The Social In Social Media; Going Live and Stories

Social Media Marketing Today

(20-30 minute read) April 20, 2020

This transcription is our recent vlog with Katie Lance about social media today. What’s hot and how to engage your audience. Hope you enjoy and remember this is a transcription so please excuse the brevity.

Todd Sachs:

Hey guys, Todd Sachs of Sachs Realty, and welcome to this episode of Things You Should Know. Today Melissa and I are honored to be speaking with Katie Lance. I met Katie at Inman Connect New York 2020 in January. If you’re a real estate agent and a member of Inman, if you’ve ever been to Inman Connect, you may know Katie Lance. She’s one of their keynote speakers. Katie has a great book out called #GetSocialSmart, an audio podcast, and she has a YouTube channel. She posts quite frequently. Her audio podcast is every Friday, and her YouTube Channel posts every Wednesday. So, guys, we’ll make sure Katie’s information is in the show notes. Coming all the way from California, Katie Lance, welcome.

Katie Lance:

Thank you, Todd. Thank you so much, Melissa. I appreciate you inviting me to be here today. I’m excited to have a good conversation.

Melissa LeVie:

We’re excited to have you.

Todd Sachs:

We’re very excited. We’re all familiar with social media. We’re now 10 years into this thing with Facebook and the various platforms. I think we all know about it, but we’re hoping to learn a lot more today and sort of more of an intermediate to advanced conversation. I know in our industry, being real estate agents, so many of us with the average age being in the mid to late 50s, we’ve seen our kids or some grandkids that are doing it. And we’ve kind of been pushing back. So go ahead and dive right in. Tell everybody exactly what you do and about your consulting business.

Katie Lance:

Absolutely. I run a social media and marketing firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. We’ve been running our company for about eight years now. I run it side by side with my husband. So he’s my partner in life, partner in business, and we really focus on helping real estate agents get smarter about social media. I do a lot of speaking, a lot of training, a lot of virtual training now, these days. That’s really our mission, is just to help agents and brokers get smarter about how to use social media. There’s so many tools out there, and things seem to change all the time, but I think the basics don’t change, and that is that real estate and business is, typically speaking, a people business. Just because social media or technology doesn’t mean that you can’t still be intentional about using those tools in a really smart way. So I’m excited to dive in and share some of that stuff today.

Todd Sachs:

Yes, and let’s first ask about the hottest new platform, TikTok. What is going on with TikTok? Should people in their 50s be on TikTok?

Katie Lance:

TikTok is a lot of fun. I’m on TikTok, although I haven’t actually created anything. I’m a little bit of a watcher, I guess, a lurker right now, which honestly, I always say, when anything new comes up, that’s a great way to just determine if a platform is for you. Download it, check it out, watch what other people are doing, and that’ll give you a good sense if you should be on it or not. I will say TikTok skews really, really young. The biggest demographic right now are typically teenagers through folks in the early 20s. So it may not be for everyone, although I have seen people of literally all different ages who are active on TikTok. It started off as kind of a lip-syncing app, and there’s still a lot of that on there, but there’s also all different types of people. I’ve seen medical professionals on there and interior designers and a wide variety of people.

So I think it comes down to: who are your audience? Who are you trying to attract? And I always say this with any platform, whether it’s TikTok, Instagram, Facebook: who is your ideal client? What is their age range? What do they look like? Who do you want to work with? That should be a big determining factor when figuring out what platforms to be on, whether it’s TikTok or anything else.

Todd Sachs:

So, in the real estate industry, it may not be the right platform for us to be spending our time on right now.

Katie Lance:

For some people, yes. I mean, there’s a lot “younger,” and by younger, I just mean the number. Age is a state of mind, but there’s certainly some folks who are in their 20s and 30s that are doing some great stuff on TikTok because that’s who their customer is right now. They are working with first-time home buyers, or they’re working with a lot of renters. If that’s your target market, that’s great, but if it’s not, then it may not be the place for you.

Todd Sachs:

Yeah. So what is the hottest place for a real estate agent to be spending their time on?

Katie Lance:

I think right now it’s really two places. I think Facebook is still a huge platform for most people. Just about everybody is on Facebook. It’s certainly not the place for kids. All the kids have left, and they’re now on TikTok. So I think Facebook for sure, but followed very closely, if not neck-in-neck with the Instagram. I think a lot of people are not even as active on Facebook as maybe they used to be because there’s a lot of noise on Facebook. There’s a lot of politics and just a lot of noise, quite frankly. So Instagram, I think, works really well for real estate because it’s an aspirational platform. It’s just photos, it’s just videos, and with all the new features on Instagram like Instagram Stories, IGTV, Instagram Live, there’s so much that you can do on Instagram. And the agents and brokers that we work with that are getting a lot of results from social media, they’re active on Facebook, but they’re also really active on Instagram. So I think both of those are big, big opportunities.

