It’s no secret social media is vital to a successful marketing plan, so why are so many agents neglecting their Facebook business pages, YouTube channels, Instagram profiles and Tik-Toks? According to industry-leading marketing expert Katie Lance, it often comes down to one thing: unrealistic expectations.
“Real estate is a relationship business and relationships are built with small, tiny interactions over the course of time: Every like, every comment and every share,” the Get Social Smart Academy CEO said during her Connect Now session on Wednesday. “Don’t forget — done is better than perfect.”
Lance said simplicity, consistency and authenticity win every time, with the agents experiencing the most success on social media spending no more than three hours a week scheduling posts and interacting with followers.
“I encourage you to set aside 30 minutes to an hour every week to schedule some of your content,” she said. “I recommend setting aside 10 or 15 minutes a day to check your notifications to like, comment, engage, be intentional, interact with other folks.”
“You know … I have two boys who are teenagers. I always tell them, ‘Be a noticer,'” she added. “I will tell you the same thing — be a noticer in your feed. It’s a small thing that can really make a big difference. Don’t be a drive-by liker, but take a few minutes every single day to intentionally engage and interact on a weekly basis.”
Here are Lance’s four steps for creating a stellar 2024 social media plan:
Create a 12-month content plan
Lance said the first step to creating social media success is creating (and sticking to) a consistent content plan. “If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not going to happen,” she said. “I’m a big believer of time blocking daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.”
Lance suggests agents set aside one or two hours a month to create all the content they’ll need for the month, including pillar and promotional content.
Pillar content usually consists of videos and allows potential clients, colleagues and others in your network to get a clear idea of your personality, experience and unique value proposition. Meanwhile, promotional content focuses on things like open houses, new listings and “just sold” announcements.
“The whole point of pillar content is that the leads you get from pillar content are so much better,” she said. “When you start to put out not just content that’s promotional and can start to integrate on a regular basis, educational and informative content, things that you get asked all the time … you’ll start to hear things like, ‘I see you everywhere. I feel like you’re way ahead. I feel like I know you.’ Those kinds of people when they’re ready to work, they’ll work with you.”
After batch-creating videos, graphics and written posts — Lance considers podcasts optional — agents should spend 30 minutes each week scheduling the content on each of their social media profiles. From there, Lance said agents should spend a few moments each day checking comments and interacting with their audience.
“Don’t set it and forget it,” she said. “It’s the difference between attracting business versus chasing leads, right attracting business versus chasing leads.”
At the end of the year, Lance suggests agents take a look at their analytics to determine what did or didn’t work.
“Set aside time at the end of the year, which you’re probably doing right now, where you can look at your business, you can look at your marketing, and you can see what worked, what didn’t work, and then get a plan together for the new year,” she said.
Save time and repurpose your content
The idea of creating 12 months of content can be overwhelming; however, Lance said agents can save time and maximize their impact by repurposing content. Did you record a 10-minute YouTube video? Use a transcription service to transform into a blog post or multiple written posts for Facebook or Twitter. Splice the video into smaller pieces perfect for Instagram, YouTube Shorts or TikTok, or take the audio and use it for a podcast episode.
“What’s great about pillar content is when done right, it can go up in one place and then it can get repurposed,” she said. “It could get reshared into an email newsletter. When you’re putting up evergreen or timeless content, you can post it today. And guess what? You could post it six months from now, four months from now and you can reshare it. Pillar content works for you while you’re sleeping.”
In addition to saving agents time, Lance said repurposing content has a tangible impact on how quickly people can find you.
“You know, it’s such a powerful thing when you get Googled or somebody Google something related to you and you pop up,” she said. “Now you’re communicating with that client while you’re on vacation or while you’re sleeping because your content is working for you. That is such a powerful thing when we think of content marketing.”
Categorize, categorize, categorize
In addition to learning how to reuse content, Lance said it’s helpful to categorize content into five buckets: local real estate, national real estate, local community, personal interest, and home and design. These five categories enable agents to adequately cover the spectrum of news and insight that most buyers and sellers are looking for.
“Instead of thinking, ‘Okay, well what am I doing for 12 months?’ get a repeatable routine in place every single week,” she said. “That’s the name of the game.”
After creating pillar and promotional content for each category, agents should determine which day of the week to put that out. For example, Lance said many of her clients have a Tip Tuesday, where they’ll post a video on their personal and business Facebook pages that helps buyers, sellers, new homeowners, etc. navigate a specific part of their real estate journey. Agents can also do Market Update Monday, Wisdom Wednesday or Throwback Thursday.
“Now you’ve got pillar content that’s rolling, [and] you’ve got some additional content that’s that’s relevant [and] that’s timely. So it’s this balance of timely content, promotional content, and evergreen content,” she said. “And guess what, as you start to roll out and start to put out videos, you can also add into the mix a video you posted six months ago, a video you shared three months ago or a Reel you did two months ago.”
“It’s really a layered approach, and once you get that sort of weekly habit in place, it’s a lot easier to repeat,” she added. “Getting that repeatable routine is key.”
Value authenticity over perfection
Lance said the last — and biggest — most agents battle is the need to be perfect, which often turns into procrastination or inaction.
“I know a lot of you know Katie Clancy. She’s spoken many times on the Inman stage [and] she’s a longtime member of our Get Social Smart Academy,” she said. “One of the things that she has said for years that I love is, ‘I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I know I’m somebody’s shot of tequila.’ So you don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea. Maybe you’re somebody shot of tequila. Lean into who you are and who you’re not.”
The social media dynamo said agents often get stuck in “the sea of sameness,” where they want to have a perfectly curated persona they think will appeal to the widest range of people. While you might gain the attention you’re searching for, Lance said buyers and sellers ultimately choose to work with people they connect with on a personal level and can solve their specific issues.
“You want to do a little bit of the work of thinking about who would you love to work with,” she said. “What is it that you do? Where do you specialize in? What is really your niche? What’s your why? Why do you love what you do?”
She added, “When you can really hone into your niche and really hone into who you are and who you’re not, that’s going to come out in your brand, and that’s going to come out in your content.”