By Toby Welch
With limited hours in a day and dozens of social media channels, which ones should you be on? Tatiana Londono, head broker with the Londono Realty Group in Westmount, Que., says, “Facebook and Instagram are the No. 1 go-to channels. But TikTok is rapidly taking over with the younger audience. Think of grandma and grandpa as Facebook who gave birth to mom and dad Instagram. Then they gave birth to TikTok. You will get left behind if you don’t use TikTok. Ideally you need to be on top of your game for all three.”
That said, don’t discount Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and the rest.
Stephen and Alicia Olyniuk of Re/Max Performance Realty in Winnipeg are huge proponents of Facebook.
“Facebook has definitely helped with lead generation; we account it for 40 per cent of our business. We spend a couple hours a day liking, commenting and engaging with our Facebook friends,” says the couple in an email. “We are truly genuine with our posts, showing our lives inside and out of real estate. I think if all you post is about real estate, people quickly stop following you. Every Wednesday we try to explore a new place in our beautiful province and do a post about it. When we run into someone during the week we commonly get asked what we are doing this week.”
If you are looking to give TikTok a try, use it for yourself first to get comfortable with the platform. Then search hashtags relevant to your real estate career (even #RealEstate will lead you to a wealth of ideas.) The app is intuitive so the more you search and post real estate-related material, the fewer videos you will get of dancing cats and techno rappers.
Post videos from 15 to 60 seconds accompanied by popular music that showcase the fun side of your personality. Post at least once a day but preferably more. Use language geared for the millennial demographic as that age group makes up the majority of TikTok users. But people 30+ are watching and posting videos, too, so don’t discount the value of TikTok.
Londono has mastered Instagram and explains how she did it. “I started with an ad campaign and moved on to beautiful pictures of homes and eventually became an influencer. I hired a social media agency to keep me on point. But things really took off when COVID hit. We were all quarantined with nothing to do and convinced we were going to die. So I decided to change things up and make people laugh. I posted funny memes, around 40 a day. Engagement went through the roof. Now that I’m back to work, I post around 20 memes a day, sprinkle in a few sales posts and continue posting my influencer stuff.”
Londono has amassed 70,000 followers and offers advice on how to effectively use Instagram. “It isn’t about vanity. It’s about your return on investment. Invest in Instagram and it pays you back tenfold. When you do it right, your ROI is over six figures. I’ve done over $200,000 in leads alone this year. But you must post daily. If you don’t, no one is seeing your posts so don’t bother.”
Consistency is the key to being effective on social media. It is necessary in order to grow your list of followers and create engagement. Each social media avenue has an ideal number of daily posts. Instagram hovers over 10. Facebook is around eight. Five is the magic number for Twitter. LinkedIn likes daily posts. You get the picture. These numbers are fluid so keep on top of your social media game. Posting consistently is better than posting frequently. If your always-changing schedule doesn’t allow for consistent posting, consider automating your posts.
When pondering what to post on social media, Londono says, “People are sick of pictures of homes listed…You need to be unique. Be yourself. Days of posting just listings are over. No one cares. People prefer to see the baller lifestyle that agents live. People want to see you in the fancy car and the fancy house. Even if you are just getting started, people don’t need to know that. Show a life most people just dream about. You can sprinkle in your successes but mainly show the amazing Realtor life as people want to see the fantasy. If you aren’t good in front of the camera, post high-quality pictures of beautiful homes. You must entertain people and bring them in.”
Posting about events you are attending encourages potential clients to see you face to face. Other things to post include news about how the real estate market is faring, home improvement tips, client testimonials or reviews, live videos, business accomplishments, blog entries, surveys, contests and your successes. Highlight awesome local businesses and news about your city. Beyond that, like and comment on other posts and share content. Engage and interact with others. Chat with your followers. Let your personality shine through in everything you do.
The Olyniuks have additional tips: “Be consistent and genuine. You may not get a lot of likes and shares but people are silently watching. Video is very important – if they like you in video, then they will like you in person. It’s always so much easier to work with someone that likes you… and do you really want to work with someone that doesn’t?”
It takes time to build a solid platform on social media but think of it as a long-term game. Londono leaves us with a parting thought: “Agents have to understand that tackling social media marketing is as important as hiring your first administrative assistant. If you do it right, it could be your only lead generator and you could be making a killing.”