Common pitfalls in social media - real estate agents, beware!

Another social media blog? A quick Google search for 'social media' will show you a veritable smorgasbord of articles, blogs, tips and tricks, and self-proclaimed "Internet Marketing Gurus." With every possible angle already covered, you may be rolling your eyes at yet another social media blog. But, even with all this coverage about social media real estate agencies still seem to be getting it wrong.This article will look at some of these common pitfalls agencies have fallen into. These pitfalls can impact your hard earned social media presence, but never fear – Rex has the remedies.

Pitfall 1: Having a Personal Page for a Business

The first common faux-pas is your business page. It's important for an agency to have a Business Facebook page and not a personal profile. In a recent marketing exercise we looked at the social presence of a number of agencies and groups from around Australia. To our surprise still many of these agencies did not even have a page at all and many others had a personal profile for their business. If you don't have a social media page, you really need to get with the program. Having a personal profile instead of a business page means you miss out on key social interactions. Clients, prospects and other stakeholder's can't "Like" you and you end up getting lost in their friends list rather than their liked pages. If you're a business, be a business; it's that simple.

Pitfall 2: Underestimating the impact of your personal profile on your stakeholders

While on the topic of personal pages, be aware that your personal presence will be under scrutiny from your clients and stakeholders. If you had a bit of a wild weekend at the Gold Coast, then you may want to reconsider posting those photos from 4:00am Sunday morning. A good alternative is to create a business page for your professional self and sever contact between your personal profile and your business pages. This means people can still find you on Facebook, without finding out your party plans.

Pitfall 3: Breaking the Rules for Promotions

Did you know, it's against Facebook's terms and conditions for promotions to utilise Facebook actions such as "Like" and "Share" to win a prize?" A number of businesses still do this, but they better watch out! To conduct a promotion you need to use an app or an external page to collect the data yourself. You also need to inform your contestants that you are collecting their data for your business purposes and are in no way affiliated with Facebook. If you break these rules, you risk having your page shut down and losing all your hard work building a community so far.

Pitfall 4: Deleting Negative Comments

Negative feedback can be pretty scary, BUT Rule No.1 is: Do not delete negative feedback! Deleting the negative feedback could dramatically damage your brand. The best thing to do is to address the feedback like a person, but keep in line with your branding. Here is an example of a masterclass in social media PR. In this example O2, a british telecom, threw the rule book out the window and simply communicated with people in a refreshing and relatable way, not some corporate worded response.

Pitfall 5: Not Interacting with People

Don't just post and expect your clients and stakeholders to constantly like your content, while you ignore theirs. Interact with people. It is called social media for a reason.

Pitfall 6: Not Promoting Your Post

Too many agencies are afraid to promote their posts, you've done all the hard work of content creation – don't be afraid to promote a post. It is a small cost, but you could seriously expand your next work after 3 or 4 strong, original promotions.

What are we doing right?

Looking at the industry in general there seems to be a lot of best practice social media happening. Promoting shares of original content, generating likes to expand your audience and personalising your business are common place amongst agencies. Real Estate is a very social enterprise agencies are already great at helping and communicating with people. Using social media to that great work and promote that you are real people will get even more love to your relationships.

Last Thoughts on social media in real estate

By now you know to take your social media seriously, most of us are onboard with social. We know it has massive power to improve your relationships, which is the key differentiator for agents in the modern marketplace. However now might be a great time for a review and tuneup of your presence. Remember that your Facebook page is your very own piece of online real estate.

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