Do You Have ‘Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome’?

The big story in the blogosphere this week is that Facebook has released Timeline for business pages. Blogs will be written, tweets will be made, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few webinars in the works. All of this is great. But just remember one thing;

Nobody cares about your Facebook page.

I wrote that post two years ago when the latest shiny object was that everyone needed to have a custom landing tab for their Facebook business page. Since then, many crazes have come and gone. Quora, QR Codes, Empire Avenue … the list goes on. Some of these shiny objects are just plain fun, and it’s okay to play, just don’t call it work. But too often, I see real estate agents spending way to much time chasing the latest shiny object for their business.

This week we are obsessed with Facebook again. The question at the heart of all the chatter: How are we going to take advantage of all these new features? If you have a business page, you probably should take a look at what has changed. But just like two years ago, the real issue is the business strategy behind your online efforts. Have you been spending your time trying to learn how to master the latest shiny object before you’ve even determined why you need to? Are you focused on pinning or winning?

Don’t get caught up in the hype. Here are five tips for avoiding social media syndrome. It’s a good list. Remember to focus on the proven stuff that already works and let others chase the latest shiny objects.

Todd Carpenter

Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of the Data Analytics Group at NAR I'm a twenty year veteran of the real estate and mortgage industry, focusing on technology that fosters relationships between professionals and consumers. I am a subject matter expert in data analytics, online consumer trends, enterprise social media strategy, listing data, agent ratings, and public facing MLS portals.

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  1. I still have not gotten into Pinterest. I think I am about the only one. I hope it is just a passing phase.

  2. Andrea,

    Pinterest is definitely one of the shiniest objects right now. I think it’s pretty fun, and there might be an effective way for agents to use it in their business. Heck, people also get business by playing on a slow pitch softball or joining a quilting club. But I don’t think agent would write that into their business plan.

  3. Theresa hatton

    Thank you!!! I’ve been teaching this for years and realtors keep saying they don’t want a personal page only a business page…and I keep saying no one goes to facebook to learn about your business. Business pages are free supplements and it’s foolish NOT to have one but they need to be integrated into a complete marketing strategy. There is a place for them but creating a page on its own will do nothing to make or break your business if it’s not part of a total strategic package.

  4. Great post Todd. A good reminder for all. It seems like almost monthy there are NEW and AMAZING applications, websites, & social media outlets/distractions that are the “it” thing….for a few months.

  5. Ok, one more time …

    We are in a moment in time I will refer to as “OverKill” … As someone who makes their living teaching the uses of Social Media platforms to small businesses, I am ready to slit my wrists every time someone asks …”Well, What About XXXXX?” referring to some Shiny New (See: Pinterest for Example)! I have to bite my lip and use politically correct language to say .. “Are you F’n Nuts!? You’re having trouble logging into Facebook right now, and you haven’t posted a useful Blog in 4 weeks, and you think you can learn (Insert Shiny New Here)!”

    I have Coached youth sports for over 25 years, from T-Ball to High School Varsity (3 different sports even), and no championship team I coached was ever built without first creating a firm grasp of “The Basics”…Catch the ball, throw the ball, hit the ball … With a ratio of 4 Social Media “Gurus” to every 1 Potential User, we are in a Steroidal period of Too Many Gurus, not enough Indians”!

    For Christ’s Sake people! Learn the “Basics” first! Then I dare you to learn all the Shiny News! Because no one can =(

    TheRECoach (Totally Frustrated)

  6. I joined Pinterest just to see what the noise was all about. Haven’t uploaded a single picture or created a board. Won’t say “never” but I’m not worried about being left behind as some agents have suggested is going to happen to anyone who doesn’t jump on the Pinterest bandwagon now. I agree with TheReCoach that if you don’t know how to use the basics in social media then falling in love with a new toy isn’t going to help you grow your business.

  7. That is so funny. I just heard of Pinterest this week from a real estate business owner of mine. Never that it would go far but I actually like it. Since I am a visual person, it helps a lot. Can be addicting as well.

  8. I am the Social Media Marketing Director for a small, luxury real estate company in Denver and I have to say that I agree with you 100%.Social media helps people STAY connected with businesses on a more personal level, but is not effective for reaching NEW clients. That’s where people go wrong… wondering why their “likes” and “followers” numbers aren’t exploding just because they posted a few status updates.

  9. Brian morgan

    Todd, only a realtor and someone who worked for the outdated NAR would talk down social media. Most agents still believe that Facebook is a fad, yet fb is eating your lunch on the web. The problems with the NAR is that the world is changing all around you at warp speed, and you’re syltill back in the storage with your mindset.

    You mention that “no one cares about your Facebook page” yet every major company in the world has one. And their research depts and personnel are probably a bit more experienced than the NAR.

    You’re far from the voice of real estate. You’re the voice of of an old and long outdated organization who’s time has come to be replaced with people who get it.

  10. Social Media seems to change as quickly as the technology we use it on. Good food for thought!

  11. Brian Morgan, Take a closer look at the post linked to “no one cares about your Facebook page”. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have one, only that pouring money into a custom design seemed like a waste of money to me. I wrote that post two years ago when custom pages were all the rage. By the end of the month, those custom pages will all be gone. Facebook has decided they don’t deliver the proper user experience. As you read that post again, notice I say

    “people who are surfing Facebook are expecting a Facebook user experience. A non-customized page looks like the rest of Facebook. That’s often a superior user experience to customizing Facebook to sort of look like your brand.”

    I’m certainly not talking down social media, only some of the unproductive practices that involve it.

  12. Brian morgan

    So why didn’t you just say that!:). Seriously tho, the only thing that doesn’t change are realtors. The common folk are outdated and blind to change. Everything is so dumbed down to pander to the NAR membership where mediocrity is accepted with open arms. This industry is so far behind and there are companies out there who list homes using your data…and they do it better than the realtors can. This is one trade association who’s past it’s prime.

  13. Good points Todd. We’re all way too inundated with work as it is…the last thing we need is to continually be learning the latest and greatest social media shinny thing.

  14. I had read this when it first came out, and was thinking about it the other day when an agent was telling me all about the great tech tools that she has been using over the aslt two eyars and all of the new ones she is going to be using. I think I stopped her in her tracks when I asked her, how many homes has she sold in the last two years. Oh, and did you track where that business came from? It’s ashame that we will lose a fair amount of agents who are overly committing to SM alon as lead generation.
    @ Brian Morgan. There are a large number of agents who frankly dont need a FB page for success. Most sit back and see how things shake out on those shiny new objects and they can actually put together an SM plan without spending time and money on fads. . How much money was spent on QR codes by ‘early adopters’?