Still think social media isn’t important to your marketing strategy?

Think again. More than 93 percent of Americans are on Facebook (according to Hubspot), and 90 percent of homebuyers start their real estate search online. These staggering numbers mean one thing: Real estate professionals need to take extra care when developing and executing a social strategy and to learn from mistakes that are being made by themselves and others.

Here are the five most common mistakes I see real estate professionals making on social media:

1. Focusing on the product, not people

The teachings associated with traditional marketing emphasize the “four P’s” (product, placement, price and promotion). Yes, real estate professionals are selling property. But online, they should be building relationships. Repeatedly posting property pictures on Facebook will bore your audience. On the other hand, posting a selfie with a client and their family as they move into a new house is something that will foster real engagement. More important, this approach sells your human side. As a general rule, agents should focus 90 percent of their content strategy around their community and limit property posts to around 10 percent.

2. Having inactive profiles

Social media is a marathon, not a sprint, and seeing the benefits will take time. If you are going to buy-in and build profiles on Google+, Facebook, etc., you need to commit to doing this over the long term. If someone Googles your name, chances are that your Facebook, Twitter and other profiles will show relatively high in search results. If a prospective client clicks these links, it is important that they see someone who is actively engaging with their audience. This lets them know you are in touch with modern marketing efforts.

3. Not analyzing results against other marketing channels

If you spend $1 per day on Facebook ads, you will get those ads in front of 4,000 people. That’s 25 cents per 1,000 impressions. So for $30 monthly, you can reach around 120,000 eyeballs. Now, let’s compare this against other marketing channels. Newspapers cost around $30 per 1,000 impressions. This can be a costly venture, as anyone who has run newspaper ads can attest. This doesn’t mean you should abandon your other marketing channels — it just means you should analyze the effectiveness of each channel against each other.

4. Being inefficient with time

A common thought among anyone starting a social strategy is that it will be too time-consuming. This can be true, but it’s all about setting yourself up for success with the right tools online. Social media scheduling tools, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, allow you to schedule posts in advance so you can spend more time on the management of your business. I recommend doing your posts weekly; this should take no longer than 1.5 hours to complete.

5. Not having a plan

Not having a plan can be the death of any social media strategy. Your plan should be centered on two things: building credibility and connecting with prospective clients. The best way to make certain you are being strategic with your posts is to build an editorial calendar (This is the one I use.) Taking the time to fill out an editorial calendar will yield results later on when you are trying to remember which hashtag to use and how to avoid double-posting.

Jordan Scheltgen is the founder of CAVE Social, a marketing agency based out of South Florida. He’s obsessed with everything to do with online marketing, startups and football.

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