Real Estate

Social Media Needs The Social Part To Survive

Social media platforms are evolving, and so are your Friends’ browsing habits. As followers start to scroll instead of social, you may find yourself in new digital territory.

New markets require new approaches and tactics. Experts and industry leaders take the stage at Inman Connect New York in January to help navigate the market shift — and prepare for the next one. Meet the moment and join us. Register here.

You may have noticed that some of your “friends” have left Facebook, and they are not coming back. Facebook just hasn’t been the same since the troll farms started spreading misinformation during the 2016 presidential election. There was plenty of misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccinations, too. 

As for the “Metaverse,” I am willing to take a risk and ignore it. The virtual reality headsets make me nauseous. I mostly don’t socialize in the real world, so why would I socialize in a virtual world?

TikTok is very popular but it doesn’t seem to attract a demographic that is old enough to buy real estate and it is owned by ByteDance which is a Beijing-based tech company. I am not convinced that spending time TikToking is going to do much for my business or my social life.

Instagram we all know is a property of Meta, which also owns Facebook. Instagram has been linked to depression, body image concerns, self-esteem issues, social anxiety and other problems. Like Facebook, the app encourages social comparison, which is the enemy of mental health.

Bots and players

We know that having followers on social media does not guarantee that any of those followers will become clients. I have Instagram followers from all over the world. So?

Twitter is now owned by billionaire Elon Musk who seems to be looking for ways to charge users for the service. Even though he has more money than anyone else on the planet, it just isn’t enough.

Over the years, I have battled many Twitter bots. I have muted many hookers. I think of Twitter as the toilet of social media and enjoy posting rants about health insurance and the always profitable medical industrial complex.

Linkedin is popular these days. We all know people who stopped posting on Facebook and started spending time on Linkedin. Linkedin is fairly tame but the people who want to connect with me usually have something to sell.

There are some thought leaders on Linkedin. Thought leaders are people who have thoughts and an audience of sycophants who gives them unconditional praise. I think having a profile on LinkedIn is useful, and the platform is a great way to introduce people to each other. Spending an hour on it each week should be more than enough. 

Video has been the next big thing in real estate since 2003. Do some research before going all in on YouTube. 

Change is already happening

The days of social media as a way of marketing may be drawing to a close. Your customers and clients may have stopped using it if they haven’t already. Fear not. There are some really great ways to meet people and win business. There are opportunities right now to reach out to people who have already quit social media and those who never started. 

The humble bus bench or billboard are both more expensive than social media but they are effective. The bench even serves a useful purpose. There are two benches near my home that feature my photographs. 

They are advertising for a restaurant but they are also part of my portfolio. They are located on busy streets and get a lot of traffic; busloads of people see them every day. 

Open houses are also a great way to meet people. I haven’t held an open house in at least a decade because I don’t like people, but I know many real estate agents who have built successful businesses by holding open houses once or twice a week. 

Agents who enjoy open houses and like meeting total strangers who think it is fun to tour a house can do very well. Pretending to enjoy it doesn’t seem to work as well. 

Putting business cards on bulletin boards around the neighborhood can lead to business. The trick is to stop back often to replace the cards as they are taken down.

Stick with what works

Using old-school snail mail to send postcards to your farm area is a great way to build a business. Don’t send them recipes; send out market updates and information about how to buy or sell a house. 

There are numerous volunteer activities in the community that are also an opportunity to meet people. Back when my children were school-aged, I met other parents at sporting events, plays and band concerts. Some of those parents later became my clients. 

Publishing articles and photographs on a real estate blog is a great way to attract clients. It also attracts advertisers in droves. 

The holidays can be a great time to quit social media. Celebrating Christmas as a holiday that is all about overspending, overdecorating and overeating is optional. 

Christmas can be celebrated as a religious holiday or not at all. Consider the possibilities. Avoiding social media during the holidays is a great way to celebrate them, or not celebrate them, in a peaceful stress-free way. 

Send out greeting cards the first week of 2023 and wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year. Let them all know that you are still in business and ready to help anyone who needs it. 

Teresa Boardman is a Realtor and broker/owner of Boardman Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is also the founder of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com.

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