What’s the basic building block of success for you or your business? That’s easy. The very first thing to do is make sure other people know you exist, what you do and how you can solve their immediate problem or help their situation.
And what’s the simplest way to do that in this day and age?
Social media usage is massive — and growing
Statistics show us that the use of social media — including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and others — is massive and continuing to grow. This year, eMarketer predicts, 2.65 billion people worldwide (representing more than 72 percent of internet users) will use social media at least once every month.
According to Global Web Index, digital consumers in 2017 were spending an average of two hours and fifteen minutes a day on social networks and messaging.
Here’s how Mediakix broke down the numbers for average daily usage by specific social platforms:
- YouTube: 40 minutes a day
- Facebook: 35 minutes a day
- Snapchat: 25 minutes a day
- Instagram: 15 minutes a day
- Twitter: 1 minute a day
Facebook now has 1.4 billion daily users, according to its Q4 2017 earnings report — up 2.18 percent from the previous quarter. Worldwide, Facebook counted more than 2.13 billion active users for Q4 2017, a 14 percent increase from the year before. And its stickiness is holding strong, with 66 percent of users returning to the site daily.
So it’s abundantly clear that you can get your message out to massive numbers of people on social media.
But here’s the conundrum: Social media is not where you should be spending your time if you want to grow a successful business.
Social media is a waste of your time
In my opinion, social media is a complete and utter waste of your time.
Now don’t get me wrong — I’m not suggesting you don’t need a social media presence. You do! But you need someone else overseeing that part of your marketing. That is far more cost-effective when you consider the per-hour value of your time.
You — the business owner or entrepreneur — should be interacting with prospective clients directly, via phone calls or face-to-face meetings.
Look at it this way: Let’s say, hypothetically, that you earn $250,000 a year, working 50 weeks. Multiply 40 hours in a week times 50 weeks, and that equals 2,000 hours.
Divide $250,000 by 2,000 hours and that equals $125 per hour. So if you are spending, for example, two hours a day on social media, you better make darn sure you’ve brought in more than the $250 of your value that you’ve just spent.
With all the apps out there (such as HootSuite and Buffer, among others), there is no reason you personally need to be posting on social media. And at your hypothetical $250,000-a-year salary, you can surely afford to pay a virtual assistant $15 an hour to do your posting, and just as important, make sure you respond — quickly — to all of the messages from your prospective buyers and sellers.
Then your time is better-spent getting on the phone with them, setting up meetings, showing properties, networking and prospecting.
Where should you be on social media?
So what kind of social media presence do you need? And where? Here is how I see it:
By all means you need a business page, but have someone else monitor it. You should not touch your Facebook account at all. Let your personal assistant or marketing rep post to your page and respond to any messages or comments that others post. They should be scheduling time for you to jump on the phone with any leads, and you should be on the road.
Quite simply, Twitter is dead. (Remember the Mediakix stat — 1 minute a day per user?) No one’s using Twitter anymore. So just have a basic profile on there.
Make sure you are cross-promoting between Facebook and Twitter. That way you are reaching that small segment of potential warm leads that may be on almost forgotten platform. Otherwise, forget it.
Instagram is the biggest joke ever. I have no clue why any real estate agent would be wasting time there, except to feed his or her ego. This platform is only about saying “Look at me! I’m a real estate agent, and I’m showing this property, and I’m wearing this suit. I’m driving this car, and I’m in this Beverly Hills area.”
Come on — get a life. Get the job done. Knock on doors. Put your nose to the grindstone. That’s the way to get leads; not by posting pictures.
The most powerful medium out there is YouTube. If you are going to spend any time with social media, do it by producing videos. You can even do a selfie video with your smartphone if you can’t afford to get a full-blown production team in place. This is why video is so powerful: because people buy people.
Before someone decides to list a house with you, they want to see not just how you look, but also how you talk and to get a sense of your level of experience. And the best way to portray that is through a video, not through a Facebook post and a link, an Instagram photo or a tweet. (What is that, anyway? Are we all birds?)
Now, of course, as a business professional, you need to have a quality LinkedIn page. Any potential client or possible partner is going to look you up on LinkedIn to learn about you and your business. This page is your resume.
You want to showcase your skills and abilities, the places you have worked, where you went to school or gained training and the accolades you have received.
Don’t forget the testimonials from other established professionals in your field. Make sure your profile is professional; make sure it looks good. For a real estate professional especially, this is the only place it makes sense to spend your own time logging in, messaging and networking. No ifs, ands or buts about it.
So, yes, social media is a great place to get your message out and to let people know what you do. Lots of people out there are spending lots and lots of time on the various platforms. But does that makes sense for you?
By all means, make sure you are represented well on the various platforms. But let somebody else keep tabs on your accounts. Your time is too valuable to spend staring at a computer screen.
Instead, get on the phone, and connect with your prospects in real time. Get out, and meet them on-site. Remember, people buy people, and that’s how you’re going to close deals and scale your business.