Via my marketing firm, I’ve been helping Realtors® market themselves on social media for almost a decade.
When I’m initially engaged to help, I often hear from my clients:
"I’m posting all my listings to Instagram and Facebook, and they get likes and comments, but no one EVER calls! Why?!”
The answer to this question is simple but not immediately apparent since it seems logical that putting more eyes on your listing can only help.
Read on to learn why letting everyone know about your new home listing isn’t helping you get more clients or sell your homes more quickly.
Peer pressure is bad for your digital marketing
Everyone else is doing it.
As a teenager, you probably heard that from your parents at one time or another when you wanted to do something just because everyone else was doing it - and you wanted to fit it.
Sharing your listings on social media is a reminder that peer pressure is an adult thing too.
It just feels right, doesn’t it? Get a new listing, blast it out on social and let everyone know.
So what’s the problem?
Simply put, it’s noise.
And your new listing post adds to the noise - while getting lost inside it.
Don’t believe me?
Just head to Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn and follow a few Realtors®.
One after another, you’ll see a stream of home listings, all hashtagged up and looking just like all the others.
And that’s the issue.
So many new home listing posts look just like all the other home listing posts, and our brains file them under “ignore.”
Read on to learn how to overcome this to get your new listing posts seen.
Social media is the ultimate window for shopping
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “window shopping.” It may sound harmless, but that’s the issue: it is.
Window shopping needs a goal or intention; mostly, people window shop as a pastime or even just for some relaxation.
That means they’re not in “consumer mode,” looking to buy something they want or to fill a need.
People viewing your post (if they even see it, as mentioned above) may like, share or comment on it, which adds to the confusion.
You’ll get things like, “Oh! What a beautiful house! Love the architecture!”
Or, “Tina, this is the kind of house I was telling you about! I want it!”
But don’t be fooled; it’s just window shopping. And it won’t help sell your home or bring you more home buyer clients.
You see, when people window shop, it’s really entertainment. It lacks the all-important “buying intent.”
Most importantly, what this kind of activity says about your post is less obvious but much more insightful:
You’re not reaching the right people, via the right channel, with the right message, and at the right time.
To get social media users to take action, you must put an engaging message in front of the people most likely to need what you offer - and at the right time.
Blasting out new listing posts is the exact opposite of this.
It’s like dropping a message in a bottle off a cruise ship in the middle of the Pacific and hoping it gets to people living in the Gulf of Mexico.
Just imagine all that water as all the noise from other new listing posts on social media, and you’ll instantly get why this is so.
Let’s just say the odds are not in your favor. In fact, it’s nearly impossible.
But read on to get tips on overcoming this while still getting your new listing post on social media.
How to get your new listing seen on social media
If you’ve read this far, you may be a bit sad now at the low potential for return from all those new listing posts to social media.
Don’t fret, though. You can make a few simple tweaks to your social media strategy and improve your odds of getting eyes on your home listings - and new clients.
First off, familiarize yourself with these general social media “best practices:”
1. Use Eye-Catching Visuals: Visuals are vital to making your post stand out on social media. Use visuals that are eye-catching, vibrant, and relevant to your post.
2. Use Hashtags: Hashtags are a great way to get a post seen on social media. Use relevant hashtags that are popular and relevant to your post to increase its visibility.
3. Engage Your Audience: Engage with your audience and encourage them to share your post. Ask questions, respond to comments, and reply to messages.
4. Utilize Paid Advertising: Paid advertising on social media platforms can help get your post seen by more people. Target your ads to specific audiences and measure the results to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
5. Cross-Promote: Cross-promote your post on other social media platforms. Doing this can help you reach a wider audience and get your post seen by more people.
6. Leverage Influencers: Leverage influencers in your network to promote your post. Influencers can help reach more people and generate more engagement for your post.
These are general guidelines for any effective posting on social media.
You can even use them as a checklist before pushing the button on any Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram post.
But this is the important part...
Best practices notwithstanding, you can do additional (VERY) critical things to get your new listing out there that will increase the chances they get seen and engaged.
Here are a few essential items to try - and make a part of your everyday social strategy:
- Don’t be so overt: As described above, posting a typical “New listing!” kind of share only gets lost in the noise. You can still link to your listing page, but grab attention without being so generic:
-- Ask a question that relates to the listing and invites engagement (e.g., “What’s the best feature of this house?” or “Where’s the best Italian restaurant in this neighborhood?”)
-- Be creative, fun, and inspiring (e.g., perhaps a house reminds you of a Monet painting you can share or you encourage people NOT to do this in a house with a pool)
-- Show your sense of humor (e.g., share a joke, a witty quote, or a funny poem that somehow relates to the home, its location, or its best features)
-- Share personal stories or experiences (e.g., how a small kitchen can ruin Thanksgiving or how much having an in-law suite helped you when you had kids)
- Use video: When you want people to stop and pay attention on social media, videos or animated gifs are currently the best media items you can add to any post. Remember, people have short attention spans on social media, so quick, eye-catching videos that instantly give them all they need to know are best.
- Multiply your force: Engaging your posts with other social media accounts or influencers is a great way to increase your engagement with audiences more likely to be interested in your home listing - and who may share it in their networks. For example, if a local architect designed your home, mention or tag them in your post. Perhaps an innovative local landscaping company gave the house its curb appeal, so connecting your share to their accounts is another great way to get in front of relevant audiences.
- Share testimonials and reviews: Even if you link to a home listing page, start your post with a positive review from a recent buyer client or data on your performance (i.e., share the number of sales you’ve done this month or how many homes you’ve sold in this particular neighborhood).
- Bring the value: Determine the home's most valuable features for prospective buyers and use each as a social media post emphasizing their benefits. For example:
-- “This kitchen has two ovens for big family gatherings!”
-- “This one is three miles from the new Amazon distribution center for short commutes!”
-- “Convenient for EV owners: This seller installed a plug-in charging station right in the garage!”
-- “I would have slept much better in this house when I had toddlers. The kids’ rooms are at the opposite end of the house from the owners’ suite!”
-- “I can’t stand wearing house shows or socks (gets dirty!) in the house, so wish I had these heated floors!”
- Tips, tricks, and how-tos: Most home buyers (even those who’ve bought before) don’t understand all the ins and outs of the home-buying process. Use your listing and link to share quick, helpful tips on social media:
-- “This house won’t last long! if you’re looking in this neighborhood, get pre-approval for your mortgage so you don’t miss out on a dream home! I can help, so call me 555-555-5555”
-- “Home inspections can differ from home to home, so be sure to learn how and save money! Contact me for more info.”
-- “This home can be bought with a USDA loan. That’s big savings on a mortgage, so contact me to find out how to get one.”
- Virtual, live open house: Since COVID, buyers are looking for more detail “at arm’s length.” Live-streaming on social media from inside a home while you narrate is a powerful way to keep people engaged for longer. Please don’t go on for too long and keep it exciting and dynamic, as social media has shortened attention spans.
Separating your listings from the noise of generic “New listing!” posts will help you avoid wasting time.
It will also improve your odds of a return on the time, energy, and creativity spent on “doing social media” to boost your real estate business and sell homes faster.
If you’re “posting for the sake of posting” or to do what everyone else seems to be doing, you’re honestly better off putting effort into other real estate activities.
Social media can be a game changer for your business, but you must use the right content, delivered via the proper channels, at the right time, and to the right people with “buying intent.”
Window shopping is still alive and well; we do it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok these days.
By tweaking your social strategy in small ways, you can build daily habits that are easy to maintain and that pay off with more revenue in the long run.