As I go on many of the Social Networking Sites, I am sometimes speechless – it is incredible what people write about on these sites. Years ago, our younger son went for a job interview and the Interviewer said, get off MySpace and be very careful what you put in print – it will come back to haunt you in the years to come. So true.
Let me ask you a question: What is the first thing you do when you want more information on any topic…when you want to know more about a celebrity or historical figure? You Google it…come on, admit, we all do it…we all Google everything nowadays. As REALTORS, what makes us think we are un-Goolgleble? Facebook can and does affect what we have spent years building: our brand, our reputation, our professional identity, and ultimately our ability to be hired as a listing agent or buyer’s agent.
As REALTORS, we must come to the realization that Sellers and Buyers will…and do…Google us. Fact: You have a name – You are Googleble. Fact: Social Networking accounts (even if you only have one) are Googleble. What does that mean for us as REALTORS? It means you and your reputation are searchable. So, now that we know that just about anything and everything about us is Googleble, what do we do?
Facebook counts…big-time…more than 600,000 million people are on Facebook. Facebook has surpassed Google as the number one search engine. Facebook results show up in Google searches. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all the Social Networking sites play a role in building and influencing your image…your reputation. You have a big decision to make: protect what you post by using private settings or think, and think twice, before you post or share. Just remember, even if you have set your posts as private, what guarantees do you have that the “private” post you share with someone won’t be copied and passed along for others to see? Can you spell the word “viral”?
We all know that Sellers and Buyers are on the Social Networks – be honest, that’s why a lot of us are compelled to participate. We “friend” them, they “follow” us and they even “connect” with us…uhh ohh…now what do about those not so professional posts and tweets…about those “wild and crazy” moments captured in photos and videos? Makes you think? It should. We’ve all heard the great promo for Vegas: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Guess what? The same holds true for Social Networking sites….What happens on Facebook stays on Facebook…or Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.
So how do you keep from mixing business with pleasure…from mixing friends with customers and clients? You can’t totally…but one of the best and fastest ways is to have separate accounts. Your Facebook profile page is for friends and family…create a Business page for business customers and clients – did you notice that the pages have a “like” button and your profile page has “friends”?….hmmmm.
One final personal observation: I read everyday on Facebook when and where people are going on vacation or off for the weekend. I’m sure you’ve seen this on the news…people have gotten robbed because of what they revealed on Facebook. No one needs to know when you are leaving town except your closest relatives or friends. You don’t need to tell the world….think before you post!
Next week I’m going to contradict myself and tell you to put everything in writing…but that’s for next Monday….until then…