15 Suggestions on How to Conduct Yourself in Social Media Networks

Services for Real Estate Pros with New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker
Your profile, posts and comments on most Social Media networks will be available for many thousands, maybe even everyone to see – forever. It is therefore vitally important that you conduct yourself correctly.

Be yourself, be open, be transparent, share… and all those other good things. Just decide who you are, what image you wish to portray today, and tomorrow.

Don’t just sign up for a network account on LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter with the intent of just engaging in idle chit-chat without taking the time to complete profile and think through your positioning.

Here are some steps to get you going:

Positioning Yourself (Finding Your Spot)

When participating in Social Media you will have various opportunities to create a persona. Before doing so you should clearly decide how you want the world to view you. To achieve this, ask yourself the following questions:

• Are you someone who is using Social Media for personal or professional use? • If you’re using Social Media for professional use, what information are you presenting? • Are you an individual that offers quotes or frivolous information or do you provide real and relevant content? • Do you respond to people or ignore people? • Who are you connecting with? • What do you want your online experience to be like? • How do others view you? It’s important that you know what your motivation is for joining (business, social, networking, etc.) and whether you will want to create a professional or a personal profile.

Take Away

• Profile yourself • Find synergies • Find your market

Building a Brand (Adding Value to Your Spot)

After you have decided what your positioning is, the next step is to decide what brand you will be building online. Consistency is important and attaching the desired identifying image helps in placing and posturing yourself. For example, you can be an expert in anything—a topic, an area, etc.—or you don’t have to be an expert at all, just everyone’s friend. Regardless of what you choose for your goal, building your brand will require you to standardize and unite the message behind your brand; photo, logo, content, website, etc. In the end, all these elements must portray a unified message.

Take Away

• Offer help • Be consistent • Add value

Conveying Authenticity (Ensuring Your Spot is Sincere)

As social networks are personal venues for connecting one person directly with another, it is important to create online relationships that are built on mutual respect and trust. Because users may never physically meet, and therefore not have the opportunity to build the confidence that you are who you say you are, you need to demonstrate online that you are someone worth taking the time to build a relationship. To be authentic in Social Media requires users to be sincere and engaging.

Take Away

• Be real • Be sincere • Be engaging

Create a Following (Making Your Spot Popular)

To create a following in Social Media you have to “give” more than you “take.” Connect with like-minded people that you can initially relate to and with whom you share common interests. If you interact with your followers and friends by actively creating discussions and continually engaging with others in the community, others will, in turn, be compelled to follow you.

Take Away

• Give more than you take • Stay relevant • Acknowledge others

Creating a Sales Pipeline (Making Your Spot Count)

Sales follow trust, confidence and value. Similar to shopping in a mall, some interaction or a recommendation creates trust. Thereafter customers need to first be aware of a store. Then, after gaining more information, they may enter and browse through the product selection. Often they might ask for help or more information and you should be ready and willing to provide it. Use Social Media to guide your potential customers to your offerings. Don’t try and sell them; “pull” don’t “push.” As many Social Media sites only allow short or limited messaging such as Twitter (140 characters) you will need to direct potential customers to your blog or website where you have more space and control in order to more comprehensively describe your products and services.

Take Away

• Don’t sell – Inform • Don’t sell – Redirect • Don’t sell – Guide them


It’s all about the conversation, the sharing and the value to bring to the other members of the discussion. The more selfless your actions the better your following and ultimate return will be.

These are extracts from the new soon to be published 120page Swanepoel SOCIAL MEDIA Report 2010 especially for Real Estate Professionals. Copies ordered now at RealSure Online Bookstore will be shipped on October 5th.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Hector G. Diaz 09/05/2009 07:54 PM
  2. Brian Gibbons 09/06/2009 09:15 AM
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Stefan, you zeroed in on this one exactly. It is all about your IMAGE and your CONVERSATION. You become what you say, and that is why people who are slipshod and careless about this on the Internet amaze me.

Sep 06, 2009 02:53 AM #25
Ginger Moore
Wilkinson & Associates Realty - Gastonia, NC

Hi Stefan,  nice blog.  we gotta keep um talkin..  and be good listeners...    thanks for sharing

Sep 06, 2009 04:12 AM #26
Paul Franciskato
Asset Brokering Services - Junction City, KS

Thanks for your useful suggestions.  This is information everyone should read before joining and building a profile at a social network!

