If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you understand the value of showing up on Instagram for your real estate business. You might assume that, to cultivate a consistent social media presence, you need to spend several hours per week (or day!) on the platform. That’s what all the social media gurus tell you, right? My friend, cue the hallelujahs because I’m here to tell you there’s a better way – one that gives you your valuable time back! (Halle-freaking-lujah!)
Say goodbye to flying by the seat of your pants and hello to content batching! Content batching is a proven productivity technique based on the simple premise that it’s better to focus your creative energy and plan your content in advance – rather than on the fly. Don’t just take our word for it: Neuroscientific studies have proven that this focused method is far more effective than jumping from task to task throughout your day!
I’m going to grab my superhero cape and demonstrate how you can get your time back AND show up more consistently on Instagram just by harnessing the power of content batching!
STEP ONE | SCHEDULE FOCUSED TIME
Once a month, find half a day in your schedule when you can commit to social media and social media alone. Pick a time when your clients are at work and won’t need you right away, your kids are occupied, you’re not likely to have any meetings scheduled… As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, you’re out of office! Schedule this time (seriously, put it on your calendar right now!), then make a promise to yourself that you won’t break that date. Because trust me: It can be easy to let social media fall by the wayside – and when you let that happen, you’re not fully committing to letting your business soar. (If there’s one thing we know, it’s that Instagram is VERY powerful for the real estate world.) This step is SO. FREAKING. IMPORTANT. Remember, it’s not enough to just schedule your time – you’ve got to protect that block of time, too!
STEP TWO | IDENTIFY YOUR CONTENT PILLARS
Start paying attention to what you want to share with your audience. If you’re newer to Instagram and don’t have a track record on the platform, look to content pillars. Content pillars are categories you can use to connect with your audience – topics or themes that reflect your brand and that your audience is interested in. For example, values, tips, listings, community happenings, etc. What can you share that will create connection, awareness, and education with your audience?
If you’ve been active on Instagram for a while, a great way to do this is to look back at your analytics and see what your best performing posts were from the last 6 to 12 months. Are there any trends? When you’re creating content for Instagram, one of the most difficult things is figuring out what to post. If you let your audience dictate that for you, it takes that overwhelm away!
STEP THREE | PLAN AN ENTIRE MONTH OF CAPTIONS
I’m not going to lie: The first time you do this it will be incredibly overwhelming – and will probably take you longer than half a day! I promise that once you have your content pillars in place and you understand what your audience wants from you, this step becomes exponentially easier.
But think of it this way: Your job isn’t coming up with catchy captions – it’s coming up with the ideas you’re going to write about in the captions.
Make sure you figure out a flow, i.e., headline, copy, call-to-action. (This is a great blueprint to follow, by the way…) Then, all you really need is a rough draft or general ideas for each post. (You can finesse them later!)
P.S. Get comfortable with trial and error, like testing out various caption lengths to see what resonates with your audience – there’s no right or wrong answer here!
STEP FOUR | DESIGN YOUR CONTENT IN CANVA
Still here? Good, because we’ve arrived at the fun part – creating your visuals in Canva! Think sourcing brand imagery, playing with templates, finding cool graphics, and just generally letting those creative juices flow!
This is where batching your content can really uplevel your grid because when you create one post with the next in mind, they’re more likely to complement each other and create a cohesive overall aesthetic. You can pay more attention to balancing image posts with text posts, light posts with dark posts, etc.!
Speaking of letting those creative juices flow, let’s refer back to step number one – the most important step when it comes to content batching. I’m not going to sugarcoat it: This process won’t be easy if you can’t commit to full focus. You can be great at putting things in your calendar, but if you allow things (hello, chatty co-workers and pesky phone and email notifications!) to disrupt your flow, you’re not really batching! Remember those neuroscientists I mentioned? They’ve proven that when you get interrupted, it takes 20 minutes (!) to get back into the flow. Respect step number one and everything else WILL fall into place! Guaranteed.
And there you have it – an intentional strategy with just 4 simple steps to effectively batch a month’s worth of content for social media, save you time, and let you create more content that your audience loves!