Amy Chorew, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s vice president of platform development, talks about why engagement is more important than numbers and how she stays authentic online.
Age: Do you really need it? 57
Years in real estate: 31
Job title: Vice president of platform development, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Location: Madison, New Jersey
Hours per week spent on social media: 5
Target demographic: Real estate professionals looking for content to share. I want to be a go-to source for people interested in trending real estate topics.
Average number of posts per day: 4-5
Which social channels do you work the most?
I usually connect daily on Facebook and Twitter. At least once a week, I check in on Foursquare, check out Google Plus and SlideShare. Twice a month, I check out LinkedIn. I am intrigued by the power of Pinterest and Instagram, especially for luxury homes, and am putting a strong plan together for 2015.
How many friends, likes, etc., do you have?
I have 4,935 Facebook friends and 2,793 Facebook followers. I was an early adopter of Facebook and became everyone’s friend. I have gone through and tried to organize, but amazingly enough I really do know at least three-quarters of those people!
I have 14,700 Twitter followers, 11,500 tweets, and 241 photos and videos on Twitter. This has been my focus for the last year. I wanted to be a thought leader of sorts on real estate content. I do send posts from Facebook and Foursquare here as well.
I have more than 500 connections on LinkedIn. I have found that people search this profile, and I know that they are looking at it when they chat with me because of things they say.
Do those numbers matter to you?
No, engagement is so much more important. Those numbers have grown organically, so it is kind of cool.
Do you ever give it a break?
Sometimes — I never think about it that way. It is so much part of my life that if I decide to not post, it is just that: a decision.
Does social help your business, and how?
People always comment that they have read my content. They also mention some of my very social comments regarding my farm.
As far as ROI on business, when people meet me in person, they tell me that I am the same person online as I am in person. That builds credibility, and they want to do business with me.
What’s your goal for your favorite social channel?
In 2015, I am focusing on Pinterest as a channel for luxury consumers.
What’s your strategy to achieve it?
I recently went to an event called Luxury Interactive in New York. There was a great presentation about luxury and Pinterest and Instagram. I am reading their white paper and putting together an editorial calendar and plan based on my goal of attracting luxury consumers who are willing to repin my content.
Is it worth it and why?
The stats are staggering. Pinterest and Instagram users come from a different place. It is a discovery mindset of collectors, and 90 percent of content comes from brand websites. There is a lot of viral content to share.
You can see your top-performing images, and this is where your content is king.
What’s your craziest social media-related story?
I was doing an online class, and someone misunderstood something I said. They started posting on Facebook and Twitter. I was unaware of the storm of comments. I ended my class, went to the airport and got on a plane. When I landed hours later, I saw an email from my client that said, “Wow, that was crazy, but you launched our product in a way we could not have!”
The good news is that my network of peers stood up for me and basically quieted this person who had a lot of reach on social media. It made me feel good — after I almost threw up reading the whole thread.
What actions do you take that have gotten the most results?
Planning content for my plan and then making sure I also connect socially online with my friends and network. Being myself and speaking to my social objects.
Is this more about “social” or about business?
It is both for me. I have met some of my most amazing friends virtually online. When we met in person, we realized that it was a true connection, and we continued the friendship offline. I do use social media mostly for business. I do more private posting for my social life.
How do you monitor the channel, push notifications, email? Do you use software/apps to manage your account, and which ones?
How many hours per day are you on social? Do you check it daily? Multiple times per day?
When I wake up and when drinking coffee, I check Twitter for news and Facebook. During lunch time is when I post on Facebook for the day and reach out to friends or business associates and connect on their pages. And I look again, usually at 9 p.m. for news updates.
Do you ever think of retiring?
Do you consider yourself an influencer?
Are you social in real life?
What did you do with your time before?
I read books — on real paper, then on a Kindle, and now my iPad and iPhone are my social media go-to tools.
How do you leverage your prominence/influence on social media?
With social capital, I believe you have to give a lot before you get. That is the beauty of social media. If I do ask for something, I believe I have accrued social capital across many channels, and I am always humbled with people’s responses to my requests.
Do you have someone helping you?
I have someone who helps edit my blog posts because my grammar is atrocious. She also looks for keywords to help boost it.
Who do you follow, and why?
I follow really smart people in real estate, marketing, technology and sustainable living. I like Twitter for that reason. I can learn and get news and updates in areas I am interested in, all in the time it takes me to sip a cup of coffee at 6 a.m.
Where do you find the content that you put out?
I use Google alerts and feeds on my Lumentus Social site. Those feeds include RSS feeds from my local market, all my BHGRE feeds, and industry feeds where I have … Inman!
I am very cognizant of three things: my social contract, my social capital and my social objects. I spoke about social capital already.
I established early my social contract with myself. I decided that I was going to be transparent online and offline. But I do not post about politics or religion, although I am pretty faith-based. I also don’t post pictures of my grandbabies, although I know a lot of people do. It was a decision I made early on, and I have been consistent.
My social objects have built my presence online. I decide how I will connect with people. It can be fun, like farming, technology, real estate, sustainable living, cross-country skiing, biking and first bump Friday — or more sensitive, like having a parent with dementia or speaking about birth defects (my daughter lost a baby before she had her two).
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