Holly Schwartz (@hollyschwartzoc) is the Marketing Director for Torelli Realty, (@torellirealty) a boutique real estate company in Orange County, CA. She enjoys dishing up a daily blog about 365 Things To Do In Costa Mesa (“Like” the page on Facebook!) Prior to working at Torelli Realty she worked as a TV producer for the HGTV shows House Hunters and House Hunters International.

We all love Facebook and Twitter – they’ve quickly become a global sensation. The problem is that so many real estate agents feel overwhelmed by how much time they should spend on “social” media. While many of us use it for fun, the business application of it is becoming increasingly more important. And like everything in business, time is money. So how do you create a plan to keep social media from taking over your life? Here’s how I use social media for work without losing my mind:

  1. Schedule a “work” time for Facebook and Twitter interaction. For instance, I check my accounts for about 5 minutes at the start of the day, another 5 minutes around lunchtime, and one last check at the end of the work day. During this time I focus intently on scrolling through the feeds and make brief comments or “likes”. Also, make sure to always shout out birthdays! One of these sessions is actually closer to 20 minutes and in the next step you’ll find out why.
  2. For Twitter, I use Hootsuite, which is a great social networking app that allows you to not only see multiple Twitter & Facebook “streams” on the same screen, plus it also allows you to autopost tweets. This way I can schedule posts for later in the evening and the next day that are timely. (There are many other applications that do similar things, I just happen to like the Hootsuite app and it’s easy to use on my iPhone.)
  3. Facebook and Twitter allow you to link your accounts so that if you post on one it will automatically update the other. Personally I suggest linking Facebook to your Twitter but I am not a fan of linking Twitter to Facebook if you post a lot on Twitter. Why? Because most people who use Twitter engage in multiple conversations and post multiple times per day and this will quickly get distracting (and annoying) for your Facebook friends who don’t know what you are referring to.
  4. Reading the links to stories on Facebook and Twitter takes time. What I do is I email them to myself to read at a specified time (I do mine around lunchtime and I set aside about 30 minutes for this task). If an article is worth sharing with my followers, then I can retweet it or post it the next time I am scheduled for a social media time. Another perk – some of the articles can provide great inspiration or support for a blog post!
  5. I think the biggest problem is that it can be fun to “play” on Facebook and Twitter. Why else would these websites be so popular? There’s no problem with “playing,” just make sure to do it during non-working hours. Otherwise it will be counter-productive.

There’s no doubt that using social media is a great way for real estate agents to keep up with clients and prospects as well as share real estate & community news and information. These platforms are perfect because agents do need to think about marketing and advertising plans. Facebook & Twitter are free and easy ways to reach your audience. However, like I said above time is money. Using these steps should help you manage your time so you can focus on making the deals that lead to paydays!

What are some of your steps for managing social media?

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