In the days of my Great Grandpa Blackmer, if you wanted to chat with someone, you had to see them, as in really SEE them, in person. You rode to the next town, knocked on their door and paid a visit. Then, Alexander Graham Bell gave us the telephone. The phone was a great way of contacting people, building relationships. Easier on the horse too. The problem with the phone was you had to actually pick it up, dial it and really chat with the people at the other end. If we wanted to connect, we had to make the call. In fact, for most real estate agents, it was that horrendously tedious work that killed the magic of the phone. Now we can text, tweet, snap, and who knows what else. Communication has changed a bunch.
Today’s ride/call/whatever is social media. And despite what up and comers would like you believe, Facebook is still King. It has boasts over 1.86 billion users. They estimate that roughly 2/3rds of those users login daily. The average user has 166 friends. The biggest demographic is 25-34 year olds, constituting 29,7% of Facebookers. What an incredible database that could be! The problem, however, remains the same. You actually have to actually CONTACT those people.
To make contact, I recommend a simple plan that, if implemented, will make your Facebook time focused business building time (keeping in mind that building a business based on relationships is a long term, consistent kind of project). It goes like this: 10/1/2/3. Let me explain:
10. Spend 10 minutes a day on Facebook. By the way, this is far less time than you would spend calling three members of your sphere of influence to catch up (not that I am recommending you cease utilizing the telephone). You can go longer. I don’t want to interfere with your Candy Crush, Subway Surfers or Criminal Case time. What I want is ten minutes using the plan, whatever else you do is extra. Just don’t negate your ten minutes of focus. Also be aware that the most effective connectors might do their ten minutes three, four, or five times a day.
1. One update per session. An update is you notifying the world about what you’re up to. It can be personal, a link to a great article about something relevant, some pictures, a video clip or it can be about business. CAUTION!!! No one wants to see a daily driveling about your listings, contracts or buyers. My friend, Matthew Ferrara suggests that for every one hundred posts, one can be about business. That gives you 99 to make up for the one. I’m a little more forgiving. I’m happy to see your business post once a week, MAX, maybe more like one in ten. That doesn’t mean that you can’t tell me you’re showing property after dropping off the kids. Business is often what you are doing and as your friend, I’m okay with that. But, as your friend, I didn’t sign-up to be “businessed” to death. Don’t be Ned from Groundhog Day (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JEryd3Y_G8). I love you and I want to be your friend, I’m just not interested in the pain I feel when you post your listings daily, or feel the need to show me the pics of that wonderful home four days in a row, or how you’re reducing the price (get it right the first time – I digress).
2. Two new friends. It’s easy to find friends on Facebook. Facebook SUGGESTS them for cryin’ out loud. You can also search the “database” looking for folks you already know (cross reference your sphere of influence constantly) or look through your friend’s friends for possibilities. I group my friends by how I know them: personal friends, agents, fellow instructors etc… By the way, if I’m ever pressed for time, this is the step I will eliminate. There may be a point of diminishing returns in the number of friends you possess.
3. Three comments on your friends postings. We’re talking real live, relevant comments, not the thumbs up shortcut. Target people you would like to connect with, see what they are doing and make appropriate, relevant comments looking for connection. To help, Facebook even reminds you of the people you’ve ignored (under “suggestions”). The key here is CONNECTING. Like the phone, you have to do it for it to work. But the work is what pays off. It’s the connection that deepens relationships and creates some top of mind awareness. For many people, a Facebook comment is as good as a call (some think it’s better because I can read your comment on MY time, whereas your phone call interupts whatever I was doing when you called). This connection thing works so well that I know people that do 10/1/2/5 or 10/1/2/7.
That’s it: 10/1/2/3, a simple plan for using your Facebook time to further your connections with the people you know. Beats riding your horse to the next town for a visit…. well, maybe it does.