Busting Your Social Media Misconceptions

Credit: Sean R. Nicholson

This week, I read through a cool little e-pamphlet called The New Age of Real Estate Communication: A Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Communicating with Social Media. Written by Lindsay Listanski, manager of social media for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, the piece is actually categorized as a “white paper.” I personally found it to be far too engaging for that yawn-inducing word, but no matter. This compendium is fun to read and full of interesting facts and helpful hints to incorporate in your online media strategy. Best of all: It’s free! Download it or read it online here.

Listanski does a great job busting some common social media misconceptions. I picked out my favorites from her piece to share here, so that you can use her advice to turn an online networking wrong into a right.

People don’t want to talk business in the social media environment.

Wrong! Listanski cites a recent study that found “80 percent of social media users prefer to connect with brands through Facebook” (emphasis mine).

You need as many friends and followers as possible.

Similar to advice that we’ve given over at the magazine: “Remember, quality over quantity. People often have the misconception they need 1,000 friends or their efforts are wasted. The key is ensuring that your audience, regardless of the number, is highly engaged.”

Social media is just for young people.

Surprisingly enough, Listanski notes it’s almost the opposite. “Although it is natural for younger digital natives to embrace social media, they are not really the group that needs it because they are connected at all times. It is for people who have been out of college for years, who are working and do not have time to connect all day in person or on the phone who can receive the biggest benefit social media offers.”

You can write one social media remark and syndicate it automatically throughout all your networks.

Well, technically you can; there are several platforms out there to help busy people do just that. But each network has its own strengths and weaknesses, and a post from one won’t work the same way it does in another. Listanski gives us this example: “Unlike Twitter and Instagram, which thrive on hashtags, Pinterest users search for photos in a way similar to Google searches. Keywords and pin descriptions are very important.”

You have a business page, so you don’t need a personal Facebook page.

Actually, it’s the other way around: “As a real estate professional it is your job to have friends. The more friends you have, the better your business. I believe one could have both but it is important to start with a friend page because it allows for you to see what your network is talking about. A business page doesn’t allow you to monitor your friend’s activity which removes one of the greatest benefits social media has to offer.”

The prospecting process can be completely converted to tweets, comments, and updates.

It’s a good place to start. But Listanski suggests that after you begin a conversation about a prospect’s new baby or about how much they hate their rental, you need to “take the conversation offline and pick up the phone or meet in person to discuss what their plans are for the future.”

You should just hire someone to do all this for you.

Oh, wouldn’t that be nice? But… “Hiring someone to manage your social media communications is like hiring someone to speak for you. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of talented social media consultants who can help with strategy but to take a quote from Dr. Seuss, ‘Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.’”

Meg White

Meg White is the managing editor for REALTOR® Magazine and administrator of the magazine's Weekly Book Scan blog. Contact her at mwhite[at]realtors.org.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

  1. Thank you for covering my paper Meg! I am thrilled you enjoyed it and hope it will help real estate pros enhance their business, build and strengthen relationships, all while having fun.

  2. So true … great post. Automation sounds great, but doesn’t always translate well to all the different platforms and I definitely agree … quality is king / queen over numbers.

  3. Have to agree with you on everything but your last statement. As an agent do you have the time to post 100’s of photo’s and multiple listings across multiple blogs and sites?

    Hiring a Social Media Consultant to post information for Search Engines with the proper keyword tags is essential in moving up on sites. Like most business owners who think that Social Media is just Facebook and Twitter its way more.

    I post for one agent and in the last 2 month have posted over 20k pieces of information for the Search Engines and have moved him up in several important location based Keywords which is essential. Posting information is one thing pretending to be someone is not what that part of Social Media is about.

    #internetguru4u #socialmedia

  4. I see your point, Kevin. But I don’t think Lindsay was dismissing your profession in any way. In fact, she says that “there are plenty of talented social media consultants who can help with strategy.” I got the impression that she was trying to make the point that business professionals should speak in their own voices on social.

    But thanks for your input. I feel like lots of people don’t quite understand the role of social media strategists, so it’s always good to hear that point of view, too!

  5. You are absolutely spot on Meg. It is like you read my mind 🙂

  6. Hey! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would
    be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying yur blog and look forward to
    new posts.

  7. Jacob

    Canadian real estate agents can use Agent iFrame to add listings to social media. It’s one of the best deals out there for about the cost of a latte each month. Add your listings anywhere you can paste HTML.