Social Media Trends to Watch | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

Social media is changing more than ever before. From new platforms emerging to advertising options changing, it can be overwhelming to keep up.

Here’s what you need to know about how this will impact you and some dos and don’ts to keep in mind going forward.

Say Goodbye to Cookies

No, not chocolate chip cookies – not to worry! We are talking about digital cookies! Starting in 2022, how we re-target with advertising is changing, and cookies will be going away or at the very least changing in a substantial way.

If you aren’t familiar with the idea of cookies, simply put: it’s when you go to a website and then you go to another site (such as Facebook). If that site had a “cookie” on its site, it could essentially show you an ad on Facebook for something from that other website. I’m sure you’ve experienced this as a customer before when shopping online; you left the site, but that product seems to follow you everywhere on the Internet!

REALTORS® have been using this marketing effectively for years by adding the Facebook pixel to their site and then re-targeting visitors on Facebook and/or Instagram (which is owned by Facebook).

Here is the good news – even though cookies are changing substantially and starting to phase out, you can still do some re-targeting, although it may look a little different than what you are doing now.

Pivot Your Retargetingvia Facebook & Instagram

Although by 2022 you may not be able to retarget website visitors, you should still be able to create custom audiences for your ads and retarget behaviors on Facebook and Instagram.

Start by going into Facebook’s ad manager. Under Custom Audiences, create a number of highly effective custom audiences:

  • Use your customer file. If you have an email database, you can download that as a .CSV file and then upload it to Facebook. Then, you can run ads targeted to people who already are on your email list. Even if this list is small, an ad targeted to people who already know, like and trust you is an ad that is much more likely to convert. When your past clients see your ad, they are more likely to click “like” or comment and let the world know how much they loved working with you. This “social proof” on your ads is golden!
  • Retarget your engaged visitors. You can create a custom audience of people on Facebook or Instagram of people who have engaged with you online: those who not just liked your page but liked, commented or shared your content. These people are more likely to interact with your ad because they are already familiar with you!
  • Utilize your data from video views. You can create a custom audience of people who have watched a portion of your video content. Again, this audience is going to be a highly targeted group of people more likely to interact with your ad.

These three audiences can be created within Facebook Ads Manager and then targeted with running ads. This specific targeting is the key to getting your ad dollars to spread further.

Plan Out Your Content

So, if cookies are changing and the best way to re-target is based on video views and/or engaged audiences, how do we create an engaged audience? Before we run ads, we need to think about content.

Remember, social media is rented ground, so it’s important to create a plan based on pillar content: content that requires a bit of time, money and energy, but in the long-haul, it’s relevant across multiple platforms. Video, Facebook Live, podcasts and blog content are ideal forms of pillar content.

My recommendation: embrace video! You can’t hide who you are on video, and video content is still one of the best types of content you can create for Facebook, YouTube and IGTV. Two of my favorite free video editing mobile apps are Videoshop and Videorama, which are easy to use tools to edit and brand your videos.

Key to creating great content: getting organized and staying organized. Asana and Trello are two great task-management tools that are especially helpful when you are organizing who does what for content. For example, if you are going to shoot a video once a week, you need a place to organize topics and timing, ID who will edit the videos, plan out your distribution and more.

Also, Dropbox and Google Drive are excellent for holding big files like video and graphic files, and it’s easy to transfer files between your computer and your mobile device.

Build Your Organic Strategy

In addition to paid ads, it’s important that you maximize your organic reach. LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram are three of the biggest platforms, and they each have several free resources.

With LinkedIn, it’s important that you optimize your profile, add your expertise and utilize the free blog and recommendation sections.

With Facebook, content is key, so using a free tool like a content grid can help you get organized quickly.

Instagram has so many more options than ever before. As with any social media platform, being interested in others is key to building and fostering those relationships. This doesn’t cost anything (except time)!

Regardless of the platform, remember a picture is worth a thousand words! The best photos you can share on social media are ones you own; but if you need professional stock photos, here are three that are free to use: Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels. You can search for stock photos and even some stock video footage, too!

Review & Re-post Your Best Content

We don’t need to always post new content. You should review your social media analytics and insights periodically to review which posts did well in the past and re-post or re-purpose those. This will also help tremendously when it comes to retargeting for ads.

An example of how you can repurpose content:

  • Go Live on Facebook or Instagram (ex. share market trends)
  • After the broadcast, share the replay on Facebook and other platforms
  • Transcribe the broadcast ( is great for this) and turn it into a blog post
  • Upload the recording to YouTube
  • Upload a snippet of the recording to Instagram (recommended resource:
  • Create a quote graphic or two for Instagram (recommended resource: Canva)

Remember, Social Media is Rented Ground

It’s one thing for someone to “like” you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter; it’s a whole other thing when someone opts in to receive your emails. It’s important we don’t spam people and don’t buy lists. Building your email database is key!

On a weekly or monthly basis, send out valuable information from your own content library. This content goes with you wherever you go. This email list can be uploaded into Facebook to create that custom audience for retargeting, too!

What Else Should You Consider in 2022 & Beyond?

Take the online, offline. This is the secret sauce! Reach out to people on their birthday – but actually call them or send them a text. Connect with people. Send a gift or a card. Do something thoughtful.

Remember: real estate is a relationship business. It’s less about you – more about others. And social media is no exception. Don’t automate! Remember, social media is social – you need to make sure you are intentional, have a strategy and show up on a consistent basis.


Katie Lance is the author of #GetSocialSmart, founder and CEO of Katie Lance Consulting, a social media strategy firm, and founder of the #GetSocialSmart Academy. She’s been recognized by Inman News as one of the 100 most influential people in real estate and is a featured keynote speaker at many industry events.

Access the many free tools & resources Katie recommends, including a content grid worksheet & her cheat sheets for real estate pros for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram & YouTube!