With all of the social networking sites, blogs, Q&A opportunities, etc., it can be challenging to manage time around all of them. After all, isn’t the job of a real estate agent to be out in front of clients and not behind a computer screen? How much time should you be devoting to your social networking efforts, and how can you ensure your time is going to its best use?
Mind Your IRL’s and NIRL’s!
It can seem a bit intense trying to keep up with all the online social media sites. Companies hire social media experts to keep track of all the media that is available for communicating their message online, and here you are trying to add it into your already busy schedule. You simply need to morph some of the time that you were spending networking IRL (in real life) to social networking NIRL (not in real life).
So let’s take Facebook and LinkedIn. These two sites are networking sites so it would be just like you attending a Chamber of Commerce event where you could see both people you know personally and those from your professional life. You spend a few hours there talking to people, making connections, sharing stories, promoting yourself and being visible in the community. You can take that same time and apply it to Facebook or LinkedIn. You don’t have to log in every day and post something, but you should pay attention to both of those sites three to four times a week.
For Facebook, simply say what you are doing that day that supports your business or personal life, for example, “preparing for an open house this weekend” or “attending the kid’s first baseball game of the season”, market activity, community events, etc. Most of this is the same dialogue you would have in an IRL social setting, so take 15 minutes or so and start saying those things online. It’s worth the time to connect with both personal and professional contacts.
LinkedIn is more business focused than Facebook, so why not find an article per week that you can post that relates to real estate or business? Get connected to business and real estate groups on LinkedIn, which can provide good fodder for article re-posting. Comment on articles; email them to your contacts. Again a few times per week will keep you active in LinkedIn.
For Twitter, there are ways to connect your posts from Facebook to Twitter so you only have to do it once, but keep in mind, if your clients aren’t on Twitter then you don’t need to be there.
You probably should have a blog if you have a standalone web site, but it’s not essential to succeed. What does an individual agent blog do for you? It is a valid and viable way to connect with the community and subtly market services in a transparent world, but it takes a lot of attention. A blog does require weekly postings such as market analysis, community activity, general commentary, sales activity, etc. And you need to market and promote your blog. It’s the old tree falls in the forest and no one sees it, does it make a noise?
In general, it is recommended that you do take advantage of a select group of social media opportunities online and that you schedule your tasks accordingly. It’s all about time management. If you allow one hour, three or four times a week to manage these venues as a part of your normal marketing activities, it shouldn’t feel so daunting.
Check out our other blogs which cover other social media channels more in depth.
Simple Online Marketing Strategy
Are You Using YouTube in Your Real Estate Marketing?
Leveraging LinkedIn To Build Your Business