Jeff Pfitzer, my friend and Co-Founder of Drunk On Social, joins me in this session of Brilliant Talks. We talked about how to utilize social media as an effective tool for our business, and how to create authentic engagement and grow our social media audience.

When it comes to growing your brand on social media, it comes down to two things.

Our number one job is to create content of great value consistently, but it doesn’t end there. The second part is to create engagement, which is the crucial part when it comes to building relationships.

Content creation: Start with your pillars

If you're familiar with the way that I run things in our businesses, you know that I have a social media content calendar. I give that away for free, and I’ve shown it several times on some of my YouTube videos.

So, if you’re ever wondering what it is you need as far as creating content, my advice is to start with your pillarsWhat is it that you gravitate towards? What are the things that you love or like doing?

Sean Cannell told me before that “The riches are in the niches” so I outlined nine questions that can hopefully help you dive deeper into what your pillars are.

We want to attract the right audience for our business and growth, and reflecting and diving deeper into these questions can help you identify a deeper niche.

  • Who’s your audience for your business?

We don’t often think about it, specifically for real estate: Who is your audience?

Are you targeting first-time homebuyers? Are you targeting homeowners that want to downsize? Or maybe homeowners who want to upscale and upgrade? Are you targeting people that are buying homes in a vacation home rental area?

It is important to understand that. Also, depending on where you are at, the question might shift between who is your audience? and who do you want your audience to be?

That’s the question I asked myself some years back that allowed me to grow into targeting more luxury audiences in Malibu.

  • What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

This is important because it narrows down how you start connecting with your audience better. Let’s face it, when people connect with you on social media, it is probably not going to be over what you do for a living–real estate. People connect more with what you love doing that you share online, whether it is cats, kayaking, or video games. Or in my case, books and journals. Or traveling–whatever it is you love doing.

Dive deeper into your hobbies and interests and ask yourself these questions so you can niche down.

  • What are you better at than most people?

 What do you do better than most people? Not everyone, just most people. The answer to that can also be one of your pillars (I like to call it superpowers). Chances are, the things you are good at, you are good at them because you like doing them. And because you like doing it, you have a certain passion and curiosity for it, and that energy can be very attractive to your audience.

  • When you are on social media, what do you gravitate to watching the most?

What are the contents you enjoy watching that you can also envision yourself doing something along those lines? What are you watching and why?

  • Do you have any family or pets that you can talk about or showcase on social media?

We often see a lot of pets or kids videos on social media that get a lot of love. If you want to include that as one of your pillars into your content on social media, that works.

  • Do you have any hobbies you spend a lot of time doing?

Outside of real estate, which, if we want to make a career out of it, we should be doing full-time, what are your hobbies that you put so much time into? Are you into sports, crafts, gaming, travel, etc.? Share your hobbies, and people who love the same things as you might find you.

  • Is there anything special about the city, town or location you live in that others would be interested in knowing about?

I’m in Malibu. So you’ll see a lot of posts on my Instagram or TikTok a few years back about Malibu. Depending on where you're at, if you know special things about your town or things to do there, that can also be a pillar that attracts the people.

TikTok especially loves this content. They love identifying you based on the geotag. And that gives you a lot of love locally. 

  • If you can only talk about one thing for the rest of your life, what would that be?

I want you to answer this question, because I asked myself this question often, and for me it is books. I could probably talk about books for the rest of my life. I love reading, so I'm going to go ahead and read. And then I'm probably going to talk about something I learned about the book, a quote, a thought, something. I'm going deeper.

For others it can be the ocean. What about the ocean? Is it about the beach? The things you can do on the beach or in the ocean? Is it about the creatures there?

If you like sports, what specific sports? Who’s your favorite team? Why do you like that team? Who are your favorite players? Have you ever played that sport before? How did it feel to play that sport?

It can be about music. What type of music do you love? Who are your favorite artists? Do you play any instruments? Why do you like music?

This is one pillar that you can go super deep in. The more questions you ask yourself, the more niche you can go, and the more social media platform algorithms will reward you.

  • When it comes to your job, what aspect of it are you amazing at?

We often think first of the things we suck at in our jobs. For me, that was showing property. I am not great at showing properties, I literally would be that agent to be like, “And that's the kitchen… and that's the bathroom.”

But what is it that you are great at?

I am great at keeping the client calm, relaxed, and just having this process go as smoothly as possible with their expectations, especially on calls. Since I am great at this, now I know what to talk about more on social media. It is something that I can teach. I can’t teach something I suck at–I have to get better at it first. But I can teach what I am good at, and people who are bad at, say, knowing how to talk to leads or customers on the phone will be interested in how I do it.

These nine questions are just some of the prompts that can help you reflect on what you could possibly talk about. The deeper you can dive into things that you like, you are passionate about, you find interesting, and you are good at, the more niche your contents will be. And they will be more authentic to who you are. Because you already know those things, and love those things, and you are already doing those things.

