The words may be a little different each time, but the message we hear so frequently is the same: you should be on social media.

But why? And how? It’s not enough to just be on social media, you need a strategy and goals. Otherwise, how can you measure success?

So, let’s review the basics.

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In 2016 (the latest year numbers are available), the average Canadian spent 24.5 hours a week on social media, according to Media Technology Monitor. That’s a lot of time spent on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. If one of your goals is to build awareness, you need to be in front of people where they are. It’s only when people know you exist that they’re able to hire you.

While the ultimate goal of being on social media is to generate more business, the bigger question is, “How are you going to have an impact and make yourself heard?”

Remember that in addition to their own posts, people are going to Facebook to see what friends and family are up to, play games and check the news. They’re not going there to be sold to. As a real estate professional, one of your goals should be becoming part of the conversation, whether it’s generating engagement through your posts or commenting on items that others have posted.

As I wrote last month, Facebook is great for building awareness and sending out targeted ads, but it’s also a really great way to let people discover your personality. Your posts will differentiate you from the thousands of other salespeople through the kind of content you’re posting. Listings or generic content just won’t do.

Posts that have proven to generate engagement are videos, photos and articles that are handpicked. It can be something you’re passionate about or something that your audience is interested in. Or both! If you’re curious about what works and what doesn’t, look up your competitors on Facebook and see which of their posts are getting likes, comments and shares.

The mix should be roughly 80 per cent entertainment and information and 20 per cent sales related. If you’re doing the 80 per cent right, you can get away with the sales messages, whether it’s a new listing or a straight forward call-to-action about contacting you to get ready for the spring market.

The best way to generate business on social media is to become part of the conversations that are already happening and then responding within those conversations. It’s those conversations that will lead to people knowing and liking you. And that can lead to real estate transactions down the road.


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