Tag: socialmedia

Social Media: You Need Them Like Oxygen

Last week, I had the chance to teach a class about Social Media, and I can say it was more successful than the Bay of Pigs. For those of you who didn’t attend, I’ll give you some highlights here – you’re welcome!

On which social media outlets should you have a presence?  While some of you might be hoping that I’m recommending Tinder and Snapchat, let me assure you my recommendations run to the mundane.  Sorry. I’ll make this simple:  post everything on Instagram and set it up so that all your posts are fed both to Facebook and Twitter. Why Twitter?  It’s free and doesn’t take any extra effort to have your Instagram post go over to Twitter.  A few of the agents I know who do this actually get an occasional connection from their Twitter feeds.

What does an “effective” post look like?  In one word: simple.  But note that “simple” does not mean “plain”.  Simple means that you have an easily readable message that’s informative and valuable.  Near the end of 2018, an agent posted a photo of a group of people celebrating with a headline that announced that home loan limits are increasing in 2019.  Easily readable, informative, and valuable with an eye-catching graphic. Open House, Sale Pending, Just Closed, and other such posts are great, too.  They show your followers you have stuff happening, and they can be a part of it.

Are there posts that will HURT you?  Obviously, photos of you kicking a puppy or something divisive is not the way to go.  There are posts that won’t necessarily hurt your online presence as a real estate or mortgage professional, but they certainly won’t help.  The biggest mistake I see a lot of folks make is posting the mass-created memes that EVERYBODY else posts.  If you do this, you’re telling your followers that you don’t have anything original to say and that they should look elsewhere for meaningful content.  Also, an overabundance of selfies(for the sake of posting selfies) tells your followers that you’re far busier looking at the camera than looking to help them. With that said, posting photos of your dog, sunsets, the latest eatery is NOT a bad thing – they show personality so your followers can get to know you – but don’t overdo it, that’s all.

How often should you post?  Put simply: at least once a day, five to seven days a week.  If you post once or twice a week, even if the post is knock-your-socks-off awesome, you’ll get lost in the shuffle.

A word to the wise:  video may not be your friend.  I say this for two reasons: (1) on social media, the average attention span is less than that of a 2-year-old who’s hopped up on sugar, and (2) you may not look as good or come across as funny as you think you do on video.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.

The whole reason I insist that real estate and mortgage professionals must have an online presence is simple: that’s today’s marketplace – it’s the place where we get the chance to make the MOST first impressions.  And once you’ve had that chance to make a first impression, then the three Es of social media must be followed: ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE.  Don’t assume your pretty pictures are going to turn people into buyers.  When they like your photo, send them a note.  Start a conversation.  Follow them back.

Let’s look at this in a slightly different way – and please don’t think I’m comparing any of you to car sales people.  When you walk onto a car lot, why do the sales people descend on you like locusts? Because they know they have one shot to make a sale – once you leave, you’re gone.  With social media, you’ve created both a place for buyers to “walk onto your lot” AND a chance to STAY engaged with them without you being a pushy locust.  The key is to ENGAGE . . . not ENRAGE.  Makes sense, right?

Topless Professionals – Nope

 

Fads come and go, certainly, but you can’t always tell the difference in the moment between a fad and a trend – because refusing to adapt to the trends can be limiting . . . if not disastrous.  Let me share a couple of examples where failing to see where things were headed didn’t turn out well.

  • An engineer presented the idea of a “filmless camera” to the executives at Kodak back in 1975, but they laughed him to scorn.  In 2012, Kodak was forced to file for bankruptcy because they failed to adapt to the digital world. 
  • We all know Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, but how many of us recognize the name of Ron Wayne (and, no, that’s not Batman’s brother)?  Ronny was the third founding member of Apple, and he sold his 10% stake in the company in 1976 for $1500.  His shares would now be worth over $50 billion. 
  • WAY BACK in 2000, Reed Hastings approached Blockbuster and offered to sell Netflix for $50 million.  Blockbuster turned Hastings down.  Netflix is now worth over $100 billion, and Blockbuster . . . isn’t. 

One of the current and undeniable factors directly affecting the real estate/mortgage world is social media.  Is this one of those adapt-or-die trends, or is it a fad that will be replaced by something else and relegated to the dustbin of history along with pet rocks and fidget spinners?  Well, let me hit you with some knowledge that I’ve gleaned from some pretty hefty research.

  • A recent study found that posting a photo of your coffee in a Starbucks mug/cup on Monday mornings increases your reach by 39%.  Including a pet in the photo along with emojis gives you a boost of an additional 12%.  Conversely, if the photo contains images of a cactus or other succulents, this will reduce your reach by 17%. 
  • The University of Leeds conducted a poll and found that people who post photos of themselves shirtless (men) or in yoga pants (women) are perceived to be 58% more credible in their posts and the information they provide.  A subset of that same study included real estate agents, and the shirtless/yoga-pants-wearing individuals sold 23% more properties.
  • In Australia, The Sydney Timespublished a report that demonstrated that of those who take photos of their food and publish those photos on social media, the individuals who posted more than a majority of vegan offerings were found to be devious and not trustworthy. 

As you let this soak in, and you take stock ofyour own personal/professional social media profile, let me add this last piece of information: I just made up those three items to underscore my point.  Social media are definitely here to stay, and refusing to use them can and will limit whom you reach, but to think of them as the silver bullet is wrong headed – it still comes down to knowledge, skill, and performance.  So keep your shirts on, wear something a little more comfortable, and eat a steak occasionally.