Todd Sachs:

So you’re seeing a big transition towards Instagram.

Katie Lance:

Absolutely, and not just the Instagram feed but Instagram Stories. It seems like a lot of folks are on Instagram, and they’ll pos their listings, or they’ll post a few photos in their feed, which is how Instagram started. It started with just a feed of photos, and then they integrated videos. The Stories came out about a year or two ago, and I think Stories are blowing up. As you know, when you log into Instagram, at the very top of your feed, those little circles across the top, those little bubbles, those are Stories. And that’s prime real estate, no pun intended, right?

Todd Sachs:

Yeah.

Katie Lance:

But that’s an opportunity for people to share kind of the behind-the-scenes, the story behind the story, the day-to-day. In real estate, as we all know, people do business with people they know, like, and trust, but I also think they do business with people they relate to. And using stories, especially Instagram Stories but also Facebook Stories, is an opportunity to share that kind of unfiltered, not-so-perfect view of ourselves.

Melissa LeVie:

Katie, how would you say you do the Stories correctly? Because sometimes you see the Stories, and they’re just not sequential, how does it all make sense to be able to do it?

Katie Lance:

Yeah, that’s a great question. When first started doing Stories, I feel like it was a bit random. It was like, “Oh, I’ll just post this,” or, “I’ll repost this.” It had no rhyme or reason, but I think that’s how a lot of people start, and I think it’s fine to start that way. One of the ways that you learn something is you learn by doing, and you realize, oh, that worked, that didn’t work. And you kind of get your own vibe, I guess, so to speak. But I think the power in a story is that there is a story. So a good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. That might be that you’re telling the story of a client. It could be not just, “Hey, I’ve got a new listing,” or, “Hey, I’ve worked with this client.” But it’s: how did that happen? And maybe it’s one or two quick videos or a written text where you kind of leading up to what the story is. Once upon a time, this client reached out to me, and then this is what happened, and then this happened. If you can kind of think about it in a story format, and a story might be three, four, five, maybe even up to six or seven pieces of a story.

But your story could also be happening during the day, and that’s where you see a lot of my stories. I tend to start my story in the morning, and I get into a routine. A lot of times, I’ll share my coffee mug. That’s my beginning of my day, and then I’ll usually share a few things that happen, business-wise, personally. I’ve got two kids and a cat, and that’s always… Lots of entertaining stuff happens there. Then we wrap it up. So, for me, it’s more of the story of my day. But, again, for you, it might be the story of a client or the story of a situation or a learning. Sometimes it’s something, a lesson learned. “Hey, I watched a movie, and I got inspired by this.” I feel like that’s a little bit more of an advanced technique. And once you get going with Stories, you start to think about that.

I try to do that with my content. Instead of just saying, “Hey, I’ve got a new video out,” I might ask a question, say, “Have you ever had this problem? Have you ever asked yourself X, Y, and Z? Has this ever been an issue? Great. We recorded a video that answers X, Y, and Z. Here’s the link. Let me know if you have any questions.” And it becomes a story, not just, “here’s a piece of content,” you know what I mean?

Melissa LeVie:

Yeah.

Todd Sachs:

Do you do this throughout the course of your day, or do you plan your Story? Because I know, I’m not as familiar with Instagram, but Facebook alerts you, “so-and-so added to their Story”. Do you recommend that you plan the Story out in advance and post everything at one time? Or do you recommend going through the day with the various posts?

Katie Lance:

I think for most of us, for a lot of people, we’re busy. We’re on the go, and on one hand, it would be great if we planned everything out. There are certain things that I think to myself, I go, “Okay, that makes sense. Let’s plan this out.” Then, other times, it’s more in the moment. So I think there’s a balance. I will say, though, a lot of times, I don’t necessarily post in my Story right as it’s happening. With a Story, it’s photos, and it’s also 15-second videos. You can actually upload a one-minute video that gets chopped into 15 seconds.

Katie Lance:

So what I try to do, and I’ve actually been trying to do this for years, is I look at my life as content as I’m out and about or even right now, I’m at home, right? We’re working from home and doing a lot of virtual meetings and doing stuff remotely. Where are the moments of the day that I can share? So I’ll take a picture. I’ll take a video. Then sometimes later in the day, as I’m eating lunch, I’ll go back and go, “Okay, what am I going to share? What parts of this am I going to share to my Story?” So, instead of just randomly doing it through the day, I might take pictures or videos or think about it and then, at certain points, I’ll put it all together, if that makes sense.

Melissa LeVie:

It does.

Todd Sachs:

What about posting… Should you post the same Story to Instagram that you post to Facebook? Do you recommend doing that or having different content for each platform?

