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It doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn or even Twitter… social media marketing just doesn’t work for most real estate agents.

And no, it’s not because you don’t have enough followers, instead, it doesn’t work because you only focus on getting more followers. That’s the issue for most real estate agents.

If you want lots of followers, you have to create content that appeals to the masses. While this might work on social media if you’re selling beauty products or clothing, real estate is a very different beast.

There is an old saying in marketing that goes “the riches are in the niches” which still rings true today. And it’s the idea that your marketing can become more profitable by targeting a smaller audience with more relevant content.

For example, we’re a digital marketing company – that’s what we do. We could create lots of generic content and our followers (real estate agents and business owners in Australia) would rise faster. Which is interesting, because that is what social media ‘experts’ will tell you to do. But we don’t. Why? Because every time we do that (create lots of generic content), guess how many clients, leads and revenue we get?

Zero. Zilch. Nada.

We’ve tested this out thousands of times over the past 10 years. Some of our most popular content, content that has grown our follower base, has been real estate industry news or ‘hype’. All of this type of content creates buzz, but it doesn’t convince our ideal clients to work with us.

On the flip side, if we give digital marketing tips and advice, we get way less views and way less Likes on our content. BUT… real estate professionals who watch our videos and read our articles are interested in improving their digital marketing results and a high percentage of these people eventually convert into leads, some even into clients.

In other words, yes…  you need followers to make social media marketing work for you and, of course, you need great content. But the biggest mistake that real estate agents make is they create content that focuses on the masses so they can boost that vanity metric, AKA followers, instead of focusing on creating content that targets their ideal prospects.

Related Article: Meet A Real Estate Agent Winning Attention With Content Marketing

But it’s good “brand awareness”!

Some in marketing will utter these words as their reason for why getting lots of Likes and gaining more followers is important, which is essentially the same as saying “we’re quite certain this won’t result in revenue but we’re going to spend money on it anyway”.

In this sense, “brand awareness” is noise that actually clouds the signal of what actually matters – customers and how much they like you and your business.

Seth Godin has a quote that sums this up:

“Kmart has plenty of awareness, so what?” – Seth Godin, Purple Cow

As a consumer, you’re aware of hundreds of brands that you have no opinion about. Or just don’t like. Or bought once and would never buy again.

“Brand awareness” isn’t that hard to achieve. You can get it with a big budget, shock value or simple longevity. But if you believe the adage that people buy from those they know, like and trust, then awareness only gets you the “know.” “Like” and “trust” are other things entirely.”

Can you feel the love?

Another interesting quirk about social media in real estate (and you probably already instinctively know this yourself) is that the overwhelming majority of engagement on posts by so-called ‘real estate influencers’ is from other agents, not consumers. Social media ‘gurus’ will tell you that social media is all about “brand awareness”, engagement and building a following. But if your followers mainly consist of other agents or industry associates patting you on the back for a job well done, it might make you feel good but it’s not particularly useful for your business.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with growing your follower count and building “brand awareness” but if that’s all you’re doing, and none of it is contributing to leads or you can’t measure if it is, it’s a very poor investment of time and money.

Some of Australia’s top agents, where GCI is concerned, never really bought into the idea of building a following on social media. They post to social media hardly at all but instead focus solely on utilising the advertising platforms within social media to drive traffic back to their content and listings on their website because they know this drives measurable business results instead of chasing more Likes and followers or other vanity metrics. And more to the point, to be brutally honest, these top agents don’t have the time to think about crafting the perfect Facebook post or choosing the right Instagram filter. They’re too busy prospecting, listing and selling.

Social media can be really fun from a personal perspective but when it comes to business, social media can be a time vacuum costing you money with no return to show for it. On the flip side, social media can also be the most powerful and profitable lead generation tool if you’re focused on the right activities in the right places.

Instead of always thinking about when to post, what to post and what to say on your Page or Profile, consider utilising social media’s advertising platforms to generate more reach, frequency and conversions on your website. This won’t get you more followers, but it will put cash in the bank.

Want to know how Australia’s best agents create profitable social media advertising campaigns? Sign up for our Facebook Ads Masterclass >

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