When reading up about real estate marketing on social media, you might get the impression that it’s the end all be all.
Many recommend a regular posting schedule and growing your audience organically, not taking into consideration the steady decline of organic reach most platforms have experienced over time.
There are two reasons you should not do real estate marketing on social media, which I will analyze in this article.
You will not only learn in which cases you should not do real estate marketing on social media but also how you can do it in a way to get the most out of it.
Sounds interesting? Then please, keep reading.
Why Realtors Should Use Social Media?
Before we jump into the reasons you should not do real estate marketing on social media, let’s discuss for a moment why you might want to do it.
There are primary and secondary reasons why realtors should use social media.
The primary reason is the same as with all marketing activities – You want to get more clients that increase your revenue.
The secondary reasons influence the primary reason directly and indirectly and usually have to do with increased conversion rates.
Social media fits particularly well when you want to use client testimonials be it in paid advertising campaigns or in posts that you publish on your social media account.
The same is true for Facebook like campaigns and other campaign types that aim to increase social proof.
Social proof always has a positive effect on converting cold traffic into potential clients.
It is also one main element you can use in copywriting to be more persuasive.
The only difference to other marketing channels not being social media is that you have the functionality of social proof built-in (e.g. likes, comments, and shares).
Two Reasons Why You Should Not Do Real Estate Marketing on Social Media
As a general rule, you should not do real estate marketing on social media when you build your whole business on it and don’t own the relationship between you and your potential clients, and when you only bet on the organic reach of the platform.
When you use social media as your main marketing channel to build your real estate business, you make a risky bet.
In general, you want to only use social media to take advantage of their traffic and bring it to your website (what you control) as soon as possible.
Because when you create content on social media, you are their product, they are in control.
They can shut you down at a moment’s notice or reduce your organic reach with time, depending on the age of the platform.
So, you want to own the relationship between you and your potential clients or your audience and be independent of social media.
The declining organic reach for social media posts is a thing. This is the next reason.
I already analyzed this situation in my article about which social media platform is best for real estate.
There is this general rule of thumb: the newer a social media platform is on the market, the better the organic reach of your normal posts will be.
The older and more established it is, the more you will lose on organic reach for the posts you publish.
The reason for this is usually that with time, the platform will implement some sort of advertising options and has to reduce the organic reach to motivate advertisers to use the platform to better reach potential clients.
In this article, I created a list of different social media platforms and ordered them according to their age and their organic reach loss based on reports and statistics.
To refresh your memory a bit, I ordered them below from worst organic reach to best:
- Facebook (6 years of reported organic reach decline)
- Twitter (2 years of reported organic reach decline)
- Pinterest (2 years of reported organic reach decline)
- YouTube (2 years of reported organic reach decline)
- LinkedIn (1 year of reported organic reach decline)
- Instagram (1 year of reported organic reach decline)
How to Market Your Real Estate Business on Social Media
As a whole, you first need to know the type of audience you want to target, then select the right social media platform and finally run targeted advertising campaigns.
Depending on the age of the platform, you may also include a regular posting routine.
Now that you learned the reasons when you should not use social media for your real estate marketing, let’s also see what you can do to improve your likelihood of success.
1) Start with Finding and Determining Your Target Audience
You either already know your target audience because you already have years of experience in your niche or you don’t know it yet and need to find it first.
In real estate, this often comes down to the niche you are doing business in, and for how long.
I discussed in my article about real estate niches that a real estate niche can be determined by property type, contract, demographic/life situation, geography, retail or investors need, and seller situation.
When it comes to social media, you will have better chances to find the right platform when you are less product-focused and more focused on the target audience.
Niches by property type when your focus has been townhomes so far won’t give you much information about the target group that usually buys townhomes but this is something you can find out by researching.
The best niches for social media are by demographics or life situations.
Why is that?
Because there is enough data available to know which demographic group is mostly represented on which social media platform.
