Technology

Lindsay Listanski: ‘Social media makes the world a smaller place’

Constant connection, visual storytelling and a powerful brand

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Age: 27

Years in real estate: I’ve been with Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC for three years but grew up in real estate. My father has been with the Coldwell Banker brand for nearly 30 years, he is now the branch vice president of the Livingston, New Jersey, office. Some of my first “jobs” were in his offices. As a 10-year-old, I used to get paid 10 cents per envelope I stuffed. Today, I get to teach his agents how to bring that same concept online through social advertising.

Job title: Senior manager of media engagement

Location: Madison, New Jersey

Hours per week spent on social media: Depends on how many hours of sleep I get. Just kidding. I am pretty much connected to my personal or the brand’s social platforms all day.

Social media accounts: My personal accounts include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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On the work side, I am responsible for the Coldwell Banker brand’s national social accounts on all of the social media platforms.

Target demographic: Social media is a way for me to connect with my friends, family and colleagues. I’m not unlike so many millennials in that this is the way we communicate. At work, social media allows me to connect with agents, managers and broker owners from around the globe.

Average number of posts per day: personally, around three to five a day. For the brand, up to 20 a day.

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Which social channels do you work more?

Professionally, Twitter is my go-to. I find the open environment makes it easy to connect with others with similar interests in real estate, social media and technology. Personally, I enjoy Facebook and Pinterest most.

How many friends, likes and so on do you have?

If we count all my “friends” from the Coldwell Banker network, I have about 80,000. :)

Does that number matter to you?

When social media first became mainstream, too many were concerned with their number of friends and likes, but the reality is that you are rewarded more for your ability to engage those who follow you. It has been and will always be quantity over quality.

Do you ever give it a break?

It’s already my New Year’s resolution. I need to learn to disconnect. While it is my passion, I obviously still need to enjoy other parts of my life. Like so many, my phone is my life. The advantages it provides are incredible, but it is also a curse. I find that I physically have to shut down to take a break.

Does social help your business, how?

Absolutely! Social media has enabled me to make the world a smaller place. Never in my dreams did I imagine doing business on the go from my phone not only with people across the coast but across the world. Just recently I put together an entire presentation for the Coldwell Banker Gen Blue Experience with someone from France that I network with on Facebook. It’s truly amazing to me.

What’s your goal for your favorite social channel?

I have the same goal for pretty much all of my social channels. I want to strengthen my relationships with those who I am connected with. It’s funny: Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook for college kids to keep in touch. However, when you think about it, college kids are the last ones who actually need social media to keep up with the lives of their friends since they have so much time on their hands. I need social media now way more than I did in college because I have less time to actually see and talk to all of my friends and family. Social media is the most effective and efficient way to communicate and stay connected.

What’s your strategy to achieve it?

Social listening is as easy as reading what people post. The true challenge is training yourself to scan through updates about what someone ate for lunch or the cute picture of someone’s new cat and honing in on posts that can help build and strengthen business relationships. For example, if I see friends announce a pregnancy, I of course say, “Congratulations,” but then I take that new information offline and use it as a segue to discuss their plans for the future and if they are thinking about needing a larger home.

Is it worth it, why?

Business is about surprise and delight, and when someone knows you took the time to really get to know them, the payoff is invaluable. I try to be an open book. By dropping down my privacy walls, I allow others to enter my life in a way that feels like family. When people meet my husband they usually say, “Oh, I feel like I already know you from Lindsay’s posts!” I love that!

What’s your craziest social media-related story?

My craziest social media story actually related to how I got my job at Coldwell Banker. When I saw it was posted, I noticed the position reported to the vice president of communications. I then decided to forgo the traditional means of applying for a position and used LinkedIn to reach out to David directly to show my desire for the job and my understanding of using social media for business. Within an hour of emailing him, I got the call for my first interview.

What actions do you take that have gotten the most results?

I make a concerted effort to tell stories through visuals. Anytime I can add a picture or video in a post, I do, because I know that is what grabs someone’s attention and it is what gets the best results.

Is this more about social or about business?

Being social is a core value for someone in business, especially in real estate, to have. When you are social and willing to share your life, thoughts and milestones, you create a sense of authenticity, trust and relatability, which strengthens the bond you create with someone.

How do you monitor the channels? Do you use push notifications or email? Do you use software or apps to manage your account, and which ones?

I do just about everything from my phone. Aside from using TweetDeck and Hootsuite, I just go right into the native apps and manually monitor my streams.

How many hours per day are you on social? Do you check it daily? Multiple times per day?

I am connected pretty much all day. It is one of the first things I do when I wake up and one of the last things I do before I got to sleep.

Do you ever think of retiring?

No. I have been a social butterfly from the time I could talk and believe I will continue to be for the rest of my life. Social media and the way we communicate will obviously evolve, and I will adapt with those changes.

Do you consider yourself an influencer?

I am not sure the word influential is the right one. I consider myself to be incredibly social.

Are you social in real life?

Put it this way … I have been told I am aggressively friendly … and I 100 percent took it as a compliment. I absolutely love meeting new people and strike up a conversation just about everywhere I go.

What did you do with your time before?

As a digital native, I really don’t remember a time where I wasn’t using social media. Even in its infancy, AOL Chat and Myspace were my go-to sites for passing time.

How do you leverage your prominence or influence on social?

I have been fortunate to be part of an organization that allows me the opportunity to work closely with our affiliated companies and with so many agents. It’s rewarding for me to take the fear out of using social media for business for so many. Teaching our network how to create a digital presence and then generate and manage a digital reputation has been a truly rewarding experience.

Do you have someone helping you?

Yes, I have the most powerful brand in real estate behind me, Coldwell Banker Real Estate. At our home office in New Jersey, I am on a team of more than 10 communications and marketing professionals, plus we have multiple agencies. What I also have, which is really special to me, is our Gen Blue social squad, which is composed of the most social-savvy and engaged real estate professionals from our network and, really, the industry.

Whom do you follow and why?

I follow people who are like me. I like to connect with those who are passionate about their life, work and networking.

Where do you find the content that you put out?

It is a mix of content that I create either on my own personal blog or Blue Matter and things I find on Pinterest, my social streams and some of my favorite media outlets like Business Insider, Ad Age and Fast Company.

What has been your all-time hit share? Can you share a link to the post?

I’m not sure if this was the all-time hit, but I know it was a popular one.

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