Social media mavens Shannon Milligan and Giselle Ugarte shared proven best practices for marketing with micro-video on TikTok and Instagram at Inman Connect Las Vegas.

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When it comes to making the most of your agent brand on social media, Shannon Milligan wants you to know that there is “magic in the mundane.”

Milligan, of RVA Home Team in Richmond, Virginia, was joined on stage by Giselle Ugarte, online performance coach and the CEO of Action-Forward, to encourage the Inman Connect Las Vegas audience to share more of themselves when online.

Shannon Milligan; photo by AJ Canaria/MoxiWorks

“Show people who you are, not what you do,” Milligan said.

“What matters most is to create as intimate an experience as possible,” Ugarte said. She contrasted micro-video marketing — like Instagram Reels and TikTok — to traditional methods such as door knocking and cold calling.

“With video, you can do all of that at scale. If you watch my video, I can make eye contact with every single one of of you simultaneously,” she said. “And that continues to work for me, even in my sleep, for as long as that profile exists.”

Specifically, Ugarte said to eschew addressing your video audience with, “Hey Instagram,” or “Hey everyone.”

“No, it is ‘hey,’ and it is one person. Use the word ‘you.'”

When it comes to ideas for content, listen to what’s being asked of you.

“If you’ve been given a question more than twice, that right there is evergreen content,” Ugarte said. “A big problem I see with real estate agents is that you’re not making content for your clients — you’re making it for each other.”

Clients don’t care about industry concepts, buzzwords or monthly marketing reports, she said.

“Break it down in terms they understand, or what matters,” she said. “Less is more, you want content to be as bingeable as possible. And, leave them wanting more.”

But be careful what you wish for.

“Going viral sucks,” Ugarte said. “You get a lot of trolls, you get a lot of people that make you question everything you’ve ever worn. Can it lead to transactions? Sure. But that shouldn’t ever be the goal. The goal is relationships.”

9 TikTok and Instagram tips:

  • Show people who you are, not what you do
  • It takes 20-24 touch-points today for people to make a buying decision.
  • Have a “soft landing” on your social profiles, meaning having a full grid of posts on your profile to choose from.
  • What you’re most self-conscious about is your biggest selling point on social. Embrace it.
  • Find success markers beyond comments, likes and followers.
  • Listen to what’s asked of you: repeat questions are evergreen content.
  • People often watch video without sound, so use captions; title videos.
  • Pick your platform, stick to it.
  • Content ideas are everywhere you live your life.

Giselle Ugarte | photo by AJ Canaria/MoxiWorks

However, the duo agreed that likes and followers are not what lead to new business.

“Some of my most profitable clients have less than 1,000 followers,” Ugarte said. “They’re posting once or twice a week, yet their posting intentionally, strategically, and especially, for the people who don’t follow them.”

The social media maven said that agents need to find success markers beyond likes, followers and views.

Milligan told the audience that content ideas are all around them.

“Grab coffee with somebody, get out your phone, do a [Instagram] Reel, and you could talk to someone about what $300,000 gets you in Seattle versus Washington, D.C.,” she said.

“If you’re a foodie, show your personality when you’re sitting down at dinner. Grab video of that, put it to a really cool song.”

Milligan said she’s never surprised when she meets people in person who say, “You’re just like you are in your stories.”

Milligan said that’s by design because Instagram Stories are your very own Truman Show, referencing the meta-reality show movie with Jim Carey.

“I am shocked that people watch the crap I put out there,” she said. “And I get business from it.”

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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