If your niche would have only been a certain geographic area, you would first need to analyze your current and past clients, and how they are distributed across the different demographics there are.
But this is still the second-best option since you can use geographic targeting on basically all social media ad platforms.
2) The Right Social Media Platform for Your Target Audience
Let’s stay with the niche by demographics because it is the best way to approach which social media platform would be the right one to target potential clients.
In my article about which social media is best for real estate, I also analyzed which demographic is mostly on which social media platform.
Here comes the list again:
- Facebook: 25-34 years old (Gen Z and Millennials, source)
- YouTube: 15-56+ (Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, source). They are quite equally distributed over different age groups.
- Reddit: 18-29 (Gen Z, Millennials, source)
- Instagram: 18-34 (Gen Z and Millennials)
- LinkedIn: 36-55 (Millennials, Gen X, source)
- Pinterest: 25-54 (Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, source)
- Twitter: 18-49 (Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, source)
- Tumblr: 18-24 (Gen Z, source)
- Snapchat: 15-25 (Gen Z, source)
Let’s change this list to one that has a demographics perspective.
While baby boomers also use social media, it wouldn’t be worthwhile targeting them there, since other digital and offline marketing channels are likely to be more effective as I concluded in this article of mine.
Nevertheless, you might have some chances on YouTube since this is the social media platform that has the largest variety of different age groups using it.
If your target audience is millennials (the majority of home buyers right now), you will find them in large numbers on all of the above social media platforms except on Tumblr and Snapchat.
While not that interesting yet for real estate transactions, you can find Gen Z on all of them.
To target the smaller demographic group of Generation X, you can use YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.
3) Running Social Media Advertising Campaigns and/or Growing an Audience Organically
Because of the continued decline of the organic reach of the mature social media platforms, I would not recommend going down the route of growing your audience organically as a main focus.
With time, the mature social media platforms tend to use you, and not vice versa.
This is not the case provided you find a rising newborn “social media baby” with a fast-growing user base, such as Clubhouse is right now (you can get in by invite only).
This a social media app that focuses on auditory live communication via “rooms”.
Each “room” has the capacity of up to 5,000 people.
So, unless you already are in Clubhouse I would use the advertising options the different social media platforms provide and get control over the potential clients you generate as soon as possible, meaning collecting their contact information, and bringing them to your website.
Generally speaking, on social media you don’t want to do the same type of advertising as you would do via direct mail, or search advertising.
You will need to be a bit more “social” like when participating in a barbecue with friends.
No one likes the guy that wants to sell the latest life insurance during the first sentence when he introduces himself during a social gathering.
Social media friendly offers that work better are for example:
- Swipe Files
- Cheat Sheet Downloads
- Quizzes and Surveys
- Webinars and Events
- Free ungated blog content
Remember the example I made with client testimonials as social proof?
This would only be the attention-grabbing part to the actual offer, the “hook” so to speak.
The hook’s function is only to get your potential real estate clients a taste of what you have to offer.
In the context of clients that give a positive testimonial about you having found them the right house in record time could be used either for sellers to show that you can sell their house fast, or to other buyers.
The offer would need to be quite different depending on your target audience.
For sellers, this could be a “make your house ready to sell” checklist and for buyers, a webinar about the particular neighborhood you are focusing on.
Getting to the point where you generate leads consistently is done via rigorous testing over time.
Which Social Media Is Best for Real Estate?
In my opinion, finding the best social media platform for real estate would mean finding the best middle ground of the following three criteria:
- Reaching the largest number of the demographics significant for today’s real estate transactions, meaning Millennials and baby boomers
- The lowest cost per lead or acquisition
- You still have some chances of growing an organic audience.
In my article about this subject, I concluded that this is possible firstly with YouTube and secondly with LinkedIn.
But keep in mind that this is a generalized result. It would be different if would you focus on only one demographic.
So, overall, which social media is best for real estate depends a lot on the target audience or demographic you are focused on.
