Managing Your Social Media Posts

Managing Your Social Media Posts

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The following is an excerpt from “Do You Have a Minute? An Award-Winning Real Estate Managing Broker Reveals Keys for Industry Success”

Since the creation of Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006, social media has grown exponentially with millions of people posting stories, pictures, videos, advertisements, and other media online. For most of us, checking our social media accounts is part of the daily routine, and the use of social media platforms continues to grow.

Social media plays a big role in real estate agents’ marketing and advertising efforts. It has become a primary advertising tool for listings, as well as for promoting an agent’s business. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer private pages for agents to post about issues they are facing in the local real estate market, as well as request recommendations for home inspectors, structural engineers, handymen, and other service providers. Social media has replaced the water cooler, picture album, and office bulletin boards of years past.

I scroll through my social media accounts every day. I try not to spend too much time on them as I discovered early on they are “time suckers” taking me away from more meaningful and productive activities. I participate in social media sites used for personal and family postings and several professional sites used to acquire and disseminate information from other real estate professionals and industry leaders. Sometimes I find the viewing enjoyable and entertaining and other times troubling.

There is no question that all aspects of social media are part of our everyday lives — so much so that people’s daily routines and experiences are being played out on social media sites like never before. This is all well and good, but some degree of caution should be exercised before we put something out there for all to see.

Some of the threads I regularly see on these sites are from a wide variety of people, including close friends, acquaintances, and fellow agents, as well as complete strangers. Many of the comments contain strong opinions on social, political, and ideological issues that may be viewed by some as inappropriate and insulting and may possibly harm long-standing relationships. On a regular basis, I read threads full of arguments and heated discussions that go on and on with insults and insinuations that genuinely “cross the line.” Some of these come from my fellow real estate agents.

You need to keep in mind that your personal posts can be seen by many people, including your current and past clients, prospects, and friends who might refer future business to you. If one of your posts appears to be on a controversial subject with a disagreeing or differing point of view from your client, it could easily backfire and cause damage to your relationship with the client and possibly do damage to your business.

Also, there are others out in cyberspace reading your posts or viewing your videos. Poor judgment may also hinder your real estate career. As a managing broker, I review social media accounts before and after hiring agents. I have great concern when I see something that is incongruent with the values of our company. If a current agent is posting inappropriately, I will have a serious discussion with them and, at times, take corrective action or release their real estate license from the firm. And, I am not alone. Almost all employers in every industry now review social media before deciding to hire an employee.

I know we all have opinions and want to share those opinions with others. However, remember who is looking at your posts. Our businesses depend on getting referrals from those we know — and many of these folks are on social media. Once it is out there, it’s out there. Yes, you can take your post down, but remember anyone can take a screenshot of what you posted. The old saying, “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted,” applies here.

As a real estate professional, keep your posts neutral and non-controversial. Always assume your clients and fellow agents are reading your posts and viewing your videos. If you create a fire on social media with opinions and conversations that are contentious, you might find yourself trying to fix the damage that could be irreparable.

-JMG

Click here to purchase a copy of my book “Do You Have a Minute?” in paperback, Kindle or audiobook format.

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