Marketing

Breaking through the haze of social media confusion

Author
Marc Davison
No.
370
Date
06/06/09

Since I don’t live in the Bay Area – where I hear posting Yelp reviews like this is prevalent – I snapped this photo prior to entering Damon and Pythias in Calabasas on my way home from a full week of meetings with brokers.

It got me thinking.

photo2

Breaking through the haze of social media confusion

As part of an all-day comprehensive analysis we offer brokers, drilling down deep into their systems, Websites, marketing, technology, vendors, etc., I spend time with their agents attempting to gain a deeper understanding of the broker brand and what it means from their perspective. Through this exchange I also gain insight into their understanding of social media.

Out of the four hundred agents I spoke with this past week, only eighteen dabbled in SM. Out of those eighteen, only three do it right. If you are Gabe Filkey doing it right leads to closed transactions.

Three out of four hundred. Wow. Something’s not clicking for me. After all, agents love people. It’s why they got into real estate to begin with. Many built their careers knocking on hundreds of doors a month for years. So how is it possible that these very same people are so reluctant to socialize online?

Can it be they don’t like change? I don’t buy it.

I asked the agents I met with to talk to me about social media. This is what they believe:

  • Social media is “stupid” and “full of people writing nonsense about what they are doing at any given moment.”
  • It’s a huge time suck and they can’t imagine where they would find the time to invest in it when they already work around the clock.
  • They think social media is a generational thing and many felt they were “too old” to learn new tricks. They don’t see how it can help sell houses.

And the big shocker was many saw no point in revealing personal things about themselves to others, which I found absurd considering the kooky things they already do and reveal about themselves on websites, billboards, etc.

My sense was that everyone I spoke with suffered from one thing: Confusion.

So I put it to them as simply as possible.

The first time you receive a comment on a blog post telling you how good it was, watch how much time you’ll find to write another one.

The first time a long-lost friend from college locates you on Facebook and coincidentally happens to be in the market to buy a home, watch how fast you start friending everyone you’ve ever met.

The first time someone posts a question on Twitter about your community and you respond seconds later with precise information that turns them into a follower, notice how your slogan, which has sat dormant on your business card forever, begins to glow with meaning.

It took mere minutes to get them through their haze of confusion. That’s because they all really want to get it. And if your experience is that they don’t get it, perhaps you haven’t done a good enough job explaining it.

No limits

Maybe blogging isn’t your thing. Or sitting around Facebooking with others just doesn’t suit you. And I get the fact that Twitter can be addictive. The incoming rush of tweets can derail your day if you let it.

So set up a profile on Yelp. Leave reviews of establishments in your area. It takes seconds and exposes you to a whole new audience through information that is uniquely yours. It’s locked up inside your head screaming to be let out.

Yesterday, Angie W. was a complete stranger. Last night I met her through my Yelp iPhone App. And as a result I enjoyed a great dinner. I even ordered the marinated steak sandwich she herself reviewed. I now trust Angie W’s taste. And will eat anywhere else she recommends.

Agents have spent fortunes trying to create that sort of trust connection through paid marketing. You can take full page ads out in your local paper and still never accomplish what Angie W. did leveraging her experience and her opinion through a free review that took her 60 seconds to create.

That’s social media folks.

Go for it.

Davison Twitter: 1000wattmarc