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A modern tale of struggle with social media as told through tweets at the NAR conference

The classic tale

We noticed a classic story being told through Twitter about the struggle of some to reject social media and how it is being used versus those who are pushing the very tools of social media in Realtors’ faces. At the National Association of Realtors (NAR) annual conference, the following tweets took place:

1. Rejecting the idea of controlling social media

2. NAR sessions promoting use of social media

The irony has not been lost on our readers that there are committee members and leaders that want to tighten rules around social media, and that these topics are being duked out on Twitter itself as ideas spread. On the other end of the spectrum, the conference is hosting two tech seminars within hours of the statements above and below, “High-Tech, High Touch Marketing Techniques for Success: Marketing Forum” and later, “Follow Me and Discover New Tech Tools: Business Technology & Information Systems Forum” presented by people that are highly leveraged in social media, namely Twitter.

3. Twitter should be banned from sessions

We hear this at every conference and some do ban Twitter, but typically so that private meetings are not leaked or so attendees will stay focused on speakers. Interestingly, via Twitter (yes, ironic), it was tweeted that perhaps Twitter should be banned and the other irony is that the commenter is someone who is one of the more prolific tweeters in the industry.

4. NAR members reject idea of banning Twitter

The takeaway:

The idea of banning Twitter was likely meant to apply to the MLS Committee meeting, but the meeting was not only an open meeting (closed meetings are held at NAR), but contained a ruling on a topic that thousands of people have been waiting on for months, and the meeting has been built up for so long that of course people are going to talk about it live. The only way Twitter could be banned is if the venue jams cell phone reception, disallowing texts, phone, and internet use which we don’t imagine 18,000 Realtors would be very receptive to (can you imagine taking a Realtor’s phone away for an entire day?).

The point here is that NAR can ban whatever they like, but it is ironic that an event that sells technology tools and seminars for paying attendees would retweet the notion that Twitter should be banned, thus telegraphing that transparency should be used by agents in their marketing as instructed, but not by the event or instructors presenting these concepts. If Twitter is banned at an event like this (and NAR has every right to do so, but they won’t), or the idea of banning Twitter is entertained via a retweet, what does that tell agents who have paid good money to attend sessions about technology and how glorious social media is?

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This is a very interesting case study – do the sellers of transparent technologies truly believe in the concept of transparency and immediacy?

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