24 Real Estate Social Media Content Ideas You Can Use
The highest priority should be on the real estate content marketing strategy that benefits digital assets you control and own (e.g. your website, email list, etc.), and the content you produce for that can be reused on different social media platforms.
Despite the declining organic reach, you might still want to organically grow an audience on social media. Maybe it’s because you are not convinced just yet that this decline is a real thing.
Although I would advise against this being your main focus when using social media as a marketing channel vs. paid advertising campaigns, there are 24 real estate content ideas for social media that you could use:
- Property pictures
- Client testimonials
- Client success stories
- Industry and market news
- Polls and quizzes
- Share videos you create
- Share videos of others
- Before and after pictures of DIY projects
- Share blog posts you create
- A video walk-through of an open house
- Contests (e.g. to win a free home staging)
- New listings and properties
- Discounts and special offers
- Renovation ideas
- A personal post (e.g. hiking tours, vacation, pets, etc.)
- Regular giveaways (e.g. home decor for Halloween and Christmas)
- Interior design ideas
- Event coverage (e.g. open houses)
- Share event calendars of the current month
- Pictures of neighborhood features
- Pictures of local businesses
- Home decoration inspirations
- Exciting and funny memes
Generally, all these content ideas could also be used in a paid advertising campaign as hooks and/or offers similar to the social media friendly offers mentioned above, where you will reach more potential clients in a targeted way.
This number might be a bit higher on other social media platforms than Facebook, but it’s still only a fraction that you will reach.
If you want to reach most or all of them, you will need to go down the paid route again anyways with a “boosted” Facebook post, for example.
If you don’t want to fall into the trap of solely producing content for social media (one of the reasons not doing real estate marketing on social media), you want to use the platforms just as “recycle bins” for your overall real estate content marketing strategy you use for your website and/or blog and other marketing channels that you own (e.g. email marketing).
For example, if you produce written and/or video content for your real estate blog on your website anyways, you can redistribute this content on the different social media platforms.
How Often Should Real Estate Agents Post on Social Media?
There is no specific rule for real estate agents when it comes to the post frequency on social media.
A frequency of 1-2 times per day is most beneficial for social media accounts of more than 10,001 followers. For fewer followers than that, it’s just 5 times per month.
There are studies that suggest that a certain frequency is beneficial and above or below this frequency does more damage than good.
While there is no magic formula, according to this source, there are several statistics at least for Facebook that can be safely translated also to other social media platforms.
1) If you have more than 10,001 followers, 31-60 posts per month seem to be ideal. Posting more will not increase the clicks per post in a significant way.
2) If you have less than 10,000 followers, the higher your post frequency, the fewer clicks you will receive per post.
More than 60 times per month will get you even 60% fewer clicks than posting just 5 or fewer times per month.
Are Real Estate Social Media Marketing Packages Worth the Cost?
To make real estate social media marketing packages worth the monthly cost, it is essential to know the cost per lead you will pay and the average revenue one client will generate to determine whether you will have a positive or negative ROI.
There are different marketing agencies that offer different real estate social media marketing packages.
When selecting such providers, I would focus on those that also include paid advertising management in their offering.
But make sure they have a track record or at least some marketing key performance indicators at hand, such as the cost per acquisition (cost per lead), and the number of leads they can generate with the monthly costs they charge.
By knowing this performance indicator, you can calculate the actual cost per acquisition for yourself and compare that to what revenue you have on average per client.
The scope of what they offer goes from the simple setup of social media accounts, and engaging with potential followers to all-encompassing marketing campaigns, including content marketing, managing several social media accounts, paid social media advertising, and more.
Many of these providers still have a large portion of their focus on offering regular posting for organic reach, which, as I’ve already mentioned, isn’t that efficient anymore.
Prices go from as low as $99 to up to $3,995 per month.
When selecting such providers, I would focus on those that also include paid advertising management in their offering.
Ending this article, I will provide you below with 8 providers that offer real estate social media marketing packages in different variations: