Social media is great for real estate professionals in many ways. It allows you to find and engage with real people in your local selling area, gives you a free source of advertising and can be great for referrals. But like anything in life, there is a flip-side to the story. With more and more places to promote your services and build your brand come more and more opportunities for things to go wrong. Or, in the words of the Internet, more chances for things to #fail.
Social media is all about expanding your network of contacts by being social, so it makes sense that you should just act naturally. “Be yourself” is great advice, but make sure you’re being the positive, professional version of yourself (and not the irritated I-just-spilled-coffee-and-got-a-flat-tire version of yourself, or worse).
With that in mind, we came up with this list of 7 social media no-no’s for real estate agents to help you out. Just keep these in mind, and it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out.
7 Social Media No-No’s
1. Talking about yourself… all the time
Social media platforms are places where people go to engage in conversation. No one is there looking for advertisements. If all of your posts are “check out MY new listing,” “I just sold this house” and “Need an agent? Call me!” then you are unlikely to get many followers or see much interaction. A better idea is to ask questions, give home tips and share information about local events and news stories… and then mix in occasional mentions of your open houses or listings.
2. Ignoring everybody else
You can’t just “set and forget” your social channels. Check your social feeds regularly. If someone is reaching out to you on social, it’s because they want to hear from you NOW, not in 2 days or a week. Think of everyone on Twitter and Facebook as a potential lead and respond to all questions promptly to show them the level of service your brand offers. And if someone likesor shares one of your posts, return the favor.
3. Repeatedly asking for followers
If your Twitter bio says something like “follow for follow” or “#ifollowback,” you’re doing it wrong! It’s not a bad idea to point your contacts in the right direction by sharing your social links on your real estate website or at the bottom of your email signature. But it is a bad idea to constantly ask for followers when you could be sharing great content instead.
4. Sharing sensitive information
Things like home addresses, client phone numbers and financial transactions should be kept offline for obvious reasons, but even seemingly innocuous information can be dangerous too. For example, if you’re going on vacation, it might be best to wait to share it on social until after you’ve returned. A new breed of digitally-savvy thieves have been known to use Facebook to time their burglaries.
5. TMI (too much information)
Other information isn’t dangerous, but it can be just too much and turn off potential customers. Remember that everything you’re sharing is public and can be seen basically forever, so if you wouldn’t say it face-to-face to a client, don’t say it online at all. The same rule applies for photos. If you would be embarassed if it was posted on the wall of your office, don’t post it on your Facebook wall!
6. Overusing #hashtags
Limit yourself to 2-3 hashtags per post. More is annoying, unnecessary and hard to read through. Keep your ideas clear and only use hashtags as appropriate.
7. Auto-messaging people
Auto-messaging services may seem like a good idea, but they’re really not. People don’t go on Twitter to talk to robots; they want to talk to other people. Auto-messaging makes it look like you don’t care about forming personal connections, and that’s not a good look for real estate agents.
And not to totally go against what was said in #3, but you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Google+ to see how we’re behaving on social. (You’re not on Google+ yet? Check out our beginner’s guide to Google+ to learn why and how to get started today.)
What’s your biggest social media pet peeve?