Social Media – It’s Time to Get On Board!
By Denise Lones
Even if you’re not interested in social media, I want you to read this.
I’m going to show you how to dip your toe in the social media waters, without being intimidated or overwhelmed.
Regardless of whether you’re a brand new agent, a seasoned agent, or somewhere in-between, there are tools that you simply cannot ignore if you want to have a healthy and successful business. And social media is one of the newest and most important tools you must take advantage of.
I talk to agents all the time who say, “Denise, it’s just too much. I can’t possibly keep up! I don’t know a Twit from a Tweet and I don’t understand what all the hoopla is about.” Other agents tell me, “I know it’s probably important for my business, but I don’t know how – or where – to begin.”
For all of you who may feel this way, I’d like to explain social media in terms that you can understand. And I think you’ll quickly see the value that it has for your business.
First, let’s start with a positive mindset. Don’t say “It’s too hard,” or “I don’t see any value for me.” Even a small change in your attitude will create a huge difference in how you view social media.
The easiest way to understand social media is to recognize that it’s simply a new way for people to communicate.
If you think about the technological advances in communication, it looks like this: First there was the telephone. Then, there was the fax machine – which was just another way of communicating back and forth. Then the mobile phone was invented. Many of us scoffed at the thought of carrying a phone with us 24/7. But would you be without your cell phone today? I know I wouldn’t!
Social media is exactly the same. It’s nothing more than another new way to communicate; another way to connect with people and build relationships.
The power of social media is immense! It’s just as impactful as the original telephone – if you use it consistently and correctly.
Do you need to stay abreast of every social media avenue available to you? Does that mean you need to be on every site, all day, every day? Absolutely not! But you do need to become familiar with the opportunities that exist.
Here’s an easy way to think of social media: pretend you are watching television and you have many different channels to choose from. What networks do you prefer? Are there particular shows you like to watch? Do you like comedy? Drama? Reality TV? Think of social media options as “communication channels”.
The only way to find out what social media outlets you prefer is to tune in to different “channels”. Play around with them! Experience their differences. Discover what you like and enjoy, and what’s of no interest to you.
I know agents who are seriously plugged into Facebook. I know agents who absolutely love Twitter. I know agents who choose LinkedIn, or who regularly communicate with colleagues via Active Rain.
Regardless of the “channel” or “channels” that attract you, it’s important to get involved. Please don’t be intimidated – social media can add so much value to your business! Embrace it at a level that you are comfortable with. Participate, even in small ways at first, until you determine the best way to use it in your business.
The beauty of social media is that it takes communication to a level that you never had before. Using Facebook to connect with your friends and clients gives you an opportunity to know what is going on in their lives, and to stay connected with them on a consistent basis – much more than if you occasionally send them mail or call them on the phone.
Social media also gives you an opportunity to reach out to your sphere when a change in their lives might lead to a real estate need.
Whether you are new to social media or an experienced veteran, there are two key thoughts I want to leave you with:
Social media can add huge value to your life, and to your business! When you engage consistently, and respond to people who reach out to you, you add value to the relationships you have built. Your life can become richer because of it, and your business will benefit as well.
Social media can also have serious consequences. First and foremost, think before you type! What you write online stays online. Secondly, please never attack a person’s character or beliefs. If they have an opinion that you don’t agree with, disagree respectfully, and keep to the issues. Do not let it get personal. Lastly, if there is a hot topic being discussed, know your facts before you speak, and never verbally harass or criticize someone. Social media is definitely about engagement; that engagement needs to be respectful.
If you’re not currently plugged into social media, don’t be afraid of this powerful communication tool. Consider it as your new and exciting “television” with many exciting “channels” and take advantage of it. If you’re intimidated, start slowly and just dip your toe in … then dive in when you’re ready!
It’s a whole new communication world – and you need to get on board!