Real Estate Agents: Think Twice Before Signing Up for Automated Social Posting
Social media is a blessing and a curse for real estate agents. It has made it so much easier (and less costly) to stay in touch with — and market yourself to — your sphere, past clients, and prospects. But it takes time…
- Time to figure out what to post.
- Time to create (or at least find) content to share.
- Time to actually post the content.
- Time to interact with people who react to your content.
So as much as social media marketing is an easy, low-cost way to stay top-of-mind for a real estate agent, it leaves some agents wishing it were even easier.
Agents barely have time to take a bathroom or lunch break most days, so spending time creating and posting content online isn’t that easy, no matter how much an agent knows it’s a smart thing to do. And if you don’t know, consider these stats from an article The Close recently published:
- 38% of agents polled said that posting on social media got them new clients.
- According to the survey, that’s the second highest source of business for agents, with referrals being the top at 83%.
- The agents surveyed felt that the best social media platforms to use were:
- Facebook (92%)
- Instagram (72%
- Youtube (37%)
- TikTok (18%)
- Twitter (14%)
Despite the fact that there’s no question that content marketing on social media is a money maker, many agents still struggle to find the time to manage their online marketing.
It’d be great if you could hire a full-time content writer and social media manager who handle your online marketing, but very few agents have deep enough pockets for that. So when you come across a company that not only creates real estate social media content for you to post, but also says they’ll post it for you, well, that can sound super appealing. In fact, a lot of agents look for companies who will do that for them.
But is it the way to go?
The 10 Drawbacks and Flaws of Auto-Posted Content
We’ve been creating real estate content for agents to share on social media since 2013 here at The Lighter Side. Over the years we’ve probably been asked daily if we automatically post content for agents on their social media profiles. The short answer is no. The long answer is we gave it a lot of thought before (and ever since) we started our content membership site, and there are a lot of reasons why we don’t think it’s a good service to offer, or for agents to use. (Even though it’d be a heck of a lot easier for us to just offer it, and take agents money to do it…)
While it sounds like an appealing time-saver, having a company automatically post real estate content for you has drawbacks and flaws you probably wouldn’t think about unless you were in the trenches of the content creation and social media marketing business. And, let’s face it, if a company offers it, they probably aren’t going to point out the downsides, so here’s a list of the issues we have with it so you can make your own educated decision.
1. You’ll be sharing the same stuff at the same time
Most companies that automatically post content for you are posting the same exact content, at the same exact times, for a lot of other agents too. They don’t customize content for you and every other agent—they just serve up the article or post du jour.
So if your followers know any other agents (and who doesn’t!), you could all be sharing the same content, which won’t do much in the way of setting you apart from other agents, or bolstering your authority and credibility.
2. Limits on the number of posts
Each company offers different types of plans, and you may be able to choose how many times a day they’ll post on your behalf, but there’s always a limit. Whether it’s once a day, three times a day, or any other frequency, you have to choose how many times content will be shared on your behalf.
It might not sound like a big deal, but the sneaky little thing here is that if you’re subbing out the task of posting content on your socials, there’s a good chance you aren’t aware of how much content your audience is OK seeing from you. So choosing any limited number of posts is an issue; it could be way too much, or way too little. But unless you’re actively involved and aware of how your audience reacts to the amount of content, you’ll never know. You could easily be annoying them, or not capitalizing on their tolerance for more impressions.
3. You may miss the hot topic
There’s always something trending on social media. That doesn’t mean it’s always something you can twist into real estate related content, but it’s marketing gold when you can! Most “trendjacking” happens on the fly (not on a pre-set, rigid schedule), and you have to strike while it’s hot. While the window of opportunity could last for days, more often than not it’s a matter of hours before you lose your chance to capitalize on a hot topic.
So before signing up with a company that offers auto-posted content, see if they even come up with trending content, and if they’re able to post it before it’s too late.
4. You can’t get “personal”
Most social media platforms only allow third-party companies to post content to your business page, not your personal profile. Technically speaking most of them don’t want you posting business related marketing content to your personal page either.
But if you do it selectively and with the right type of content, it’s not going to bother your audience. In fact, if you truly do it right (and is there any other way to do it?!), your audience will enjoy and look forward to the content you post! As long as you’re careful and thoughtful about how often you do it, and the type of content you post, you’ll have more of your friends, family and sphere seeing your stuff on your personal profile, as opposed to your business page.
