You know how a couple of tablespoons of spoiled milk can turn your whole fridge into a sour cavern? Well, the same thing can happen with your social media plan. If you don’t stay up to date, one annoying practice can undermine all the other good stuff you’re doing.
The problem is knowing what’s spoiled and what isn’t. Now, it’s not every day that social media “gurus” are willing to admit they were wrong. That’s why I was pretty quick to download David Spark’s free new book, Hazardous to Your Social Media Health: 50 Previously Condoned Behaviors We No Longer Recommend (February 2014: Spark Media Solutions).
One of the first items to catch my attention was how right up front, before you even get into the good stuff, Spark sets out to help you avoid the all-too-common speed-reading phenomenon:
“Don’t just skim the section headlines and fool yourself and others into believing you read this e-book,” Spark demands. He jokes about adding in “facial recognition and eye-tracking technology” to make sure readers obey. Now, there are some books I read and others I skim. When an author asks me to take the time to read all 55 pages of a short book, I am generally willing to comply. After reading through it, I was actively working on this review when I got an e-mail from the author.
“Thanks so much for downloading a copy of ‘Hazardous to Your Social Media Health.’ Did you get a chance to read it two times? Just once? OK, that’s cool,” Spark wrote. “Do you agree with the ‘how not to do’ tips? Disagree? Thought I left something out? Am I brilliant? Am I full of it? A little of both?”
At this point, I looked over my shoulder to make sure Spark wasn’t watching me type my response. Continue reading »
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.
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.” Continue reading »
I’ve been working on my review of Jay Baer’s Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help, Not Hype (Portfolio/Penguin, 2013) for several weeks. It’s not that it’s overly long or difficult; really, my problem has been the opposite. It’s so packed with great anecdotes and insights that I’ve been slow to pick out just what I want to say about it.
Enter Chris Nichols. Literally. Nichols walked into our offices last week as the guest editor for the September/October issue of REALTOR® Magazine, and he came in to share some thoughts about the upcoming publication and the real estate industry in general. And he turned out to be just the kick in the pants I needed to write up my thoughts on Baer’s book.
In addition to being active in real estate, Nichols is also running for mayor of Orem, Utah. As a result, he had some interesting thoughts on using social media to achieve marketing goals both from a political and business perspective. So it’s no wonder that when Jay Baer spoke at a real estate conference Nichols attended this year, he was pretty pumped about the author’s message.
See, Baer’s whole theory on social media marketing is that people are not going to listen to your messages unless they are useful to them personally. He suggests that companies package information in a way that consumers appreciate:
“What if you decided to inform, rather than promote?” Baer asks in his introduction. “If you sell something, you make a customer for today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.” Continue reading »
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.” Continue reading »
Well, let’s face it: You think of yourself as a real estate professional, but if you measure your time by the activities you perform, interacting with customers and clients might only be second on your list. The cold, hard truth of the matter is that secretly, you’re a professional driver. And finally there’s a book for you.
Slate transportation columnist Tom Vanderbilt’s Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) (Vintage Books, 2009) may have a pedestrian title, but when you start reading, the rubber quickly hits the road. We take our time behind the wheel for granted, and Vanderbilt opens up our blind spots to full view. What does it take to communicate while we’re driving? Why does the other lane always move faster? How do traffic engineers (yes, there is such a thing) manipulate us while we drive? What do those endless ribbons of steel on our streets and highways have in common with ants … or grains of rice?
Vanderbilt eases us into his lane by suggesting that traffic is the original social networking. It may not have Like buttons and retweets, but it has a vocabulary all its own nonetheless, never quite as obvious as we think it is. We have a few lights and a horn designed to be startling at best and obnoxious at worst. After that, whether we’re zooming along or crawling into merged lanes, all we can do is gesture with these mobile machines, hoping the drivers around us guess our needs—a lane change, more space around our vehicles. Continue reading »
There’s a lot of information packed into the REALTORS® Conference & Expo preview in the September/October issue of REALTOR® Magazine. The whole issue is organized around education, and while most real estate professionals can’t help but learn something new every day, that daily learning experience pushes into high gear at NAR’s annual conference.
But, since the latest issue isn’t in your hands yet, I thought I might share a special sneak preview from one of the featured conference presenters. Mark Leader is a contributing author for the new book Concrete Jungle: Survival Secrets for the Real World, and will be explaining the creation and maintenance of social capital in Orlando this November. The entirety of chapter four of the book is an interview with Leader titled, “Social Capital: How to Build and Maintain Professional Relationships.”
Of course, there are a lot of people talking about relationship building in one’s neighborhood, both on the block and online. What Leader adds to the conversation is explaining how it works and why:
It’s as if you walked into a room where everyone was shallow and self-serving, rather than trying to fit in, you could be the one person everyone remembers as genuine and comfortable to be around.
