Your social media efforts should be an extension of the things you do offline that help you earn trust, build relationships and, ultimately, close deals. Think of your Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages as another way to network with clients in the same way as you would if you were chatting with them in person, with the added advantage of reaching a lot more people at the same time.

Approach social media the same way you approach face-to-face conversations and apply the same basic principles of effective communication:

» Be familiar – Treat your fans and followers as friends, rather than
prospective buyers and sellers.  You want your clients to like you, so be
likeable – give compliments, celebrate milestones, and be a good friend
and neighbor.

» Be patient – Strong relationships don’t develop overnight. It takes time to
gain trust, so commit to consistent communication.

» Find common ground – It’s natural for us to gravitate towards people who
have the same interests and values. Look for ways to connect by sharing your
story and your roots in the community.

» Give something valuable – Posting photos and specs about your listings is
just selling, not sharing. Think about how to inform, inspire and involve your
fans and followers.

» Keep things in context – Take a look at what’s going on in the world and
what people are talking about and relate it to the things you share on social
» Be engaged and responsive – Good conversations are a two-way street. If
you’re just talking at people about yourself or your listings, they’re going to
stop listening. Pay attention by encouraging participation and listening to
feedback. And don’t forget to participate as well, by leaving comments or
responding to tweets.

Always keeping in mind that social media is a conversation, not a pitch or a hard sell, will help you develop a lasting and rewarding dialogue with your clients. The more you practice, the easier it gets to keep the conversation going online.