I consider myself someone who is "in the thick of it" in terms of social media. I manage all the social media channels for Inman News, and because of that I always keep one eye on what real estate agents and brokerages are doing in the social media world.
I currently follow about 500 real estate pages and about 400-500 real estate professionals on Twitter, plus I have another 200-300 LinkedIn real estate connections. Through all of these "connections" I get a bird’s-eye view on who is really mastering this marketing tool.
As you all know, simply creating an account on Facebook or Twitter rarely equates to being plugged in. The most common reason for not spending time on developing a social media strategy is that real estate agents and brokers fear there will be little to no return on investment and that, frankly, "It’s just too much work," or "I don’t have the time."
Here are three common mistakes that I see real estate agents and brokers making:
1. Doing too much at once. For people in real estate, it’s often best to start with a small social media presence. Check out LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter — which one appeals to you the most? The one that makes the most sense to you should be your starting point. Start there and then set goals for when you will branch out onto other channels.
2. Giving it to the intern. Too often, social media responsibilities will be piled on the most inexperienced assistants, or worse, someone who detests social media. If you are going to hire someone to help you manage your social media, make sure you hire someone who is not only savvy in communcation, but comfortable with exposure to the public. Social media needs a personal touch and someone who is aggressive and strategic.
3. Making conversations one-way. Too many real estate agents and brokers just see social media tools as just another way to push out information. Bombarding people with listings won’t earn many followers; there has to be a dialogue that keeps the audience engaged. Remember, make it less about you and more about the people receiving the information. Always ask yourself, "What’s in it for them?"
So, now what? How do you know if you are successful or not? One of the easiest things to do is to monitor your website and blog traffic. Make sure you have Google Analytics set up on your site and that once a week you are looking at where your traffic is coming from.
Here are a few real estate Facebook pages that in my opinion are doing a great job:
- The Corcoran Group
- Contra Costa Association of Realtors
- The Dawn Thomas Team of Intero Real Estate Services
- PMZ Real Estate
- The Robin Milonakis Group, Official Fan Page
- ERA Real Estate
Bonus: Want to see an agent doing something fun and different on social media? Check out this great video from Ben Balsbaugh, an agent from PMZ Real Estate in Modesto, Calif. He does an awesome job creating something that is about him but in a fun way that makes people want to share it!
(Can’t see the video? Click here to view on YouTube.)
What social media mistakes are you seeing real estate agents make? Please leave a comment below!
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Katie Lance is the marketing manager for Inman News. Future of Real Estate Marketing is a part of Inman News.
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