Friends, Connections, Followers Oh My!
I remember the good old days when you had to get to know someone before you would be considered friends. And if you were being followed by someone it was grounds for calling the Police. Today all you need to do is click a button. Voila! We’re Friends! And people want to be followed. Times certainly have changed.
We’re firmly rooted in the era of Social Media. The core idea behind Social Networks was simply to be social online. A place where friends could connect and communicate. There were social networks long before Facebook and Twitter but none experienced the adoption and reach that these two social giants are experiencing today. And where there are people there are businesses that want to advertise. They want to find a seat between two friends. Maybe interrupt a good conversation from time to time with messages of goodwill and better discounts. Social Networking has changed too.
I have spent a lot of time talking to agents and brokers about social media and what it really means for them. Most have accounts on Facebook and Twitter because they’ve been told they have to. A majority of them have not discovered the true benefits of social media. Since many Realtors operate as small businesses they are very sensitive about time. Especially the time they waste that bears little or no fruit. There are some Realtors who have invested heavily in social media. And by investing I mean they have committed to a process of being consistently active. This can be a heavy time commitment. Not everyone has that luxury.
Being visible online is simply marketing. Being social is a two way conversation. These are two very different things. If you have deep pockets you can easily be visible. There are a lot of advertising spaces social sites would be happy to sell you. Being social is a process of managing a steady stream of valuable content and engaging in conversations. This is a process that many agents are failing at. I’m following over a thousand agents and brokers on my Twitter account and only a couple of them stand out it my mind. The one’s who stand out consistently post valuable content that is not only relevant to their businesses but resourceful to their followers. And with a steady stream of interesting content comes the opportunity to engage their followers in conversation.
The typical Twitter engagement I see from most agents goes something like this:
- They follow me.
- I extend the courtesy and follow back.
- They thank me for the follow through a tweet or message and ask me to like their Facebook page.
- They disappear
This is just a chore with no real benefits. Some feel the optics of having a lot of followers is good for business so they repeat the cycle of follow/follow back. Can you really quantify this? Are actual leads generated from this process? Most agents I have spoken to say NO! Building a solid list of followers is a process. The mechanics of which are quite repetitive if the focus is solely on the follow/follow back game.
Committing to maintaining a useful stream of relevant content is the breaking point for many Realtors. I look at it as Social Networking vs. Social Management. The attempts to be social often trump the process of managing a successful social campaign. These are the ones that jump online for brief moments at a time, add a few new followers, post a listing or two then disappear for a couple of weeks. This is truly a waste of time and a recipe for social failure. They may add some friends but they’re certainly not promoting their businesses.
We recognised this is a real challenge for many Realtors. More often than not it is simply an issue of time and resources. Great agents with busy schedules and little time to manage their online profiles or resources to outsource these tasks. Smart brokers with a lot of great information to share but little time to keep their social accounts flowing. Home Adnet was born out of this basic need. We thought about focusing on a social network specifically for Realtors but quickly realised there was more to the equation. Realtors need help with their social management. They need an efficient process to get online, stay online and maintain visibility. They need tools that minimize redundancies and maximizes exposure for their businesses. We focused all of our tools around the need for content management and how this could integrate with the social experience. Consider these points:
- Businesses put content on their websites because they want people to see it.
- Businesses create Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to promote this content.
- Businesses create this content to drive inbound opportunities for new business.
If anywhere throughout this cycle there is a breakdown it can work against the business’ potential to reach new prospects. Facebook and Twitter accounts with little or no activity can actually work to drive leads away if not managed properly. It can create the false appearance of an empty store. In most cases this is not the reality. However, busy Realtors don’t always have the time to manage their social media accounts. If a prospective new client is doing research online to find a new agent you can see how not managing your accounts can scare hot prospects away. Especially when a competitor is doing a better job managing their social media. And it is important to understand that a properly managed social strategy actually helps your overall SEO. Your search rankings are simulated simply by the fact you have increased the number of times your content can be found.
The good news is Home Adnet is here to help. Home Adnet’s goal is to help Realtors’ content management workflows by combining social and web content tasks. We have integrated a website builder, blogger, property listings manager and social dashboard all in one application. And it’s FREE to use. By committing to keep your content current you get the added benefits of regular social account updates. Enter in a new listing and it shows up on your Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts with a single click. Write a new blog and the link is shared across all of your connected accounts. Schedule an open house and Home Adnet will broadcast all of the details to your chosen social media accounts. It’s a smart workflow that keeps your social media accounts active with all of your important information. The types of content it broadcasts is fully customizable by you. Your Home Adnet account also delivers a fully functioning website with all of the features you need to promote your Real Estate business. If you are happy with your current website you can still take advantage of the many features and networking opportunities our platform offers by utilizing our tools to promote your main website. Remember, the more relevant content that can be found by search engines means more inbound opportunities for you.
With other features like SEO management, Mobile and a Niche Real Estate Social Network Home Adnet’s free account model will surely define how Realtors market their businesses.
Thanks for reading!