SAN FRANCISCO — If your idea of a social media strategy is to try to get as many friends and followers as possible, you’re doing it wrong.

That’s according to Laura Fitton, inbound marketing evangelist at marketing software firm HubSpot and a speaker at Real Estate Connect today.

For social media to have an impact on agents’ businesses, agents need to stop focusing on themselves and use those networks as opportunities to help someone else first, she said.

Laura Fitton

Laura Fitton

“Influence is completely inverted in the world of social media. Shine attention on others,” Fitton said.

“If you are a Realtor, stop talking about yourself and start talking about the families that you’re helping.”

Every Facebook post, every tweet, every blog post should be useful.

“You need to be solving people’s problems. Your marketing materials need to be something people would thank you for,” Fitton said.

She spoke from personal experience as a single mom who nearly lost her home multiple times to foreclosure.

“Give me a guide (to) moving. Give me a friendly ear to help me talk through the stress,” she said.

“No matter what you’re sharing … what you’re sharing is not about you.”

Agents should research what’s going on in the areas they serve, she said. For instance, Fitton said houses on her block go off the market in about six hours and the moms on that block know all about it. Agents in that area should befriend some of those moms and listen to them, she said.

“You know their challenges; solve those challenges. You know their fears; you ease those fears,” Fitton said.

And if an agent really wants followers, here’s what they should do: “Take your current followers and treat them amazing. You want to go viral — help somebody.”

Graduating from Social Media to Running a Social Business from Laura “@pistachio” Fitton

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