Katie Lance:

I think you can, and there’s certain things that I share from Instagram to Facebook. I think you just want to be careful, though. As much as Facebook and Instagram are similar, they’re similar but different. I always say it’s like English in the United States and English in the UK. Well, they’re similar but totally different. So I try to think about it that way. I guess what I do, I have an Instagram business account. I had a personal account for a long, long, long time, and I decided to change my personal Instagram to a business account. Now, I still post things that are personal. In fact, probably half of what I post is personal, but by having a business account, I can now run ads, and I have analytics, and I can schedule posts. There’s just more bells and whistles.

That being said, when I post my Instagram Stories, if I share to Facebook, it’s going to share to my Facebook business page. Well, my Facebook business page is pretty much all business. I don’t have pictures of my kids on my business page. It doesn’t quite fit because it’s a Facebook business page. So what I do is I will do my Instagram Story. And then if there’s anything business-related, I will share that business-related, that one part of my Story over to my Facebook business page, if that makes sense.

Todd Sachs:

Sure.

Katie Lance:

So, today, I was doing a webinar, and I had some other stuff with the kids. The two or three Stories that had to do with my webinar, which was business-related, I shared that to my business page through that Story. So it’s a little bit of yes and no, if that makes sense. And then some of that personal stuff, I will cross-post that to my personal profile on Facebook. And since I have all that stuff on my phone, a lot of times, it’s posting it once on Instagram and once on Facebook. Some people feel like that’s overkill. I feel like, for most people, they’re on one or the other. Not a lot are super active on both. Some are. Super social media stars are probably really active on both. But I don’t know about you. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, let alone what I saw over here or over there. So I don’t mind cross-posting.

Todd Sachs:

Yeah. And plus, the algorithms are changing so much. Are they really seeing… It’s not like they’re going to necessarily see everything that you post, anyway. So I guess if it is worthy to post, why not push it out there?

Katie Lance:

Yeah, exactly.

Todd Sachs:

You said something that I always struggle with. You had mentioned personal and business. What is the balance? Obviously I have a lot more… Well, I can’t say that on Facebook because Facebook, we have a huge… We have almost 40,000 likes on our Facebook page. But I kind of feel like people don’t see things that I post. I sometimes will share those business-type posts on my personal Facebook page, and I don’t know that that’s good to do. Is there a rule of thumb? Do you recommend doing that or not at all? What’s the balance?

Katie Lance:

Yeah, it’s tough. Facebook, just like Instagram, has an algorithm. Especially with a business, as you probably know, with a business page, when you post something, it goes out to a small percentage of the people who like your page. So, if you have 10,000 people who like your page, 100 people see it. Then based on how many people like, comment, and interact with that post in the first hour, then they get seen by more people and more people. Then it tends to fall out of the news-feed somewhere around three or four hours unless it has a lot of steam. We see that sometimes. Sometimes you go to your feed, and you’re like, “Oh, this is a post from yesterday morning. Why am I seeing it?” Well, you’re seeing it because there’s a lot of interaction.

So I still say a business page, I think, is still important. I think anything business-related… That’s my barometer. Anything business-related always goes to my business page first: videos, content, anything business-related. And like you said, I will share some of that from my business to my personal profile on Facebook. I think that’s fine, as long as that’s not all you’re doing on your Facebook personal profile. If all you’re doing on your Facebook personal profile is talking about business, you’re going to annoy everybody. No one’s going to tune in. I think from time to time… But one thing I will say on your business page that’s huge… Actually, there’s two things, if you don’t mind me sharing two quick tips here on your business page.

Todd Sachs:

I would love it.

Katie Lance:

Okay. One is Facebook Live, which I know is not a breaking news thing, but Facebook Live is still really one of the best pieces of content, if not the best piece of content that you can do on your business page to get a lot of engagement. I highly recommend that, and not just going live for the sake of live, but making it an event, scheduling it in advance, telling people about it, promoting it and then promoting the replay. That alone will just give your page and other posts on your page a big boost.

The second piece of that is responding to every single comment. When I do a Facebook Live, and I get a bunch of comments, I go back and I answer. I don’t just like every comment, but I go back and I answer every comment. Every time I have a post on my business page, and I get two or three comments, I go in and I comment on every single comment because as you know, when you do that, that person gets notification. Then they come back to the post, and in the eyes of Facebook, it’s a conversation. And Facebook prioritizes content that sparks a conversation. So, that going back and connecting with people is so valuable, and that applies to LinkedIn, to Facebook, to Instagram. Your listeners could do that right now. Go back to your last post that you did yesterday and comment on every single one of those. You’ll get another five people who never saw it yesterday, and they’ll join in that conversation. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference.

Todd Sachs:

When you go Live, let’s say on Facebook you go Live. Does everybody that likes your page, will they all get notification?

Katie Lance:

No, they don’t all get a notification. It works kind of like the algorithm where when you go live. First of all, if people turn on notifications for your page, then they’ll see it right away, but most people haven’t done that. So a small percentage of the people who you’re friends with or who like your page get a notification, and then the longer you’re on Live, the more it goes out to people. It’s like dropping a pebble in a pond, and it’s a small ripple and a big ripple. It ripples out. Interestingly, with video, we say keep your videos short. But Facebook Live, the longer you go live, the better. If you can do a Facebook Live for 10 or 15 minutes or even longer… Some of my Facebook Lives are 30 or 40 minutes because I’m doing like this. I’m doing an interview, and it’s a back and forth. The longer you can be on Live, typically, the more people you’re going to have tune in.

