If You’re Only Going to Do One Thing in Social Media…
This morning, I read with great interest a post from one of our competitors called “What is Social Media Priority Number 1 for Real Estate Professionals?”
Here’s the key quote from that post:
That’s why I argue that if you’re only going to do one thing on social media, let it be LinkedIn.
Why LinkedIn Isn’t the Best Option
Here’s why I think LinkedIn is not the best place to start for a real estate professional looking to get into Social Media:
- It’s not a very social site. That is, it is not very “conversational,” nor is it dynamic.
- The sheer gross metrics in terms of “where the people are:” As of August 2010, LinkedIn has 75M registered users, while Twitter had 190M users in July 2010 and Facebook had a staggering 500M users in July 2010.
- I spend a large percentage of my time on this very topic – how to leverage Social Media effectively in real estate – and LinkedIn is almost NEVER mentioned as a PRIMARY Social Media strategy. It IS frequently mentioned…but in a secondary, “Oh, yeah, you should have a LinkedIn profile, too” sort of way.
That is NOT to say that LinkedIn is a bad site. Not at all! On the contrary, it’s a great site for what it is intended to be: in my opinion, an online resume, more or less, and a place where people go to do “career-building” stuff.
But, compared to Facebook and Twitter, for example, I just don’t see a lot of interaction taking place on LinkedIn. Personally, I ONLY use LinkedIn to check out people’s profiles, and I only do that rarely, when I cannot find enough of what I’m looking for after reviewing a person’s Twitter profile and or Facebook page. And I am aware that LinkedIn includes other features…but “my crowd” in Social Media has simply never led me to participate in those things, for whatever reason.
Three Alternatives Better Than LinkedIn
Having said that, here are the top three things I would recommend to an agent wishing to leverage Social Media effectively:
- Consistently engage on Facebook. As noted above, Facebook is almost seven times larger than LinkedIn. In fact, people now spend more time on Facebook than they do on Google! That being said, there is no better place to connect and engage with people in Social Media than on Facebook. For me, Facebook is the ultimate “B2C” site.
- Consistently engage on Twitter. Twitter’s growth is exploding. As you can see in the chart below, “Tweets per Month” have more than doubled during 2010, from 1.23 Billion per Month in January to 2.64 Billion per Month in August. That’s extraordinary, and shows how interactive and dynamic Twitter is. Further, as noted above, Twitter has 250% more users than LinkedIn. For me, Twitter is the ultimate “B2B” site.
- Write a blog. If you have the ability to blog consistently, I believe that blogging (or vlogging) is probably the best way to attract clients over the long haul, and the best part is that, once you have enough of a “foundation” established, it can continue to bring in real estate leads without as much required maintenance. When you consistently put out quality content that reinforces that YOU are the trusted expert on real estate in YOUR market, clients will be automatically drawn to you. And this isn’t just opinion. Here are two well known agents – Jay Thompson (@phxREguy) from Phoenix, and Jeff Bernheisel (@JBern) from Portland – who are using a blog to create 90% – yes, 90%! – of their current real estate business:
I followed up with Thompson to see if he had additional comments. Here’s what he had to say:
I think Twitter and Facebook are vastly superior to LinkedIn for actively engaging with other people — which is where the real power of social media lies. And blogging is still the ultimate way to disseminate information (and highlight your expertise, and build your brand, and put your personality online). I do think that LinkedIn is under-utilized and does present some good networking possibilities, but the fact that it is under-utilized is another reason why Twitter, Facebook and blogging are better alternatives, not only for the beginner, but for the experienced agent as well.
Facebook, Twitter and Blogging
As an aside, I am in the midst of a speaking tour (called Agent Reboot and hosted by Inman News) on this very topic, and this is what I have shared with audiences in San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and Portland. I’ve had the chance to meet a number of people who are leveraging Social Media effectively, and I would invite them to post comments to this blog post indicating whether they agree or disagree with my opinion. What I’ve heard from these other professionals has only served to reinforce my opinions on this timely topic.
As a final comment, please note that I am NOT anti-LinkedIn! I love it, in fact!
But I just don’t think it’s the right place to start for a real estate professional looking to leverage the full power of Social Media…and it certainly would not be what I would suggest a Realtor do if they were only going to do “one thing” in Social Media…