Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.
Lately every third article (or so it seems) in the real estate world touches on the subject of "social media", primarily facebook. Realtors are advised to hop aboard the social media train because if they don't, they will be left standing bags in hand at some forlorn rural station just like Petticoat Junction. I have given the matter some thought and I disagree with this assessment altogether. I have read quite a few books and articles that tell me otherwise, so I think I'm going against the grain of "common wisdom" on this topic. However, most of these books are authored by people who have already successfully used the platform of social media to sell their products. This platform is now becoming more crowded than a Bangledeshi ferry.
In his blog article, Fred Carver brings up the question of whether social media is a fad for real estate people. First, I'd like to make a clear distinction. Social Media (or internet 2.0) is not the same thing as the internet in general. I truly believe that real estate professionals (or any business for that matter) must have a very strong web presence. I also believe that they must make a concerted effort to remain front and centre in their quest to be found on the net, and this requires a lot of innovative thinking as well as the ability to stay on top of all the latest developments. I am definitely NOT saying that the internet is a fad, I'm saying that social media as a viable form of advertising for Realtors is a fad.
I do think that there is a time and place for everything. I believe that there is going to be a backlash against this concept of "personal branding". People will start looking for trusted names again. Any shyster can gain prominence through the practice of being omnipresent on the web and becoming a roboblogger. Don't get me wrong, there will still be people (Realtors included) who are successful at personal branding and will deservedly reap the rewards of their efforts. These people will succeed for a reason. They are interesting and dynamic people who can command our attention. I don't mean to insult anybody, but the rest of us are,... well... just not that interesting.
I know a couple of musicians, and I have them on my facebook as friends as well as belonging to their "fan page". When they have status updates or announcements to make, I'm interested in reading them, simply because I'm interested to see what they are up to. People like that lead more interesting lives and do more interesting things than the rest of us (or so I imagine). I am also interested in what my kids are up to because I'm cyber stalking them, and I'm interested in the lives of a few friends and family members. The rest of you........ I've already tuned you out. I do not read Joe Carsalesmans updates anymore, nor do I visit his facebook fanpage any more. He's been tuned out. If I'm looking for a car, I'll go to Joe Carsalesman's website and look there. Better yet if he has some sort of blog (from now on I'm only supporting the businesses of people who are literate), and I like what he has to say. Chances are though, if he has been inundating me with mindless tweets and twarks, clamouring for my attention, trying to entice me to read his mindless blog postings and business specials, I'll be looking for his competitor's website.
Pretty soon it will no longer be "social media" and it will be "commercial media". As Malcolm Gladwell would put it, we are reaching the tipping point.