Organic Reach Best Practices for Real Estate Agents in 2021
In recent years, organic reach has often been reported as being in decline, but with Facebook algorithms changing and social media platforms rejuvenating their guidelines to best serve users, not brands, real estate agents and other professionals now have a new playing field when it comes to creating effective, audience-centered content in their marketing strategy, whether it be paid or organic.
Nowadays, we’re talking about quality content; specifically, content that audiences want to see because the more they engage with a post (whether it be a like, a comment etc.), the more social media engines will take note of that and promote like-minded or similar content pieces to that user. Although it takes time to create and put out organic content out there, its ability to draw in genuinely interested audiences is incredibly important.
With that in mind, here are some of the most relevant organic reach best practices that digital agents need in 2021, in no particular order:
1. New posts on a regular schedule -
while posting a new piece of quality content every day would be a challenge for anyone, it’s important to keep the brand top-of-mind for audiences on a regular basis, and unfortunately, because newsfeeds and homepages usually refresh every few minutes, agents would do well to post updates at least once every three days.
2. Get others involved -
Branded messages reach 561% further when shared by employees on their social media than branded pages. This means agencies and RE companies can amplify their organic reach efforts by getting their people involved, and further boosting engagement.
3. Use Facebook Insights -
despite its many drawbacks to the professional’s marketing strategies, Facebook is still an important tool in reaching people and shouldn’t be ignored or underestimated. Using Facebook Insights will give a better understanding of an agent’s current followers (demographics, interests etc), which will help them see what kind of messaging does well and which areas need adjustments so that every subset is being served accordingly.
4. Power of video -
Video is going from strength to strength in 2021, with more companies using video content to increase organic reach than ever before. Video marketing gets 66% more leads and 50% more brand awareness, and in particular, real estate listings with videos get 400% more queries.
5. Study guidelines for each platform -
Learning which formats perform well and what kind of captions and tags work best for each platform is extremely useful for the overachieving agent, because effective organic reach needs to be optimized, optimized, optimized. Great agents know when to use a Snapchat filter for a fun update, what kind of content does well on an Instagram story versus an Instagram live; they know that the #realtor hashtag on Tiktok has over 47 million views, and that the post-COVID digital world has started popularizing #virtualtour, #remotehousetour, and #virtualtour, etc.
6. Endless opportunities -
Because audiences interact best with content they find truly engaging, it gives agents endless opportunities to be creative, original, innovative, and even experimental. This yields far better results than posting frequent but haphazard, rushed or purely promotional content.
7. Social listening -
Learning about the audience an agent already has is important but there are no shortcuts to great results, unfortunately. It’s important to understand not only demographics, but their interests, what pages or accounts they currently like, etc. Why? Because social media platforms notice when a person has liked, commented, shared or saved a content piece, and is likely to recommend that piece to the homepage of their friends, widening the audience pool and strengthening brand impression significantly.
8. Create localised content -
Localised content does wonders in increasing organic reach because people are inherently interested in what’s going around them, and they want people (and businesses) they can trust, and creating localised content that is informative, truthful and engaging is a way to earn that trust.
9. Responding is caring -
More than ever, consumers want to see the faces behind the brand. Agents have a huge opportunity to let audiences know they are approachable. This can be done via hosting Q&A live streams, setting up a Youtube channel that explores both professional and personal aspects, or simply responding to the comments that come under a post or a Tweet, etc. This doesn’t mean immediate transactions, but, according to Deloitte, today’s consumers care more about how brands treat and interact with them, and that brands that ‘authentically lead with purpose’ actually grow three times faster than competitors.
10. Ask what’s on their mind -
Lots of businesses have boosted engagement from their audiences by simply tweeting out a question and receiving hundreds of responses. The same can be easily replicated in real estate. Try asking followers to share their experiences of how the pandemic has treated them amidst the homebuying journey, or share their worst house buying/selling story. A 2021 trend that’s gained popularity in many fields of interest has been the ‘This or That’ polls where two images are pitted against each other and audiences vote the one they prefer. Agents can easily boost engagement by doing the same, pitting pictures of different types of homes or home-related scenarios or locations and asking audiences to vote. Not only is this irresistible to audiences (we all love to put in our two cents somewhere!), but it’s a great (and free) way to see where consumer interests really are without having to hire an agency to do the research for you.