Best Practices for Posting on Social Media
When posting on social media, there are three important factors a Realtor® should consider:
- The character and quality of the content
- The channel
Unlike email campaigns or flyer distribution — which tend to focus on primarily on brand building — social media allows for more wiggle room when it comes to content. Social doesn’t mean sell—social means interaction and content that informs or tells a story.
Character & Quality
If you’re posting a new listing on Facebook, you might take the time to provide more detail about the surrounding neighborhood and include a photo you’ve taken of a local eatery or some other point of interest. If you’re posting that same listing on Twitter, you’re alerting your followers. The space limitation of Twitter demands a greater sense of urgency in the message. Your Facebook post needs to be inviting enough to stop the viewer and draw them in, while the Twitter post has only a second or two to alert a potential buyer that a new property is on the market and they need to act fast.
In the above example, you can see how the channel dictates the length and tone of the message. Use Instagram and Pinterest to tell a story in photos, or use Google+ and Facebook where you have more space to be descriptive. But remember, if your content veers too much toward selling you’re likely to risk losing the readers attention. The same is true if you’re writing a post for LinkedIn to keep in touch with colleagues and reach potential referral resources. Your content should be well thought-out and to the point. No one is going to read your novel, even it is informative and highly relatable. No one has the time.
Using social media channels indiscriminately by trying to shoe-horn the same content on different platforms might save you time, but it won’t get you new followers. A simple way to make the most of each platform is to link them together. For example in addition to linking to NMLS, include a link to Pinterest or Instagram in your Twitter post where the user can view your personal photos of that new listing.
The Right Timing
There have been hundreds of studies done to determine what the best times are to post on each of the social media platforms. (Here are just a two: The Best Times to Post on Social Media & The Best Time to Post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+) But, there’s something counterintuitive about everyone posting at the same time. It’s like email. You know on weekends there’s going to be less and so you’re less likely to look. While early in the week there’s so much email, you either delete it or save for later because there’s just too much and you’re too busy to look at it.
The same can be said of social media. Rather than looking for the best times to post, it’s probably better to simply avoid the worst times. First, because they’re easier to identify and second, the idea of best times to post takes away from the element of spontaneity that distinguishes social media from other marketing tools.
Finally, when it comes to posting less time-sensitive material, use automated systems such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Edgar. Otherwise, post good timely content tailored to the right channel and get the word out. And, if you’re worried important content might be missed, send your contacts a weekly a summary with links that they can view at their own convenience.