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What real estate agents should post on social media during a pandemic

An agent’s guide to social media content amid COVID-19

If you’ve been listening to me and some of the other marketing thought leaders in our industry lately, you know that right now is actually one of the best times for marketing and growing your online presence. It’s one of the best times to gain market share!

As you read a couple of weeks ago in this column, people are spending more time scrolling through social media than ever. One study said that consumption of the Facebook News Feed was up about 82%! 

Dustin Brohm

Social media users are scrolling their news feed almost twice as much as before the pandemic. Let that settle in. That’s insane.

But it also makes sense if you think about it. Millions more Americans are sitting at home, unable to work. So how do Americans pass the time in 2020? Scrolling Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and/or TikTok. 

So while consumers are on social media nearly twice as much, many of our competitors are advertising, marketing and posting less. Fantastic! 

Do I have your attention now? Good.

So… What should you post?

Let’s talk about some specific types of content that you should be posting right now, while our competitors are taking a nap. 

But real quick, let’s first understand why “content as usual” is not a good idea.

During the pandemic, emotions are heightened and exposed. Many people are more sensitive about what is being presented to them online. Remember, people are going through probably the single toughest time of their lives, on many different levels. So when they see some tone-deaf, ill-timed post, it could make them upset. 

I’ve seen this backlash lately in the comments on Facebook ads being run by some agents here in Salt Lake City. It happens to video ads from very well respected agents here in our market. Videos where the agents are basically talking about what a hot market it is right now, interest rates are at historical lows, prices are only going up from here, so “what do you have to lose?” 

…A place to live and their jobs, apparently, as more than a few angry commenters said. There were over a dozen similar comments about how selling a home right now after the owner just lost their job, is a great way to guarantee that the seller is homeless, and the Realtor generates a large commission.

This is why it’s more important than ever to be cautious. I’m not suggesting that you not run any ads offering housing, but reconsider any ads that suggest “now is the best time to sell your home.” For the time being, maybe focus on buyers instead.

What to Post

Playing it safe doesn’t have to mean “less effective.” Quite the contrary actually.

This is a great time to do what many refer to as “engagement posts” or very simple, straightforward local interest content. Focus on what is happening in the community that people actually care about, such as new buildings being built, and what they’re going to be. A graphic showing the stores that just got a new shipment of toilet paper or a list of local COVID-19 drive-thru testing locations. 

You could take things a step further and ask people to vote on stuff, which increases engagement dramatically. For example:

  • Post a graphic with six images from different intersections in your town and ask people to vote which one has the worst potholes, or the slowest lights. 
  • In cities with multiple sports teams, show each one of them and ask which one people would let go if they had to.
  • Which one of these six places has the best pizza?
  • Best coffee shops?
  • Which high school lacrosse team will win state next season?

By posting content that increases engagement, you’re doing yourself a huge favor in numerous ways; all of which will help your future posts and ads perform even better.

Engagement posts help train the algorithms that your Page has great content that people like to see, and that they’ll keep coming back for. This makes the algorithm organically show your content to more people in the future. 

For you Facebook Ad fans, create Facebook Custom Audiences of people who engage with your Page’s posts so you can retarget those people with subsequent ads later on. This is a great way to increase the conversion of your Facebook ads, because each time someone sees your brand, name, face or logo, you become that much more familiar to them. Obviously, that leads to being remembered, recommended and hired!

Local-focused content also positions you as a local expert and a local personality. Someone who your neighbors will start to think of first when they think of a community leader or “influencer.”

Ultimately, you can have a ton of fun by posting more lighthearted, simple content on social media. When it’s fun and it appeals to more people, you’ll grow more of an audience and give that audience a reason to follow you. 

These marketing concepts and ideas worked well before the pandemic, they’re working great during and will work extremely well after the pandemic ends too. Try this different approach now, and you’ll grow your online influence and following. At the same time, you’ll avoid triggering an unpleasant emotional response from those who may think your aggressive real estate content is too insensitive.

 Connect with Dustin on LinkedIn

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