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Social media is still a mystery for a lot of agents. Unfortunately, this means even the best agents make mistakes, blunders, and faux pas that could easily be avoided. As the founder and principal broker of The Lyons Group brokered by EXP Realty, I use social media daily. In this article, we’re going to walk through the top 15 things you should avoid doing on social media, and talk about some strategies you can use to actually power up your business.
This is pretty self-explanatory. If all you ever post is listings, whether they be yours or other agents’, your feed is going to be stale. Yes, you should absolutely share your new listings, but that shouldn’t be the only thing you are sharing on social media.
People come to social media to escape their day-to-day mundane tasks. If they only see you selling them something, they’re going to go “blind” to your posts.
Share your listings, but make sure your social media is more than just that.
Yes, I just said don’t post listing, listing, listing, but the reality is you should also have some consistency in your messaging.
Right now, you’re probably like me: in a super-tight, super-competitive, seller’s market. People need to know that. They need to know what it actually means. So tell them! Often!
Sure, you may get some people saying “We know it’s a seller’s market, you talk about it all the time!” but that’s not a bad thing; it means they’re listening.
It’s natural to want to be liked, to want each of our social media posts to be popular, so we worry about being too repetitive. But trust me, this is like a zit in high school—a big deal to you but not really to anyone else.
This one will either resonate with you or make you question my sanity.
I used to subscribe to ideas like “Don’t ruffle feathers, don’t talk about politics, religion, or any divisive topics.” But, I’ll be honest with you: I just don’t care anymore.
When the Black Lives Matter protests were happening in 2020, I took a strong stance in support of the movement. I probably lost a couple of friends and maybe some clients too, but at the end of the day, I didn’t care.
Some things are more important than people’s opinions. I’m a very polarizing person, you either love me or can’t stand me. I WANT IT THAT WAY!
When you’re “nice” to everyone, you’re forgettable. Taking a stand on something you care about will separate you from every other milquetoast real estate agent out there.
If there’s a topic that you’re passionate about, don’t be shy. Let your voice be heard, be thoughtful, invite conversation. People gravitate toward others who can express themselves, even when those opinions are at odds with their own.
This is one of the BIGGEST mistakes I see agents making—they shy away from showing stuff other than real estate. They think (incorrectly) that their clients/friends/family want to see them buttoned up and professional all the time. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
You NEED to be sharing your real life stories. Your kids. Your spouse. Your hobbies.
Circling back to what I said earlier, people use social media to escape. If it’s always “What is Jeff selling us today?” they’re going to tune out.
Share silly things your kids did or even pictures/videos of them. Here’s a great example:
Share pictures of your pets or your family. Some of the most engaged posts I’ve done are just simply pictures of my beautiful wife.
People want to know the real you, the “off the clock” you. Don’t be afraid to share the behind-the-scenes stuff.
We live in a voyeuristic society. We love to “peek behind the curtain” and see what people do in their day-to-day life. Yes, even if it’s “boring.”
Calling expireds may be super-boring to you, but to someone who’s interested in what an agent does all day, it’s exciting, or at the very least, it’s eye-opening.
Most of the public’s opinion about what a real estate agent does all day is usually summed up in a single thought:
“It must be so much fun showing all those pretty houses!”
Show them all the pretty houses, but also make sure to show them all the ugly ones too. I bet if you really looked at your day-to-day “boring” tasks, you could find a lot of interesting posts.
I make tons of videos helping real estate agents become more successful. I tell literally all of my “secrets” to building a successful business. Why would I do this? A few reasons:
And lastly, I know what most people will and won’t do when they see my content.
What do I mean by that? Most people don’t take action.
This is a concept I learned from Tim Ferriss. He said, “I can tell people the whole plan, and I know three things: 85% will take no action (they’ll appreciate what I’ve taught them, but will take exactly zero steps to do ANYTHING), 10% will do my plan (but do it way worse than me), and 5% will do it better than me.”
Shouldn’t you worry about the 5%?
No. That 5% will come back to you and say, “This is what I did differently, and these were my results.”
In all three situations, I win.
Here’s an example of me “Giving Away the Farm”:
STOP following real estate agents who make you feel like crap. If every time you open Facebook all you see is “Accepted Offer!” or “4th closing this week!” and it makes you feel less than, UNFOLLOW those people who trigger these feelings.
I’m friends with lots of real estate agents in my marketplace and across the globe. If their posts make me feel like I’m a loser, I unfollow them.
