For a busy real estate agent, with social media, it’s not size but engagement and trust that’s important. It’s better to have fewer dedicated followers who are interested in what you have to say than a mass of fake friendships. Find out why.

Many real estate agents are obsessed with getting more followers on their social media platforms.

Why?

Because it’s a quick way of showing how ‘successful’ your social media marketing activities are.

In truth, if most of your readers aren’t your target market, they can be hindering your social media marketing success.

Concentrate on earning quality followers.

Who is your target audience?

If you’ve done your marketing homework, you’ll know who your potential customers are. And with a bit of refinement, you can craft a tweet or post that’s talking to one person.

Me. Your buyer or seller who lives in your real estate catchment area.

And because you’ve taken the trouble to know what I need, I’ll reward you by liking or sharing your post on Facebook or LinkedIn, sharing your Instagram post, or retweeting.

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Photo credit: fogfish via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

What happens next?

Your post or tweet gains a relevancy rating and more of your followers will see it.

How major social media platforms work

Most social media companies use complex algorithms that consider hundreds of variables – your past behaviour, what you’ve liked or ignored and so on.

You know how you don’t see everything your friends post?

That’s because the social media algorithm for Facebook or Twitter (and soon, Instagram) calculated in a nanosecond that, based on your history, those posts aren’t anything that would interest you.

They aren’t relevant.

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An algorithm in action

The social media algorithms are made up of hundreds of smaller algorithms so, to explain, I’m going to massively oversimplify how the process works.

Let’s say you have 500 Facebook followers for your real estate page. They all live roughly in your catchment area, they’re clearly interested in your real estate market and we can assume they follow you because of your location and your real estate offering.

You have a social media strategy based on helping potential customers with timely information. You decide to post ‘Top 10 tips to get the best home price in Croydon’ and upload it to Facebook.

Jane, one of your followers, isn’t selling but one of the mothers, Sue, from the local school mentioned she was looking for a larger property in the local area. Jane shares your post with Sue. Sue, in turn, shares the post with her husband and parents, who share with colleagues and friends.

Sue’s friend Tom sees that Jane shared with Sue. Tom shares to his brother’s timeline on Facebook.

With every share or like, your post gets a relevancy score. (It’s partly this rating that prevents you from becoming invisible.)

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Readers like it enough to share. In doing so, they demonstrate that they trust your expertise as a real estate agent for the area. Your post gets bumped up in the feed.

And the best part…

Because of the above scenario, more of your followers will begin to see your post, and more people are likely to click through to your website.

Now you’ve improved your odds of converting that interaction into actual real estate sales.

How to gain 10,000 followers and lose business

In the SEO and social media world, we talk about ‘black hat’ tactics.

You know those eager-beaver SEO companies that email you and offer to get you on page 1 of Google?

They can do it. They’ll set you up with dodgy back links (fake PR release sites are a classic) and in a couple of weeks, you could make page one of the search results.

The catch?

You’ll be penalised heavily and your website will sink to (at least!) page 20 of Google or Bing before you can say, “auction hammer”. Worse still, the damage done for your brief moment in the sun will take weeks of work to undo.

There are similar tactics for social media. It’s possible to get yourself 10,000 followers in a week or so. There are social media consultants who will sell you a list of followers for your real estate social media but your social media strategy is about to go off the rails – and fast.

Dodgy list-building tactics can harm your business.

Major social media platforms recognise spammy lists and the quality of the followers you’ve bought is poor to non-existent.

How unengaged followers hurt your social media marketing

Let’s say you have 5,000 followers from all over the world but fewer than 20% of them live in or around your catchment area.

Back to your ‘Top 10 tips’. You post on Facebook but your followers in Boise, Idaho or Reading, UK, aren’t interested in contacting a real estate agent in Australia.

They’re not in the market to buy or sell a property in your area.

Few, if any, share your post. No one likes it or reacts in any way.

The Facebook algorithm determines that, to the majority of your followers, your post is irrelevant. Your carefully crafted post sinks without a trace.

Worse – you’ve diluted your opportunity to build trust, build a community and create rapport.

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Attracting quality followers on social media

While it’s great as a real estate agent to invite followers, you need to be clever in your methods so you attract followers who convert to leads and sales.

#socialmedia #hashtags need research so you attract only quality followers

Grabbing followers through quick-fire methods like competitions isn’t always a great tactic either and you may find that 80% of your followers are dead wood.

You want only those who find your news relevant and shareable, those followers who will form a virtual community of like-minded buyers and sellers, and those whose trust you can gain.

If you’d like help to build a community of committed followers, the Hoole.co team is here on hand to get you on track. Our dedicated online marketing and social media consultants help real estate agents across Australia build quality leads and create digital communities that work for your business. Contact us today to get started.

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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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