The best posts you produce are ultimately the ones that are going to get shared, so give your social media a great deal of thought before you hit publish.

Agents are notoriously awful when it comes to social media posting and management, so I knew this topic would pose a particular challenge.

What makes shareable content for agents so challenging? It boils down to this: Shareable content is the highest tier of success when it comes to social media. However, it doesn’t happen by accident; it requires careful planning and strategy.

First things first: An excellent social media presence requires a considerable time investment. I believe that if you are going to do something, you should do it right — otherwise, don’t bother. With the right commitment, well-planned content becomes exceptional content which then inspires others to share it.

However, before you go off to plan you need to do a little research — actually, a lot of research. You need to understand your audience.

Which of your posts do your current followers comment on or react to? Is it your videos? Blogs? Stats? Personal news? Recognizing this will help guide you in the right direction. It would be even better if you also endeavored to research the competition.

Check out which content is getting shared the most often, and mimic that in your strategy. For example, if your competitor’s Weekly Real Estate Tip videos are getting a high level of engagement, you might want to consider vlogging as well. 

Once your research is complete, follow these five tips to create social media content that others will want to share:

1. Be relevant and interesting

I can’t begin to tell you how dull the majority of real estate agent’s social media posts are. Let me be frank: very few people care about the homes you’ve sold or your new listings. True, some buyers are looking at those posts as #inspo for their own home or because they are in the market, but you can’t be a one-trick pony — give your audience different types of content. If you don’t, you risk more than a loss of engagement, you risk losing them as a follower. 

If your feed looks something like this: Open House, New Listing, Just Sold, Open House, New Listing, New Listing, New Listing, Open House … you aren’t interesting. Important people (or most people, for that matter) will only share your content if it makes them look more knowledgeable. It is crucial that you make your posts meaningful and compelling. 

Perhaps you have a killer mac and cheese recipe that new homebuyers can try out on their brand-new natural gas stovetop, or a great event is happening in the neighborhood, or maybe you have insight on something new and impressive in the area. Your social media should be as enjoyable as you are in person. 

2. Headlines are everything, literally 

Did you know that a majority of people don’t even read articles that they share on their social media? A compelling headline, in many cases, is enough to earn some eyeballs. It could mean the difference between a share, a like or a comment. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should be dishonest or overly sensational to get the attention of your followers — instead work hard on creating a substantial article with a grand headline. 

Again, if you work in a particular area, talk about important things that are going on. Invite your followers to a local event you are attending, share significant design trends you’ve noticed, discuss local news and other topics that might be relevant to your audience. As a real estate agent, you know more about what is going on around town than most. Use this to your advantage. 

3. An image is worth 1,000 words 

Never has this saying been more accurate than on social media. A compelling image can get you to stop scrolling and focus your attention on a single post. With your audience’s full attention, you increase the chances of one or more of them sharing your post. 

If you’re going around taking pictures with no planning or strategy, they won’t generate interest — meaning they won’t be shared. You are spending a lot of time out and about while the rest of us are more than likely sitting behind a computer, so share some glamorous and bright photos! Don’t be afraid to get creative. 

4. Keep it positive

Studies show that positive news that conveys excitement is more likely to get shared. Generally, people like to feel happy and share this positive communication with others. Don’t harp on negative news; focus instead on the good news — trust me, there is plenty of it out there. Be the bright spot in someone’s feed, whether it be heartwarming local news or positive developments or trends in the real estate industry. 

Feel free to use humor in your posts when appropriate. People also like to share a good laugh! But don’t go too far, be sure that your memes and posts are not offensive or you might lose some clients. 

5. Offer incentives for sharing 

One last — but important — thing to consider is offering incentives for those who share your content. Let your followers know that for the entire month, whoever shares the most posts will be eligible to win a prize, like a gift card.

Make sure that the gift card is worth it, and that the posts you share are worthy of their clicks. If you’re posting a haphazard photo of the coffee you spilled earlier that day, no one is going to share it no matter how much you offer them.

Alternatively, you can hold a competition open to all, followers and not, which is sure to get some shares both online and offline. 

The best posts you produce are ultimately the ones that are going to get shared, so give your social media a great deal of thought before you hit publish. 

Laura Ure is the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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