Social Media Advice That Will Never Go Out of Style

I was reading The Art of Social Selling: Finding and Engaging Customers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Other Social Networks (Amacom, 2014) by Shannon Belew last week and I was struck by a familiar feeling. It wasn’t déjà vu exactly, but something similar. I realized that a lot of authors who are trying to tell us how to use social media in the business world are saying the same thing in different ways.

Credit: Laughlin Elkind, 2004

Let’s take one small portion of this big book of social networking advice for example. One of my favorite elements of Belew’s book is the list of ten “most important rules for online social interactions.” She writes that she came up with the list after talking to a large number of social media experts. So it totally makes sense that her list would remind me of all the other social media experts and new marketing gurus that we’ve been talking to and reading up on here at the Book Scan. Since you can’t get Belew’s book until Jan. 9, 2014, I decided to link two of the most universal rules in her excellent list with some older Book Scan reviews and interviews, to tide you over until the new year. After all, three experts are better than one, right?

Rule #1: Be Genuine

Belew: “When jumping into social media conversations, people sometimes forgo their otherwise good judgement and decide that this is the time they are going to try their hand at being a stand up comedian or political pundit. But let’s be clear: Your social networking persona should be an extension of your actual personality.”

Author Jennifer Allan: “Be yourself and trust your gut and your intuition. Create a real estate career around who you are as opposed to what someone else tells you who you need to be.”

Lindsay Listanski, manager of social media for Coldwell Banker: “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.’”

Rule #6: Be Helpful

Belew: “When you think about a social networking site, such as Twitter, think about its origins. It was intended to be an open system for sharing information with others by using short messages. Most social networks are based on that same concept of sharing information, events and images that are meaningful to your circle of contacts. That’s why one of the ten rules for having a positive interaction is about helping others.”

REALTOR® and September/October 2013 guest editor Chris Nichols: “So many people approach [social media] from a taker’s standpoint, [but] the ‘unfriend’ button is real easy to push… You look at the people who are successful with social media, and they are the givers.”

REALTOR® and author Mario Jannatpour: “Think of it as pulling clients to you based on your knowledge and expertise rather than pushing yourself and constantly tooting your own horn. Push marketing is old school and in today’s fast-paced world of social media consumption, people are tuning out this style of marketing very quickly.”

To get Belew’s eight other rules for interacting online along with tons of other social selling advice, you can pre-order copies of her book here.

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]

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

  1. I am interested to see the other 8

  2. scott gold

    I like that you used a Burning man photo

  3. Lindsay

    Thanks for including me Meg. Happy new year!

  4. Hi Meg, Thanks so much for sharing my book, The Art of Social Selling. I would like to add that the heart of selling through social media is about building meaningful relationships and becoming a trusted adviser to your customers/clients. That’s something good sales people (and Realtors!) already do well – so it’s simply a matter of transitioning those skills online. I wrote the book to (hopefully) help others understand that social media should be another tool in their sales strategy – and that success through social selling is definitely obtainable. Best wishes to you and all of your Realtors in 2014! And feel free to connect with me on Twitter (@ShannonBelew) or LinkedIn.

  5. Many of the articles and books I’ve read have been quite contradictory however the tips in your blog hold true and should just be common sense. The key is to come up with original content and engage the reader with a tidbit of information they actually want to know more about. It seems like a lot of realtors fall victim to retweeting & regurgitating information they read somewhere else