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3.5 Rules – Social Selling Etiquette?

Before I start

let me just say ….TWITTER ROCKS!!

I love when people share articles in Twitter that they are reading, but no one shares better articles than my mentor Paul Chaney (yes Paul….one day you will get tired of my plugs – he’s @PChaney btw) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Paul shared Nathan McGee’s post on 3 Rules of Social Selling Etiquette which is a must read for every Realtor involved in Social Networking. Blogosphere rules are ever changing and only by being here can you even begin to understand what’s happening. I remember my first comments on Active Rain a couple of years back where I would sign with my name and web address…… It was in a nice e-mail from Rich Jacobson that I found out that doing that was considered spam – OUCH!!

To get back to the point – Social Networking HATES hard sells, so don’t do it!! My hat goes off to Nathan when he says:

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social media is about connecting. If you are truly as great as you think you are and dominate the field where you feel you are an expert, you will be able to let others do all the promoting for you while you continue to provide stories and advice that highlight your expertise. Actions speak louder than words and you can sit there talking about how great you are or you can show it by providing useful information or entertainment.

So here are his 3 Social Selling Etiquette Rules – and please pay attention, a lot of you are breaking these.

  • Rule #1 No Blatant Self Advertising.
  • Rule # 1.5 It is ok to โ€œplugโ€ yourself (but there’s a fine line, so be careful with this one)
  • Rule #2 Be true to your motives (I love this one because it is important to go back to the basics, to the beginning and really think of the reasons you are there…..don’t forget ROI)
  • Rule #3 Do not just add โ€œfriends!โ€ (I’m still working on this one – the whole concept of turning down “a friend” is hard for me to swallow).

A lot of people will knock me for twittering (my kids are included in that group), for facebooking, linkedIn’ing (there’s no way I can make that one a verb), powncing, seesmic’ing, or flickr’ing…… what’s important is for you to feel comfortable with the medium and to analyze your intentions and your ROI, if any. Paul asked a few of us yesterday to describe in one word what it takes to be successful in social media and my answer was “time”….but “respect” and “transparent motives” are up there as well.

Written By

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtorยฎ with Majestic properties, Ines authors,, and and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.



  1. Mike Mueller

    August 26, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Love the article – It so very true.
    No Hard Sell. Just don’t do it

    One point, if this is a post about twittering – why couldn’t I find yours? Just saying…
    (hey everyone, it’s @Ines)

    Respectfully yours,


  2. Todd Carpenter

    August 26, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I agree Ines. Turning down a “friend” goes against everything I ever learned as a marketer. Yeah they may then market to you, but you can always return the favor. I’m on social networks as much to meet new people as I am to network with people I already know.

  3. Ines

    August 26, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Holy Cow Mike! I just noticed I was not following you on Twitter – what happened there? see?… least this post was good for something! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m glad you feel the same way I do Todd and I’m also on social networks as much to meet new people as I am to network with people I already know (although maybe I do more of the later).

  4. Benn Rosales

    August 26, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    If you have a productive strategy for building as many “friends” as possible then you should. If your goal is to actually build a relationship with people that is fruitful, then it’s a step by step undertaking. I can see both sides to this coin, but facebook is off the charts insane- Twitter isn’t so bad because it’s just more intuitive to relationship building. I dread logging onto facebook because I just don’t know the folks coming at me, but what’s insane is that I want to- I’ve simply found that through twitter I can manage it.

  5. Mary Pope-Handy

    August 26, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Amen! Actually the whole “friends” or “connections” thing is a bit of a Hot Button for me – it strikes me as very weird the way some people do it. Getting messages from total strangers asking to be connected to me on LinkedIn “so we can refer business to each other” (sight unseen, NO relationship at all) seems crass and stupid. Sort of like hitch-hiking with your business. Why on earth would I refer biz to someone whom I only know because he or she IM’d me on a social media one time? No thanks – I’m pickier than that and turn them down every time.

    But…on Facebook, I view it as more social then “for referrals” so am more open about friend requests if it’s someone connected to other someones whom I know. But again, total stranger, no connection? I don’t think so. The Facebook friends are going to hear that a family member is sick or that my kid’s leaving for college. That stuff won’t find its way to Linked In.

    Great conversation, Ines!

  6. Ines

    August 26, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Benn – I know so many people with great strategies for facebook and hate the idea of Twitter – I’m with you about it being more manageable, but I think with a strategy any of the social networks can work. I find it funny in twitter now to find a DM from a new follower that reads “thanks for following, check out my website”….although that may fall into rule 1.5 (it still bugs me)

    Hey Mary – I think those people that do what you are mentioning are the clueless ones and the ones that need to read this article. They don’t get that they need to socialize first and then ask us to go to bed with them ๐Ÿ™‚ I find those people more on LinkedIN, but that’s me.