I was asked a question, “How often do you mention real estate [on your social media content, then]?” That is the next part.

STAY

I mentioned my social media calendar earlier, and I’ve dived deeper into this in earlier sessions and YouTube videos. We rotate through a cycle of four “buckets” which we call STAY. It is Sell with a story, Teach, Advice, and You.

Obviously, on the selling part you will talk about real estate, and you're selling with a story. Hopefully you're allowing me to connect with you through that story, through real estate.

Teach can be about real estate, or it can be about your hobby, or the area you live in. It can be about the book you just read, or a new recipe you are absolutely loving.

You can dive deeper into those with advice. What suggestions do you have based on your experience? Again, you can alternate between business and personal/pleasure here. Do you have a great hack for removing odors and stains on kitchen countertops that maybe your grandmother has passed on to you? Do you have advice on how to journal for mental health or mindfulness?

Lastly, talk about you. How your day was, your pets, etc. show me what you're eating, show me what you're doing, show me where you're going. Tell me what's going on.

The thing that makes social media work is you. You are the differentiating factor here. And we don't use enough of it.

People want to connect with you. And you've heard this thousands of times, but people want to work with people that they can connect with on social, that they can connect with on video, that they can trust just based on that feeling of “you know what, that person's my type of person.”

People trust those they can identify with, who are “similar” to them.

But a lot of us don't allow for that connection to happen because sometimes you're just talking about real estate and you're missing a different audience. 

I'm not saying just talking about real estate won't work because we've seen it work. But I want you to broaden your audience by doing things that bring in more people.

Engage

Facebook, Instagram, TikTok Stories/Reels or YouTube Shorts take you through what’s happening to your day. That’s where you need to be more engaging. You need to either be telling me something story wise. You can connect with me through advice. You need to be either showing me something that's funny, giving me a fact, making me feel something. That's on the content side.

There's part two, though. See, a lot of us just create the content and never take time to engage. We never take time to go deeper with the people that we're following.

We never go deeper into these relationships and the people that succeed at a high level on social media treat social media like it's a relationship. There is an actual real person they can connect with.

This is where you have to start thinking of social media like cold calling, door knocking, open houses, online leads, events. Social media is another arm of your business prospecting. Regardless of whether you are going on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, or TikTok, you need to engage with people.

It's going to require you to open up your phone, go to your feed. Now people are going to pop up that you're following. It's your job to connect with them.

Our engagement strategy is something we call LCM, which stands for Like, Comment, and Message. I encourage my team to do this 20 minutes a day. This doesn’t mean we will only respond to messages for those 20 minutes. We take these 20 minutes to scroll through our feeds and initiate conversations with the people we are following and are following us back.

This is probably the fastest and best way to get engagement. I’ve shown this to people who asked me, “Can you teach it to other businesses?” They were so impressed because of two different reasons. One is, a lot of people don't take time to engage.

So, we take 20 minutes to do LCM, and the rest of the day we respond to people who reply and reach out to us. You don’t need to wait a certain amount of time to respond. In fact, you should be responding as quickly as you can.

And, 95% of the time, the people you DM will reply, because you showed authentic concern for them by responding to their post and initiating an interaction.

Now, this is the good part. Aside from making your audience feel good, establishing a deeper connection, keeping you top-of-mind, etc., the moment they reply, you get to hack into the platform’s algorithm.

For example, if Facebook sees you guys interacting and it will show more of your posts to that person.

The good thing here is, your interactions don’t need to be about your business (real estate) at all. Why? Because, if you’ve done your first job, which is to create content consistently, then this is what might happen (as it often does).

You message someone about their post, and you made them feel good, they felt that you actually care about them. That person will start to wonder “How is Tristan doing recently?”

Chances are very high that they will visit your profile to look at your posts, and if you created content there, they will remember that you work in real estate. They will see your posts there.

There are two possible things that can happen that will be good for your business. One, they might currently have a pressing concern or question about real estate. Seeing that you work in that industry, they will ask you their question.

Two, if later on they needed the services of an agent, or someone they know asked them if they know any trustworthy agents, you have a high chance of popping up in their minds.

And these two situations are all opportunities for you.

It keeps you top-of-mind, builds connections, and you did marketing organically on your part, without having to be “that guy” who pummels everyone with “I am in real estate” posts online.

In a nutshell

We could be doing more in utilizing social media for our businesses. Treat it like an actual business, or a prospecting arm. Once you do, you will see all the changes.

I need you to start looking at it that way. I need you to understand that this is just like open houses. This is just like cold calling. This is just like reaching out to your database and calling them and engaging with them. This is just like events. This is the key. This is the future. You need to start thinking of How can I run a business that attracts people? and social media is the answer.