It’s so easy to communicate today – which is both a blessing and a curse. Just because you can send an e-mail, Tweet or text on any topic doesn’t mean you should. In fact, too many e-mails or sending irrelevant messages is a great way to get yourself banned from your recipients’ contact lists.
Here are a few rules for the road for effective and cordial online communications.
Be relevant and concise. Send e-mails only when you have something of substance to communicate. Don’t make them “all about me!”
Target e-mails to specific audiences and highlight how your message benefits the reader.
When sending e-mail, use subject lines that indicate what the e-mail is about. Avoid spam-like superlatives, such as “promise” and “guaranteed.” In addition, at the end of your e-mail, use your signature to incorporate information your reader may need, including your contact information, Web site, blog URL, recent awards or other distinctions, and/or your tagline.
Don’t add people to your e-mail distribution list unless they’ve asked to be added, or you have a professional relationship with them. Do you want to receive e-mails from everyone with whom you’ve ever exchanged a business card? Short answer: No. Neither do they.
Blogging is a great marketing tool for demonstrating your personality and local market knowledge. As opposed to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, blogging lets you go relatively in-depth into your thoughts about a topic.
When blogging, be personable, informative and use visuals when possible. While it can be helpful to link to others’ articles or resources, the emphasis should be on allowing readers to get to know you and deciding whether they’d like to work with you as a real estate professional.
Though you’re showing personality, that’s not license for a grammar free-for-all. Don’t post sloppy writing – and check your spelling! In addition, never take negative swipes at other companies or colleagues, and use restraint when discussing topics on which people have strong opinions. What you say about others may be an indication of what you’d say about anyone, and risk making potential clients and partners wary.
Once you start blogging, keep at it. No one will be impressed by a blog last updated in 2011.
We could go on about the dos and don’ts of social media. Perhaps the most significant point is that what you post online can live forever. Proceed with caution! Even if you immediately regret a post and take it down, it may have been seen and shared, damaging your reputation.
Involvement in social media is increasingly required by successful businesses – and, when used effectively, is a valuable marketing asset.
Here are some tips:
- Be aware of how posts can be misunderstood or taken out of context. Before you post a joke, flippant language or negative comment, stop and think. Will it advance your relationships?
- Define your niche. Determine which social media sites are aligned with your clients and goals. Actively engage on those sites and don’t feel pressured to join all the others.
- Social means “social.” Don’t use social media solely to promote yourself. Engage in conversations and share valuable information. Make yourself a resource.
- If you post your listings or open houses on social media, be sure you’re offering plenty of other types of post, as well.
- Listen. While you post to stay active on social media, a good deal of its benefit comes from tuning into conversations shared by others and tapping into their interests and trends.
- If you have a lot to say on a topic, use social media to drive followers to your Web page and more extensive post on your blog. Don’t try to fit it all on Facebook!
- “Friend” people and link with them online to build relationships or actively network. Don’t do so blindly or just to boost your numbers.
- Connect with colleagues. While real estate is competitive, there’s a lot to gain from professional connections with whom you can share questions as well as advice.
Questions? Additional thoughts? Post them here or drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.