This April, one of Inman’s most popular recurring theme months returns: Back to Basics. All month, real estate professionals from across the country share what’s working for them, how they’ve evolved their systems and tools, and where they’re investing personally and professionally to drive growth in 2022. It’s always smart to go Back to Basics with Inman.

These days, when prospective clients want to know about you, they’re often headed straight online to check your references. And where are millennials sure to check? Social media. So your social media game has to be on-point to have any prayer of standing out in the millions of agents online today.

It offers a way to stay connected with past, present and future clients and your sphere of influence. It allows you to remain part of the conversation long after the deal closes. It also offfers you the opportunity to build new connections, both locally and with those who may be relocating to your area (or agents looking to service their clients as they move away).

Social media is also the vehicle to push out your other meatier content — like blogs, educational content and podcasts — to position yourself as the expert to those you don’t know you IRL. Here are my top 11 tips for getting more engagement while extending your reach.

Pre-game

Before we dive into the strategies, the first step is to make sure your profile is optimized. Think of your profile as your resume. People will decide to connect through a friend request or follow based on their snap judgment of who you are via your profile.

A few minor adjustments to your profile can make an enormous difference. Start by answering all the questions the platform asks in the profile setup. The more complete your profile, the more opportunity for potential followers to connect with you. Be clear about being a real estate agent and the area you cover. These small adjustments can lead to big differences.

11 tips for boosting your social media engagement

Once you have your profile optimized, now we’re ready to take full advantage of the increased engagement the following strategies will yield.

1. Use hashtags

Hashtags act as a way for someone to search for a specific topic or area on social media. They provide an easy way for your ideal client to find you via the content you’re creating.

Hashtags like #livingin(your city), #movingto(yourcity) or #(yourcity)realestate lead to increased engagement and new followers. If you aren’t sure what the ideal hashtags might be for you, there are a number of apps that can help you target the proper ones. Tools like Hashtagify, Tagsfinder and Kicksta are great places to start.

The use of hashtags is a great way to increase your post’s engagement.

2. Use polls

Polls are a great way to get followers to engage by asking their opinion. These could be questions like, “Which kitchen would you choose?” Then include photos of two or three different kitchens. Or maybe, “Which outdoor living space would you prefer?”

If you aren’t sure how to set up a social media poll post, simply Google the process or watch a video on YouTube.

3. Use more video

The algorithms for all the social media platforms are rewarding video posts. If the platforms are rewarding video posts with more organic reach, then give the platforms more of what they want to increase your reach.

Rather than just having a written post or post with a photo, add video, and your engagement will increase.

When we tell stories on social media, people feel more connected to us, and connection leads to conversion.

4. Tag people you are with

By tagging people you are with, your post has the potential to be seen by their connections, friends or followers. This helps people not in your current network find you through mutual connections. There is a certain level of trust that comes with association. When we see someone we know with someone else, there is a natural level of trust. We mentally think, if my friend trusts this person, then I can, too.

Association and trust lead to more trust and engagement.

5. Use scroll-stopping photos

As people are scrolling through their social media, specific types of photos can catch their attention and prompt them to stop scrolling to check out your post. These photos include pictures of you with your family, you at landmark destinations that people recognize, or stunningly beautiful pictures of an area or event.

By including scroll-stopping photos in your posts, engagement will increase.

6. Tag where you are

Tagging the location where you are provides another layer of opportunity for people to find your posts. When someone searches by a location in Instagram, for example, they can see all the posts that were tagged in that location.

Tagging your location also gives the platform the ability to share your post with other people in that area. If you’ve never tried it before, search the hashtags on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok, including your city or farm neighborhood, and see what pops up. You may find an opportunity to begin tagging your posts in these locations and thereby increasing your posts’ exposure to potential clients.

By including your city or community in your posts, the opportunity for new connections and higher post engagement increases.

7. Tell a story

When we tell stories on social media, people feel more connected to us, and connection leads to conversion. Share the story about your favorite client and how you helped them buy or sell their home. Share a story about how you moved to your city and how you fell in love with it. Share the story about how you got into real estate and why you love this business.

When you share stories, your ideal clients connect in a way that is hard to match.

8. Share family photos

Sharing family photos shows that you’re more than just a salesperson. It adds depth to how you are perceived. It creates connection and authenticity that leads to stronger and deeper relationships.

If you’re looking for social media posts that generate the highest engagement, make sure you mix in some personal and family photos along the way.

Authenticity is undefeated when it comes to finding your ideal clients and friends on social media.

9. Document your day in stories

Using Instagram and Facebook stories to document your day is a great way to give people a behind-the-scenes look at your daily activities. Share a quick video talking about the listing appointment you are going on. Maybe share about the inspection you just attended or the final walkthrough.

By documenting your day, people feel more connected to you and your business. That connection is key to repeat customers, referrals and new clients.

10. Highlight a local business

Highlighting a local business gives you the ability to share about some of your favorite places in your city. This could be a restaurant, service provider or even a local retail store. These posts are often shared by the businesses, and this results in exposure to their audiences.

The golden rule says treat others as you would like to be treated. By shining a light on other local businesses, you might be surprised who shines a light on yours.

11. Be authentic

Be yourself — because authenticity is undefeated when it comes to finding your ideal clients and friends on social media. It acts as a natural filter to connect you with the perfect people for you and to deter the people that are not a good fit for you or your business.

Whatever it is that you love, share about it on social media. Do you have a favorite sports team? Share about it. Do you have a hobby that you love doing in your down time? Share about it. Do you have a favorite charity you support? Share about it.

The more authentic you are, the more engaged your tribe will be. The question is no longer whether you should be on social media; the new question is whether you will choose to do it well. Take action and results will follow.

Jimmy Burgess is the chief growth officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in northwest Florida. Connect with him on Facebook or Instagram.

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