Managing Your Reputation With Social Media
How you define yourself online may be how others first get to know you.
Whether or not you’re actively using Facebook, Twitter, or other social media websites to grow your real estate business, you should be aware how your presence on social media can (and likely will) impact your relationship with clients, brokers, and other agents.
While you may be in the habit of keeping your personal and professional life separate, your ability to do so is highly compromised by the combination of social media and everyone’s ability to Google your name. You can bet when researching an agent, your prospects will likely Google you and other agents they’re considering.
It is safe to assume that everything you post online is public. Even with the strictest of security settings, the odds are that over time the information you’re posting will be visible.
Now, if managed well, aspects of your personal interests and “public” life can help prospective clients get to know you a little before they meet you. They can, after browsing your status updates and photos, get a view of your hobbies and how you spend your recreational time. They might even share your interests, which can definitely help you get a leg up on building rapport.
But also consider this: If you’re vocal about political and/or religious beliefs in social media, you should realize you risk alienating prospects. The same goes for excessive sharing of your “downtime” and even moments when you may be blowing off steam.
It may seem obvious, but the following are a few good guidelines for preserving your reputation:
1. Alcohol and social media do not mix. Don’t have a few and pick up your smart phone for some quick updates.
2. Minimize polemic political opinions, unless you’re comfortable losing out on those who do not share your views.
3. Never complain about clients, even if you don’t name names.
4. Before you post a photo, ask yourself if it’s one you’d put on the wall of your office.
5. Don’t bad mouth other real estate professionals, companies, or business associates.
6. Nix any romantic relationship woes.
7. Never post what a great golf round you’re having when you should be at an open house. 🙂
Not participating may not be the best solution, by the way. If you don’t define your story in social media, it might be done for you, through the posts, photos, and thoughts of friends, relatives, and other businesses. Proceed mindfully!