Remember, it’s YOUR social media, you can control what you see. Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and I totally believe that. If you’re friends with someone and they make you feel worse when you see their posts, do something about it!
Mistake #8 definitely goes both ways. If you’re the agent constantly bragging, you’re making a mistake.
If all you ever post is “accepted offer!” and “another closing!” your clients are going to notice and it may not work out in your favor because your clients may think you are busier than you actually are.
“Yeah Jeff, we actually saw how busy you were and decided to use our Uncle Joe, who just got his license.”
I’m also not saying you can’t brag about your successes. You absolutely should—just try to limit it, and make sure to look objectively as to what you’re posting to make sure it feels like 90% of your celebration is for your clients and only 10% for you.
Yes, we’d love it if all of our friends and family thought we were the best agent around. But it’s really not about us; it never has been and it never will be.
It’s about the client, first and always.
Make your posts about your clients, either personally, or your ideal client avatar.
A client avatar is your ideal client. My ideal client avatar is a move-up buyer. Someone who is selling their first home and moving into a bigger home.
Your client avatar may be young professionals. It may be move-down buyers who are retiring. Your avatar is whatever you’re passionate about in the real estate space.
Make your posts about them. Answer the questions they are asking.
I know, this seems super-counterintuitive. Aren’t we supposed to be asking for business all the time?
I’ve never once asked for business on social media. I offer help constantly, but I NEVER (I repeat) NEVER ask for business.
It’s tacky. Again, people go to social media to escape, not to be sold. Stop asking for business and start offering help and watch your business change.
Are your audiences on Facebook and Instagram the same? If the answer to this is yes, then why would you post the same content in both places? If they’ve already seen it in one place, what’s the point in showing it to them in another?
If the answer is no, then these audiences have different needs. Why try to use the same content to meet these disparate needs?
Create content that is platform-dependent, and to a certain extent, tool-dependent within each platform. Here’s an example of what I mean:
Instagram is a visual platform, but it’s not great for traffic direction. Constantly asking people to visit the “link in your bio” gets tiresome, so work on delivering them value that they can get right on the platform.
On the other hand, Facebook is a great medium for sending people places. Link all you want there! Also, because of the way Facebook posts are structured, you can tell a much more complex story there, complete with longer descriptions and multiple links.
As for tool dependency, use Stories (on both Facebook and Instagram) for your less polished “real-life” moments. These posts are temporary, but they get a ton of exposure.
Think about the platform you’re using and let that tailor your content for you.
“U dont want to miss this hom3!”
Make sure your grammar and spelling is at least decent. Remember, you are constantly being interviewed. There is no quicker way to lose someone’s confidence than to trip over your own proverbial shoelaces before even shaking their hand.
This one will just get you fired.
If you’re racist, misogynistic, or just plain ignorant, first of all: Grow up. Second of all, it’s 2021. You will get fired, lose business, and maybe be completely removed from your board based on what you post.
Once again, social media is like a 24/7 job interview. Act like it. I’m not trying to be the thought police here—you’re entitled to hold whatever opinions you want. Just be aware that sharing those opinions can have consequences.
For the most part, I post funny content: memes, dumb jokes, stuff like that. But I also post value-driven, engaging content.
Don’t be afraid to be 100% serious in one post, and 100% silly in the next—people want both. Just like what I said about only posting listings to social media: If all of your content feels exactly the same, your audience will go blind to it.
Be yourself. People want to know the real you. Success in real estate is about building relationships, and your clients can’t build relationships with you if they don’t know who you really are. Social media is a great place to do that.
A lack of engagement is a major mistake, especially on Instagram. Like, share, and comment on your audience’s content. When they comment to you, comment back! Though nobody knows exactly what the Facebook and Instagram algorithms are, it’s clear that engagement prompts amplification, so the more back and forth you can generate, the better.
A great strategy for this is to ask a question in response to your audience’s comments on your content. This gets them to answer and allows you to keep the conversation going as long as you want.
Social media is a two-way street. Being engaged on your page and on other pages is how you grow a loyal following on social and in your business.
Give yourself a social media audit. Sit down with a peer or even on your own and objectively evaluate your pages. Would you want to work with you? Would you want to follow you?
If the answer is no, then change it!
If you want more great tips on how to kill it on social media, make sure to check out 23 Real Estate Social Media Marketing Tips for Top Agents, and, of course, join The Close’s Real Estate Agents Mastermind Facebook Group.