Is Going Viral Worth It?November 11, 2021
Is going viral worth it?
Short answer, no.
Long answer: It happened to me. Read on. I’ll get there.
I speak to many real estate agents who dream of becoming influencers, who want to go viral. No doubt increasing your audience (more importantly contacts) at a regular pace is important. The numbers game tells us that agents must add contacts habitually to their databases and market to their spheres consistently to demonstrate expertise and generate business.
A worthwhile endeavor is to look at who recently opened your last email. Perhaps you sent out an email pointing to an article about how rising home prices can impact net worth. Who opened it more than once? Those are contacts (I call them the “Hot List”) I would reach out to for a check-in using social media messaging (Messenger, DM’s, etc), and I’d look to “create coincidences”. You may hear from a contact, “I was just thinking of you! I just read your email!” Shhhh… no need to tell them you may have been monitoring that. Stay cool. And now, we have a conversation.
Excellent! Goal achieved! Social media is social. It’s about relationships, it’s about the conversation. A need for real estate help will come up in the conversation if the contact does, indeed, have a need.
What a tremendous use of your time – targeting contacts who have shown positive behavior by opening emails. You could even target contacts who recently liked a personal post of yours. That’s as easy as clicking on who engaged on your last post and hitting “Message”.
Here’s what I DON’T recommend.
Agents who are spending countless hours on certain social media tools, let’s say Instagram Reels or Tiktok, for the sake of views. Again, views should not necessarily be your goal. Conversation is the goal. Of course, social media can be a tremendous tool for using “engagement” posts and encouraging answers to questions, participation in polls, and more. Those posts can easily start conversations. And, hopefully, you only spent a few minutes posting, “Using only the title of a movie, describe how clean your house is.” (My answer: “As Good as it Gets”)
I’m more concerned with the hours spent lip-synching, dancing, singing… the lost time in playing.
Now I sound old. Dang it. Hang in there with me.
I would be a hypocrite to say, “Don’t have fun on social media.” Yours truly has had plenty of fun. Heck, my family and I made sketch comedy videos for all to see during the worst of COVID to keep from going insane. My concern is an agent spending a countless amount of time trying to do something silly on the Gram for views on, let’s say, Reels. What’s at risk?
Your time. Be careful that you don’t find yourself spending an hour or two trying to figure out how to point at words and dance simultaneously.
Your reputation. Everyone loves authenticity. And it’s totally ok to post about “Tacos and Two Left Boots” and the line dancing you did last night. Just be mindful of your professional reputation and keep a very smart balance of personal and professional content on your grid. And in terms of content and a rule of thumb, if you’d be embarrassed if your kid saw it, don’t put it out in the world. Expect that anyone could see it.
You just might go viral. And, it’s not worth it. Take it from me. I spent 2 minutes one day singing a little song about Instagram filters and “being yourself”. I expected my usual audience to see it. Seven hundred and forty thousand views later (yes, 740k) I received plenty of love and support, but the number of haters just trolling Instagram had me deleting comments as fast as you can say, “Delete Comment”. Wholly mean people, Batman! Commentary on how I looked, assumed political beliefs, how “dumb” I must be because of course people will use filters, and more. Wowzers. Absolute strangers took the time to write vicious things. If you decide to jump into Reels with the objective of going viral, make sure you have thick skin.
Now, did I do anything to embarrass myself? Nope. My regular followers including colleagues, agents, friends (and my son) loved the Reel, and I stand by its message. And they will likely see future posts. They are my actual audience. And now, this whole experience has me thinking about retargeting Instagram Reels views with “real” intention. If I were to create a Reel that was helpful, informative, and squared up with what I do for a living, and if it gets some great views, I can now retarget those views with an ad that has some logical tie-in or correlation to the Reel.
“Unlike Stories or IGTV, reels can be used to create video views custom audiences for retargeting, which is a game-changer if you’re using Facebook and Instagram ads as part of your marketing strategy.” – SocialMediaExaminer
In conclusion, I will likely retreat to my usual “Tech Tips” and pepper in a little fun with Reels. But my goal was never, and will never be to “go viral”. My goal is to provide value and a few laughs to my regular audience, which I hope to grow organically by providing that balance of professional and personal content. Will the small percentage of followers I got from the viral video be interested in my real estate-specific tech advice? Probably not. So I bid them farewell now. I can’t even call them fair-weather friends. That weather was an epic storm.
The takeaway here: Remember that your best outcome with social media is conversations. Views do not necessarily equal conversation. Chat it up with your current friends and followers, check-in on them using tools such as Messenger (less invasive than a text out of nowhere), and engage and comment on your friends and followers’ posts. This is likely a better use of time than dancing to a trending song. Oh, and if you use a trending song, check with a teenager about lyrics if you’re not exactly sure what the song is about. Oooofff… yeah, that will save you an embarrassing moment.
Follow me on Instagram here. Yup, you’ll see the Reel. And as your mom might say, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it. Or at least sugar-coat for me. My kid will appreciate it.