For some real estate agents, growing a massive social media following takes precedence over anything else on those platforms. This leaves me to ask… when it comes to followers and “Likes,” does quantity trump quality?

We recently sat down with an agent who has over 5,000 followers on Facebook, 10,000+ on Instagram and 5,000+ LinkedIn connections. But although some would say he is ‘crushing it’ on social media, nothing was what it seemed.

On this episode of Real Estate Pros, we discuss the real estate industry’s obsession with social media and why your focus on ‘more Likes’ could be hurting your marketing efforts.

social media real estate

Since launching our podcast back in October 2014, the topic for each episode is in response to the challenges that you, our listeners, face in your business. We know that because you’ve told us.

Each time someone subscribes to our podcast, and you might remember this if you’re a subscriber yourself, we ask one simple question:

“What is one thing you’d like to learn more about (or a problem you’d like solved) when it comes to social media, digital or content marketing?”

The tens of thousands of responses we’ve received to this question have fueled every podcast we record, every blog article we write and the content we share in our digital marketing workshops that run all over the world.

One of, if not, the most common questions we receive is:

“How do we get more followers/Likes?”

Social media is a lot of fun from a personal perspective, there’s no denying that. But at the end of the day, when it comes to using social media for business purposes, specifically for the business of real estate, it is about engaging with a loyal audience, consistently over time, so that when they’re ready to list their property, or know someone else who is, they are thinking of you.

But one of the challenges we have in real estate when it comes to social media, is the hype that surrounds the size of one’s audience. Examples of high profile agents with a huge following, seemingly crushing it on social, seems to rub off on a lot of agents whose primary marketing objective is to simply to get more ‘Likes’.

But just because an agent has a big social media following, it doesn’t always mean they’re driving new business from it. Let me explain.

We recently sat down with an agent in Australia who was planning out his digital marketing strategy for 2018. One of the items of discussion was his social media presence. With over 5,000 followers on Facebook, 10,000+ on Instagram and  5,000+ LinkedIn connections, he was miles ahead of his competitors when it came to the size of his audience on social media. But after spending a little time diving deeper, things were not as rosy as they appeared on the surface.

You see, although our agent friend had a following that many of you would envy, sadly the overwhelming majority of his followers, and the people who were actually engaging with his content, were other agents – either from his own office or from around the country – congratulating him on recent results or for awards he had won. Very few people (and I’m probably being too polite here!) who were engaging with his content were current clients or homeowners in his community.

This got us to thinking… how many other high-profile agents in Australia have mostly other agents following them, either to genuinely engage or – unashamedly – to simply replicate what they’re doing because they think it’s what top agents do?

On the contrary, how many agents have a following comprising of mostly clients, prospects and people in the community, delivering content that those people actually want? What if all you needed to achieve social media success was 400 followers, not 4,000 comprising of (mostly) other agents?

I can tell you from our experience working personally with some of Australia’s top-earning agents, many of them don’t have a huge social media following. But the majority of their followers are clients, prospects and homeowners in their local market. As a result of posting compelling, entertaining and educational content on social media for those people, instead of content just all about themselves, they are being rewarded by their audience with email subscriptions or market appraisal requests.

Over to you…

If social media is a marketing channel you’re using in your business, or you’re planning to do so in 2018, our guess is you too are less interested in other agents following you and more interested in engaging with the people who will (hopefully) reward you with new business opportunities.

As you plan out your digital marketing for 2018, don’t make social media more complicated than it needs to be. Be helpful to your community and they will reward you… eventually. Don’t buy into the hype that just because some big shot in real estate has 4,000 followers that they are generating a larger number of leads from social media than someone with 400 followers.

Let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter how many ‘Likes’ you have, especially if it’s just other agents. It’s how many people in your local market that truly care about the content you’re putting out on social media that really matters.

What do you think?

I’m keen to hear your thoughts on this. Leave a comment below.