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After reading this recent post by Chris Smith it got me thinking. Social Media is something I am passionate about. Especially Twitter. I started using Social Media over two years ago as a way to market my services. The main reason I signed up on Twitter to begin my marketing is because when I entered the mortgage industry and started my own business I had limited money for marketing after start up costs.

Therein lies the problem with Social Media. It’s free. Most Mortgage Brokers and Realtors jump into Social Media because it’s free, easy to do (they think), and/or someone told them they should.

Social Media isn’t for everyone and that’s ok. Social Media isn’t the silver bullet that will get your phone ringing off the hook with minimal effort of your part. Just like anything to do with business, your Social Media strategy needs a plan. You have a business plan right?

It’s Called Social Media Not Selling Media

You can’t automate Twitter. Period. There are some great tools built in by many Real Estae website providers that allow Realtors to auto tweet their new listings and open houses. Don’t use them. If you are only using the automated tools provided by your website and your Tweets only contain the words, “I JUST LISTED” or “OPEN HOUSE TODAY”, delete your Twitter account.

If you are a mortgage broker and all your tweets are about rates, or calling you for a pre-approval. Delete your Twitter account.

You Have To Make Time

Twitter is a fast moving Social Media platform and the conversation about you and your industry is happening whether you like it or not. While Twitter may be free to use it does require a significant investment of your time. It’s impossible to be successful with Twitter by only spending minimal time on it. If you only Tweet once every few days or weeks don’t bother. If you think of Twitter as a chore to have to “do” don’t bother signing up. You have to place Social Media into your workflow. How often do you check your email and voice mail throughout the day? Your Twitter account should get the same attention. If you’re not willing to invest the time delete your account.

Share Quality Content. Not Just Yours

Twitter is a great way to share content. It’s not a great tool to share ALL your content. Every Tweet you post shouldn’t have a link. Every tweet you post should especially not have a link to your website. Social Media is about sharing content not just broadcasting only yours. If you end every tweet with a link to your website, delete your twitter account now.

Twitter is conversation and to succeed on Social Media the conversation can’t be one way. If you aren’t willing to invest in the time and effort it takes to build relationships with the people that follow your tweets you’re wasting your time. If you’re not willing to invest the time in building these relationships delete your Twitter account.

Take Online, Offline

People ultimately do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust. Twitter can turn a cold call into a warm lead. That’s the silver bullet of Social Media. If you aren’t willing to spend the time getting to know your followers online and reaching out to take it offline, delete your Twitter account.

Feel Free To Connect

I’d love to get your thoughts. Feel free to find me on Twitter (@sdd) or if you need more than 140 characters you can leave a comment below. If you’re in Vancouver I’d love to take the conversation further over a cup of coffee. Feel free to contact me anytime.