As agents, we are in love with social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, showcasing out listings and hoping to generate business.

For many agents, their social media strategy actually generates few leads and they are often left scratching their heads.

As it turns out, too many agents don’t realize that social media isn’t intendent to be an advertising platform. People on social media, who agents may view as potential clients, don’t want to be sold to, they want to engage with people or brands.
As a result, agents have to learn that on social media, people are interested them and what they have to say to or show them.

Mark Zilbert, executive vice president at Brown Harris Stevens Miami, is focused on luxury real estate sales and deploying technology. He recently wrote in Forbes that a successful social media channel isn’t too different from having a reality show for all the world to see.

Can you handle that kind of exposure? If you can, you may just find that clients seek you out and hire you to help them buy or sell properties.

Zilbert offers some basics that every agent should know.

A key point is that on social media, you are the brand — not what you’re selling or what you’ve sold. Followers want to see you at work, at play and even making them laugh from time to time.

Second, you have to name yourself as the brand. Always use your name in your handle, and stay away from kitschy ones.

Since social media is all about engagement with others, remember that engagement is a two-way street. Follow others and “like” posts that are interesting to you.

Moreover, at all costs, you want to avoid becoming a real estate cliché.

Zilbert said agents shouldn’t always remind followers to call if they are looking to buy or sell property. Be humble about your accomplishments.

As an agent, it is your job to sell properties and it is OK to use some of your posts to showcase what you are selling.

“Rather than posting an ad for the property, however, find something interesting about a feature of the property — its view, an interesting staircase, an amazing water feature,” Zilbert writes. “Then, write something about it that your social followers can enjoy. They will understand that this is your exclusive listing, and they will let you know if they want to know more.”

Zilbert also follows some detailed content rules, known as the “content rule of nine.”
For every nine posts, two should have you in them; three to five should be related to a specific property or one of its features; one should be about an area or landmark where you operate, establishing that you are local; post a photo or meme to make people laugh; and post about notable events to show you are active in the community.

Agents also should have very separate uses of key social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Facebook can be used to share content with your followers. Instagram is the perfect place to use the rule of nine and Twitter can be for current events, including a newsworthy closing of a property.

“If you want to be successful in social media for your business, you must at all times avoid topics that may cause people to become offended, annoyed, angered or insulted,” Zilbert cautioned. “Steer clear of politics, religion, dark humor, sex and vulgarity in your posts.”

Ultimately, social media is the perfect platform for agents to shine.