Social media can be a powerful tool for attracting new business and maintaining client relationships, but it's also a highly visible platform that can derail a business in just a few minutes. As a broker or agent, you should be careful of how you are using social media to interact with clients and promote your business. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Use professional language. It's okay to be a little laid-back in your writing. Feel free to use contractions, show excitement with exclamation points and write in a conversational tone. However, don't forget that you are reaching out to a wide audience and your words might be interpreted in a different way than you intended. Pay attention to word choice before hitting that post button.
It's also important that you're double-checking your spelling and grammar. Even though real estate isn't an industry where success is measured by being a strong writer, any grammar mistakes will come across as unprofessional to your audience. If you're unsure of a spelling or grammar rule, a quick Google search will do the trick.
It's okay to mix in the personal, but make sure it's appropriate. Throwing in some pictures of your fun weekend activity along with your real estate-related posts is perfectly acceptable. In fact, personal content is what makes a social media page a little more, well, personal. Your audience wants to be able to relate to you and posting your listings 24/7 is not the way to do it. However, make sure that everything you are posting is business friendly. Lastly, don't overdo it with the personal fluff. A breakdown of 70 percent business content and 30 percent personal content is your safest bet.
Stay away from politics and religion. These are two of the most controversial topics, so you'll want to stay away from them. Even if most of your social media connections are posting their opinions regarding politics and religion, it's important that you, as a professional, do not get involved. Things can get tricky fast, and overly-opinionated posts can damage your reputation in the blink of an eye. Of course, you are entitled to your own opinions, but keep them within conversations with close friends and family, and not within reach of the internet community. Remember, anything you write down is out there and can’t be taken back.
Double-check any content you plan to share. Clickbait articles usually don't tell you what's inside the article, so make sure you never share something without reading through it carefully. Also, take into consideration who the writer of the piece is. Believe it or not, your social media connections will read into it, associating the writer's beliefs with you and your business. If you're sharing memes or GIFs, double-check that the imagery or message can't be construed as offensive by anyone. Backgrounds are also something you should consider. Many times, images are shared without glancing at what's going on in the background of the photo, which may be inappropriate.
Get permission from clients before you post. If you just hosted a fun client appreciation event or took a "Sold!" picture with your buyer, you may want to share your excitement by posting photos on social media. Beware—not all of your clients will be okay with you posting their photograph on the internet. This is especially true with the older generations. Always ask before you post their picture, and make sure they are okay with you tagging them, as well.
Err on the side of caution. If you are not 100 percent sure about something you are thinking of posting, it's better not to post it at all. Any inkling that content can be misinterpreted should be taken seriously. If a conflict-causing thought enters your head, it will most likely be something that another reader will bring up. It's always helpful to have a second set of eyes to review your posts before going live. This will reduce the chances of alienating your social media audience.
By following these rules, you can ensure that your social media standing maintains its professional reputation. Social media is a creative way to reach out and connect with your clients, and with the right approach it can increase your referral rates and bring in business.
Find more social media strategies, tips and trends in RISMedia's Social Skills series.