Melissa LeVie:

I did not know that. So the longer you stay on, then more people are being notified after time is going on.

Katie Lance:

Yep. Yep, absolutely and the more you can get people to interact. So, for example, on a Facebook Live, I always start right away. I welcome people. I tell them what I’m going to tell them, and then I try to do some things that are engaging. I’ll say, “Let me make sure you can hear me okay. Comment below. Let me know where you’re tuning in from. Comment below.” So people start commenting, and that sparks the algorithm, as well, to have that be sent out to more people. Then I might ask simple questions as I’m going through the Live. I’ll say, “Do you guys agree with me? Give me a thumbs-up if you agree or a thumbs-down if you disagree.” Or I’ll say, “Hey, if this is really resonating with you, tag a friend in the comments, or feel free to share it out.”

Katie Lance:

Little tiny things like that can make a difference. Sometimes, too, when I’m on Live on my business page, from my phone… I might be live on my computer, but on my phone, I’ll take it, and I’ll share it to my personal profile. Or if you have an assistant, Melissa, you could maybe do that, as well. Having someone behind the scenes to share it out also helps, too.

Todd Sachs:

Well, that’s great information because we have been doing some Facebook Live, but we just kind of rock with it. We turn it on, and we don’t address the comments or questions until the end. But I’m hearing what you’re saying. I know a lot of the times, now that you’re saying that, I’ll see people stop and scroll up and say, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. Oh, oh, hey, how’s it going from Washington?” or whatever. So that’s good to do, that interaction.

Katie Lance:

Yeah, and use their name. If you’re like, “Hey, Todd. Hey, Melissa. Hey, Joe,” all of a sudden, people are like, “oh, they saw me.” And they’re more likely to watch for an extra 10 seconds, 20 seconds, couple minutes. There’s just something about using someone’s name. They’re seen. So, yeah, I usually try to address it in the beginning, and then I get into the meat and potatoes of my content. Then usually, somewhere in there, I will say, too, “Hey, if you have any questions, post them below.” When you first start doing Facebook Live, you may not get a whole lot of interaction, but the more you do it, the more you’ll get comments.

Then I also usually say, too, “Hey, if you’re watching this later on the replay, leave me a comment below. Let me know that you watched the replay,” because a lot of times, you’ll get more people who watch the replay, especially if you did a good job promoting the replay because that’s kind of how I think about a Facebook Live. It’s what you do before, what you do during, and then what you do after. It’s this, I don’t know, I don’t want to say magical formula, but it is kind of like a recipe.

Todd Sachs:

Yeah. Well, let’s talk about that for a second. Yeah, let’s talk about that because a lot of people watching this, they might say, “Well, I don’t know what to say. I don’t have somebody I’m interviewing or whatever. When should I go live? How should I do it?” I’ve read some books where they talk about, even in public speaking, you should have some kind of a through-line, something that takes you from the beginning to an end. Or I guess, in this case, even that could be your story or even if it’s short, but a through-line. But what advice can you offer to somebody that has never done it that is going, “Oh, my gosh. What if somebody doesn’t go on? Will I look like a fool?” A lot of this is overcoming these personal hurdles.

Katie Lance:

Yeah. It is a little nerve-wracking. I’ve done a lot of Facebook Lives, and it’s still a little nerve-wracking. You’re like, “What if I look dumb? What if no one tunes in? What if I push the wrong button?” There’s that whole level of it. I try to recognize that that’s always going to be there. So how I can help myself be more confident is by being prepared. It’s a lot like when you give a speech. Some people are like, “Oh, I’m just going to wing it. I’ll feel more comfortable.” Well, that may sound great in theory, but then you’re up there giving a toast and feeling like, “Oh, my gosh. I should’ve thought about what I was going to say.” It’s the same thing with the Facebook Live. It doesn’t have to be scripted, but any time I go Live, I always have a little Post-it note or a notepad, and I’ve always written down a few thoughts of what it is I want to say.

I always recommend for people that… Think like a storyteller in the sense of every good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s what we learn in grade school. Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them, and then wrap it up. My formula is I would start off by welcoming people. It’s like you’re having a party. What would you do when you open the front door to your house? You’re going to welcome people, “Come on in,” right? You welcome people. You introduce yourself. This is who you are. This is what company you’re with. Then why are you live? What are you talking about?

