Social media 101

Private Property South Africa

Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, warns that agents stand to antagonise clients and lose business if they commercialise their social media profiles.

“Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn,” said Clarke, “have proved to be exceptionally powerful tools for keeping in touch with previous clients, friends, family and business colleagues. However, if these online media platforms are used as sales tools, for example for the listing of properties, the recipients could possibly react negatively to those sending them out – and we have seen this already happening.”

He says that estate agents making use of social media should realise that the platforms are there for fostering friendships, not for monetary gain.

“As we all know,” he said, “there can be big commercial advantages in getting your name better known out there, but this has to be very subtly done. All attempts at self-promotion on social media should be shunned, as should any comments on one’s opposition, as well as politics and religion.

“Above all, I believe, it is important to entertain and to be encouraging to others. If it is not in your power to be humorous, do at least try to be genuine. Also, at all costs, avoid extreme trivia of a personal nature.

“We have at our disposal, wonderful communication tools – but we have to learn to use them wisely, always bearing in mind the reactions of those who, of their own free will, are going to read your comments.”

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