Katie Lance wants REALTORS® to feel the same joy she gets when her social media posts cause followers to say, “I feel like you know me.”
That kind of connection comes through sustained effort, but she advises newcomers to start simply and not get overwhelmed by the multitude of available choices. As REALTORS® gain more experience with social media, they can nurture relationships that will grow their businesses.
“My goal is always to make people feel empowered no matter their age or background,” she says.
The social media and marketing expert will offer her best ideas to attendees of the May 3 Illinois REALTORS® Conference & Expo at the Gateway Center in Collinsville. The CEO and owner of Katie Lance Consulting will deliver two sessions: “Get Social Smart: How to Hone Your Social Media Strategy” and “How to Tell Your Story Online.”
She agreed to answer a few questions about her favorite topics in anticipation of her Illinois appearance.
Katie Lance will teach you how to use social media more effectively at this year’s Illinois REALTORS® Conference & Expo in her sessions.
Q. What do you love about social media lately?
The whole issue of whether Facebook is just showing us the news we want to see or not is fascinating. And then there’s the subject of ‘fake news.’ But what do I love? I’d have to say Facebook Live has captured my attention. In social media, you have to be a ‘thumb-stopper’ and Facebook Live is doing that. You have to have content that’s the most engaging. It’s more important than ever before to create content that sparks conversation.
Q. How important is organization to social media success?
I learned the value of having an editorial calendar when I worked on real estate news, so I think it’s important to develop a social media calendar that projects topics three, six or even 12 months out. Use social media to answer the questions your customers frequently ask you. I think you can work smart and sometimes prepare several messages in one sitting while scheduling them to appear in the future.
Q. How do REALTORS® prevent social media from becoming a ‘time suck?’
Although REALTORS® wear so many different hats in their jobs, when it comes to social media they don’t have to be all things to all people. First, they need to determine the social media platforms that they enjoy the most. Second, they need to find out the platforms their clients like the most and then focus on the platforms of their ideal clients. For example, if your ideal market is millennials, you’d be wise to learn about Instagram and Snapchat.
But, the biggest mistake agents can make is what I call ‘spray and pray.’ That’s when they use the same messages for everyone, regardless of the platform. It just doesn’t work. Every platform has its own unique language and characteristics. For example, on Twitter, we use hashtags. But not so much on Facebook.
Q. How do you measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy?
With the social strategy, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It might take six, 12 or 18 months before you get the right response. Find out where you’re getting traction. If certain things are doing well, keep doing them. If you can stick with social media strategy long-term, that’s where the magic happens.
Q. What do you mean about everyone having an online story to tell?
Hand in hand with social media presence is developing an online story for every REALTOR®. One of the first things people do these days is ‘Google’ a business to learn more about it, to get reviews from customers. I want REALTORS® to discover what pops up when somebody ‘Googles’ them. It is their opportunity to use social media and their websites to own their online stories. Their content needs to be genuine so that their friends recognize them and potential customers can relate to them, too.
Q. How do you measure the effectiveness of your online presence?
Maintenance is important. They need to perform audits annually if not every six months. They need to make sure their profiles and designations are up to date, and they respond promptly to online comments and reviews. They need to make their websites look good on a mobile device. If you have to pinch or zoom on your website, then you’re making it too hard for the customer to read.