Again, ahead of time, you might think about, “Okay, gosh, what am I going to talk about? Maybe I’m going to talk about the questions people ask me all the time. These are the five questions I get asked the most. Or I’m going to talk about I really like working with first-time home buyers. So maybe I’ll do a few first-time home buyer tips. Or maybe right now, because of the crazy world we’re in right now and what’s happening in our world, maybe I’ll talk about my five most favorite restaurants that I’m ordering takeout from and the specials that they’re offering right now.” So you want to tell people what you’re going to talk about. Have a few notes.

I like to think in terms of numbers. So I might say, “Hey, today I’m going to share with you three tips or five way or two things.” I just find that that’s digestible, when you tell people a number, and it’s also easy to plan. So then you go through, okay, one, two, three. Then maybe during that, you’re saying, “Hey, let me know what you guys think. Comment below,” you’re maybe doing a little bit of interaction. At the end, you just want to wrap it up and say, “Hey, thanks so much for tuning in, and if you watch this later on the replay, thank you. Leave me a comment below if I can answer any questions. And if you’d like more information, go to my website or send me an email.” Have a call to action at the end. What do you want people to do? That, I think, is just a simple formula. If you think about it ahead of time, prepare ahead of time, and then you can go from there. That’s, I would say, some basic starting points for a lot of people.

Todd Sachs:

They’re great tips.

Katie Lance:

And one other thing I would say really quick is you can actually, on your Facebook personal profile, when you go live on your personal profile, one of the things that’ll happen, whether it’s on your phone or your computer, it’ll ask you to write a title like, “What are you going to go live about?” Then it’ll say… For me, it says Friends because by default, I’m going to go live to my friends, but I could change that. And you could change it to Public for everybody, or you can actually change it… There’s a little dropdown that says Only Me. So, if you want to go live only to yourself, it’s actually a great way to do it for the first time. That way, you can actually see what do you look like, and what do you sound like, what buttons to push. Nobody sees it, and if it’s terrible, afterwards, you can just go back and delete it. That a little side tip.

Todd Sachs:

Can you post it if it’s not terrible?

Katie Lance:

Yeah, totally. What’ll happen is you go live. If you go live to yourself, it’s going to be on Facebook, but only you can see it. Then, when you’re done, you can go back and watch it if you want. Or, if you already know, “Oh, that was actually not bad,” you just go back to that post, and you just change the settings. You change the privacy settings. It’s a little dropdown, and you can change it from Only Me to Friends or Public, whatever you’re most comfortable with having it shared.

Todd Sachs:

Will that change it back to almost like a Live where people would interact, or does it just… You friends will know that it’s a recording, and they’ll know that it wasn’t live.

Katie Lance:

Yeah, they’ll know it’s not live. It’ll say, “Todd was live.” That’s what it’ll say. It’s going to look like a video, but they’ll know that it was a Live video.

Todd Sachs:

Yeah. Well, that’s great. That’s awesome to know. Now, really, obviously getting an audience to talk to, that seems to be the challenging thing. So, if you have a business and you don’t want to annoy your friends, obviously you can spam people with friend requests, which happens all the time. I know I get a ton of them. But let’s just talk about the different platforms and some recommendations or advice on: how do you get followers? How do you get followers on your Instagram? How do you get likes on your business page?

Katie Lance:

Yeah. I mean, I think a big part of that has to come down to content, honestly. And it’s content that isn’t just dependent on a certain platform. So it’s not just Facebook Live. It’s not just Instagram content. As much as I love Facebook and Instagram, they could change. It’s rented ground. That’s not my platform. I don’t own it. So I think to build any kind of community, you have to think about: is there content that you can create that, if Facebook went away tomorrow, you’d be fine? So it’s content like this: podcast content, video content, blog content. I call it pillar content. Pillar content is something that typically takes time, money sometimes, or energy to create. It’s that type of content where, over the course of time, if you could put out a weekly podcast or a weekly video or a weekly blog post, that type of content, over the course of time, can make a huge difference.

I’ll just give you an example with YouTube. We started about three years ago, three and a half years ago, putting out a weekly video every single week. We had done video, but it was kind of random, here and there. But we were like, “No, I’m going to do a show. We’re going to do it every week.” And we started doing it every week. Now, it’s pretty amazing. There’s people who find me. I’ve been in this business a long time, but it’s still amazing to me how people come to me, and they’re like, “Oh, I just found you last week because of your YouTube channel. Oh, I just found you a couple weeks ago because of your podcast.” That type of content, over the course of time, can really help to build your audience in a big, big way.

That, and also, I would say, having a focus on building your email list, too. I know email’s not very exciting. It’s not as exciting as Instagram or Facebook Live, but just like your content, you own your email list. So getting a database organized and as part of your plan, as part of your content plan, when you start creating that content, not just posting it on Facebook or YouTube but also sending it out to your email database, doing maybe a weekly or monthly email newsletter where it’s not canned. It doesn’t look like everybody else’s because it’s your content. So, getting in that mode, I think, of being a content creator like you’re… I mean, you’re doing a great job of that, Todd. You’re producing this. You’re producing a lot of great, original content. And it’s not the easy button. It takes time to do that. But the benefit is when people start following you and connecting with you. Content really helps to attract the people you want to work with, and it also helps to build relationships and build community.

