Social media; image by New Media MK

Social media is not only a way to make your voice heard – it’s also a great way to get advice and opinions from other social media users.

Here’s three pieces of advice from Twitter users that exemplify how I think real estate agents should be using social media:

1. Be Real

Social media is about people, not brands. That’s probably why @stevecassady and @bridiestyping suggest using a photo of yourself as your profile picture:

Bridie Jenner

Bridie Jenner – @BridiesTyping
RT @stevecassady: @PamMktgNut The profile picture presence is one of the factors I use to accept a request. #smmanners < I agree…

So be real, and acknowledge that you’re a person! Even if you’re tweeting or Facebooking using a business account, it’s still a good idea to:

  1. Use a photo of your face, and/or
  2. Sign off with your name, so people know who they’re talking to (don’t do this if the account is your name).

2. Give to get

Many people (including Residential Settlements) use social media as a way to promote their business – but that doesn’t mean you have to be blatantly self-promotional. As Michael Yardney pointed out:

Michael YardneyMichael Yardney – @michaelyardney
You can make more friends in 2 months by being interested in others than you can in 2 years by trying to get others interested in you

In other words, interact sincerely and focus on providing value to others. Ultimately, the credibility you build by being interested in others will be a huge benefit to you and your business.

3. Enthusiasm first

I’ve heard from quite a few agents who avoid using social media because they consider it trivial – they want to maintain professionalism.

But social media doesn’t have to be trivial – by sharing content and contributing in conversation about real estate, you’re demonstrating a passion for what you do. You’re being enthusiastic!

Real estate coach Simon Thomas summed it up perfectly:

Simon ThomasSimon Thomas – @ItsSimonT
Enthusiasm comes before professionalism.

In summary, use social media to demonstrate that you’re a real person, that you’re generous and interested in others, and that you’re enthusiastic about what you do. It’s a great way to build your credibility and make some valuable connections.

Image by New Media MK via Flickr.