Today, I got an email, generated by Facebook (or really by someone I’m friends with on Facebook) suggesting that I become a Facebook fan of a deli meat. Nope. I only wish I was kidding. I did not choose to become a fan. I’d never even tasted the stuff.
In stark contrast, my real estate agent (the one who I worked with when I bought my home) recently sent me a request to write a recommendation for him on Linked In. So, I did. I wrote him a glowing recommendation saying that I’d bought and sold and bought real estate again with his services helping me along the way and that I’d be happy to provide a direct reference if anyone wanted to call or email me.
Well, let’s examine these two instances. In the first case, someone asked me to become a fan (doing so requires 2 mouse clicks on Facebook, so long as you’re already logged in). The second required about 15 minutes of my time. I had to think and write a paragraph about the realtor. I wanted it to really be something that helped him.
You see, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do Social Media. This is true for real estate and for other industries as well. When you’re in professional services, you’re better off having some strong and heart felt recommendations, from people who really mean it, than just having followers, fans, or friends. On both Linked In and Facebook, it’s easy to have people write positive reviews about your company. If you need help setting up a Facebook fan page, give us a call.
The idea that you need 1,000,000 friends and/or followers is fine, but what you really need to start with is some good friends and some great testimonials. Ask some past clients to write recommendations, not just on Linked In, but use the space on Facebook and other sites to do the same.
The fact is that lots of people use Facebook and Linked In nowadays to ‘check you out.’ If someone recommended a real estate agent to me, the first thing I would do is look for a website, then I’d check them out on Linked In, then maybe Facebook if I hadn’t found anything yet. I’d also probably Google their name, just to be safe.
I once heard a story about a person Googling a realtor’s name and finding an article about them tampering with a gas meter. I doubt they got hired.
So, it comes down to this: As much as you can, shape what people will find about you when they search for you on the web. This includes Social Media, of course. BTW, if you look for Rich Haen, my real estate agent on Google, you find his website, then his Facebook page. He’s learned well!