I don't consider myself to be a social marketing guru (yet), but I do spend a little time each week on all of the top social media sites that I know about. Sometimes, it's just a few minutes per week. Obviously, I spend the majority of my online time right here on ActiveRain, but I have become more active on Twitter lately - both are highly addictive, in my humble opinion. Facebook also seems to have some interesting potential as a business tool, if used properly.
I just wanted to take a minute to share some of my experiences with the other two sites. Clearly, I have written a good number of posts about sales and referrals that have come from ActiveRain already. My primary advice on AR is to be yourself and write about stuff that actually interests you, rather than simply focusing on real estate all the time.
When I was first invited to Facebook by Jennifer Bukaty last fall, I knew a very small handful of people on there at the time. I would get random email messages like this:
You have been SUPER-POKED by Rob
Mary hurled a ghost at you!
Tom set you up on a date with Monica Lewinsky
Sue wants to dirty dance with you in front of your kids!
What the heck is all of this stuff, anyway? Clearly, this site must be worthless for business, right? Actually, that's not true. At this point, if you are not a member of Facebook, the jokes above make zero sense to you, more than likely. If you ARE a member, you are probably still laughing (at least I hope you are). At any rate, I kind of avoided the site for awhile, then decided to re-evaluate it later, and I'm glad that I did.
Despite all of the silliness and random applications, and Scrabble games, and videos, Facebook has also brought me a handful of leads. As a bonus, my AR blog has developed a strong following among my Facebook friends (over 1700 now), and sometimes they comment directly on Facebook. But how? Well, I learned how to "feed" my AR blog posts to Facebook awhile back, and this gets me additional exposure in a group of non-AR members.
I have had a handful of decent leads from Facebook so far, all of which came (so far) from people which I did not previously know, but who have seen some of my posts and know that I am a real estate broker in Austin. I am still pleasantly surprised when I realize that one of my "real life" friends found my blog via Facebook.
Using the ActiveRain feature to automatically send links to your public posts straight to Twitter is very cool indeed, but I would recommend also actually hanging out there sometimes, rather than just sending the occasional link. When you develop relationships, it will begin to pay off and they will read your stuff IF they get to know you. Otherwise, it seems a bit random in the middle of all of the conversations going on and no one will pay attention. I was guilty of this before, but I have changed my ways now.
As with Facebook, I have developed a healthy readership on Twitter, with about 425 "followers" there. I got a lead today from a guy that I only knew tangentially - awesome! So far, I have received about five leads from my relationships there, as well as solidifying some friendships and contacts that I already knew from ActiveRain. In case you didn't realize this, there is a large contingent of AR members on Twitter, which makes it even more fun.
For specific instuctions on how to achieve this, please check out my post here:
If you have questions, I would be happy to help, time permitting. Thanks for reading!
Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jasoncrouch