Sep 06, 2009 04:25 AM #27
Ken Spencer
Serendra Realty Group - Buckeye, AZ
for Verrado, Buckeye, Sundance

Great advice. Thanks for sharing this information.  I'm relatively new to social networks and appreciate your post.

Sep 06, 2009 05:08 AM #28
Piccola Dowling

It is an excellent write Stefan! I love that you included 'authenticity', that is my word wherever I go.
The way people behave in Social Media reflects entirely how they behave everywhere else. Manners and respect are essential to live 'socially' in any world. Thank you!

Sep 06, 2009 05:24 AM #29
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I disagree with your statement that includes quotes with idle chit-chat. The quotes a person chooses to include in his or her messages are a direct reflection of the person's personality and philosophy.

Sep 06, 2009 07:13 AM #30
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

In short no naked pictures with booze in hand.  I do engage in some conversations, but nothing that would embarrass me.  I do not play games on facebook and politely turn down invitations to play; I work on the computer, I don;t want to play on it.  However engaging in light banter has helped me develop relationships.

Sep 06, 2009 07:39 AM #31
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Great thoughts here. I like the selfless interaction mentioned.  Don't sell them something.

Sep 06, 2009 08:41 AM #32
Mark Velasco
Sharpstone Realty, Inc - Whittier, CA
Listing Agent-Whittier & Surrounding ciities

Great post Stefan. I think that you are right on. Be real and be honest. They will be asking for help sooner or later

Sep 06, 2009 09:14 AM #33
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Good information.  I still feel like I'm finding myself in this social media soup.

Sep 06, 2009 10:17 AM #34
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

If I could only figure out how to keep up and make time in the day for all of the social media sites!

Sep 06, 2009 11:58 AM #35
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty 916.408.5500 - Roseville, CA
Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments

Thanks for the post, Stefan...I loved all the take aways, but I especially loved your conclusion: "The more selfless your actions the better your following and ultimate return will be."

Sep 06, 2009 03:45 PM #36
Elayna Fernandez
The Positive Mom - Irving, TX
BE Positive and You'll BE Powerful!

Really great insights. Great take aways. This is a very great post and looks like a wonderful report. Congrats!

Sep 06, 2009 08:25 PM #37
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Good guidelines. Next is finding time to keep up with all of this!

Sep 06, 2009 11:30 PM #38
Cassi @ Knightyme Video Tours
Knightyme Video Tours - Lawrenceville, GA


Do you have any examples of "Don’t sell – Inform • Don’t sell – Redirect • Don’t sell – Guide them".

If you don't I understand it was just a great quote and if you have more information that may be a great post.

Sep 07, 2009 03:31 AM #39
Mark Clausen

I'll let the links do my selling. I choose to try to educate.

Sep 07, 2009 01:59 PM #40
Stefan Swanepoel
New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker - Ladera Ranch, CA

Thanks for the discussion everyone.

In less than one-and-a-half decades the web evolved from browsing to searching to sharing – from Web Sites to Social Media. 

What a huge change, and I think the biggest is yet to come.

Sep 08, 2009 02:35 PM #41
J.T. Thomas
American Horizon Real Estate - Springfield, MO

The best is yet to come! Be yourself and the world will come to you.

Sep 09, 2009 10:07 AM #42
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Be yourself, what a novel idea for the times we live in. More folks need to zero in on that alone. I like others look forward to your report.

Sep 13, 2009 07:00 AM #43
Harley Orion

Hi Stefan,

Great post. I do social media services and training for marketing people, and you've called out a lot of the most important points here.  Thanks for beating the drum for authenticity; that's one of the biggest errors I see marketing people make on social media.  A good rule of thumb I've learned is the "3 to 1" rule - for every one thing you say about yourself, say three things about others - either retweeting and crediting a helpful source, giving props to someone else's product or service, etc.  This helps keep you from seeming like a self-promoter on these sites.  And, it helps you keep a positive outlook on the word, as you're always sharing something nice about someone else!

(This last part was inspired by Tony Hsieh's post "How Twitter Can Make You A Better (and Happier) Person": http://blogs.zappos.com/blogs/ceo-and-coo-blog/2009/01/25/how-twitter-can-make-you-a-better-and-happier-person

Keep up the good work!


Harley Orion


Oct 07, 2009 04:32 AM #44
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