Social media marketing continues to grow at a rampant pace — especially among real estate professionals. More agents and brokers started Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts. Some even took the next step into social media advertising.
One common trait of agents and brokers using these channels well is that they have developed concrete social media marketing strategies: They identify goals, track their analytics, engage in social conversations, and ultimately use the sites to help generate real estate leads. These pros know how to use social media. What many of them need to learn, however, is how not to use social media.
Below are common social media marketing mistakes agents and brokers make and social media tips for avoiding these errors.
1) Coming Off as Impersonal, Arrogant, or Unrelatable
Boasting about your business won’t do you any favors, so steer clear of making outlandish statements that come across as pompous. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express pride in closing deals. Showing appreciation for your clients, though, is the best means to show off your hard work without seeming big-headed. So, simply thank your clients and say how happy you are for them.
Similarly, don’t forget to show off your personality from time to time. Sharing the occasional photo or video of you with colleagues, clients, or even family and friends can humanize you to your audience.
2) Publishing Inappropriate Updates and Comments
There are lines you just shouldn’t cross on social media, especially on your business accounts. Posting photos or comments that raise eyebrows or, worse, offend people will only get you a bad reputation. All it takes these days — when every single thing you publish online is essentially there forever — is one moment of poor judgment to sink your business.
Think twice before clicking “share.” If you have to think twice about whether something should be posted, don’t post it. Even big brands mess up on social media from time to time, with some of their mess-ups badly staining their images, so learn from their mistakes.
3) Promoting Your Business Too Overtly or Too Often
Another type of post to avoid with your real estate social media marketing is the overly promotional kind. Yes, sharing your listings, promoting specific offers, and showing homes you sold is great … occasionally. Too many of these posts can make your social media accounts stale and, for some people, even annoying. Some social networks, like Facebook, have even started cracking down on content that’s too promotional and filtering it out of people’s News Feeds.
That’s why it’s important to mix in other content like blog posts and infographics with your promotional messages. If you don’t have much original, useful content to share with your audience, then take a step back and focus on producing content to share. The great thing about your content is you don’t just share it once. Rather, you can share it over and over again, extending its lifespan and getting others to share it with their networks which, in turn, builds your online following further.
4) Embellishing Listing Features or Business Information
As mentioned, posting pictures and information for your real estate listings is absolutely fine — even encouraged on most visual-based social mediums like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. However, some agents take these social updates too far and exaggerate features or even doctor photos of them to make them more appealing.
Aside from the fact this violates the National Association of REALTORS®’ Code of Ethics, it’s clear altering media of listings will only land agents in hot water and put their character into question. Steer clear of modifying listing information or images altogether, let alone for the sake of posting to social media.
In the same vein, don’t go overboard with your real estate social media bios. Provide details about your business that you can — your company name, accreditations, certifications, sales history, reviews, contact info, links to your real estate website, etc. — but don’t inflate any information about you or your agency. For instance, avoid rounding up with figures pertaining to homes you’ve sold. Add only the specific, actual final sales price for your transactions so as not to arouse the suspicions of your leads. False or “adjusted” information makes prospective clients wary of working with you.
5) Giving Social Media Account Access to the Wrong People
Misinformation on social media accounts, poorly thought-out status updates, or offensive tweets can happen to agents’ accounts without their knowledge. The reason? They have a marketing assistant handle things or share accounts with fellow agents who make errors and, thus, end up creating problems for multiple people. That means you have to completely trust anyone you give your social media login information to.
Your best bet is controlling your social channels yourself instead of entrusting others to help you keep up with publishing content and answering questions or comments.
6) Posting Only Personal Updates
As noted, the sporadic personal update, like a photo from your holiday party (sans any booze in the background) or hanging out with your family, is certainly fine. But the majority of your content should be work-related: photos and videos of the latest listings, curated content (like links to local housing market reports and business updates), and blog posts are the top candidates for social media publication.
Creating and organizing this content can be a hassle without an editorial calendar, so use platforms like Google Drive or Trello to compile all of the content you want to share via social media and order its publication for each social channel accordingly.
7) Publishing Too Frequently/Infrequently or at the Wrong Times
Knowing what days and times to post to social media can be accomplished through simple trial-and-error. Play around with what content you schedule to each medium the first month or two that you set up your strategy, and you’ll get a clear idea of which content should be published on which social channels and when. Regarding specific times to post on each channel, there are particular periods when it’s ideal to schedule your content. Here’s an optimal social media schedule from our Guide to Social Media Mastery:
The other key to social media marketing success is to post to each social media site regularly. Don’t overload content to one or more social platforms, but also don’t post so infrequently that your posts barely register on your audience’s radar.
For more info on social media publishing, take a look at this post from social media automation service Buffer to see what times of day are best for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ posting and this article from Social Media Today that examines the estimated lifespan of updates to each major social channel.