5- You can’t customize the content
One of the greatest things about content marketing is that you can repurpose it and use it in different forms and formats. Sometimes an article would make a better email. Or maybe it’d be even better if you could add your own bitmoji or avatar on it. Perhaps you’d like to share it on a platform or medium that the content provider isn’t able to post on.
If a company is auto-posting content for you, you most likely aren’t going to be able to take full advantage of what a piece of content could do with your own personal touch. Creating all of your own content from scratch may be daunting, but when you have some killer content already done for you, putting your own spin on it can be easy, fun, and have way more impact. But if it’s auto-posted, or you don’t have that kind of control, it’s a missed opportunity.
6- Your can’t brand yourself
Some companies put your branding on the content they share for you, but some do not. It’s kind of missing the point if your branding isn’t on the content in some way.
In the least, make sure any company you consider will include your personal branding on the content they share. But bonus points if they allow you to customize that as well!
7- Do they even sound like you?
For the most part, you should write a short blurb or caption to go along with anything you post online—a little ‘color commentary’ if you will. Some companies will offer to do this for you when they post content, but others do not. To be honest, either way it’s not great…
The ones who don’t write a caption are ignoring a huge element to a successful post on social media. And the ones who do post a blurb for you most likely won’t come across as something you’d ever say or write!
Make sure you have captions before everything you post, and make sure they sound like something that actually comes from you. Otherwise it’ll just look and sound phony to your friends, family, and followers.
8- It wasn’t you!
Most likely you’d only be giving a company limited access to your accounts so that they could post on your behalf, but you may also consider someone who requires you to give them full access to your account. Unless you know and trust the person or company 100%, be very leery about giving anyone that kind of access to your account.
As with everything nowadays, be careful about what kind of permissions you’re giving an app, company, or individual. Otherwise you might find someone taking over your page and persona.
9- It’s not truly automatic
Some companies will require you to approve the posts before they share them on your behalf.
On one level, that’s a good thing. You should know what’s being posted and review it before it hits your page. How will you engage with people who react to it if you aren’t aware of what “you” shared? What if it isn’t in line with your own perspective or beliefs?
But on the other hand, is that truly automatic?! Either way it’s an issue…
Either you need to spend the time and effort you were trying to save doing it anyway, or you have no clue what they’re posting.
10- It’s often convenience over quality
It’s one thing to fill your page and followers’ eyes with easy-to-post content; it’s another altogether to stand out to them because of what you post.
Before just signing up with a company who offers to automatically post content for you, make sure their content is high quality. Is it dry and boring? Is it something people will even read, let alone be entertained by?
Just because they offer to make it easy for you to post content doesn’t mean it’s good content! Make sure the focus is on engaging content, and you’re not getting sold simply on the ease of sharing it.
Besides, You Need to Join the Conversation Eventually…
That’s the long (and hopefully helpful!) answer to why we don’t auto-post content for real estate agents, and truthfully why you shouldn’t want anyone else to do it for you.
Besides, taking an arm’s length approach to your social media marketing misses the point—the key word is social! Just posting content doesn’t land you leads and clients. You need to engage with your audience. If you’re entirely trying to automate and delegate your social media content marketing, you’re probably not going to get the results you want anyway.
So when you’re being sold on spending less time on your social media and content marketing, think about it another way…
Years ago, you couldn’t have gotten in front of so many people, so often, or so inexpensively. Now you have one big, never-ending social gathering where you can mingle with almost everyone you know.
Would you have someone else start a conversation, let alone speak on your behalf at a networking event or party? That’s kinda what you’re doing when you have someone auto-post for you. And, if it’s going to be effective and worthwhile, you have to step in at some point and join the conversation, so you ought to know and choose what those topics are anyway.
So Focus On Posting Quality Content
Unless you’re dry, boring, and uninspiring, there’s a good chance a lot of the auto-posted content you can sign up for isn’t going to represent you all that well. It’s typically written to be just that — to be safe and appeal to as many agents as possible, but also because they’re more focused on selling convenience.
Your brand represents you, so you should not only choose the content your followers see, but also make sure it’s quality content. Which just so happens to be what we focus on at The Lighter Side…
Do you want to be viewed as resourceful? Serious? Clever? Witty? Cheeky? We have a full spectrum covering all goals, scenarios and personality types. And while we won’t auto-post real estate content for you, we have the best content…and a scheduling tool that makes it quick and easy for you to plan when to share it!
Click here to get started.