The best thing about the interview setting of this chapter is that it gives an idea of how Leader embodies the advice he’s giving. Sure, it’s easy to say that the hard sell doesn’t work in social media, but what are the concrete steps a salesperson can follow to truly build social capital? Leader offers these ten principles:
- Put relationships ahead of financial gain
- Have a burning desire to be of service
- Accept no favors from anyone without providing favors in return
- Pick your battles: Never enter into disagreements with clients about trivial matters
- Never flatter a customer for the purpose of gaining something
- Never compliment friends and associates unless it’s genuine
- Never give it away for free
- Live out your social ideals every day
- Constantly focus on speaking optimism and joy…
- …and your enthusiasm will become contagious.
Why should you consider checking him out at the conference? Well, in this chapter, Leader offers this pretty compelling “guarantee” to readers:
You can send me into any marketplace in California, Florida, Ontario, British Columbia, or you could send me into Southfield, Michigan, and I guarantee you I will have the salespeople do more business than the average REALTOR® would do during the best of times.
But for myself, and perhaps my fellow book scanners, Leader’s concentration on lifelong learning might be the best indication of what may just end up being an unmissable conference moment:
I try to read a new book on a regular basis and I pay attention to what others who have been down this road before me have to say.
This confirms my long-held suspicion that leaders read. So, follow Mark Leader’s lead and start loading your Kindle and picking up good reads for the road. The REALTORS® Conference & Expo will be here before you know it.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of the book “Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust” (Wiley, 2009) by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Looking for insight on how to build a good online reputation through social networks that helps boost your brand? This book offers answers on how a business can gain positive influence (and profit) online.
How Humans Shape the Web
Although the general public’s level of mistrust is at an all-time high, there are individuals and companies who do successfully use the Internet to establish levels of trust in the communities where they operate. In the technology sector, a person such as Robert Scoble (circa Microsoft days) stands out as someone who, by the nature of how he communicated about his formerly faceless company, developed a strong level of trust among his online community. In the United Kingdom, JP Rangaswami is managing director of BT Design for BT Group. His blog, Confused of Calcutta, is often about cricket, music, food, and many things not related to a major telecommunications company; yet, because of his stories and conversational writing tone, we trust Rangaswami and have a positive opinion about BT.
Those who are most familiar with the digital space—we refer to them as ‘‘digital natives’’—have become accustomed to a new level of transparency. They operate under the assumption that everything they do will eventually be known online. Realizing they are unable to hide anything, they choose not to try. Instead, they leverage the way the Web connects us and ties our information together to help turn transparency into an asset for doing business. Continue reading »
By Erica Christoffer, Contributing Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
- By next year, Generation Y will outnumber Baby Bombers. And 96 percent of Gen Y has joined a social network.
- If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest in the world.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and has 100 million videos.
- Approximately 25 percent of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.
Erik Qualman uncovered these startling statistics and more, which he lays out in his new book Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business (Wiley, 2009). Social media has created a fundamental shift in how people communicate, Qualman says. One only needs to look as far as Qualman’s Socialnomics YouTube video that went viral just weeks after its release, topping out at nearly 1 million views. He believes that soon people will not have to search for news, products, and services — but rather news, products, and services will find them via social media. Thus, in order to be successful in business today and in the future, the social interaction with potential clients must be embraced.
What was your first social media experience and what were your thoughts at that time?
QUALMAN: I joined MySpace, like a lot of people, in 2005. An 18-year-old introduced it to me and it was like she was addicted to crack. She’d always have to check her MySpace to see if she had more friends or to see in anyone commented. It was obvious to me that it was something big, especially for someone to be so ingratiated with it. I hopped on and it made sense to me right away. It wasn’t a surprise once Facebook opened up their platform to go beyond just college students that Facebook became so popular. Then the world was turned on its head when they opened up their application program interface to allow anybody to write applications for Facebook. That decision was so far reaching that it actually caused Apple, which has typically been a very closed environment, to open up and allow others the ability to code applications for the iPhone. That was really the game changer. Continue reading »
By Shane Singh, Editorial Intern, REALTOR® Magazine
Let’s face it: Between using Twitter to advertise properties and Facebook as a way to get more exposure, the real estate industry–and the globe, for that matter–has gone social networking crazy. In The Connectors (Wiley, 2009), however, author Maribeth Kuzmeski argues the importance of connecting, rather than just networking. “We have a tendency to brush off the importance our ability to connect and create relationships as a key contributor and explanation for business success,” Kuzmeski writes. “True connections need to be made with feeling and purpose and honesty.” The Connectors is both instructional and psychological, breaking down the art of connecting via a series of short chapters, step-by-step guides, and personal assessment questionnaires. Using Kuzmeski’s own research, the book dissects all aspects of the business-client relationship, from understanding customers’ motives better to managing your time with them.
FROM THE BOOK: 5 WAYS TO BE A BETTER CONNECTOR
It doesn’t matter if you’re not a “people person,” you can still be a connector. When you connect, you’re not connecting with everyone, but focusing on your relationship with a few select clients. Here are five of Kuzmeski’s tips on how to be a great connector: Continue reading »