8) Not Posting New, Original Content
Finding content from other real estate professionals, bloggers, publications, experts, brands, or organizations and sharing them on your social accounts can be a lifesaver. No real estate agent or broker has unlimited time to focus on content marketing, so when you find other educational and entertaining content to share, the work’s been done for you and, in turn, you save loads of time. But you still need to post original content that you developed as your primary social media content.
Additionally, your content needs to have a niche focus. Target those who are specifically looking to buy and sell in your market and you’ll make more headway in generating qualified real estate leads.
9) Not Using Images and Videos in Social Media Posts
Use multimedia — images, videos, and slideshows — in your real estate social media marketing as well. Visual elements boost engagement rates on Facebook and Twitter substantially, according to data from social media insights firm Socialbakers: Facebook posts with photos have an 87 percent engagement rate, the firms notes, while adding that nearly half of the top 10 percent of Twitter interactions involve tweets with photos.
Don’t worry if you don’t deem yourself a tech-savvy real estate agent. There are endless tools to help you edit photos or create graphics and videos with ease. For example, here are 10 of the best video recording apps that make shooting your listings and testimonials a cinch. Meanwhile, photos can be simply edited using software like GIMP and Pixelmator, while Canva is an easy-to-use graphic creation resource.
10) Paying People to “Like” Pages or Post Fake Reviews
Two of the worst errors you can make on social media are paying others to provide false reviews for your business or like your Facebook page. Your audience may not even notice you’re doing these egregious social media marketing acts, but doing so will certainly waste your time and effort and potentially lead to issues with the social networks themselves (specifically Facebook, which has a strict policy against buying likes).
Simply put, there are far better ways to allocate your precious resources — one of which is using your money to create ads on Facebook and other social channels as opposed to paying random people to like your page. One of these tactics improves your social media metrics, the other doesn’t. Can you guess which helps and hurts your real estate marketing?
11) Deleting Comments or Responding Negatively
Some users who visit your social media accounts — whether they’re actually a client, lead, or stranger — will leave negative comments on your pages. Don’t get discouraged when people insult you, your content, or your company — and most definitely don’t delete their comments.
Instead, consider whether it’s worth responding (even if it’s an unmerited comment). If you feel it’s best to reply, take the “kill them with kindness” approach: Tell those who bash your business you hope they have a great day or ask if you can get more information as to why they’re displeased.
Responses from other users that cross the line or are vulgar should be reported immediately to the social network in question so they can block that user from connecting with your page further (or, in more serious instances, even kick them off the site for good).
12) Engaging with Followers Only Intermittently
Comments won’t come solely from bad apples and disgruntled users. You’re bound to receive positive comments … as long as you optimize your social media pages by posting awesome content regularly. Reply shortly after you get positive comments from users. If someone liked a buyer’s guide you shared, thank them and ask if they’re in the market. If someone has a question about a point made in a blog post, clear up the confusion and ask for further thoughts and even content ideas.
Social media engagement is one of the best ways you can make one-to-one connections with individuals and identify potential leads. Even if you don’t generate real estate leads on one or more channels, that doesn’t mean your followers aren’t saying good things about your business online and helping your real estate marketing efforts.
13) Focusing on Just One Social Media Platform
Aside from the established group of core social media sites mentioned to this point, there are new ones popping up regularly. Not all of them will become the next Facebook or Twitter (or even MySpace, for that matter), but some are still worth investigating. Your audience could be on a social channel that you haven’t even used yet. Research lesser-known social media services by creating accounts and getting a lay of the land.
Case in point: Few thought the short video creation tool Vine would turn into anything valuable. Today, the social media platform has more than 40 million registered users: That’s not bad, given the minimalist nature of the app. Smaller social platforms like this can be perfect tools to test with things like capturing listing videos, clips of local neighborhoods, and footage from local community events.
14) Scheduling Manually Instead of Automating
We alluded to it before, but it can’t be overstated: Scheduling software can make your real estate marketing on social media a million times easier. No longer are the days where professionals and brands need to manually enter every single social media post. Now, thanks to the likes of Hootsuite, Buffer, Edgar, IFTTT, and many other services, your blog posts and other content can be scheduled and shared over the long haul, saving you lots of time and effort. Here’s a sample of a posting schedule that can be created through Buffer:
The great thing about some of these platforms is they offer analytics that allow users to track the performance of their status updates, tweets, and other social media posts. Speaking of which …
15) Not Using Analytics to Monitor Social Media ROI
Google Analytics helps agents and brokers keep tabs on and, in turn, improve upon their real estate marketing — and that includes social media. If you’re not using analytics to track social media progress you’re missing out on the essential way of measuring how well your social media marketing is working for your lead generation and brand awareness strategies.