I see it again, and again, and AGAIN! Agents confused by social media and confused by how to manage the time necessary for social media. They have every excuse in the book NOT to do social media and they want a magic silver bullet to do it for them.
First, WHY Social Media?
If you have any doubts about WHY you should be on Social Networks as a Realtor, consider this. NAR says that baby boomers have (on average) one home buying cycle left. Generation X has (on average) 6 buying cycles left. Generation Y has (on average) 7 buying cycles left.
Now consider the fact that Gen Y'rs spend more than 3 hours per day online on social networks. Hello? Did you see that? The demographic that will buy the most homes in the future live on these networks! If you plan on being in Real Estate for the foreseeable future, you need to be reaching out to this generation using their media - and by doing it on their terms!
Q: What does that mean, "on their terms"?
A: They DO NOT want to be SOLD to, they want to be ENGAGED!
Second - How to get started?
You want the SECRET? Here it is. Pick 1 or 2 social media platforms. I recommend Twitter and Facebook (in that order). Don't auto post. Don't AUTO POST. Did you see that, don't auto post. That's a short cut - it's a cop out. It's called SOCIAL Networking, not AUTO Networking! It is annoying and your Gen X and Gen Y-rs will see right through it. You can't engage if you are not there! If you want a short cut, here it is .......... don't do it at all.
What are you going to do if someone actually responds to your auto post? You'll never see their inquiry and they'll know it's a bot - and poof, UNfollow you! You will end up alienating the exact audience that you are trying to connect with in the first place. Remember the SOCIAL in social media. It is not something you can do half way. If you auto post your ActiveRain to Twitter, make sure you make these a small fraction of your total tweets.
Third - What to Say?
Social networking is a cocktail party. You wouldn't walk into a cocktail party and spout off your listings or your production for the year, don't do it on Social networking sites. Get in there, be friendly, Listen first, then ENGAGE others! Sooner or later the conversation (yes, conversation) will turn to what you do for a living. Gently remind them you are a Realtor. Make less then 10% of your updates be about your business. Generally in social networks, no one cares about what you have to say until they know you care about them! When it comes time to call a Realtor, they WILL remember you (the person) not the bot.
Lastly - THE SECRET for managing the time?
Ok, here it is. Get a laptop (or even better, Blackberry or iPhone) and do a lot of your social networking while your watching mindless reality shows. The average American spends over 4 hours per day in front of the TV, but yet everyone's excuse is "not enough time". There is a disconnect there somewhere. Just do it. No excuses! Good Luck!
Oh by the way, when you put in the time and start to build a network, it's just like chatting with old friends. It will not feel like work.
Still think social media is stupid? Read Twitter is Stupid - I don't have time for Twitter
Want help getting started the easy way? Watch the video series, Twitter Made Easy for Business
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