While posting on social media has become the norm for real estate professionals, scheduling social media posts ahead of time and keeping them sorted in a social media calendar has not been widely adopted. Many agents are still posting ad hoc or in the moment while trying to juggle all of the other tasks that come with running a successful business. It doesn’t make for a winning formula.
Real estate agents should seriously consider managing their social media content in a streamlined process that largely removes the need to post on the go. Scheduling social media posts can genuinely help alleviate your time and add value to the content you share with your audience. Here’s the real estate agent’s guide to scheduling social media posts.
Why You Should Schedule Your Posts
It’s essential to understand why scheduling social media content is helpful to agents before we get into how to do it and what you should be sharing. Though you’ve likely already correctly assumed that it’s a time-saver, there are many other added benefits to scheduling social media posts in advance that you may not have considered.
Scheduling your social media posts helps you stay organized and sets a pace for your content. It ensures that you have a stream of content flowing out to your followers consistently, no matter how busy you get. Staying top of mind is a large part of what separates top-performing agents from everyone else. Posting regularly reminds your followers that you’re the go-to agent in the community when they need to buy or sell.
Having a steady stream of content also helps improve your online presence. Suppose a potential client is researching your digital marketing efforts and finds that you haven’t posted on your own social media channels in the past month. In this case, they might not feel confident that you have a digital strategy that can help them sell their home quickly. As a branding exercise, your pages should be updated regularly with content that gives your potential clients assurance that they’re in good hands.
Finally, one of the main reasons you should consider scheduling your social media posts is that it allows you to sit down and formulate a strategy. As you prepare your posts, you can build out content themes, create consistent branding and designs, run contests, and cross-promote your other social media channels. These are hard to do on the fly and much easier to map out as you plan and schedule your content. More on the types of content you should schedule on social media later.
Building A Social Media Calendar
Creating a social media calendar shouldn’t be confused with adding your social media posts into a content scheduler like Buffer or Hootsuite.
Building a social media calendar doesn’t have to be expensive, exhaustive, or even digital, for that matter. We’d recommend starting with a spreadsheet, laying out a few months (try placing dates across the top of your columns and social media platforms down the rows) and then planning your posts. Add important dates and holidays that you don’t want to miss, write notes for yourself to review as the month progresses, and include your social media marketing budget so that you don’t forget to invest in your pages throughout the year. Your social media calendar should be where you come up with your ideas, where you research hashtags, trends, and community happenings, and be your home base when it comes to your social media efforts.
Here are a few more tips on building a real estate marketing calendar that you can use to stay on track throughout the year.
Social Media Scheduling Software
Once you’ve laid out your posts in your calendar, it’s time to copy them over to your social media scheduling software. The reason it’s in your best interest to layout your content in a calendar before scheduling them is simple: it adds a bit of space in between your planning and publishing. Use your calendar to develop ideas, review your content, and make sure everything is on-brand. Then, when you move to publish, do one final grammar check and schedule your posts with confidence, knowing that they’ve been double and triple-checked.
For software, you can use many social media scheduling platforms to layout your content, each of which has its own advantages. Here are a few to consider.
Buffer’s Pro account offers eight social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and up to 100 scheduled posts at a time. It has an excellent user interface that makes it easy to use.
One user can use up to ten accounts on Hootsuite for $49/month. Hootsuite also allows you to post on all of the major social media platforms and access your messages in one inbox.
Initially explicitly built for Instagram, Later now allows you to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest as well. It’s free to use for one set of accounts (one profile on each of the four platforms mentioned).
4. Sprout Social
For power users, Sprout Social is a robust platform that comes in at $99/month. It includes features that the other schedulers don’t come with, like keyword tracking tools and location monitoring. It also comes with a social content calendar, so if you go with Sprout, you won’t need to build your own.
It’s also worth mentioning that Twitter and Facebook both offer scheduling directly on their platforms for a free option. If you have a business account on Facebook, post scheduling is available under the Publishing Tools section, and on Twitter either through TweetDeck or by clicking the scheduling icon when you go to post. This strategy, coupled with a Later account for Instagram scheduling, is enough to cover all of your bases at no cost to you.
What You Should and Should Not Schedule
Finally, let’s discuss what you should and should not be scheduling.
Neighbourhood overview videos, frequently asked question videos and blog posts, design and decorating trends, and testimonials are all posts that should be scheduled. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s evergreen content, meaning that it’s as relevant today as it will be next year, it’s good to schedule.
If it’s time-sensitive, like a market report or a news story such as a new development or a trending topic, you should post about it in real-time. This also goes for new listings, which you’ll want to share on social media quickly as soon as you’re permitted to share them. When something sells or gets listed, share it as quickly as possible, don’t wait for a time that fits within your scheduling software.
If you dedicate time to using a social media scheduler, you’ll find that the time and energy you spend on social media will decrease while your quality of posts increases. It’s a fantastic way to improve your marketing efforts without costing you anything. Start planning and scheduling your social media content today.