I could write a couple of paragraphs that explain the grandiose potential of social media for your business. And all of that would be true. But instead, let's point out a few facts.
Secret #1 of Social Media:
It's not easy. It requires time, effort, and discipline. What? You say you don't have much of any of that? Well, that's a problem. Especially when you've been told that you HAVE to be active in social media to be successful.
After all, social media is only the most important communication platform and business tool since the advent of the Internet. And before that, the telephone. By the way...the telephone is still around and most older adults prefer you use it over other forms of communication.
Even worse, you can throw away the idea that you're going to start posting on a couple of platforms and then kick back as clients flood you with inquiries. That's probably not going to happen. So why even bother? Maybe you shouldn't.
It May Not Work for You
Unless you are willing to commit and view social media as a long-term, strategic part of your growth plan that requires planting and constant nurturing - with a harvest time in the very distant future - it most likely will show few results for any real estate professional. Yes, you probably would be better off to just ignore it if you feel unable to make any time or financial space for it. The cold, hard fact is that people are not going to flock to your page, anxious and out-of-breath to clog up their feed with pictures of houses for sale and posts from a real estate agent.
Considering that I'm someone who makes a significant part of my income helping Certified Senior Housing Professionals and other agents grow and manage their social media, I wonder if this all sounds overly negative? I hope not. I'm a big fan of social media and what it can do for building your public platform. But the question is, what are you going to do for it?
Secret #3 of Social Media
The Word “Social” is Included for a Reason
It denotes the idea that you must be “social” in order to use it effectively.
One of the biggest mistakes that most people make is failing to be “social” on their social media feeds. While it's important to showcase yourself as a real, transparent, human being with your posts, there's a far simpler way to be social and develop new relationships while strengthening older ones online:
Worry LESS about what YOU have to say and are posting, and MORE about what OTHERS are sharing.
In other words, spend less time fretting over your own posts and more time COMMENTING on and sharing the posts of others. (Ok... moment of truth...this is the HARDEST part for me to do - its' so much easier to just post something. Ugh).
The people and businesses that you follow should be a mix of people and businesses you know combined with those that are strangers. That's how you stay in touch with and strengthen your current relationships - while also building brand new ones.
If you're especially pressed for time daily, don't waste it trying to come up with the perfect post for yourself. Instead, dedicate 10 or 15 minutes each day to scrolling through your news feed and offering short little comments on the posts of others.
Think about it: aren't you always somewhat saddened or even offended if no one Likes or Comments on a post you've shared? The simple fact is that everyone wants their posts to be recognized! It just makes them feel good. So take a few seconds and type an occasional “nice picture” or “beautiful family” or “good luck on the sale.”
A Like, Share, or Comment goes a long way in building good will, relationships, and sociability. And, over time, this repeated action will help you get to know new people, and be presented with new opportunities. You'll discover that people and businesses you don't already know begin to follow you because you've been polite and social enough to comment on their posts.
|Nikki Buckelew is the Founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute and administrator for the Certified Senior Housing Professional® (CSHP) designation. A veteran REALTOR® of over two decades, she holds a bachelor’s degree in gerontology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. As a professional speaker, coach, and trainer, Nikki is committed to empowering, equipping, and educating real estate sales and senior housing professionals seeking to better serve the mature market segment.