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Throughout the pandemic, real estate professionals have relied on social media more than ever before to connect with their spheres and attract potential clients. However, the social media landscape has gotten harder to navigate, with users struggling to keep up with the latest platform or feature and stay in line with ever-evolving algorithms and advertising rules.
If you’re having a difficult time keeping up, social media marketing experts Katie Lance, Chelsea Peitz and Marki Lemons-Ryhal shared 14 effective tips for creating a sustainable social media marketing strategy that builds your network, generates leads and helps solidify your place as a leader in your market.
Here’s what they shared with the Agent Connect crowd on Tuesday:
Time block and batch create
Real estate agents often struggle to find the time to create engaging social media content. Instead of outsourcing your social media strategy or abandoning your profile for months on end, Lance suggested setting aside a few hours per week to batch create content that will last for the month. “The best type of content is the content you create,” she said.
Focus on video
When you’re short on time to create, Lance suggested focusing your efforts on video. “Audiences retain 95 percent of what they watch on video versus 10 percent of what they read,” she explained. “Video is where it’s at. You’ve got to go for it.”
Create pillar content that keeps audiences coming back
Lance said all real estate agents need to create “pillar content” that establishes who they are and what they can offer to audiences.
The best pillar content, she said, addresses time-sensitive and evergreen issues that reflect your specific expertise. “A mix of timely content and evergreen content helps you rank high on internet searches and solidifies your place as a leader,” she explained. “Give people insight on what it’s like to work with you — what do you stand for? What are you about?”
Find and own your voice
On social media, it’s tempting to replicate what’s worked for others, but Lance said that rarely works. Instead, real estate agents should embrace and broadcast what makes them unique and how they can be valuable to a specific audience. “Who do you love to work with? Why do you love what you do? What market do you serve?” she said. “You can’t be all things to all people. You have to lean into who you are and who you’re not.”
Create content that connects
Struggling to create content? If so, Lance encouraged agents to focus on their communities and clients to create a genuine emotional connection with their audience. “Shine the light on somebody else,” she said. “It doesn’t mean you have to spend two hours on a video. It could just be a simple post. That type of content is always a win-win.”
Beyond community and client spotlights, Lance said content explaining the nuts and bolts of real estate transactions, dispelling common homebuying or homeselling myths, and addressing common buyer and seller mistakes always work.
Focus on connecting with your tribe
Lastly, Lance warned agents not to get caught up in the race to build a gigantic follower base. Instead, she said it’s more important to find and retain the audience that matters most to you and your business. “It’s not about getting thousands of followers, it’s about getting the right followers.”
Treat your Instagram profile like a website
Peitz said an effective Instagram profile helps consumers find you, attracts a following and generates leads. “There are two types of people on Instagram — people who are looking for you and a whole group of people who have no idea who you are,” she said. “You want your profile to show them who you are soon as possible.”
A user name and biography that helps you get found
Peitz said real estate agents should take a few tips from search engine optimization (SEO) experts and use keywords to push them to the top of Instagram’s explore page and search list. The perfect username, she said, is a mix of your brand name, an industry-related word (e.g. real estate, realtor, homes) or their location.
The biography should tell followers who you are, how you can help them, and include a call to action that invites them to engage with you outside of social media, such as a free home valuation. “What is your superpower and how does your superpower help your customer?” she said. “That’s what you should focus on.”
Don’t add contact information in your biography
Email addresses and phone numbers aren’t clickable in an Instagram profile and assuming users will take the time to write down your email or copy and paste your phone number is a losing game. Instead, she said real estate agents need to create a business profile, which allows users to set up clickable tabs for their email and phone number.
Use Instagram highlights to organize your content
No highlights on your page? Peitz said that’s a huge missed opportunity to curate content and help new followers get a sense of who you are as a person and real estate professional. She said agents should aim to have at least five highlights with short, snappy titles and eye-catching graphics.
Each highlight should showcase your expertise, such as something dedicated to homebuying tips or a space for client testimonials. The point, she said, is keeping followers on your page as long as possible. “I don’t want to go anywhere right now,” she said of what followers want. “I want all the information right there.”
Utilize your direct messages
It can be tempting to skip your direct message inbox, as there’s ample room for trolls to pull you into fruitless conversations. However, Peitz said agents need to find smart ways to utilize their direct messages to connect with followers on the spot since you want to keep them on your profile as long as possible. “I live in my DMs,” she said. “It provides room to create a real intimate relationship.”
Always start with video
Lemons-Rhyal said real estate agents need to start their content creation process with video, which can easily be remixed into audio and written content. “Start your content as video content,” she said. “You can repurpose without recreating.”
Go live! Although live-streaming is nerve-wracking, Lemons-Rhyal said it provides the best opportunity to create a video that’s engaging. Plus, you can get valuable live feedback. “You want to get that initial engagement,” she said. “And sometimes your live audience will let you know your content wasn’t good as you thought it was going to be.”
For those who are self-conscious, she has one reminder: “People don’t care about how you look. They want to know you can solve their buying and selling problems. It’s not about you.”
Turn long-form videos into podcasts, and blog posts
Lemons-Rhyal said real estate agents need to take better advantage of Zoom, which also provides audio-only playbacks. Those playbacks, she said, are perfect for launching a podcast on the fly with little editing or revisions.
After uploading the audio to a podcast platform, she said agents can upload the audio file to a transcription site, such as Otter.ai or Temi, to create blog posts for their website. “Because of the reduction in organic reach, I want to make sure that I’m repurposing my content in as many ways as possible,” she said. “[Organic reach] is only 5.2 percent on average.”
“That does not work for me,” she said. “So I’m thinking of 20 different ways to repurpose and reshape that content to get as close to 100 percent [organic reach].”