Last night, my husband Dan and I went to our friends’ house to visit them and their new baby. When it was Dan’s turn to hold the little bundle of joy, I told him, “Hold still! I need to get a picture of this!”
Then I quickly snapped a shot with my smartphone, trying to catch both Dan and the baby in a happy moment. Husbands and babies can be awfully squirmy, you know, so timing is everything.
As soon as I took the picture, Dan went back to causally conversing with our friends. A few seconds later, he felt a buzz in his pocket and stopped talking to check his phone.
He shot me an accusatory glance. “Already?” he exclaimed when he saw the email notifying him that I’d tagged him in a picture on Facebook.
I just shrugged. “Yep.”
This is our new reality.
With each passing moment, social media becomes more and more integrated into our daily lives. As a real estate agent, this is the new (and easy) way to communicate with your prospects and clients. If you haven’t already gotten involved, I strongly urge you to start using social media to communicate. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas.
Facebook. With 800 billion users worldwide and counting, Facebook is clearly the spearhead in the social media craze. The Facebook community is a social media phenomenon unlike any other — people almost literally live on Facebook, and with Facebook’s new Timeline feature, users are able to share lay out their entire lives in digital form for all their friends to see. This is beneficial to you because it shows you what is important to your clients so you can engage with them better. And, there are Facebook apps for almost every smartphone which makes staying in touch that much easier!
Twitter. A bit younger than Facebook, Twitter is a way to share “tweets”, little short bits of information with a 140 character max, with those who follow you. When Twitter first launched, it was web based with a cell phone component — tweets could be read on the Twitter homepage or be sent straight to people’s phones as text messages. While that element is still available, Twitter apps have made browsing through tweets on phones a lot more convenient. Have a listing you’re excited about? Tweet something short about it! It might excite your followers enough to check it out. Plus, if you see any of your followers tweeting about their struggles in searching for a new home, you can reply to them publicly or send them a direct message. An added bonus to cut down on confusion: Twitter’s web interface has changed drastically since it’s initial launch. At the time of this writing, it is taking on a Facebook-ish look, so if you’re familiar with Facebook, you should be able to navigate Twitter as well.
Google+. Speaking of platforms that mirror Facebook, Google+ (whose layout is very much like Facebook’s, with a Google touch) is the newest kid in the social media classroom. Though it’s still catching on, Google+ allows users to share posts with certain “circles,” or, groups of people. For instance, you could group your Google+ friends by putting family members in a circle labeled “Family,” which would allow you to share pictures of your kids with ease. Similarly, you could have a “Real Estate Business” circle and post your listings for only those people to see.
The bottom line is that social media is the easiest (and cheapest!) way to reach your clients and prospective clients. It’s a great way to build relationships with these people that could possibly escalate into a business exchange. Make 2012 the year that you convert more leads on social media!