Last year I "unfollowed" over 30 real estate agents because of what they were posting on Facebook. What does that tell you about your potential clients? How many of them "unfollowed" you?
Let's take a look at what the pros and cons are when using social media as a small business...
Many real estate agents choose to promote themselves via social media, especially Facebook, and for good reason, as other more traditional strategies became unavailable. Social media marketing allows you to target a specific audience that might otherwise you might be unable to reach. For entrepreneurs , social media marketing can also:
Increase Brand Awareness - It's not just the younger generations on social media, but in fact, 4 in 5 seniors are now using social media platforms. This makes social media platforms like Facebook, Tik-Tok, YouTube, and Instagram great tools to get the attention of all demographics. Over 90% of marketers claimed that their social marketing efforts greatly increased their exposure, boosting brand awareness and brand recognition.
Is Cost Effective - a Social media marketing is a lot cheaper than other marketing tactics. Almost all social media platforms are free to sign-up to and use, giving you plenty of leverage when it comes to spanning your marketing efforts far and wide. But your time is also worth something, so be sure to understand what your time is worth, and know how much time is effective in social media marketing efforts.
Higher Conversion Rates - With the increased visibility that social media brings, agents have more opportunities for conversion, especially now that social media has exploded during the pandemic with everyone working more from home. Blog posts, images, and comments all help to lead potential customers to your website which can result in an increase in lead generation. You should always post on your website Blog and push out to social media.
If your viewers are grimacing as they scroll through their newsfeed...
well, that's not good. While there are a number of benefits social media marketing provides for small businesses, it should also be noted that there are some disadvantages. It means giving up the your independents for the sake of your business. Some cons of social media marketing for small businesses to consider include:
Can be impersonal - While social media can improve customer reach and be a useful tool for interaction, real estate agents can get so caught up in creating content that may not be appropriate for your business verses your tribe. Your reputation is key in the communities where you work, so you need to protect your business image.
Time consuming - For a social media marketing campaign to work, your brand must be continuously updating your blog or featured listings. Writing content, replying to comments, and providing links or images that will keep customers interested can be time consuming, although building those relationships may be worth it over time.
Loss of control - Online exposure carries the risk of negative feedback, disgruntled customers, and define your reputation. Anything you publish online on a public space like Facebook or Twitter is open to comment or criticism. If you use social media clumsily then you are at risk of backlash. From insensitive content to dull comments or replies, these mistakes can put your reputation on ‘blast’ and spark consumers to taint your reputation. And most of the time these negative comments are permanently online for everyone to see – even years & years after the fact.
If you use social media as a soapbox for issues that you stand for, create a separate account for just connecting with your tribe.
If you use your personal account to add a business page, you are "co-mingling" your "business interests" with your "personal interests." This is where most entrepreneurs get into trouble.
This part falls under the "loss of control" part. Topics that you should never post about..
Politics, politics, politics (don't run off people that don't agree with your views)
Social Issues (such as 2nd amendment rights, pro-life vs pro-choice, etc)
Religion (not the platform to convert others to your own beliefs)
Health related issues (about yourself or anyone else, HIPAA violation)
Negativity (just be a breath of fresh air rather than "Debbie Downer")
Racial Biases or slurs (come on now... do I have to say this?)
Re-posting controversial posts that are not verified as factual
Social media can be an important part of your marketing strategy, but you need to VIEW it as just that. As a business owner, your personal social media becomes open to everyone, not just family and friends. If you think this is stifling your personal views, set up another personal account so that it is not associated with your business page and get up on that soapbox (you know you want to) and say what is on your mind.
One last thing... other real estate agents don't need to be your friend on your Facebook page! You want potential clients, consumers, etc... not just other agents. It isn't the QUANTITY of followers, its the QUALITY of followers. Besides, other agents do not need to see everything you post to generate leads!
If you have to question whether or not its appropriate, don't post it!