You have a voice today, feel free to use it
Social media has provided us an opportunity like never before. I grew up in this industry in the pre-social media world and getting your message out there was both challenging and expensive. The newspaper was crowded with ‘call me’s’ and brash claims to local real estate supremacy. Getting a different message out there to prospective clients was difficult.
Not so today.
We now live in a world of constant messaging and public exposure. Social media has levelled the playing field for newer agents and those with less experience, or smaller self-promotional budgets. The problem is, they most often aren’t using this opportunity to win new business correctly.
It’s a world not all of us grew up in, so the proper use of Social Media in a business environment can often be misunderstood. If you take nothing more from this article, remember this - it should be the on-line version of your off-line self.
Social Media is your opportunity to send a very purposeful message. It is your voice, What we say on social media can reach thousands of people in an instant, and the ability to make your mark has never been more readily available. So, if you are using Social Media as part of your business development, great. It is your chance to publicly have your say. The question then becomes; what are you REALLY saying about yourself on there?
While I wont get into social content in this article, Social Media is principally mis-used by Realtors in one way; it is not an accurate representation of who they actually are. We would never actually speak to people in person the way we post, tweet and thoughtlessly share. We are too often robotic in its use, and I can guarantee your followers can see whats going on. You are simply using Social Media, for the sake of using Social Media. That’s a problem.
Stop thinking of it as an after thought, and start thinking of it as the single most important place to grow your brand. I’m not kidding, all it takes is a proper plan. A schedule.
Just like anything else valuable in building a career, a proper social strategy takes thought and time. I typically recommend Agents spend an hour a day using their preferred platforms to engage in meaningful conversations, share content that is relevant to their audience and actually do what Social Media was designed to do - be social. Your clients will love it, new prospects will love it and even the search engines will take notice. This is an essential part of business building for today's up and coming Realtors.
But I get it, that takes time.
Enter the world of ‘social’ software. We all love the quick fix, or solution in a box. An entire industry of curated posts and related articles that you can just sign up for. No sitting down to actually write a thing. Just add your accounts and presto, you are doing the social media. And not an hour wasted on it.
Think about what you are actually doing here. You have chosen to hire someone to speak for you. Someone to create thoughts for you and share them around with your friends, colleagues and business prospects. That just has bad idea written all over it. I am sure there are plenty of ‘testimonials’ and ‘success stories’ to back up the claims of some content providers, but at it’s root, this is just a bad idea. You would never do this in the off-line world, so why do it here?
Most of those so-called solutions, in my opinion, accomplish the exact opposite results upon which they sell you. They actually make you less personable and your brand would be better off if you didn’t post so generically or out of context. With some of the services out there, you might even be better off not posting at all. The only social software I can’t live without is HootSuite (shout-out to some kick-ass Canadian software). It is the perfect place to monitor your brand and take advantage of advanced social metrics.
Take the time to be yourself. Go on-line and see how many Agents in your area are actually being the authentic version of themselves on social media. The likely answer is; not many and that my friends is opportunity. Low-cost opportunity, I might add.
I have been part of Agent success stories on pretty much every social platform there is, so pick one and try it. Try using your own voice and sharing your own thoughts. This is where today’s conversation is happening, so you better be there. Many next-generation Agents are doing exactly that, and it is working wonders for them.
Like any habits, bad or good, after about a 30 day period anything can become habitual. Challenge you to put yourself, your agents or your company on a 30-day social bootcamp. Commit to creating authentic and valuable content and participating in the on-line conversation happening in your community. Once it becomes a habit, the business will follow. It’s a long game, but it will come. People like real people, even in a virtual environment.
We had our say, now its your turn. Agree or disagree, just make sure you comment below.