Are you the Barney Fife of Social Media?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249


When I was a kid, my grandfather would pick me up from school most days, and we would hang out all afternoon until my mom came to pick me up from his house. He would usually make me some macaroni and cheese, or some (rather amazing) home-style fries. While we were together, we’d watch TV, typically old shows that were in syndication, like “Gilligan’s Island”, or “Father Knows Best”. One of my favorites was “The Andy Griffith Show”, and I can still whistle the theme song pretty well, truth be told.

In case you’re not already familiar with the characters, Barney Fife was played by Don Knotts, and he was the bumbling deputy to the supremely calm sheriff Andy Taylor, played by Griffith himself. Along with his hilarious and goofy manner, one of the more memorable things about Barney was how he handled his firearm. As a law enforcement officer in tiny (and fictional) Mayberry, North Carolina, there was never much need for a gun, so Barney kept his bullet(s) in his front pocket. Despite some big talk, Barney was not that well-equipped in the courage department, either.

Needless to say, whenever he thought he might need to use it, he had a tough time getting his gun loaded quickly, and it made for some funny and clumsy slapstick comedy.

With Barney in mind, have you found yourself content to leave your bullets in your pocket? Are you using new media tools fully, or shying away from some stuff because it seems pointless or even scary? I can emphatically state that I felt less-than-thrilled about Facebook, Twitter, and even blogging before I started using them actively. Each of them has its benefits and drawbacks, of course, but they have each brought me real-world dollars, so I can’t ignore that.

A couple of quick words of general advice about using social media:

1. Be persistent. It may take time for your efforts to pay off. Set the appropriate expectations for yourself. If you stick with it, opportunities will likely surface.
2. Be yourself. Yes, really. It’s that simple. If you meet an online friend for the first time, and it feels like you’re meeting an old friend, you’re doing it right.
3. Don’t oversell anything. If you think of new media tools in terms of real-life networking, give some sincere thought to how often you “pitch” your services. No one wants to be “that guy” or “that lady” that people dread seeing or talking to because he/she is always working a business angle.

Social media has presented all of us with an interesting opportunity. In 1998, when I started my first website for my real estate business, people acted like it was a strange idea, and a waste of time. Since then, we’ve had many millions of dollars in sales from that site. I see the same pattern emerging today with new media tools. I still hear stuff like, “What good does being on Twitter do for you?” or “Why do I need a blog anyway?”. These are the same folks who will be kicking themselves (some already are) for not acting sooner and using the FREE online tools available to them for promoting their brand/business.

Don’t be a Barney. Be prepared when opportunities arise. Social media is one such opportunity.

 

Originally posted at 210 Consulting - Social Media Strategy.

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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Kate Bourland 12/22/2010 06:58 PM
  2. Barbara Hensley 12/23/2010 12:03 AM
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Rainmaker
886,050
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

Dec 23, 2010 01:17 AM #33
Rainmaker
662,099
Patricia Aulson
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate - Exeter, NH
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Hey thanks for the great post. I love the analogy. 

"If you want to hit your mark....you have to aim a little high!"

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Dec 23, 2010 01:41 AM #34
Rainmaker
662,099
Patricia Aulson
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate - Exeter, NH
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Hey thanks for the great post. I love the analogy. 

"If you want to hit your mark....you have to aim a little high!"

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Dec 23, 2010 01:41 AM #35
Rainmaker
1,533,861
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate
Still feel alot like Barney ......
Dec 23, 2010 01:46 AM #36
Rainmaker
564,223
Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA

Jason,

Based upon my beautiful wife's observations I am "a Joe Friday in a Brady Bunch society".  So I am trying to get past "just the facts maam" in my social media activities.

Best,

Steve

Dec 23, 2010 02:25 AM #37
Rainmaker
301,963
Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

I used to love that show. Don Knotts presented himself in a special way that just made you laugh. You brought up some great points regarding social media and let's hope people pay close attention to #3, because I for one don't like dealing with "that guy".

Dec 23, 2010 02:35 AM #38
Rainmaker
179,067
Laura Forman
National Realty of Brevard www.LauraSellsBrevard.com - Melbourne, FL
Your Brevard Premier Property Specialist

Thanks for the fun post with a great point.  I think some people make the mistake of using social media only to promote their business rather than using it to let people get to know them better.  It ends up doing more harm than good when people only talk business.

Dec 23, 2010 02:37 AM #39
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Jason, anything can lead to a sale, and none is a magic bullet. Just work with the ones you are comfortable with.

Dec 23, 2010 05:26 AM #40
Rainmaker
540,788
Sean Casey
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Newark, DE
Greenville, Hockessin, Newark & Bear Homes

Great Post!  Social media is here to stay. 

Dec 23, 2010 07:37 AM #41
Ambassador
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1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Jason,

I so love Barney .. he makes me laugh and reminds me of a brother of mine.. :)  

Now Andy, he's a different story.. I so want to be like him.. calm, under contol and always has the right answers. :)

Dec 23, 2010 09:49 AM #42
Rainmaker
151,209
Eric Anderson
Eric Anderson Realty Group - Fayetteville, NC
Fort Bragg Military Relocation Services, Fayettevi

Jason, I love the analogy.  Be persistent and Blog for awareness, education and most importantly business..  Great Post!

Dec 23, 2010 02:30 PM #43
Rainmaker
217,258
'The Diamond Group' 'A Cut Above The Rest'
The Diamond Group @ Keller Williams - Lubbock, TX
Lubbock Texas Real Estate

Like Barney always have that one bullet ready to load your gun!  So remember, have your phone charged and be ready to make those calls.........armed and ready to go!

Merry Christmas

Dec 23, 2010 03:23 PM #44
Rainer
111,120
Pam Sitterly
RE/MAX VINTAGE - Magnolia, TX
CRS Magnolia-Tomball Texas

Very well stated, Jason. Thanks for the food for thought.

Dec 23, 2010 11:14 PM #45
Rainmaker
484,123
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Jason, Gotta love Barney! Getting more involved and learning more about social media was on my 2010 business plan so have been working it, but man, lots and lots to learn. I keep reminding myself to be patient! Thanks for a great post reminding me to just keep at it!

Dec 24, 2010 04:35 AM #46
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Best wishes for lots of fun and food with family and friends today. Hope Santa brought you some cool toys, too!

Happy Holidays!

 

 

Dec 25, 2010 04:15 AM #47
Rainmaker
189,486
Herb Hamilton
RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors - Portland, OR
Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland

Happy Holidays to you and yours. I thank you kindly for all or the great information that you have provided throughout the year.

Dec 25, 2010 04:49 AM #48
Rainmaker
317,289
Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

Hi Jason, I really like your message here.  Its good to know that you have had so much success.  Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Dec 25, 2010 05:11 PM #49
Rainmaker
1,945,252
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Need more than one bullet and several media guns, broadcast stations should be set up to spray the message further, more frequently. Rather than fumbling hit or miss with one silver bullet left in the shirt pocket in the laundry causing you to be caught with your trousers down. 

Dec 25, 2010 10:12 PM #50
Rainmaker
400,528
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Interesting take on an old show. :-) I've certainly fumbled a few times like Barney.

Dec 26, 2010 10:17 PM #51
Rainmaker
410,029
Robin Scott
Robin Scott, REALTOR® - Austin, TX
Broker, CRS, ABR, SRS, REALTOR® - Austin Texas

Hi Jason, I' working on the social media angle. Still can't find time for twitter although my blog feeds to it. Wanted to wish you a successful New Year.

Dec 29, 2010 02:48 AM #52
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