Far too often we think of social media in the same way that we thought about the cork boards in the coffee shops many years ago — as a place to tell people what we need.

  • Add value, be you and use video, if agents focused on these three strategies in our social media use, our brand and the perception of our industry would strengthen.

Far too often we think of social media in the same way that we thought about the cork boards in the coffee shops many years ago — as a place to tell people what we need.

Social media is not about what you need. It’s about what you can give.

Real estate agents are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to public perception.  Frankly, people don’t like us. Social media has not helped our fight to get out of the basement of public opinion for one reason: on the whole, we don’t know how to use it.

The common idea is that social media is for telling people about your listings, showcasing your buyers at the closing table, promoting how great you are or how amazing the market is right now. 

We overuse words like “fantastic,” “unbelievable,” “awesome” and “opportunity.” We claim that our own genius sold a house in one day despite location and price.      

All of that has a place in marketing, but posting about what you need will, eventually, tarnish your brand. It will become, well, annoying. 

If we focused on three basic strategy pieces in our social media use, our brand would strengthen along with the perception of our industry.

Add value      

This is not all about you, but it, also, is all about you.

The age-old thought that people are hiring you and not your brokerage could not be more true. Adding value to the problems that the buyers and sellers are facing reinforces your position in the market.

If you are giving away knowledge, tips, advice or data that is not easily attainable, the perception of your value will increase. 

If a potential clients see multiple posts that answer their unasked questions or solve their problems, they will turn the volume up on what you say via social media. You will have earned their attention. That is the ultimate goal on these platforms: attention.

Posting your listings, your closing pictures and the promotional items can be a part of your strategy, but it needs to be peppered with some high-value posts as well. Things like:

  • Market data from the MLS is useful and hard to get for the general public
  • Strategy for buying and selling in your market
  • Low-cost staging tips

Be real

There is a big difference in creating content and reporting what is happening. 

There is a need for produced content in your strategy, but the off-the-cuff and real posts tend to get the most traction. 

It promotes authenticity, honesty and the fact that you are a real person. Give people a sense of how you show up. 

If all of your social media content is produced, and you do not show up to the listing appointment the same way — it can become negative branding.

You want to show up as your authentic self every time, be it social media or in a meeting.

  • Look at a post as a conversation starter. Be natural. Use your tone and words. Be open to responses. 
  • Embrace the mess-up. If you stumble your words or put up the wrong graphic, don’t pull the plug. Acknowledge it, and keep going.
  • If you don’t believe it, don’t post it. 

Use video

If you aren’t already using video, start incorporating it immediately.

Video is a delivery method that reinforces your principles and core values. It allows your audience to get to know you on a deeper level.

Our attention span is around eight seconds at last check. The written word does not capture people the way that an image does on social media. When you add voice and tone into the mix, you increase your chances of gaining someones attention.

There is no replacement for your voice and face working at the same time to provide good, valuable content. I would be shocked if this was the first time you have heard this, yet, many avoid using video.

Do not waste time worrying about being prefect, focus on three things when you shoot video for social media:

  • Can you see what you want people to see in the video?   
  • Can you hear the person talking in the video?
  • Is the video too long to get the point across? The shorter, the better — as long as you prove your point or deliver your content goal.

We toil over making sure that people know that we sell houses. Our tendency is to only talk about what we are selling or how well we are doing in our business. It feeds our ego and promotes success. 

However, very few agents are able to push back the curtain on the produced video and rise above the photoshopped headshot and the scripted conversations far enough to gain a real audience through social media platforms.

By adding a deeper goal to your strategy, you will reinforce your brand and bring your business to a level of approachability on these channels. You become more service and less sales. For social media purposes, that is far more likeable.

Kevin Hoover is a Realtor with eXp Realty – Myrtle Beach. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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