Image courtesy of Real Estate Trends

Lately, I’ve being inundated with emails offering social media training. As someone who’s been fairly pretty active with social media for the past three years, I know I’ve tried some social media avenues that worked and discovered some that didn’t.  I feel like I have a pretty good sense of what is needed to get started and stay committed to a business plan that includes social media as a major component.

When I downloaded the free copy of Stefan Swanepoel’s “Social Media 10 Day Action Plan”, an extract from the Swanepoel Social Media Report 2010, I was delighted to see a well-thought-out and comprehensive step-by-step plan.  This 16-page how-to is a must-read for any REALTOR® contemplating or struggling with incorporating a social media strategy into their business. I would even recommend it for social media veterans.  There’s always something new to learn!

From Stefan’s preface:

Why do I take the time to use social media like Twitter and Facebook? Because after spending considerable time learning and using social media, I can safely say that we should expect our lives to radically and exponentially be changed by social media and social networks over the next few years. Many traditional forms of media that we have been using for decades are being eclipsed with a growth in membership numbers and adoption rates that we have never experienced before.

He goes on to say that social media is a new way to “initiate conversations, respond to feedback and maintain an active dialogue with customers.” From my experience, I have connected with many, many more people that I could have “In Real Life” (IRL). The number of people who know I’m in real estate has grown exponentially through my use of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and LinkedIn. Plus, the demographics of social media users is changing dramatically.  (For example, my 81-year-old mother just invited me over for dinner via Facebook!)

The trick to being successful with social media, in my opinion (IMO), is to have a plan, be yourself and stay committed.  Be willing to experiment and expand. Know that you can pick one or more social media avenues to focus on.  For example, Jay Thompson uses his blog as his social media focus, D. Patrick Lewis prefers Twitter, Jonathan Dalton spends a fair share of time on Facebook and Phil Sexton does a lot of video. Me, I do a little bit of everything.

Take a look at the Social Media 10 Day Action Plan and get a feel for how you can get started to create, or refine, your own online presence with the checklists that are the core of this document. It will take time, but in the long run, you have a social media base that will carry you forward as you create and grow your own personal strategy.

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