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Is Social Media for Real Estate a Replacement for Blogging? [blog vs. microblog]

coffee-no-waterThe short answer is no

Many seem to think that being live in social media spaces and chatting it up with the folks is a more robust way of accomplishing the same feat as blogging, but they go hand in hand.  Put simply, blogging is part of social media, but in my view, it’s still only a two dimensional conversation and social networking (chatting it up with the folks) brings you ‘multi-deminsional.’

Social media and blogging have limits

Either way you spin it, when you’re on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, your reach is limited to when you’re present- limited profiles, limited characters to articulate a position, and quite frankly, absolutely very little Google power.

On the flip side, when blogging without the use of social media spaces like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, the audience is left with only a rough edge view of who you are.  Sure, they know what you’re saying, and know you’re passionate about it, but the personal connection is limited.

2 + 2 = robust

Now, adding these two powerful elements together, both blogging and a presence in social media spaces, the folks really begin to get a sense of who you are, what you stand for, and a more personal connection with your brand- the opportunities to find more commonalities with future consumers is improved immensely.

It is another way for Realtors to shine in social media despite the challenge of not having a tangible product on a shelf to sell… in a social network, a blog acts as an instant service identifier (for example: commercial broker blogs vs. first time buyer agent blogs). Social networking is powerful because it brings a blog multi-dimensional and expands its reach.

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Coffee with no water

So, if you joined a social network in recent days, weeks, or months, as an alternative to blogging, I’m sorry to disappoint you- you simply will not grab as much of a market share as you would if you had a quality blog to supplement it- in fact, your blog is your personal community, and without it, you’re missing a foundation.

Can you have one without the other? Sure, but only if you like cereal without milk, coffee without water, a laptop without internet, or maybe a grilled cheese minus the bread- I can do these all day, but I think you get the point.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Doug Francis

    May 3, 2009 at 11:01 am

    The time on FB needs to compliment what you are doing elsewhere in your marketing efforts. So a good strategy is to set up time maximums for each marketing effort and don’t let one (like FB) monopolize your time.

  2. Matt Stigliano

    May 3, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Benn – This just goes back to your solution in a box theory. If you’re looking for a cure all, you’re not going to find it. Like many things in life, it takes a combination of disciplines to truly get where you want to go.

  3. Lani Rosales

    May 3, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Matt, I agree with Benn’s theories tying together- so many people are looking for the magic potion that is free and doesn’t take any time and it simply doesn’t exist. Others get so wrapped up in the sparkly nature of Twitter that they forget effective blogging as their foundation. All of these things are tools and they go in a toolbox, they are not the toolbox itself, the user is.

    Benn, I <3 the “grilled cheese with no bread” line. Priceless! 🙂

  4. Elaine Reese

    May 3, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I agree that each one has its own strategy. My blog is hyper local and I try to write whatever I might say to someone sitting across from me – as if they were a client. Once in a while, I write more as if I were talking to a friend with hopefully some humor thrown in. My blog gets bu$ine$$.

    LinkedIn is strictly for professional connections, with my focus on my former corporate contacts, so they remember what business I’m in now. Twitter is more for water cooler chit-chats, but I avoid getting too personal or detailing what I do every hour of the day. I am finding that it’s being picked up by Google, so I’m making sure I throw in some business tweets as well.

    I’ve had agents say they don’t have time for “this stuff” – often while they’re putting postage stamps on little mailing calendars or Just Listed cards. The social media is just another form of prospecting and should be viewed as such. I personally find it far more productive, more fun, and far cheaper than placing stamps. We all do what we feel is best for our own business. Social media definitely isn’t for everyone, and certainly shouldn’t take the place of valuable FTF sphere time.

  5. Karen Goodman

    May 3, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    I agree that Twitter/Facebook play a very different role in my marketing compared to my blog. On Twitter, and Facebook to a lesser extent, I get a chance to get to know people. I have live conversations and show people my personality. They get to see that I truly care about my clients, care about my community and offer a helping hand wherever I can.

    Just today I had someone sent me a tweet “if we were moving, i would give you a call”.

    But, I know that being friendly and helpful isn’t enough. Before someone chooses to hire a real estate agent, they want to know that the agent really understands the market. They need to know how the agent approaches assisting buyers and sellers.

    I really believe that without my blog, my Twitter followers wouldn’t take me as seriously. And without Twitter, many potential buyers and sellers would not know I’m out there.

    But together, I’ve got a winning strategy.

    @karenstl

  6. Benn Rosales

    May 4, 2009 at 9:40 am

    @karenstl You hit the nail on the head, and what personal way of delivering the point- it’s obvious you get it.

    @rockstar you’re just a rockstar all the way around

    @Elaine I think you bring up a valuable point that it takes a little trial and error to balance, not try and do all things, but rather do what you do on purpose and very well

    @laniar I love it when you laugh 🙂

  7. Matthew Rathbun

    May 4, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    It’s almost like firearms training. Military and police forces are taught to place two rounds to the chest and one to the head. They do this to ensure a final result. The first center-mass shot may do the trick, but you want to make sure. This requires great skill and practice.

    This as opposed to a “shot gun” attempt that most agents use. Which doesn’t ensure a “kill” and requires little to no skill.

    All this to say, that the agent needs to know what they goals are, what tools are available and what combination of practices yield the desired results.

    “Free” rarely has good ROI. However some free tools used to augment the marketing practices that cost money help with the overall marketing program. Reading marketing materials (outside of real estate as well) and industry statistics, and just listening to the clients will help practitioners be well rounded.

    Having said all that, I do think a good blog eliminates the need for a static webpage. Having a list of too many assets to update, usually means that agents fail to maintain them.

  8. Missy Caulk

    May 4, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I use them all differently from my local blog, AR blog, Twitter and Facebook. So far only my blogging has brought in clients.

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