For Anyone Still Considering Facebook

by Laryssa on 10/14/2009 · 3 comments |  Subscribe

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My mom is a real estate agent in her early 50s. She is awesome at what she does, and she is an extremely knowledgeable resource for her customers. However, she is self-conscious about the “social networking craze”, a trend among realtors, and she is always asking me, “Laryssa, should I get a Facebook or a Twitter? I want people to know who I am”.

My answer is always this: If you have to ask someone else whether you should join Facebook and/or Twitter, and you spend more than five minutes analyzing the decision, then please don’t do it.

I think part of the problem is that my mom is negatively influenced by young “social media gurus” trying to make a buck. They target realtors in her age group, selling seminars and consulting services. They make her feel like she needs to be on top of the social networking scene in order to remain relevant, and they are trying to convince her to pay them a consultation fee.

Mom, don’t listen to them. Not everyone is ready for social networking, and that’s okay. Why? Because not all customers are ready for social networking either. You may miss out on a handful of hip, young clients by forgoing Facebook, but who’s to say that Facebook will even be worth your time, especially if you don’t enjoy the time you spend there?

“But all the realtors I know use Facebook,” she says.

“Do you think they use Facebook appropriately?” I ask. “What do you want to achieve with it?”

“I want people to know what I do, and I want them to contact me if they need a realtor.”

A common misconception about Facebook is that it is an advertising channel. Yes, you can advertise on Facebook, but no, the ultimate goal of joining Facebook should not be to advertise. Facebook is a social networking platform not a billboard.

What does that mean? Well, do you remember networking? Before the Internet, career-minded people would reach out to their contacts with the hopes of strengthening professional relationships. They could achieve this with a phone call, a personal letter, or a business lunch.

Facebook is the lazy person’s mode of networking without the business casual attire. No one can force a desire to join Facebook. You either want to network online or you don’t. If you don’t like using Facebook/don’t understand it, you’re not going to use it – and other Facebook users are going to know! Personally, I think an unused Facebook account is worse than a nonexistent one.

Don’t let a “social media guru” convince you otherwise.

kelly sgandurra 10/14/2009 at 7:16 am

hmmm we could think like this .. when i say we i mean .. people betwen 20 – 35 , we can consider that we know about this “social media guru” but at her age you should really pay more attention and explain her step by step.
my mom has the same problem and until i didn’t spend with her half a day on our pc she did’t get it how things work :) funny post thogh :P (and i bet there are sooo many in this situation..)

Andrew Krebs-Smith 10/14/2009 at 7:20 am

Great post, I totally agree. People get easily brainwashed by all the success stories of social media (people think that only means facebook and twitter) and want to have a presence on certain networks just because it’s a fad. I hope this dies out soon. Where people interact online should be based on research, goals, positioning, and your audience.

mermaid 10/14/2009 at 7:54 am

Great Article. Hands down.

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