Facebook is really cool. It's fun, it's dynamic and it can be very addicting. Who among Facebook Nation hasn't been on the site and then looked up at the clock and said, "Oh my God, there is no way I have been on here that long!!!"
Facebook allows Realtors and Managers to connect with co-workers, co-op agents, friends, family and clients (past, current and future) but it can also be one of the biggest time traps just waiting to swallow you whole.
My suggestion - Schedule several Facebook 15's into your daily plans. One early in the morning before you leave home, one that overlaps with your lunch hour and one late in the day and you'll not only be adding great value to your social networking efforts, you'll be gaining back some precious productivity time during business hours.
The key is to use those 15 minutes wisely.
U - Update your status ~ Tell the world what you're doing or share an inspirational quote, music lyric, funny joke or pose a question. You shouldn't always be talking about real estate so keep the new listing announcements and "Do you know a Buyer" requests to a minimum. I suggest one out of ten posts should be about real estate. Ask yourself - do my friends really want to hear me talk about real estate all the time?
S - See who might be celebrating a birthday ~ Facebook always lists your friends who may be celebrating a birthday on the home page. Drop them a message, post on their wall, send them an email or maybe even...call them in person?!! I know it sounds weird but people do still do that these days. I guarantee you - you will stand out.
E - Engage with someone who has just updated their status ~ Take a few minutes to read what your friends have posted. You can search by status updates, look at the most recent postings or search from one of your specific groups you may have created. Add a few comments, congratulate someone who shared something exciting or post an opposite opinion. It's called "social networking" so you're supposed to engage with others. Don't just be a "Facebook Peeping Tom" and peek at others.
I - Inbox – check yours for message ~ More and more people are using the internal messaging capabilities of Facebook to send more secure messages. This is a great spot to send people messages you would want their other friends to see on their wall.
T – Tweet in conjunction ~ If you're also a Twitterer, many different tools will allow you to post your message on Twitter and then have it feed over to Facebook. It just might help you kill two birds with one stone.. Just don't kill that bird that serves as Twitter's logo. She's kinda cute.
W – Where, What and Why? ~ People who read your post update should be able to answer these questions about you: Where are you? What are you doing? Why are you doing it? While it doesn't have to be real estate related, it just might get people to think of you, or a neighbor, friend or co-worker who has been there before, done what you're doing or perhaps, they just might need real estate assistance in the near future. They weren't thinking of you and your referral needs before they read your update but now they are. This Facebook 15 just might turn into Facebook $15,000!
I – Inquire about something. Try to stimulate a response ~ Be provocative. Be current or topical? Be a bit obscure. Just try not to be too political or religious. On Friday afternoons I always try to post a music question. I call it my Facebook Friday Happy Hour Song of the Week. I'll toss out a topic for people to think of a song that fits the criteria. I'll even suggest a few possibilities. Then, I sit back and wait for the replies to come in.
Example: What's your favorite song that has a specific location in the title? Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett? Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd? Hotel California by The Eagles? Mexico by James Taylor?
S – Stay away from chatting during business hours ~ The chatting function is neat and allows for real time connections but I just don't recommend you engage in this during business hours. If you're trying to keep each visit to Facebook under fifteen minutes, staying away from chat conversations will help.
E – Check your Events for the upcoming weeks ~ Have you been invited to any events? Have you forgotten to RSVP for anything? Check this now. If you're going to attend, send them a message telling them you're excited about seeing them. If you can't make it or don't want to go, drop them a note when you RSVP telling them to have a great time, good luck or to be sure to invite you the next time. They'll be glad you took the time to reach out and the other people who see the invite will see that you connected.
L – Log off ~ Remember, it's just supposed to be for 15 minutes. If the clock hits 15 and you're not done, jot a quick note to yourself of what else you wanted to do and pick up there during your next Facebook 15 session later in the day. Discipline yourself before your lack of business disciplines you.
Y – Yes, it’s okay to be “off line” for a while ~ Your business survived before Facebook and it now it's important for you to prove to yourself that it can survive with it. Spend time and energy with people IRL - "In Real Life."
Remember...Face to Face is sometimes better than Facebook to Facebook.
If you're not already one of my Facebook Friends, I invite you to connect with me there. I can't say I'll always have time to engage with you, but I just might come across you during fifteen minutes here or there.