s clear that it’s a holding page.

2. Posting too often or too infrequently

How often should you post? And on what platform? There’s enough material in this question for a separate blog post so, for now, I’ll give you the condensed version.

If you want engagement with your audience, then you need to stay top of mind and be present consistently on whatever social media platform your prospects favour.

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Post too often on Facebook and LinkedIn and your followers will simply scroll past. Post too seldom and your page fans may forget they followed you. As real estate agents, you can post three to four times a week and still keep your audience, given that those most interested in real estate are most active Thursday to Saturday.

It’s a little bit different with Twitter – Twitter is a fast-moving dynamic platform and you can post more often. In particular make use of Twitter at events such as auctions. It’s a great tool for sharing short excerpts and photos to share the story of what’s happening as the bidding unfolds.

Top tips:

  • On your personal account, being authentic and giving your connections a glimpse of the real you has been shown to increase engagement time and time again.
  • Feel free to share content you find interesting from others on your Facebook profile, as long as you’re still directing followers to your own Facebook fan page or website intermittently.
  • Keep your Facebook fan page strictly real estate business however, at least this is the advice interpreted from international facebook guru Mari Smith.
  • Use Twitter for real-time tweeting.
  • Make sure you can post your own content consistently, be it once or twice a day, once a week or once a fortnight.

3. Posting other people’s content

We see real estate agents doing this too many times for comfort. Why, oh why would you bounce readers off your social pages to other company websites? Unless you have affiliate marketing agreements in place, what you’re doing is free advertising for, in most cases, the publishers with whom you pay to list properties.

Always remember the reason you have a social media marketing strategy in the first place. It’s to:

  • Stay top of mind.
  • Engage with your audience.
  • Drive leads to your website (not send them off to someone else’s).

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Image source: VisualHunt

Top tips:

  • Make sure that all links on your social media business pages are links to your website. For instance, if you are posting a link to a property listing, make sure it’s the listing page from your company’s url.
  • By all means, test the interest in a topic using other people’s content, but post or share their information using your personal Facebook profile not your Facebook fan page. You’ll know by the number of likes or comments whether or not that topic is worth pursuing and worth your time writing a full blog post or even a vlog (video) post, which then makes it to your fan page.

4. Posting time-specific rather than evergreen content

The great thing about real estate marketing is that there is a set of consistent facts that don’t change too much over time. This type of information, called evergreen content, only grows in value the longer it’s out there in the digital world, continually gathering likes and clicks and comments.

So, avoid dating your information as if it were time sensitive!

Remember, too, that you can convert one great blog article into multiple posts.

An awesome blog post that gets loads of clicks or comments is clearly resonating with your audience. So, not only can you repurpose the blog post into a YouTube video or Twitter hashtag, for example, you can also reuse or republish the content a few months down the track or even next year.

Top tips:

  • Create evergreen or timeless content.
  • See what is attracting readers and reshare the content the following month, or year. Once you build up your ‘library’ of blog posts, you can use an automated scheduler to repost the content.
  • Think about applying an advertising budget to boost your posts or page, to reach people you don’t yet know or with whom you aren’t yet connected.

5. Ignoring comments or messages

Just as “All advertising is good advertising”, so comments on your blog or remarks on your social media pages offer value. Negative or positive, each comment is an opportunity to engage with your connections and build trust in your personal brand.

As a real estate agent, you will be hoping for mostly positive comments but make sure you also have a social media strategy in place to deal with any negatives.

If you receive a positive comment, then thank the person. This is a chance to build a relationship. It will also keep the post active for a little longer in the social feeds and allow the time for others to add comments of their own.

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With negative comments, you want to jump on to those as quickly as possible. If a potential customer has had an unfortunate interaction with your brand, they want to be reassured that you’re taking their comment seriously. You don’t need to make a formal apology but you do need to assure them that you’ve registered their grievance, will investigate why it happened and make sure that any of their future interactions will be positive.

“Respond quickly to comments to build trust in your brand.”

Top tips:

  • Respond to all comments as soon as possible. You may find it’s useful to appoint someone in your office as a dedicated social media monitor to keep on top of this.
  • Use comments and your responses to build relationships and trust in your brand.

Need help with your real estate social media?

As you can see, social media marketing isn’t a question of setting up a few business pages without a clear plan. For effective real estate social media marketing, you need a strategy. If you don’t believe you have sufficient time and resources needed to dedicate to your social media, then it’s wise to employ a professional social media consultant to manage your pages or, at the very least, to devise a strategy and a plan to help your team implement that strategy. Those real estate agents that have are creating a reputation in their marketplace and reaping the rewards or new inbound leads.

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Melanie Hoole

Written by Melanie Hoole

Melanie specialises in helping real estate professionals perfect their personal brand, build a first-class digital profile, and implement inbound marketing activities to attract property owners planning to sell. If you are unsure which direction to take with your digital marketing – contact Melanie Hoole for help.

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