This is a must-read.
Social media can't/won't replace the marketing tools one employs in the business. But it certainly plays a huge part --- if done right.
Rich brings this into focus in a very direct way. Much appreciated.
If you haven't read it, do. Then go to Rich's blog and give him a huge ATTABOY!
"Social Media Won't Help.....if You Suck!"
This post is the 2nd part of a series of articles I am publishing based on a presentation I gave at ActiveRain's RainCamp here in Seattle.
If you missed the first part of this series, you can find it at the following link:
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It's been interesting over the past several years to watch the popularity wave of social media gain momentum and to observe more and more real estate professionals beginning to recognize its value and begin implementing social media strategies of their own.
However, there are a number of common misconceptions people have regarding social media that I would like to dispel.
Social Media is FREE
1. Social Media is Free.
Truth: While many of the tools and apps we employ in social media marketing are indeed FREE, there is always a cost associated with our involvement/engagement, whether it be our time, energy, or resources. As consumers, we've been spoiled by all of the FREE stuff that's out there. And we've unfairly perpetuated the attitude that if it isn't FREE, it's not legit. Some elements of your social media strategy may be worth a financial investment. As with traditional marketing expenses, be wise and discerning when making your spending decisions. Ask around, find out what's working well for others before you invest your time and hard-earned cash. And remember that the social media landscape is littered with many more companies and platforms that die out than those that go onto to be successfully self-sustaining. There's nothing more frustrating than expending all of your hard work and effort, only to see it suddenly disappear!
Social Media Gurus are Experts
2. Social Media Gurus are trustworthy, experienced Experts.
Wiki-pedia defines a guru as one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom (the ability to practically apply such knowledge), and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others (a teacher).
Truth: Over 90% of the people who claim to be Social Media Gurus Aren't! Actually, it's probably more like 99%! It cracks me up how many times I encounter these self-professed social media gurus leading some local networking event. They claim to have discovered the secrets for unlocking the power of Twitter, yet when you access their Twitter profile, they've only posted a half dozen tweets and only have 3 followers, and one of them is their Mom! Most of the people who I would consider to be true social media gurus rarely ascribe to such labels, and in fact, avoid them like the plague. Watch out for those slimy 'wolves in sheep's clothing' who make impossible claims and want to charge you for things you could easily do yourself.
Social Media is just a Fad
3. Social Media is just a Fad.
Truth: To say that social media is a fad is to say that communication is a fad." Consider these statistics:
1) 2/3 of the global Internet population visits social networks, and the time spent on social networks is growing at 3X the overall Internet rate.
2) Visiting social sites is now the 4th most popular online activity - ahead of personal email!
While the need for human connection and interaction is ever-constant, the manner in which we connect, interact, and share changes. If the primary demographics of your target client base uses social media, then you obviously need to become conversant on the popular and emerging platforms/technologies, and join in on the conversation.
More Fans, Friends & Followers = Success
4. The more Friends, Fans, or Followers I have, the more successful I will be in social media.
Truth: Effective social media engagement should never be gauged solely by the extent of our online popularity (quantity of contacts), but by the quality of the relationships, and the trust we develop.
Let's face it, we're all guilty at one point in our social media journeys of becoming a promiscuous friend 'whore.' There is this innate desire to have people 'Like' us, to be 'followed' or endorsed by people we don't know. We end up in an dead-end one-sided conversation with people who could care less about what we have to say. Rather, our energies should be focused on initiating/fostering meaningful relationships and engagement with people who willingly reciprocate. In addition, instead of being so overly concerned with the number of fans, friends, and followers we have, we should spend more of our time genuinely listening to what others have to say, and making valued contributions to their conversations.
Social Media will Save Your Business!
5. Social Media is the Magic Pill that will Solve All of Our Marketing Woes and Save Our Business!
Truth: Social Media is simply one more method or tool that can be leveraged to effectively grow and enhance our business. It should not replace, but supplement our proven traditional methods of marketing.
I am constantly amazed at how many people literally abandon their time-tested traditional marketing methods in lieu of things like social media. Now, granted, the use of social media strategies can be a very powerful and effective means of growing/enhancing your real estate business. However, it should simply supplement, not replace, your past methods of marketing. There is still tremendous value in the power of a hand-written note. Nothing will ever replace a personal, face-to-face meeting. Social media is an excellent compliment to those successful practices of the past.
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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Windermere Real Estate, providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.com, SoundBiteBLog, and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org