Social media marketing: The 80/20 rule | REM | Real Estate Magazine

Social media is meant to be just that – social! While many people, especially Realtors, use it as a platform to get business, never forget that people are on there to look at funny cat pictures and videos of their grandchildren.

If you’re not doing social media marketing, you’re missing out. It’s free, and it’s powerful.

If you are, then never forget the 80-20 rule. It means you’re posting 80 per cent fun/funny/engaging/informative content and a maximum of 20 per cent business related material. People are here to be entertained. They aren’t there to look at your listings or open houses.

I have probably 200 Realtor friends on my Facebook. My clients are Realtors, so it’s important for me to connect with as many as I can. But I’ve unfollowed probably 75 per cent of them, because even though I have a reason to follow them, I just can’t stare at listings, open houses and spam all day long. People will unfollow you (which means they won’t see your posts) if they find it boring/repetitive/uninteresting.

Okay, so how do I keep people’s eyes from glazing over but still promote my business?

Great question. Let’s look at how you can apply the 80/20 rule of social media to your marketing.

If you’re not a natural social media marketer (which is a teensy tiny percentage of people), you need to know what type of things to post. One option is to follow Realtors who are really rocking social media and use them for inspiration (or if inspiration fails, modify their posts so they are your own). But here are some ideas to get you started:

Be yourself/your brand

If that’s as a Mom Realtor, make many of the posts mom-related. If you are a community volunteer, roll with that. If you like hunting, make most of the 80 per cent of posts on point with that.

Personal stuff

I know many people don’t want to share about themselves on social media, but that’s where people really connect with you. Start small then grow from there.

Funny stuff

Yes, funny is hard, but start with jokes and memes until you really develop your social media humour. Keep it clean and non-offensive!

Informational stuff

This varies greatly, but it can be things about your brand (Mom, hunter, volunteer) or about your local community. For example, “Learn about the top 10 reasons to live in XYZville” or “The top 5 charities to volunteer with”, or “The Top 3 daycare options in XYZville”.  Lists are big hits on social media. Use them whenever possible.

Facebook live videos of community places you go to

Love a local business? Share it! Make a post with an image, or better yet a video.

Local events/happenings

Having your finger on the pulse of events in your community makes you a source people turn to…. if you can be that for people, you’ve already partially earned their trust.

Community highlights

People love people who love their community, so be that person. Highlight local attractions, neighbourhoods, your favourite walking trails and all the things you love about your area. Include pictures or videos wherever possible.

Local businesses

There’s no better way to show that you’re invested and known in the community than to highlight local small businesses. Tell the people a story about that business – a personal experience you had, a story about the owner or something about why people love them. As a bonus, the local business may share it on their social profiles, which could get you more followers and connections.

Local charities

Nothing pulls at the heartstrings more than support for charities, especially local ones. If you hear of a charity hosting an event, or doing a good job, or if you or someone you know is volunteering with them, use that on your social media. But make it about the charity and not about you.

Holiday content

This isn’t just a single “Happy Holidays” or “Happy Halloween” post. It can be weeks of content building up to it. Let’s take Halloween, for example. You could easily come up with five or more posts. The most amazing jack-o-lantern carvings, the coolest kid costumes, best adult costumes, best costumes on the cheap (especially important for families with multiple kids who can’t pay $100 per costume), last-minute costume ideas (to post the day before), Halloween food ideas, local Halloween events. Instead of one post, really celebrate it and get a couple of weeks worth of content.


These are a great way to boost engagement numbers. Ask simple questions that are slightly polemic and will get responses. For example, “How early should Halloween decorations be put out in stores or houses”, “When’s the last time you upgraded the kitchen or bathroom in your home?”


You’re posting on social media, keep it social and fun. A funny meme can go a long way. Bonus points if you create it yourself (Google “create a meme”) and put your branding on it.

For example, a monthly contest where the funniest caption wins a local business product/service.

People love animals. Pet owners respond like crazy to posts about pets. Post a picture of your pet and ask them to post theirs (these posts generally get 25-100 responses depending on how many friends/followers you have). Post something crazy or naughty your pet did and ask people to share their funniest stories. You will get an incredible amount of engagement on these posts.

Nothing political or polarizing

Beware of posting anything political, or that might polarize your readers. While they can get engagement, you could offend and alienate part of your audience.

The 20 per cent (business stuff) 

DIY home decor/maintenance/upgrades

Post home upgrades and maintenance and talk about how it can increase the value of the home. Be sure to include a personal intro on how and why it does. And people love before/after shots.

A weekly/recurring series

For example, throw-back Thursdays, wine and questions Wednesdays, fantastic home Fridays.

Videos/Lives for business

Do as many videos, both pre-recorded and live as you can as these get the top spots in Facebook newsfeeds.

Video walk-throughs, possibly before an open house

Have a new listing or doing an open house? Pop open the camera and do a walk-through like you were showing someone the house. People will get to know you before they meet you and will be more likely to reach out to you (or visit your open house).

Market updates

These are great tools, but don’t post generic material that people don’t understand. Put your analysis on it so that people understand how it affects them.

Neighbourhood analysis

This will not only show your area expertise but will engage people who are interested in that area.

Articles like how to get your home ready for sale, buyer tips, seller tips

Ideally link them to the article on your website.

Client success stories/testimonials

These are incredibly powerful because they offer social proof. The best option is a video of the client, second best is you reading and reacting to a testimonial, next best is a photo of the client and their new home with the written testimonial, and last just a text-based testimonial.

How you solved a problem

Experienced buyers and sellers know that transactions rarely go smoothly. Pop on a quick Facebook live (better) or write a post about a problem that came up in your day and how you quickly and creatively solved the problem. This type of post is super powerful to your viewers.

Buyer anniversaries

A testimonial is great but you don’t only have to use them once. On the anniversary of a client buying their new home, post their story and testimonial again, while congratulating them (this will also show them that you remember and appreciate them – so two birds, one stone).

Gifts you get from clients/service providers

Do your clients and network love you so much they give you little tokens of appreciation? Those are social media gold!

Highlight service providers when they do a great job

Have a mortgage broker, plumber, inspector or roofer who did an amazing job and came in on budget, with great work, on time and were nice to your clients? Amazing! Post it. It will not only show them appreciation but will show people that you have a network of people who will help them when they work with you.

Business memes

Memes aren’t thought of as “professional” but some that are clever while professional are a great business tool.

Promote Facebook groups where you’re a regular contributor

If you are part of a group that you contribute to regularly, promote it on your social media. People will see you interacting with others, which will build their opinion of you.

When making social media posts, use video when possible. When you aren’t using video, use an image or a GIF. It will get significantly more attention than a text-based post alone.

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