Developing an online social media presence is not on the top of most real estate investor’s to do list. It comes way down the list after “meet with the contractor, buy some cabinets and get a tenant in the rental property”. But let me tell you why you should do it now, and just how you can manage this process (pretty painlessly.)
Getting Known As “Number One” In Your Business
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. Just about everything in business is all about perception. Building a strong online presence which includes social media is a big part of that perception. So let’s dive in and go over some of the components of building your online persona.
Decide What Your Desired Outcome Is
Much like deciding on your exit strategy, it’s really important that you decide early on what your “why” is; what is your desired outcome for your social media presence. Are you…
- Strictly trying to build your core real estate business of buying and selling houses which includes an online presence? Social media is great for that.
- Trying to build a “tribe” as Seth Goodin would say or a community? Your tribe will eventually become a group of folks that are there to help you promote and grow your business. The best case scenario; create a group of “Raving Fans” as the book by Ken Blanchard talks about.
- Are you looking for other influencers to become part of your tribe? You can easily identify these folks and interact with them on their social medial pages.
- Building a personal or business brand that will allow you to branch out into other areas? This is really powerful. One day you will be tired of trading your time for dollars. Look down the road 5 years and figure out how what you do today to build a social media presence can help you with your “next steps”.
- Launching services, books or products? Your online presence will be the deciding factor on just how fast this happens for you. Start today even if your ideas and dreams only live in your mind.
Maybe what you are trying to accomplish is a combination of all of the above. There isn’t any right or wrong answer here, and this outcome will likely change over time. But make no mistake, a building a strong social media presence will be essential for your business growth over time. A perfect example can be found right here on BiggerPockets.
Don’t Be All Business All the Time
People do business with other people that they know, like, and trust; not companies. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and let your personality come through. There is only one “you”. This is all part of creating that online voice that people want to hang out with. People love stories. They love hearing about your personal or family triumphs. Be willing to share important personal news like that new baby that just arrived. They also love hearing about challenges and problems in your real estate business. Last week I shared (what turned out to be a funny story) I wrote for my personal blog after I got over being mad. The title of the story was ““Don’t Be an “Askhole”; Tips for Building a Relationship with Your Real Estate Mentor”. I have a share button on my blog so it’s really easy to share, and I put it out to all of the social media sites. And boy did that title get me a lot of comments! The type of information you share on one social media channel will be different from another, but I always share all my blog posts across all of the major sites.
- Twitter is all about quick, 140 character messages like “check out my new listing here at… or here is my latest blog post and here is how it will help you”. Give them a reason to read your posts. Offer a freebie from time to time.
- Facebook allows you to get a little bit more personal. In fact, Facebook users expect you to get personal along with your business posts. They want to get to know the person here.
- LinkedIn is much more business oriented in general, so the rules are a little different and the audience is more business-like.
- YouTube is one of the most underrated social media channels by real estate investors. This is a place you can showcase your expertise, let your personality show through, and grow your business and your brand.
Don’t make the mistake of discounting the value of having a strong presence on Facebook. I have made many long lasting business relationships on this particular site. You will meet a lot of people that are in your same business or complimentary businesses that have similar goals and interests on Facebook. These folks can and will open many doors for you. A real bonus is that I have also made many lasting friendships that started on Facebook. For real estate investing, Facebook and YouTube are by far the two sites that I find to be the most useful. Twitter is great for list building and it’s quick and easy to do. I would pick a couple of social media sites and stick with those in the beginning.
How Can You Develop that Online Voice People Want to Hang Out With?
There are a number of things you can do.
- Network with other “influencers” online just as you would offline; read and comment on their blogs and forum posts when you have something of value to contribute, but always be yourself.
- Be conversational. Don’t say “Great post” and leave it at that. Social media is all about engaging with folks, joining in the conversation, and building relationships. Once again, other types of social media are very much like the community here on BiggerPockets.
- Create a business page on these sites. Secure your company name and your personal name on the major sites. Then take a few minutes and add your logo, some information for branding, and a short bio.
This doesn’t have to be a major undertaking in the beginning. Just share your blog posts (another reason to start a blog), comment on what is going on now in your business, and find a way to showcase your expertise by offering helpful tips, videos or other industry related articles. You don’t even have to write all of these articles yourself. Just share news others in your industry would want to read. Over time, being known as “the industry expert” will happen organically if you just concentrate on providing good content and being the best “you” that you can be. Give people a reason to want to hang out with you; to seek you out and listen to what you have to say. The number one thing is to always provide great content with no strings attached. Don’t have them opt-in to get it. But it’s not only OK but you should offer them a freebie every now and then for signing up to your list. This should be something of value that is just for the “special people” that take action. Always be building your tribe and your list.
By now if you’re still reading, you are probably saying “There is no way I have time for this” Next time I will show you how you can connect with your “tribe” and build a strong social media presence and an online social media voice people want to hang out with in about 30-35 minutes a day.
Photo: Spencer E Holtaway