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Social Media Works [Case Study]

social media case study

We’ve all talked a lot about our use of Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and the like and don’t we all get the same question from people who haven’t drank the kool-aid- “yeah, but have you made any money off of it?”


The “secrets” to social media that no one has quite spelled out yet are the following:

  1. Being present. Most people sign up for services and hope people will follow them. It takes a physical presence to garner a substantial following (aka potential clients that become friends).
  2. Being yourself. I make jokes on Twitter, I cuss sometimes, I write random crap, I just interact with people the way I do in person. It’s gone over well so far.

By being present (aka available) and by naturally being yourself (aka approachable), friendships forge which is the foundation for many client relationships and naturally occurring referrals. Billy Bob is not buying or selling right now, but his friend Jimmy John is and since you’re his buddy, he’ll have Jimmy John direct message you on Twitter. *BAM*

Tapping into social media is NOT however a lead generation machine, it is a pipeline filler. Understanding that defines your success.

  • @MrMan (a made up name to protect the innocent-ish) and I usually talk about Austin food and music, we’ve been Twitter friends for a few weeks. We meet @MrMan at a Tweetup over burgers and talked about oil drilling in Alaska, beer preferences and technology but not real estate.
  • @MrMan begins making jokes in the general Twitter space that divorce proceedings have taken place. In private, I sent him condolences and asked if he needed anything. Knowing that we’re in real estate he noted he’d need an apartment.
  • Benn (@agentgenius, who is his twitter friend also) tells him to meet us at Starbucks in the morning, he already knew the perfect place for him. @MrMan orders some fancy coffee and we are off to the apartment community up the road (that are really nice by the way and I’m a little jealous of all the amenities).
  • 24 hours later, @MrMan picks up his keys and starts the moving process and the invoice is immediately processed and although Benn (@agentgenius) focuses on residential sales, he knows apartments like the back of his man fist. Check’s in the bank.
  • Since then, we’ve happy houred several times with @MrMan and gone to coffee and he has sent three referrals because he got to know us in a non-invasive, very organic, natural way.

Don’t force the connections, just be available, become part of the social stream, and be the best source of information and entertainment (my specialty) as you possibly can. It is a natural process and it is happening every day. Feel free to follow @agentgenius (Benn on behalf of AG) and and stay tuned for more social media case studies to come.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Matthew Rathbun

    June 3, 2008 at 1:47 pm


  2. Jennifer in Louisville

    June 3, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Authenticity works. People will be able to tell based off what you say & do – whether or not you are putting on an act faking it, or really being yourself. Besides, its a whole heck of a lot less “work” if you are enjoying what you are doing and it really is an extension of who you are as a person in the first place.

  3. Bill Lublin

    June 3, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    From the Queen of all NEW & SOCIAL MEDIA – Howard Stern eat your heart out! 😉

  4. Barry Cunningham

    June 3, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Queen of all NEW & SOCIAL MEDIA ??? Please explain..

  5. Eric Blackwell

    June 3, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    So many people live in the mistaken world that they have to find “tricks” and “shortcuts” and not be who they are…

    The real “me” is a pretty reserved nerdy, search engine type that loves to dig up stuff that works in the way of online marketing…and making friends with even nerdier types. I have a great time sharing with the agents in our office the stuff that I find…as well as sharing with some close friends around the internet…hmmm…I wonder if that comes through?

    Way to go Lani, kudos on making a new cash flow positive friend!



  6. Benn Rosales

    June 3, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Barry, are you asking a question?

  7. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    June 3, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Matthew- agreed.

    Jennifer- you nailed it, authenticity is extremely important, especially on Twitter. To beat a dead horse, it is *not* a lead generator rather a pipeline filler. I like to think of it as happy hour where work comes up as part of the natural conversation but you aren’t selling anything rather making yourself (or in my case, my husband’s company) available.

    Bill- thanks for the sweet compliment (although I don’t think I’ll be throwing ham at lingerie models’ butts anytime soon). I like your new Twitter avatar by the way- very James Bondish!

    Eric- You’ve identified who *you* are, so it’s not a hard step to find others on Twitter who will identify with you. Twitter (from my vantage point) is dominated by programmers, designers, engineers that share your mindset, it’s just a matter of branching out outside of the industry (which does take work). You might take a look at my Twitter followers; if you’d like me to make any introductions, I would love to do so!

