With the whirlwind of the social media surge, it seemed that everyone jumped on board at the same time. Before we knew it, everything had turned social and if you weren’t on the bandwagon, you were quickly left out. Over the past few years, it seems that everyone and every business has turned to social media to stay in touch and on top of their game. But at what cost?
If you haven’t considered how social media could affect your reputation, now is a great time to start. As a real estate agent, your image and what others say about you are important. People are always looking for referrals for large investments like buying or selling a home, and one bad report can hurt your business. In the same way, a positive experience or a great testimonial can help you tremendously!
Even if you haven’t thought of how your social media could affect your reputation, taking a close look at these tips can help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your social media is working as effectively as you’d like it to and helping to boost your business. These tips originally appeared in an article on the American Express Open Forum, but I’ve adapted them to be more real estate specific. Take a look!
1. Research and Plan- Ideally, this would have been part of the process prior to jumping into your social media, but it’s never too late to begin thinking through how you’d like to use your social media. It’s important to ask these questions:
▪What are my goals and objectives?
▪Who am I trying to reach? Where do I think those people are online?
▪What online channels or social media sites might be the right fit for my business?
▪How much time do I realistically have to invest in this?
▪Am I prepared for negative conversation about my services?
After looking at your business and your audience, you may find that you don’t have to be on every social media site out there. Honing in on a few of the key ones that you know will reach your target audience can help you put your time and energy where it will matter the most.
2. Monitor and Listen- It’s important to be aware of what others are saying about you and your services. This way, you can address any negative issues on your social media sites.
For example, if people have complained about your lack of communication, use your social media to post about some of the new technology you’re using or tools that will allow you to communicate quickly and efficiently with clients whether it’s a monthly newsletter, your social media sites, or that new phone that allows you to be in constant communication with clients. It’s all about listening to what your clients are saying, monitoring your social media sites and making sure to get involved.
3. Join in the Conversation- If you’re monitoring your comments on your social media, take the time to jump into conversations! We handle the social media for many of our clients and regularly post questions to spark conversation. If you do this, you have to be sure to jump into a conversation and stay involved! People may have follow up questions or may begin a new topic entirely, so don’t check it off your list once you’ve commented one time.
Even though you’re a small business, planning ahead on what topics you want to discuss can keep you from defaulting to the latest political news or a mindless post. Remember everything you post is public and will, in some way, affect your reputation. Having a schedule of items you want to post a few weeks out can give you clarity and let your fans or followers see that you’re organized and are posting things that are pertinent to them. Never post something just to post!
4. Have a Plan for Negative Feedback- Whether it’s a negative comment or complaint, you want to have a predetermined plan of how you want to handle it. Of course, we don’t like thinking through these things, but how you handle something like this can also play an important role in your reputation.
Just deleting anything negative on your site may look like you’re trying to hide something or you’re not willing to address the issue. It also will more than likely add fuel to the person’s fire and can blow up into a bigger issue. Taking the time to respond professionally, being willing to apologize if necessary and quickly righting any wrong will speak volumes into who you are. Take the opportunity to turn something negative into a positive and chances are, you’ll find the person who had the issue could quickly become one of your biggest fans!
As you think through protecting your reputation on your social media sites, we hope these four tips will steer you in the right direction! Social media is here to stay and it can play a major role in how people view you and your business.
If you have been having issues keeping up with your social media sites or would like to discuss how to use your social media to its fullest potential, feel free to contact us! We’re here to help!
Blogging & Copywriting Specialist