By Mark Brodsky

It’s important to have a presence where people are spending time, and with the average Canadian spending 24.5 hours a week on social media sites such as Facebook, according to Media Technology Monitor, you can’t ignore social media. It should be part of your marketing, but it’s not enough to simply have a page and hope that people find you.

Having an active social media presence involves a lot more than posting the occasional article. You have to interact with people. Here are the top five mistakes agents make with social media and how to avoid them.

Posting only your listings:

People are going to Facebook and Instagram to network, look at photos, play games, do Buzzfeed quizzes and watch videos of kittens. They are not going there to be sold to. If all you’re doing is posting your listings, chances are not many people are paying attention.

The majority of your content should fit in seamlessly with what people’s friends and family are posting. Your goal should be a balance of content – 80 per cent entertaining and informative, 20 per cent sales related. The content can be a combination of items you’re sharing from online sources and your own photos and short videos.

Starting a page and stopping:

It’s easy to be enthusiastic about social media when you first start – and many people start out strong, posting on a regular basis and interacting with people. However, something always comes up. Whether it’s work related or something more personal, you fall out of the habit of posting and all of a sudden you notice your last post is from 2015. The problem is that your page is still showing up when people search for your name. And your website is probably still linking to the page. The best thing to do is to unpublish the page on Facebook or delete the profile altogether on a network like Twitter. You can always republish your Facebook page when you’re ready to resume.

Not using the advertising tools available:

If you’re currently using social media, you’ve probably noticed that your posts are being seen by fewer and fewer people – this isn’t an accident! Unless your post is receiving a lot of engagement in the form of likes, comments and shares, your post will be seen by very few people. This is why it’s critical to have an advertising strategy. Your budget doesn’t have to be big to get results. Facebook offers several different options for advertising and you can be very specific about who you target your message to.

Ignoring comments and messages:

The main goal of social media is to build awareness and start conversations. The different platforms give people an opportunity to message you directly or comment on your posts. You can configure the app on your phone so you’re receiving notifications, which allow you to quickly respond to comments, questions and messages. That’s critical if you’re trying to find new leads. For better or worse, people expect an almost immediate response. A nice bonus: if you respond quickly to messages, Facebook gives you a “very responsive to messages” badge.

No strategy:

How do you know what success looks like unless you’ve set goals? How many followers should you have? How many likes, comments or shares indicate you’re doing a good job?

Setting goals and putting steps in place to achieve them will help give you a feeling of satisfaction when you’ve reached your goal. If you’re active on multiple social media channels, the strategy is going to be a little different for each one, but the goal should always be to increase the number of followers you have as well as encourage engagement.


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