There is still a great deal of misunderstanding relative to the definition and usefulness of so called “social media.” Wikipedia defines social media as: “the means of interaction among people in which they create, share, exchange and comment on various content among themselves in virtual communities and networks.”
The question is what are we communicating about? Is most of the chatter a waste of our time and resources? Anyone reading this has heard someone say, “I hate Facebook (Twitter, etc.). Who cares who is walking their dog when?” Unquestionably, there are those who use social media solely for ongoing communication with family and friends. However, turning social media into capital and downstream business requires selfless initiatives.
Selfless means converting our business, friends and family relationships into financial value for them rather than us. Simply put, we will reap only what we sow. Thinking that money is more important than relationships and success requires behaving like a “shark” in one’s business transactions is the antithesis of successful social media interaction.
Mistakes in thinking are costly, and the total loss of revenue is impossible to quantify as much is intangible. However, it is safe to say it could easily amount to thousands of dollars annually. Right thinking means understanding incontrovertible principals such as: under promise and over deliver; engage in transactions that benefit the client/prospect; value truth and integrity above all; have a sincere desire to consistently offer superior service and treating your clients/prospects as though they feed, clothe and house you… They do!
If you are just beginning to use social media as a business-enhancement tool, work toward growing professional relationships with 500 prospects. If you already have an active network, continue to add to it weekly. However, understand that it costs more in financial and personal resources to find new relationships than it does to maintain the ones you’ve already developed.
Social media communication is not a once a month initiative. It requires ongoing diligence and creativity. Bringing useful information/data and knowledge to your prospects/clients requires you to do your homework, keep current with trends/issues affecting the community at large and individuals’ daily lives.
It is as important to your “community” to know who won the little league game as it is to know of business openings, closings, governmental initiatives, etc. You cannot portray yourself as the community expert if you are lacking the expertise!
When you provide reasons for your community to visit your social media sites daily, you are establishing yourself as the valuable asset you are. Wouldn’t it be great to be the person known as “the go-to pro when it comes to all things real estate and community-event specific?” Considering that according to the NAR 2011 Realtors® Technology Survey: 90.5% of agents use social media to one extent or the other, there is stiff competition out there…
Automate your sites as much as possible. That is not to say to remove the hands-on personalized initiatives; it means to work smart not hard. It is simple to create your blog posts once weekly and have them appear daily. Then, if and when immediate “news” comes up, post it. In this way, you are providing both high-touch communication and balancing your time invested.
A common complaint about using social media regularly to generate relationships is the time required to make that happen. There are many reliable resources available to teach how to best incorporate social media into one’s overall lead generation. It would be unwise to launch into a social media blitz blind to the pitfalls and ignorant of the time-saving initiatives available. It is a worthy endeavor to educate oneself. NAR is an excellent resource on the topic.
Building a credible on-line reputation is worth its weight in gold. Respecting all the local Board of Realtors® rules is a must. Respecting privacy and posting nothing personal without prior permission is non-negotiable. There have been cases of agents who have invested much time and money developing their social media presence only to have lost it all by using their sites in ways that upset or offended those who had entrusted them with their information. Better to err on the side of being uber cautious than to make an irrevocable poor decision!
Working social media networks is fun, generates worthy business opportunities and connects agents to people with whom they never would have connected. When approached wisely social media is just what the public ordered!
If you would like to know more about social media or growing your business by 250%, contact Mark and learn about the exemplary training program, Driven: Leader’s Choice 8!