Social media plays a huge part in today’s society. Whether it’s for personal or professional use, social media cannot be avoided. There are many reasons why social media can be a game changer for real estate professionals. Social media allows real estate agents to share expertise and knowledge while also creating a brand for themselves.

Most real estate agents can attest to hearing common real estate myths — for example, “All real estate agents are the same.” Most agents know this is the furthest from the truth. Real estate professionals who are industry leaders on social media can also attest to hearing common social media myths repeated by other real estate professionals. Here are five of the most common social media myths for real estate.

Myth 1: “Everyone I follow on social media will follow me back.”

It’s comical when someone follows you one day on Twitter just to see a few days later they have unfollowed you. (It’s true, there are tools out there that show who has recently unfollowed you.) Upon further review, you might discover this person has roughly 1,000 followers and follows around 1,000 people. This is a classic example of someone who believes the “if I follow someone, they should follow me back” myth.

To build a strong following on social media, you need to gain trust and build relationships with others. It isn’t something that you can do overnight. Before you expect someone to follow you back on social media, you will likely need to provide some value to that person. Value can include sharing their content or commenting and interacting with them on a piece of content they’ve shared.

Myth 2: “Constantly blasting my latest listing will help sell it.”

It’s rare that homebuyers are logging into their social media accounts expecting to shop for their next home. Real estate agents who consistently blast their latest home for sale on social media don’t understand how social media can impact a real estate business.

The next time you’re on social media, check out an agent’s profile who is consistently blasting listings. It’s extremely likely you’ll see little to no interaction on this agent’s profile. Then go check out the profile of an agent who has a strong social media following. It’s a guarantee you will see a difference.

Myth 3: “It’s smart to share my content exclusively.”

It’s not smart at all to share only your own content. Being selfish on social media will not get you very far. Real estate agents who create epic content love being in the spotlight and having their content shared. By only sharing your content, the chance of others sharing it are slim to none. When others share your content, it significantly increases your potential reach.

Myth 4: “I can share my content on all sites at once and be finished.”

Writing great real estate content takes practice, time and effort. One of the biggest social media myths that agents believe is that once they write their article, they can post it to a Facebook page, Tweet it, pin to Pinterest and then carry on with the day. This is not true. In fact, once an article goes live, the work has just begun.

There are many websites where real estate agents to share their content to gain more exposure. You should know how to and where to curate your content. It’s sad to watch great content go unnoticed.

Myth 5: “I can be an expert at all social media sites right away.”

If you’re just starting out on social media, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start with one social media website, build a solid following, and then move on to your next site. Establishing a strong following on Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and LinkedIn all at once is difficult and takes lots of time — likely more than you have to devote. Decide to focus on one site, and then seek out the industry leaders and watch what they are doing on a daily basis.

Ask real estate agents who are highly influential on social media if they’ve heard any of the above myths and they are guaranteed to nod their heads in agreement. There are likely more people practicing these common myths than practicing the proper way to utilize social media for real estate!

Kyle Hiscock is a top Irondequoit, New York, real estate agent with Nothnagle Realtors. He also runs an active real estate blog.

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