A while back, Chris wrote an intriguing post about Online Reputation Management. One of the recommendations he shared for managing your own online reputation was to use services like Google Alerts to notify you any time specific words have surfaced throughout the internet.
Just recently, he also mentioned a service called TweetBeep that allows you to set up notifications when anyone on Twitter uses specific words in their tweets. For example, I set up my TweetBeep to notify me anytime the word ‘Point2’ is used in Twitter.
I think it is in human nature to want to know what people are saying about you, and these types of social media tools certainly help us keep tabs on our reputation. But, it can actually provide a benefit to your business as well by helping you connect with your customers and engage them.
Imagine this: As a customer, you are unhappy with the service you received from a company. You mention your disappointment casually on your blog or social network of choice. The following day (or maybe even that afternoon) you receive an email or phone call from that very company to apologize and expressing interest in making things right. How would you feel after that?
Or, on the flip side of that coin, if you mentioned something you felt was outstanding about a service received or product you have used, and the company called you to say ‘Thanks!’ and give you some love by way of free products/services, how would you feel after that?
I certainly don’t mean to suggest that everyone begin tweeting, commenting, and blogging about every negative or positive experience they have in the hopes of getting props and free stuff out of every company. I guess my point is to show just how powerful social media and social networking has become in the business world.
This is no less important in the real estate business world. If you’ve provided excellent customer service to an individual and they tell their followers on Twitter, or blog about it, it is likely you may gain some referral business from them this way. The same goes for any negative feedback that might surface on the internet about you. You might lose some business if it goes unchecked. Do you know what is being said about you? Do you take it a step further and engage those who have something to say about you?
Real estate is a customer-service oriented business and it makes perfect sense to interact with and engage your customers at the same level they are at. You better believe that the likelihood of your customers using Twitter and other social media tools is growing daily. Consider that Twitter recently reached over 1 billion ‘tweets’, has about 1.45 million unique visitors, and boasts some pretty impressive numbers.
Make sure you don’t neglect the opportunity to truly engage your customers with the help of social media. I welcome everyone to share your experiences of how social media has impacted your real estate business and how you have been able to use social media to engage your customers.