Todd Sachs:

So having this pillar content, and that is a great analogy, so having the pillar content and being able to spread that maybe across different platforms and then letting them choose where they want to follow you or like you or get that content. It may be that they see something through an email, and they notice maybe you have the icons, the social media icons. And if they really like Instagram, and you’re posting some things on Instagram, they might follow you that way. Or if they like or are more comfortable with Facebook, they will click that Facebook icon and like your page there. So that’s really good because I know a lot of people, our agents, as well, really struggle with: how do I get the followers? How do I create the content? But what I hear you saying is consistency is important. It’s as important as the content itself. You’re posting every Wednesday or every Friday. So they’re expecting something, and it’s keeping you to actually think about what you’re going to post, too. And you’re putting time into it so that the content’s good.

Katie Lance:

Yeah, and it’s the best accountability. The day that I said, “Hey, I’m going to post a new video every week,” I’m like, “Wow, I really need to post a new video once a week.” The moment you tell somebody that you’re going to do something, it’s literally the best accountability. What I do is I batch create a lot of my content. If I’m going to sit down and do my hair and makeup and record one video, I might as well record four or five. I do that with my podcasts. I sit down and record two or three episodes all in one shot. I just find that, for me, when you get into that mode, it’s like anything. Are you going to sit down and write one card to a past client, or are you going to sit down and maybe write 10 thank you notes? Are you going to call one client, or are you going to call 10? It’s just getting into that mode. When you get into this batch creation mode, it helps. And I agree with what you said, Todd, consistency, and consistency builds trust. That’s really the name of the game.

Todd Sachs:

Yeah. How long did it take you? You say YouTube, three years. I know, for myself, YouTube’s been a very had platform to build. I think now we have… Melissa, what do we have, 271, I think, of this morning, subscribers?

Melissa LeVie:

271 as of this morning.

Todd Sachs:

And we’ve really been trying to build that. It’s hard to get people to hit that Subscribe button. And by the way, if you’re watching this and you haven’t done it yet, hit the Subscribe, please. Click the little bell so you get an alert, and Katie would love for you to do the same thing for her.

Katie Lance:

Yes, please.

Todd Sachs:

But it is. It’s very hard to get people. I know originally, I was trying to post a lot of content to YouTube and realizing that the YouTube subscribers’ tolerance is much different than the Facebook. They’ll unsubscribe quickly on YouTube if you’re giving them junk, not what they signed up for, I guess. But you said it took you three years. I mean, I’m seeing them, and you have a lot of views on your videos. At what point did you see that start to change to where you were really starting to get the comments? I don’t get any comments on my videos, hardly at all. Because it is tough when you’re doing it. You’re like, “Gosh, am I wasting my time doing this? Is this really working?” When do you start to see the payoff?

Katie Lance:

I think, for me, I’d probably have to look back at the numbers, but I think it took probably, I would say, a good six months, to be honest with you. It might’ve happened before that, but I remember feeling the same way. I was like, “I’m just posting stuff, and 20 views, 10 views, and one like.” I’m like, “This is pathetic.” I just didn’t feel like anything was happening. It was like a snowball, slowly building. We’re up to about 5,000 subscribers, which is nothing compared to the big YouTubers out there. But I’m like…

Todd Sachs:

But that’s still amazing. I know how hard that is.

Katie Lance:

Right. I mean, I think we were at like 150 or 100-something when I first started. I think the things that made a big difference is picking a specific day every week that we were publishing because YouTube actually rewards that, if you are consistently at the same day and preferably even around the same time. We usually publish every Wednesday right around 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. We try to do that. I’ve also found that the first hour that a video’s on YouTube, it’s the magic hour. I learned this at an event I went to a couple years ago. It was like a golden nugget, a light bulb for me.

So, when we publish a video on YouTube, in that first hour, we will send an email to our database just about that video. It’s a dedicated email, and the only thing that that email is about is that video. It’s a little blurb, two or three sentences, and then a link to the video for more information. That’s taking people right back to YouTube. The other thing we do in that first hour is we post it on Instagram. I’ll post a little, maybe a clip of the video on Instagram, and I’ll say, “Click the link in my bio to watch the full video on YouTube.” I’ll also do an Instagram Story where I’ll say, “Hey, we just posted this video,” or, “Have you ever had this issue? Guess what, we just posted a video. There’s a small clip on Instagram, but you can watch the full video on YouTube.” YouTube and Instagram work really, really well together because when you click a YouTube link from Instagram, it takes you right there. Versus Facebook, it’s kind of wonky, and you got to sign into Facebook, which makes no sense.

Todd Sachs:

Right, they might not be logged in. Right.

Melissa LeVie:

I do have a question. You’re directing them to YouTube. Would you ever consider putting that same video on IGTV?

