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Don’t take this the wrong way, but your social media stinks.
That’s not an insult. I’m not singling you out. But the facts just can’t be ignored.
Despite the highest frequency of posting, the real estate industry had the lowest engagement rate in HubSpot’s 2015 Social Media Benchmarks Report.
This data might be surprising. All the social media gurus talk about how important it is to post regularly. And statistics typically show that using images increases engagement as well. And the real estate industry was tops in posting that content as well.
So why aren’t people engaging?
Likely it’s because you’re not posting the right things. It’s not that your listings and other updates are bad. I’m sure they’re great — for some people. But the majority of your followers just don’t care.
Content might be king, but context rules
Unless the people in your social media feed are in the market for a new home or contemplating making a move, then they have no interest in your listings, the houses you sold recently or anything else related to your business.
And let’s face it — most of your connections don’t fit into that group. It’s usually several years before those clients will even think about moving again.
The problem is you can’t afford to ignore them until they are back in the real estate market. Of real estate clients, 70 percent forget their agents after only a year.
Here’s what to do instead
1. Give your followers information they want
That seems almost too simple to state. Most agents fall into the trap of posting updates they want to share rather than updates their followers want to receive. You can’t force engagement.
So what is it that your clients do care about then? Hopefully, you’ve been building relationships and know at least some of their interests. And while these will vary from client to client, there are certain topics that have broader appeal than others.
According to research from CoSchedule and Buffer, food, home and lifestyle topics account for 85 percent of the world’s most shared content.
Indeed, the shareable recipes, DIY ideas, organizational tips and self-improvement information we create for our customers consistently works well for them.
2. Focus on building relationships, not selling your services.
Think about the reason people use social media. It’s not to advertised and sold to. People like updates on Facebook because they learn something new or share an opinion.
They retweet or share content that evokes some emotion or wonder. They pin images that inspire them to their Pinterest boards. That’s the kind of content you need to be posting.
The 80/20 rule is a good guideline when planning your social media calendar. No more than 20 percent of your activity should be about your services. The remaining 80 percent or more should be about your clients’ wants, needs and likes.
When you do post about yourself, make it personal. That doesn’t mean that you should post anything that would make you look unprofessional.
But injecting a little personality or sharing some nonwork updates helps you connect with your clients. The more your followers get to know you, the more rapport you’ll have. That’s huge when it comes to referrals and repeat business.
The same goes in reverse, too. Use your knowledge of your followers to connect with them. For instance, if you know that one of your clients is a vegetarian, you can share a meatless recipe with a personal note about how you thought they might enjoy it.
Although it’s not talked about much, most social media sites let you share directly with individuals. That’s a great feature to make your clients feel special.
It takes a little time and patience, but improving your social media efforts can bring you significant return on investment, especially if your competitors keep doing things the same way.
Sean Kirby is copywriter for ReminderMedia, a relationship marketing company that helps businesses solidify their key relationships and generate repeat and referral clients. Follow them on Twitter and connect on Facebook.