Social media made marketing yourself as an agent about as cheap and easy as it comes. Years ago, you had to have a good chunk of change to get in front of even a fraction of the people you can reach on social media for very little (if any) cost.
But many agents get disappointed with how little reaction and interaction they get on their social media posts, let alone the amount of business they directly get from it. Understandable… It sucks when you post something and nobody hits the Like button or drops a comment. It can make you feel like social media “doesn’t work” to market yourself.
If it makes you feel better, just because people aren’t reacting or commenting on your social media posts doesn’t mean they aren’t noticing! Posting real estate content on social media may very well be doing a fantastic job of keeping you top-of-mind with your followers when they think about buying or selling, but they just aren’t giving you any sign that it’s working.
Still, doing what you can to increase reactions and engagements is a smart thing to do, and worth the time and effort! The more likes, comments and shares you get isn’t just a good barometer for you to gauge how much love and awareness people have for you as an agent, it’s also social proof that people trust and like you for your prospects to see. And of course, rocking your social media game can directly lead to getting you business.
So, what’s the trick to getting more reaction and engagement on social media? Is it throwing money at ads, or boosting posts? Is it choosing a better time of day to post? Is it creating or finding more compelling content to share? Well, tinkering around with all of those things may certainly be help, but there’s something many agents ignore altogether that could help their engagement regardless of what, when, or where they post.
The trick is, you gotta be social on social media!
Sounds pretty obvious, right? But the reality is, many people (not just real estate agents) drop the ball when it comes to truly putting the “social” in “social media.” It’s not a new problem, and it’s one that’s been written about for years, yet somehow people tend to make the same mistakes. Just look at this article on The Social Media Hat from 2016, which the author (Mike Allton) had originally published on LinkedIn in 2014.
Allton points out 5 mistakes many people using social media for marketing purposes tend to make:
- They only post their own content, without any context or prompts for discussion. (Think listings, or bragging about a sale or how busy an agent is when it comes to real estate.)
- Never sharing other peoples’ content.
- Not thanking people for sharing your posts.
- Not responding to people who take the time to comment on posts.
- Following tons of people for the sake of having a bigger audience.
Here are some key takeaways that he recommends instead:
- Choose a platform or two at most to concentrate your efforts on. In other words, don’t worry about being on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, TikTok, and any other one you can think of. Just choose a couple where your ideal connections hang out, and focus on them.
- Strive to post things that achieve the Three E’s; educate, entertain, and engage. (Which is by no coincidence the secret sauce we aim for in all the content we create for our Inner Circle members to share on social media!
- Don’t add more and more random people to your followers list for the sake of having more followers. Be selective and foster a genuine network of friends, family, and followers.
- Focus on one-to-one interactions with key people within your social media network. Go deeper with a few, rather than casually (or barely) connecting with thousands.
The bottom line of that article was that you can’t just get as many followers as possible, post what matters to you, and hope that people will flock to react to it. You need to interact and develop relationships with people by truly connecting with them and reacting to what they post!
It’s the law of reciprocity in social selling. At the most basic level it boils down to…if you like my stuff, I’ll like yours…if you engage with me, I’ll engage with you. (But if you want to take a deeper dive into how to use the law of reciprocity in social selling, check out this Inside Sales article.)
Here’s your agent action plan!
So now that you know the value of being more social on social media, let’s put together an easy action plan so you can actually apply it!
Pick your platform (or two)
If you’re on every single social media platform in existence, say farewell to all but one or two. Remember, less is more when it comes to being more social on social media. You can’t possibly spend enough time developing deeper relationships when you’re stretched too thin. Give some thought to where your ideal audience (and client base) spends time on social media.
For instance, Facebook is great for a wide variety of demographics, but if you want to interact with more business-like people, go with LinkedIn. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re looking to engage with younger males, Reddit is the way to go. There are plenty more to choose from, and there’s no such thing as the best or the right one. Just pick one that you understand, like spending time on, and has enough of your ideal connections to build relationships with.
Build your following selectively
Whether you have a couple hundred, or a couple thousand followers currently, you want to continue to grow it constantly. But, make sure you’re growing it thoughtfully. Don’t just add friends and followers for the sake of numbers. If you meet or come across someone you think would be a valuable addition to your network, add ‘em, but don’t just send or accept requests willy-nilly.
It’s not a bad idea to focus some special attention on people in your network who seem to be good at reciprocating and interacting with their followers.
Pro tip: Keep in mind that many people on social media aren’t actually posting or engaging all that much. Find and focus on the ones who are! They’re more likely to reciprocate and engage with your content than someone who rarely posts, comments, or otherwise shows signs of life on social media.
Be on the lookout to react and engage with them
Whenever you’re on social media, watch for posts you can chime in on, react to, and share if it’s worthy or appropriate to do so. Don’t be a wallflower. Join in the convo. Give ‘em the love and attention you want to get in return, without actually expecting anything in return.
And don’t bring real estate up every time you engage! Of course you can if and when it’s appropriate, but remember that you’re supporting them and what they posted, not your own agenda—even if that is ultimately why you’re spending time being social to begin with!
But don’t rely on your feed to serve you everything that’s posted…
Be proactive and use it as a database
It’s almost impossible to see everything that everyone posts. Use your list of followers as a database you go through methodically. Each day, go through a letter or two of the alphabet and deliberately check out the profile of the people whose last names begin with those letters. If they’ve posted something you can engage with, do so. If not, shoot them a quick message about something they might find interesting, useful, or entertaining.
Doing this will make sure you connect and engage with your key contacts on a regular basis, even if they don’t post for a while, or if they just don’t post much at all but tend to comment, react and share other peoples’ content. Over time, you’ll start to get a feel for who supports you in return, and you can focus more attention on those who do, and less on the people who don’t.
Make it easy for them to react, comment, and share what you post!
People want to be around and help people they like and find fun, interesting, or helpful. So while you may be deliberately going out of your way to interact with them — and it may subconsciously prompt them to want to do the same for you — make sure you post content that’ll make them want to do it for you in return!
In other words, don’t bore them with humble brags about your sales, or latest listings…or at least keep it to a minimum. In fact, make sure that you aren’t only posting about real estate. Throw some other stuff into the mix as well. But when it comes to posting about real estate, make sure it isn’t the same old boring, self-serving stuff a lot of agents post.
Social media works for marketing and branding yourself, and can directly lead to getting you business. It just may not seem like it’s working if you’re not seeing a lot of reaction or engagement. That doesn’t mean it isn’t doing something, but it’s probably a sign that you could be tweaking things to make it even more productive.
So, don’t just chalk it up to not working and ditch your efforts altogether. Spend time cultivating your connections by being more social with them, and before you know it, you’ll start seeing more notifications that someone reacted to, commented on, or shared your content.