Start infusing your personality and perspective into your social media content to connect with your audience and increase engagement, writes social media expert Maris Callahan Messervey.

How personal is too personal? If you are looking to revamp or engage your audience on social media, the answer may surprise you. If you are looking to make a significant impact, it’s time to stop following dated digital marketing advice.

For years, marketing experts have been doling out advice like: 

  • Use the 80/20 rule
  • Don’t share too much about your business
  • Keep it professional
  • Share content that adds value to your audience instead of talking about yourself

What if I told you that in 2023, you could add value to your audience while also talking about yourself? 

A huge piece of any real estate agent’s social media strategy should be focused on sharing who you are and what it’s like to work with you. 

That’s because social media is no longer a thing that you have to do to promote your business, but a place you go to get to know your community, build and nurture real relationships, and have genuine conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends.

To do that effectively, you have to show up as a person first and a real estate agent second. It’s not your market update, new listing or testimonial graphic that is going to set you apart and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

At this point, you might be thinking something along the lines of, “I don’t feel comfortable talking about myself on video,” or even “I’m a private person, and I don’t want to share too much.”

Share who you are

Luckily, there are endless opportunities for you to share who you are in your social media content without turning your feed into a personal reality TV show (because who has time for that?). 

Here are a few things you can start doing right away to take your content to the next level and start creating the kinds of relationships that lead to conversion on social media. 

Personal doesn’t mean private. Decide what you’re going to share about yourself. There is a huge difference on social media between personality-infused content and private content. 

You’re a busy real estate professional and you don’t have time to broadcast everything you do on Instagram as though you’re starring in your own Bravo reality show (hello, TMI!).

Instead, you can share snapshots throughout your day as a real estate agent and human who lives and works in your community, giving your audience a window into who you are and what it’s like to work with you. And the best part of it all is that you get to decide how much you are willing and able to share. 

You’re probably not going to spill all the details about the fight you had with your spouse about whose turn it is to take out the trash or the problems your child is having in school. You would, however, talk about your weekend plans, the dog you’re fostering, your love of Italian cooking or your favorite local restaurants for every occasion.

Get started with Stories

Instagram Stories is a great place to do this because stories are a more intimate form of communication on social media and are typically viewed by people who are already following you, and either already know you or would like to get to know you better.

Save the private stuff, like the drama with your in-laws over who will host Thanksgiving, for private conversations. 

Think about the kinds of small talk you’d make at a networking event, or with a new buyer client when you’re driving them around between showings. Use that type of content to inspire your Stories.

Infuse your personality into the content that you’re already creating

Personality-infused content means just that: Infusing a little bit of you into the content that you’re already creating, content that educates, informs, entertains and inspires your audience. 

You don’t need to stop doing things that are already working for your audience, but you can start putting a little more you into your post.

Make a list of some of the things you love to do outside of selling real estate and start sprinkling it into your social media content. 

Here are a few ways you can infuse your personality traits into content that fits your real estate social media strategy.

  • If you love pizza so much that all of your friends think about you whenever they order a pizza, do a weekly post sharing your favorite local pizza parlors. 
  • If you’re a wine enthusiast, make up a fun graphic about what your favorite wine says about your home decor style. 
  • Or, if you love tennis, do a post about how your tennis game has prepared you to be a better real estate agent (teamwork, patience and not giving up when the going gets tough).

If you want to infuse your personality into some of the more professional content that you’re creating, try these ideas:

  • Instead of a testimonial graphic, make a face-to-camera video telling a story about how you helped a client. 
  • Instead of (or in addition to) a “just listed” graphic, do a property tour walk-through of the home for sale and share your favorite parts about it. 
  • Instead of a market update graphic full of data and stats, share one surprising or unique stat about the market, and break down how it directly impacts your local homebuyers or sellers.

Ask your audience what they want to see from you

When in doubt, you can poll your audience and ask them what they’re interested in seeing from you. Now, you’ll never please 100 percent of the people in your community, but that is OK. The people you’re going to attract will most likely want to get to know you and eventually work with you.

When I began building my company’s social media presence on Instagram in 2019, I didn’t think people were interested in my personal life — they just wanted marketing tips and advice. 

I was wrong. In 2020, I started sharing a daily story about working from home with my dog during the pandemic. Very quickly, my “Daily Henry” started generating conversations with people I had never met in person who wanted to tell me about their dogs or send me photos of how their dogs were working from home with them, too. Some of these conversations even led to new business and referrals. 

But I thought, am I overdoing this? So I used the poll sticker in Instagram Stories to ask my audience if they wanted to keep seeing posts about my dog and sure enough, they wanted more.

So, when in doubt — remember that your audience is really just a group of humans who want to hear from you. Ask them what they want to hear more about.

Remember that people hire you for your perspective

In any client service industry, wanting to please everyone is natural. But in real estate, it’s OK to have opinions. After all, that’s why people are hiring you. 

Think about politicians. If you asked your congressperson a question about tax reform, and they just shrugged and said, “Sure, whatever. I just want everyone to be happy,” you probably wouldn’t trust that person. 

And trust is what builds relationships, on and off social media

All of these opportunities have one thing in common: You can put any of them into practice right away to start forging connections with people on your Instagram audience. They don’t require you to buy special equipment, hire consultants or sit for photo shoots. 

If you start infusing your personality into the content you’re already creating, you will start viewing social media as a must-have tool, not a nice-to-have tool, in growing your business.

Maris Callahan Messervey is a national social media coach, mentor, media-trained public speaker, and founder of Social Broker. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Instagram.

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