I’ve been working on retainer for a local real estate team for a few weeks, and in many ways, the team is my dream client; they’re open to change and to new ideas, they’re not afraid to invest to make those ideas happen, and they’re easy to “sell” – meaning I believe in their mission to serve their clients well, and I happen to think they’re pretty stellar people as well.
What has also been rewarding about this work is how quickly the team’s audience has responded to the content we’ve been posting on social media. Because if I’ve learned anything about content writing, whether it’s shared through emails, blog posts, or social media, it’s all about your audience’s level of engagement with the content. Here’s the simple truth: if your audience doesn’t like your content enough to engage with it, there’s a solid chance that they’re not your ideal client.
But how do you more effectively serve those people who ARE your ideal clients? Read on for three sneaky ways to boost your engagement and meet the wants and needs of YOUR specific audience.
1) If you want engagement, you need to engage. Period.
One of my favorite tips is this simple one: engagement breeds engagement. The more you engage with your followers, the more they’ll engage with you.
What this means is that A) you should pay attention to who follows you, and B) you should interact with them in a meaningful and genuine way on a regular basis. And while I feel a little slimy giving this advice, don’t get me wrong here: I’m NOT saying comment for comment’s sake, hoping that a follower will return the favor. You should be a human, guys, and actually put some thought and intention behind your interactions!
A few easy ways for me to engage:
- Kiddo pictures just MELT me. It’s a sure bet to receive a comment from me on a kiddo picture. What I say? “Cuuuuuuuute!” (with that many ‘u’s, yes).
- Anything that mentions the hard stuff, the vulnerable stuff, the icky stuff that we all feel but rarely mention. I always, always try to applaud folks who do this. What I say? “Thank you for putting words to these feelings. Thank you for being real. You’re courageous, and I’m thankful for you.”
- Silly poll questions. I’m a big sucker for polls in Instagram Stories, because if I’m overrun with anything, it’s opinions. :) What I do? Voting this or that with one tap or filling in a question box is a low-stakes way to engage.
2) Get on a posting schedule, and use themes to help you stay focused.
I heard once that posting in real time generates less engagement than pre-scheduled content. And while I feel this rule doesn’t necessarily apply to Instagram Stories (which, frankly, have changed the game for social media influencers around the world), I’m still in agreement that it does benefit business owners to spend time pre-populating content for social media.
For the real estate clients I’m working with, one of the first changes we implemented to their social media strategy was adopting a scheduling platform (here’s my favorite!) and develop daily themes to hammer home each week.
Here’s a couple of our current theme targets:
- Specialty Day or Expert Day. On this day each week, the real estate team brings in an expert in a related field (say, for example, mortgage, home inspection, or renovation) to share a few tips. The team itself also has distinct areas of expertise, and we also rotate in tips related to the team’s specializations (like working with veterans or first-time homebuyers). Make it work for you: who’s an expert in YOUR industry? What do YOU specialize in? Share this with your followers!
- Open House Day. One of the mainstays in the real estate market – yes, even in the midst of a pandemic! – is the open house, which invites prospective buyers into a home during a set timeframe with a Realtor present. My clients have generated buzz for their open houses by posting about these events a few days in advance of the weekend. We’ve also experienced the blessing of having a home sell BEFORE a scheduled open house, which is fun to share with followers as well, as it gives kudos to the agents for quickly moving from offer to under contract! Make it work for you: what are regular, mainstay processes or events related to YOUR field? Can you craft weekly content around one part of your job? For instance, if you’re a photographer, could you post photo editing tips? Sending client galleries?
3) Show your face. Seriously!
My real estate clients hosted an open house last weekend, and my one assignment for them? Get on Instagram Stories, and SHOW ME YOUR FACE!
I know it’s totally awkward and scary sometimes to turn the camera away from the gorgeous kitchen countertops or perfect products or attractive models, but as much as your followers love the pretty stuff, they come to your feed for YOU. So show your face! I promise you – even 15 seconds worth of you talking to the camera is worth TONS of pretty posts when it comes to engagement.
Three things to share while the camera’s on selfie mode:
- Behind-the-scenes insight. Who doesn’t love watching what celebrities do off-set, or what athletes do off-the-court? Turning the camera around to see what goes into the finished product – whether your product is YOU or not – is fascinating to everyone, even if you think it’s boring. Show me: what that blush or lipstick looks like on YOU, what YOU do to fix sun spots in photos, what keywords YOU use when searching for a home.
- Silly happenings. If you’re a home builder and your toddler built you a “house” made of pillows and blankets, show your amusement on Stories. If you’re a master gardener and bunnies are making their home in your petunias, show your followers that even the best at their trade have battles to wage. Show me: anything that proves you’re a human who’s still learning, still growing, still doing the work.
- Your favorite stuff. If you’re a perfumer who loves a certain line of makeup, I wanna know about it. If you’re a photographer who always purchases the same finish of picture frames, share that genius with your people. Show me: your favorite healthy eating hacks, your great-grandma’s apple pie recipe, the book you can’t put down, or the candle scent you keep buying and burning and buying again.
Social media is all about being SOCIAL. So converse! Engage! It gets less awkward the more you do it, friend, and I promise, you’ll have fun AND see results. Get out there!
What’s YOUR social media engagement secret?
Share the wealth in the comments!