  7. Lesley

    August 26, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    I catch a ton of crap from people about social networking. I haven’t been able to find a finite answer to quell their disbelief, YET, but I know I like it and I know I learn from it…so it must be good! My facebook, etc. preceeded my AR and twitter life, so I don’t know how well they merge now, but I am working towards a cohesive and manageable presence. Thanks for sharing your POV!

  8. Melissa | Talk San Francisco Real Estate

    August 26, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I think the one thing that even makes a blog stand out among the other stock websites is that it is not just a site about me, me, and more me. It is a way for your potential clients or anyone else to get to know more about you and basically interview you before they even call you. The last thing you want to do is plug yourself with every single post. I’m not going to lie. Of course on my market stats pages, I put contact me for more information, but it’s not what all of my posts are about. I have seen so many great blogs out there (like yours…plug for you) that I think people can differentiate between what people’s intentions are. I’m sure these people have a really short average time per visit.

  9. Ines

    August 26, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Lesley – it’s ALL good!! that’s all that matters – keep doing your thing and know how it’s benefiting you.

    Melissa, thanks for the plug! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think there’s a learning curve for blogging and all these social networking sites. We are allowed to make mistakes but we need to pay attention as well and make progress. It’s those people that refuse to grow and refuse to look around that are a problem (maybe not for us since they really are hurting themselves).

  10. Sean Rafferty

    August 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Big thanks to Mike for pluggin this on Twitter.

    I agree w/Mary – for now, FB is for personal friends. I have been toying w/the idea of creating another FB account which wouldn’t be locked & would be for anyone (already have four Twitter accounts for varying purposes:

    @seanrafferty – public, where I tweet @ everything. Personal friends, relatives (ok, only my geek brother), mtg/RE friends, San Diego Chargers friends, local people who looked interesting, etc)

    @mtgR8upD8s – funny, but this is where it all started for me. I read about Brian Brady Tweet rates and then I think I realized Dan Green was doing it, so… yeah, I dug the concept & piggy backed on the idea & now port the feed back to my blog (incidentally, I’ve cut back on my daily blog posts as I’ve feel my “freshness” craving has been satisfied once I tweet once for the day to the site. As far as the quality and engagability of my posts, well, you can hope/pray/and/or/wish-me-luck on that one! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @friendsofsean – limited to personal tweets & followed by only those who’d care enough about my 2 yr old learning (or rather me coaching for now) @ how to poop on a toilet (I can only imagine how quickly my few followers @seanrafferty would unsubscribe after 2 or 3 tweets like that!)

    @limitedfollows – for the tweets I’d actually care to have texted to me, for now, it’s just @mortgagereports – nice to get a wee bit more info than what MMG & MBSRW are texting me and incidentally, TODAY was the FIRST time I actually RECEIVED a Tweet text despite subscribing weeks ago – guess they ironed out some wrinkle. Whoa – that was a trip – AS I wrote that last sentence I received another tweet text from @mortgagereports – too weird!

    Mmmm, now as I review my comment, I’m wondering whether someone out there would write an etiquette guide on commenting!? I’m sure I just broke at least a rule or two I don’t even know about! (-: R smiley faces a no-no? ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  11. Ines

    August 27, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Hey Sean, I’m not trying to be mean here or anything but I think your issues are beyond etiquette – you wouldn’t happen to have Multiple Personality Dishorder, would you? ๐Ÿ™‚ ….and yes! Mike is ‘DA MAN for plugging this post on twitter

  12. Sean Rafferty

    August 27, 2008 at 7:05 pm


    Hmmm, not sure whether to be offended or call a doctor! ๐Ÿ˜•

    Maybe I should go find other Tweetheads that’d openly confess to having more than one handle and start a support group… only trouble would be keeping track of everyone w/all the multiple handles!

  13. Benn Rosales

    August 27, 2008 at 7:26 pm


  14. Ines

    August 28, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Sean – no…..never offended please, just playing. I really think it would be a mess to try to keep a handle on all the handles! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Mike Mueller

    August 28, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Sean –
    I have 3.
    Most everyone here knows just about the one, @MikeMueller
    That’s me, that’s the human. The others are very narrowly focused and most people will not know about them (and don’t need to).
    Feel better?

    On a side note, Ines says I’m a trip, so maybe you shouldn’t be feeling better after all?

  16. Paul Chaney

    August 29, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Thanks for the plug Ines. I appreciate it.

  17. ines

    August 29, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Paul – no know I have your back! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. BobH

    March 19, 2009 at 8:05 am

    How do you manage all these tweets and still get any work done? How many tweets do you send/receive each day?

    For you real estate agents, have you ever got any business from being active on Twitter?


    PS, yes, I am one of the unenlightened who is trying to figure out if this is a valuable business tool for me and my business before jumping in.

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