Everywhere you look, people are telling you to sign up for Twitter, to post on Facebook and to start reaping the SEO benefits of Google+. This advice comes from well-intentioned friends, family and coworkers who want to see you become the most successful real estate professional in town, but it’s sometimes misguided. Here are some common pros and cons of social media, along with some advice to avoid the worst when navigating the digital waters.

Increased Exposure
Obviously, interacting with people and brands via social networks will increase the visibility of your business. People who were unfamiliar can learn your name and about your services. Consumers who may have have had a negative experience with your agency in the past can see you in a positive light, especially if you respond positively to even the most negative feedback. Plus, Twitter, Facebook and the like give you a new way to keep in contact with current clients.
However, exposure isn’t everything. Just because you’re noticed doesn’t mean that buyers and sellers will rush to your office or pick up their phone to call you right away. Sometimes the payoff doesn’t happen immediately, so you have to be patient and see it through. Similarly, building a following takes time. Patience and experimenting — with types of post, the timing and keywords, among other factors — are necessary for success. Social media is about the long run.
Opening Up
Socializing is an important factor whenever you sign on to Google+ or LinkedIn. You can make business contacts and attract new clients, but once you start asking questions, you’re going to get answers. You probably won’t like all of them, but criticism comes with the territory. While followers expect you to be a little personal, they also want professional replies to their complaints.
McDonalds is a major corporation that has experienced this. The social media manager launched the hashtag “McDStories” on Twitter expecting to see happy customers, but many replies were anything but. However, you can think of this as a way for you to improve yourself and your business, turning this con into a pro in the end.
Spreading Yourself Too Thin
One of the major drawbacks to social media applies to you whether you’re in real estate or any other field is wearing yourself too thin. You can take a few steps to remedy this, however:

  • Determine which social media are best for your goals
  • Use a program to schedule your posts
  • Set aside a specific time period to engage with followers
  • Don’t try to join every website
  • Auto re-post links to your own website/blog

Essentially, the more you use technology, the more you’re helping yourself. If you really want to avoid the inevitable time-suck, then consider foregoing communities and groups altogether. Unless you’re specifically looking for business advice on LinkedIn, it might be best to stick to your own Facebook page rather than looking at forums, at least, when you’re on the clock. If you have some spare time when you’re not actually on the clock, these groups can be helpful, though.
As always, the key to success lies in finding the fine line between talk to and talking to your followers. Listen, respond and learn from others to ensure your success.
About the Author
Ben Sawyer is Social Media Strategist for Arverne website. Here he shared with us his own pont of view about social media marketing pros and cons for real estate online promotion.