    Does anyone have any social media success stories they would like to share?

  8. Ricardo Bueno

    June 3, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    It’s usually easier (and better) when you start being “social” and stop being something you’re not. (Does that make sense? Lol. It made sense in my head).

    Anyway, I dumped the ol’ Twitter profile that I initially had because it just wasn’t me. I created a new one @ricardobueno and I just let me be me. I updated things I found interesting from around the blog-o-sphere, threw the occasional blog post up there, and most importantly…I interacted and engaged in the mini-conversations.

    I’ve met more genuine people that way. In fact, one woman contacted me via Twitter saying she needed help with a rehab loan… Truth-be-told, I don’t think we would’ve met had I been spewing rates all over the place. Plenty of other online sites do that. We met because we crossed paths and conversed with one another genuinely.

    Be yourself and the rest will follow!

  9. Jay Thompson

    June 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Fantabulous post Lani. Real estate is still ultimately a face-face business (for the most part). But the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Pownce et al are tools that can help fill the pipeline. I’ve “met” many good folks through these tools, re-connected with old friends and (I think) provide a way for people to get to know me and “connect”.

    Forcing it, ramming salesy crap down people’s throats and not acting like yourself are all great ways to turn people off. Turning people off in this business is generally a bad idea.

    “Does anyone have any social media success stories they would like to share?”

    You saw my recent Twitstory. Not a “success” (yet) in terms of an actual sale, but may be…. I do have two active clients that I first “met” on Twitter, and a recent LinkedIn blitz of my old semiconductor stomping grounds have produced several in the Phoenix area that had no idea I was in real estate. Just growin’ that “sphere of influence” one connection at a time….

    @eric – “I wonder if that comes through?” — I think so.

    @jennifer – “Authenticity works”. Brilliant and amen.

  10. Chris Lengquist

    June 3, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    I simply cannot “twitter”. It just doesn’t sound manly.

    As far as success stories are concerned I can measure it in a couple ways. The most awesome is that when people see me again and again an again on different media platforms. They make comments about it. Guess that means they notice and I’m on their mind.

  11. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    June 3, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Ricardo- being yourself is the best sales tool possible. If someone doesn’t like you, they wouldn’t like your services anyhow… if they click with you in a social arena, a transaction with someone you get along with is always easier (and ideal), right?!

    Jay- and amen.

    Chris- I see you as a tremendous success in blogging which is the King of all social media. Because I know you personally, I know that your personality thrives in blogging and I can’t wait until you decide to be girly and “twitter.” 😉 That’s a great point that you are present AND active in multiple platforms… location, location, location applies to SM also, huh?

  12. Rich Jacobson

    June 3, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Let’s face it…most people are simply way too impatient when it comes to social networking, especially as it relates to putting something relatively new through its paces. We live in a microwave, drive-thru, glasses-in-about-a-hour society. We want results, and we want them NOW! However, much of it depends on your individual marketing plan, and how you want to use a particular SN to further your business. I see Twitter as more of a B2B network more so than something I use for consumer-oriented prospects. Much of it is planting seeds. Much of what we do as RE pros is simply planting seeds. Twitter is like a fun fertile field for sowing who and what I am. Like all such involvements, it’s a garden that needs tending. But there are rewards, both professionally and personally.

  13. Matthew Hardy

    June 3, 2008 at 4:55 pm


  14. Ricardo Bueno

    June 3, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    “If someone doesn’t like you, they wouldn’t like your services anyhow…”

    How very true! There’s no sense in trying to convince them either. The more you try, the more distant they become.

    “if they click with you in a social arena, a transaction with someone you get along with is always easier (and ideal), right?!”

    But of course! It makes life and work more fun this way. And that’s how things should be…you should be having fun doing what you do.

  15. Jeanne Breault

    June 8, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    There’s a saying from a community in the Catholic Church that summarizes this concept. I won’t promote the community or the complete saying because I respect everyone’s religious preferences and affiliation.

    I do want to share the first part of the saying, which is “Make a friend, be a friend…” For our purposes the third part could “to earn your friend’s business.”

    It’s such an important concept in business and in life. If people know we care about them beyond making a buck, they are much more likely to trust us and want to do business with us. And God knows real estate agents are (maybe) a notch about attorneys and used car salesmen – with apologies to anyone reading this who might be in one of these professions!

  16. ines

    June 9, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Nice!! (doing the cabage patch here)

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