Katie Lance:

Yeah. We do. We just do it a few days later. Every Wednesday, my video comes up on YouTube. By the way, we also take that YouTube video, we turn it into a blog post. We get it transcribed. There’s a bunch of stuff that happens with that one piece of content. I’m just a huge believer in repurposing it. So, Wednesday, it goes up on YouTube, and then I think it’s Monday, so five days later, we put it up on IGTV. The way it looks on IGTV, it’s similar but different. IGTV is that vertical format. And I have a video editor. So, full disclosure, I don’t do this all myself, although there are some great apps out there that can help you do it. But we have a video editor, and he just has a vertical template. We put it up on IGTV, same video, but it’s five days later. In the world of social media, that’s a lifetime.

Todd Sachs:

Yeah. That’s great points. How do you foster the comments? If you’re in YouTube, how do you get comments on your video?

Katie Lance:

I think part of it’s the topic. I’ve had certain videos where I’m like, “Oh, this’ll get a ton of comments,” and it’s nobody, crickets. Then other videos… And I would say that’s one area that I’m trying to be better at, is going back and answering and responding to comments. In fact, just yesterday, I was going back to the last few videos, and I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I have all these comments,” which is positive, but I think I’m still not quite used to it because for so long I did not get comments. I feel like, at first, what happens is you start to get likes. Then you start to get subscribers, and then, finally, I feel like that’s when you start to get comment. It takes time.

What I usually do, and I actually learned this from Gary Vaynerchuk because he does this all the time in his videos, is he will ask a question at the end of his videos. My format in my videos is I do a little hook, something to grab their attention. Then I introduce myself. Then I will say something like, “Hey, if you are watching this on YouTube, hit Subscribe.” Then I go into the meat of the video. It’s usually three tips, five tips, whatever. At the end, I’ll remind people to subscribe. Then I always have a simple call to action. So I’ll say, “What do you think?” And I’ll ask something simple, and I’ll say, “Comment below,” and then I wrap up the video. That, I think, helps because it gives people a reason to comment. You’re asking, and it’s got to be something simple. “Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments below.” It can’t be, “Do you want to work together? Do you want to hire me?” That’s not the question to ask. And not even like, “Are you looking to buy or sell? Let me know.” That’s not a question to ask in the comments, right?

Todd Sachs:

Right, yeah.

Katie Lance:

It’s more like, “What do you think? Which neighborhood do you like better that I showed in this video, this one or this one?” Or, “Do you like traditional kitchens or more contemporary?” It’s got to be a really simple question because the point of it is just to get that interaction.

Todd Sachs:

Sure. Yeah, and one thing I have noticed on some of the videos that we do have comments on, a comment actually gets other comments.

Katie Lance:

Yes, absolutely.

Todd Sachs:

So it’s kind of neat to see, I guess people, once you start to get comments, you see where people will comment on the comment. And it takes this life of its own kind of thing. Let’s talk real quick about paid advertising because I know we had run a lot of Facebook… I think one of the ways that we’ve gotten so many Facebook likes, which is good and bad, is I came up with this great series of ads that I created. And I had picked some audience types, and now things have changed a lot with that because, in our industry, if you’re in employment, financing, or housing, then you’re really restricted. But on Facebook, it was called a dark ad or a dark post.

So what happened was the only ones that ever saw that were the ones that I paid to see it, and then all of the engagement that I received from those posts or those ads that I ran, nobody ever saw them on the feed. So I kind of felt like it was almost, if I didn’t continue to pay to get the interaction… The likes were happening, but the minute that we’d stop paying for it, instantly the likes stopped and went away. It’s like you said, you only get 1% is what I’m finding of people will actually even see your content. So almost 40,000 likes, and the engagement sucks, really. What do you tell somebody? Is how we built almost 40,000 likes on our Facebook, was that a good way to have done it, or should we have just focused on, like you said, that pillar content? Where’s the balance between paying for ads and just focusing on content and taking the slower ride?

Katie Lance:

Yeah. It’s a tough question because I think there’s pros and cons to both. I think there’s still a place for Facebook ads. There’s a lot of people who are running some successful lead-generation ads, whether it’s a lead ad, and they’re filling out a form right in Facebook, or they’re using a landing page to drive leads to a specific landing page. There’s a lot of ads around: what is your home worth? Those tend to timelessly be successful ads. I think the challenge, though, as you said, is Facebook has really locked down what you can do with ads. It used to be kind of like the wild, wild West, quite frankly. Now, you can only market within, I think it’s a 15-mile radius, and it’s very limited in terms of your targeting.

In terms of ads, I personally think that you have to be in it for the long game. You can’t just run an ad for a day or two and see if it’s successful or not. You almost have to run an ad for a little bit longer, maybe 10 days, 15 days, maybe even up to 30 days. One thing I learned about ads recently, too, is you shouldn’t fiddle with an ad. It used to be where you could go into an ad, and you could change things, but apparently now… I’ve talked to a Facebook ad expert recently, and they were saying, “No, don’t fiddle with your ad. Just let it run.” Apparently, that’s supposed to make it better.

