Quick. You have five minutes to tell everyone you know — friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances and others — something important. You can write a letter; use the phone; text; email; or run door to door.

Tired yet? Welcome to the world of social media, a world where you can engage and interact in minutes with hundreds of those you have connected with throughout your life.

As the social media manager for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, I have the privilege of traveling across North America educating our network on social media best practices and new tech trends. When I meet someone who is having trouble getting started on social media, I always ask, “What is stopping you?” The No. 1 reason I usually hear is, “I don’t have time for social media.”

Well, if thought I had to use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., I might scream “Uncle!” too. But you don’t have to do all them … except Facebook. Why? After Google, Facebook is the most trafficked website in the world with more than 1.1 billion monthly active users. Am I saying you shouldn’t use these other social networks for your business? No. But if you are just getting started then Facebook is the place to be. Now that we have put the other four major networks aside, you should start to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Now I know you are busy. I can’t think of another profession where you have to “always be on” and deal with so many different issues from so many different clients on a daily basis. Luckily, all you need to become a social media star is simply downtime. Social media is something that can be done extremely well in 10 minutes a day. If you could dedicate 100 percent of your attention during this time, you will build and strengthen relationships and prospect like a champ.

Think about some of your downtime during the day. I know it may feel like you have none, but for the sake of the exercise just think about all the time during your day where you are waiting and understand how much you can do with that short amount of time. Here is an example of how to get it done in 10 minutes:





Waiting in line for your morning coffee 2 minutes
  • Accept new friend requests
  • Send out 3 requests
Growing your book of business
Waiting to pick up your kids from school 3 minutes Prospecting
Waiting for a client to arrive at an open house 4 minutes
  • Post an update
  • Engage! Like, comment, share, retweet, etc., with at least 5 people
Interactive marketing
Waiting in line at the grocery store 1 minute
  • Respond to those who engaged with your update
Relationship building

Bonus: Do you have the opportunity to work floor time at your office? In between answering phones and welcoming visitors into the office, jump onto your networks and get busy! The chart above may seem basic, but it truly is all you need to get going and on your way to being a social media star. If you start with these small steps, in just one month you will have added more than 60 new friends, started 30 new conversations, and participated in more than 150 different conversations.

As 2013 comes to a close and you begin to map out your plans for 2014, I encourage you to give social media a try and see where it takes you. It may feel weird and forced at first, but I promise if you start using it to interact with your friends and family, the business results will come. Why? Because they are the same people you are doing business with offline. That’s the secret sauce of social media: There is no magic button — it’s just a tool that makes communicating with your existing book of business easier.

So, remember, next time you are standing on that seemingly endless line at Starbucks, whip out that smartphone and get social.

Lindsay Listanski is the social media manager for Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

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