Does Your Company Have a Social Media Policy?

By
Real Estate Services with The CE Shop

by Amy Chorew

It’s 10 o’clock Monday morning – do you know where your company’s reputation is? As sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook become intertwined with business uses, real estate companies need to establish guidelines and best practices.Online Reputation

Whether we want to admit it or not, companies are learning that social networking, used properly, can be an effective business tool. We know by experience that having your sales associates involved in the community can enhance your company’s reputation and bring in more business. We are now embracing the concept that our sales associates can blog, tweet, and participate in forums and social sites and also increase business — so long as it’s done right.

But how do you monitor the conversation? You need a social media policy that explicitly lays out what is and isn’t permissible, both on the company’s network and outside of it if sales associates presenting themselves as representatives of the company.

If you do decide to take the “easy” way out and just block social networking sites at the company firewall, remember that what people post from home can still affect your company’s reputation.

How to get started

Consider creating a task force with people in your company who understand policy and procedures and others who are responsibly using social media. Together they can create a company platform. As always, before you can develop a policy, you need to define the company’s overall attitude toward social networking. A well executed social media strategy helps consumers and licensees follow an online dialogue protocol that shows promise of a successful outcome for consumers in real estate transactions. Create a statement that reflects the company’s mission statement and commitment to the consumer.

  • Do you know what your agents are doing on the web?
  • Do you know where your agents are placing their listings and what other listings they are claiming
  • Your company’s copyright dos and don’ts
  • Logos and company names - Who has the authority to start an online group using a registered trade name?
  • Q & A Platforms – Are they generating leads in the discussion thread, or are you putting your real estate license at risk?

Social Media Tools To Monitor and Maintain Reputation Management Controls

Educate agents in the correct use of tools to avoid problems and pitfalls and, engage consumers in a fashion that will BUILD and ENHANCE a company’s reputation online. Remember to always reward responsible interaction online. If you can show examples of online fires doused as well as positive examples of building reputation online your sales associates will be better informed. Consider hiring a social media director for your association or your company.

Brokers and agents need to learn how to use tools to MONITOR their online presence.

Google or Yahoo alerts. Set up alerts based on your company’s name, principals’ names, etc. These alerts will send you an email every time one of your search words is found by the search engines.

http://www.google.com/alerts

http://alerts.yahoo.com/

Twitter Search

http://search.twitter.com

http://tweetbeep.com

StepRep

http://myfrontsteps.com

Yelp

http://www.yelp.com

Here are some other reputation management tools to look at. They charge a fee, but will do the time consuming work for you.

Privacy Gurus

http://www.privacygurus.com/firm.php

Quality Service Certified

http://www.qualityservice.org

Incredible Agents

http://www.incredibleagents.com

Real Estate Ratingz

http://www.realestateratingz.com

Amy Chorew is a member of the Broker Agent Speakers Bureau which is a full service Speakers Bureau serving the real estate and financial industry. To learn more about Amy, view her bio or visit www.BrokerAgentSpeakers.com.

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