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Social Media: Are You Doing it Wrong?

Scott Newman

By Scott Newman

You’re on Facebook and Twitter four hours a day and you’re telling me you haven’t closed a lot of business lately?  Of course not!  Social media is just a tool in your arsenal — and when used effectively and efficiently it can help you cultivate business.  So, how do you best use social media to benefit your business?  Funny you should ask…

Make Your Time Count

I speak frequently on the subject of social media to all kinds of real estate professionals, and one of the first things I usually do is ask the following question of the audience: “Having reviewed my social media presence, how many of you think I spend more than an hour a day on social media?” Almost all the hands go up.  Then I ask about two hours, then three, then four. Believe it or not, usually at least a third of the room thinks I am spending at least two hours a day on social media, but the reality is that isn’t even close — it’s more like 5-7 minutes, MAX.

There is a greatly diminishing rate of return on the amount of time you spend on social media.  As a real estate professional, it is your job to have a solid, well thought out presence, which showcases you in a positive light and makes it easy for people to reach you.  Beyond that, if you think playing on social media for hours a day is somehow going to replace tried-and-tested business cultivation techniques, you’re dead wrong.

Understand Your Audience

This is the easiest thing in the world to breakdown.  Write this down, save it somewhere safe — even consider tattooing it on your arm so you NEVER forget.

  • Facebook: This is a place for you to share who you are as a person. Remember, clients need to like you before they decide to work with you! Never directly sell on Facebook — it turns people off.  Instead, think of this as a great place to showcase your successes and entice people to seek you out for more information on their own. An example would be posting a picture of you and your clients at closing and tagging them in a congratulatory message (with their permission of course).
  • Twitter: This is where you should be showcasing your local expertise by sharing interesting things that are going on in your local market and community.  Demonstrate your involvement in the place you live and the things you care about, and organically engage with people who share similar interests.
  • LinkedIn: This is the one place where you do not want to share ANYTHING personal.  This is for business and business only.  LinkedIn is a great place to recruit agents, engage with fellow industry professionals, and do research on potential clients and associates. No one here is interested in seeing pictures of your child taking their first steps or hearing about the awesome time you had last weekend at the beach.

Don’t over think it.  Social media is a fun, free, and effective way to cultivate relationships and stay in touch with potential clients you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to connect with.  However, thinking social media will replace conventional sales techniques is a mistake, as it is only one tool in your tool belt for continuing to grow and improve your business.

Scott Newman is the broker-owner of Newman Realty in Chicago. Connect with Scott at www.newmanknowschicago.com or @newmanrealty.

Comments
  1. A good post. I agree with your points. However, with all due respect, I am concern with what you said that you spend only about 5-7 mins max a day on social media. Maybe per tool it’s possible, but if we say most of the tools like FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, (or Instagram, YouTube, etc) – I don’t think it’s possible to foster a “relationship” with potential clients via social media with only 5-7 mins a day. Maybe you delegate some of it? Maybe you automate almost all? – but social media does not work well with a fully automated tools because social media is about 2-way conversations. I am a social media professional and I just didn’t want others to think social media is purely promoting oneself without “conversation”. If it’s really 5-7 mins a day, can you share with us how to do it? I would be interested to know how… Thanks. Liza

  2. Excellent points, Scott! I also talk to agents about social media, however, I cover the safety aspect. FB has a policy that you cannot promote your business on your personal page/profile. Be very careful with that client photo or risk getting your personal profile page shut down! You don’t want to mix business and personal anyway, right?

    Those client photos can be tagged and shared from a FB business page. I agree with sharing successes and quality information without over-doing it and being obnoxious. By having a separate business page, that assists agents in keeping family info, photos and personal details out of client’s hands. Save the relationship building for face-to-face interaction, once you determine they are legitimate clients.

    This is right on target, Scott. If only I could get my engagement time down to mere minutes per day….

    September is NAR’s Agent Safety Month…Be safe, Agents!

  3. I know Scott Newman personally. We sat on a YPN Board together, and the guy is as good as they get. Article is amazing. Wouldn’t expect anything less from him.

  4. I have to agree partly with LIza. I have many friends who prefer to communicate only through FB. I have a business page as well as a personal page so I can post appropriately to each venue. I certainly don’t spend hours actively on each social media platform but I keep the windows open in case someone wants to message me. That way I’m there to respond in seconds. But I do think the etiquette tips in this article are good. LinkedIn is definitely not for personal stuff. I’ve gotten many leads from all sources of Social Media but I’m not putting all my eggs in the basket, that’s for sure! Referrals and Face-to-face win almost every time.

  5. Finally someone giving good info on what and how to get involved in social networking. Thanks so much

  6. Jacob

    Canadian real estate agents can use Agent iFrame to add their listings to social media, blogs, etc. It’s a simple copy-paste tool that shows personal, board, and national listings in a bunch of different configurations. Very handy, very easy to get your listings out there quick and cheap.

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