To be honest with you, I actually have not run a Facebook ad in quite some time. I used to run a ton of ads, and I personally scaled back on my advertising. And we went all in on building content and organically building our audience. It’s been pretty amazing. I think we’ve also changed our strategy with Facebook. Most of what you see on Facebook, at least on my business page, is video content. It’s primarily video content, or it’s content that I’ve created. Sometimes it’s just text-only content, almost like a mini blog post. I did this recently. Everybody’s on Zoom, and I’m like, “Well, I know how to use Zoom. I’m going to do a little mini blog post on my Facebook business page about Zoom.” Well, that post blew up because it’s relevant. It’s timely right now.

So I don’t think it’s wrong to do what you’ve done. I think it’s amazing. I think that you can still engage that huge audience because that’s a huge number. If you’ve got 40,000 likes on Facebook, that’s huge. I think maybe just thinking about some of that pillar content, focusing more on video and Facebook Live content, I think, is huge.

Then the last thing I would say, too, is we try to drive people to our business page. I do a weekly email newsletter, and some of the links in my email newsletter are going back to specific links in Facebook. For example, if I do a Facebook Live on a Tuesday, and I’m sending my email newsletter out on a Saturday, well, that Saturday newsletter is going to have a link back to that Facebook Live. I’ll say, “Hey, if you missed it, you can watch the replay. It was about X, Y, and Z.” So we’re really strategic, and I do the same thing with Instagram, too. I will strategically think about, “Is there a post or a replay or a video that I can link people back to in our email newsletter?” I just feel like it’s this symbiotic relationship, if that makes sense.

Todd Sachs:

Absolutely, definitely. Well, Katie, we really appreciate your time. This is something that you’re an expert on, and we could be together for weeks here trying to navigate. I will tell everybody I’m about three-quarters of the way through your book. I love it. I’ve been taking notes the whole time.

Katie Lance:

Oh, thank you.

Todd Sachs:

I can’t say enough. Check her book out. It’s an easy download on your Kindle, or certainly get the hard copy. Final thoughts, what do you have to say wrapping up, getting people going? Everybody’s at home right now. They’re looking at social media, and maybe they’re slow to start. Some final words of encouragement for them?

Katie Lance:

Yeah. I would say my advice for anyone who’s maybe stuck on what to say or what to post, or maybe you don’t want it to look like you’re bragging. I think a lot of people have some concerns around: how am I going to look on camera? Or what am I going to say? I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be annoying, things like that. One tip I would really give you is look to see if there’s an opportunity for you to shine the light on somebody else. Who can you shine the light on? Can you be a good finder? I know we’re going through a really tough and challenging and unprecedented time right now, but I also think that this is something that’s really a timeless piece of advice. A lot of the folks that we’ve been working with are looking at their local restaurants, their local business, other people that they do business with.

When you think about social media, it’s one thing to like something. It’s one thing to comment. But the share? The share is the ultimate currency in social media. So is there somebody in your circle that you could highlight? Maybe it’s once a week. Maybe it’s once a month. But that’s a great place to start, or if maybe you’re a little bit more advanced, it’s also a great way to be inspired in terms of video or Facebook Live. Who can you shine the light on? Because it’s going to help, for you, build that relationship with that other person, and it’s going to be a great win-win. It’s going to help your community. It’s a good thing to do. Be a helper. If you don’t know what to do, be a helper.

Todd Sachs:

Yeah, that’s awesome. Katie, thank you so much for your time. We hope that you guys enjoyed this episode of Things You Should Know. Reach out to Katie. Get her book. We’ll talk to you soon.

Katie Lance:

Thank you so much.

Melissa LeVie:

Thank you, Katie.

Todd Sachs:

Sachs Realty, Maryland broker number 607720, office number 443-318-4514, Equal Housing Opportunity. Thanks for watching.

About Todd Sachs (30 Articles)
Todd Sachs, Broker of Maryland's Sachs Realty, has been serving the real estate and construction industry since 1989. Currently Positions: -Broker and President of Sachs Realty -President and CEO of Construction Services, Inc -President and CEO of Botanical, Inc For over 25 years, Todd Sachs has developed, designed, built, bought and sold a broad range of real estate. As a Maryland native, Todd grew up in Baltimore County and understands the Maryland real estate industry thoroughly. He is familiar with all aspects of commercial and residential land development, condominium development, residential and commercial flips, industrial and office development and rental properties, both residential and commercial. Todd is a landlord of both commercial and residential properties and is currently developing retail condominiums, building commercial buildings, single family homes and flipping residential properties. Todd Sachs created The Sachs Report as an in-depth look into the Maryland real estate market. Please follow the Sachs Report to stay informed.

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