Lately I’ve been teaching some real estate continuing education courses on blogging and social media. It’s always interesting to me to talk to people whose experience in social media ranges from the complete novice to the grizzled veteran.
At the end of these courses, someone always asks, “What’s the point? I mean, what is the value of spending all this time on social media? Does it really help your business?”
I use social media to meet people. Meet as in real life, face-to-face meet. Not just meet across the keyboard. I don’t do it for “leads”. I do it to meet people, to grow, learn and share. And I’ll freely admit, I do it for fun. Yes, it has led to business which is a wonderful ancillary effect, but that is not my primary purpose in engaging in social media
Every Friday night, a “meetup” happens somewhere in the Phoenix East Valley. For that matter, there are meetup’s happening all across the Phoenix metro area on Friday nights (and Thursday mornings. And for lunch. And on Sundays. And”¦.)
Last night “EVFN” (East Valley Friday Nights) took place in Scottsdale at Geisha A Go Go. Now I’m not really much of a “Scottsdale Scene” kind of guy, but like every other EVFN, this one was a great gathering of an eclectic mix of people. Heck, even Jimi Hendrix was there in spirit”¦
Lots of old friends stopped by and like almost every other social media gathering, lots of new friends where there to meet.
There is something decidedly odd about meeting someone face-to-face for the first time that you’ve engaged with previously on-line. There are really no “awkward pauses” there’s no “what the hell do I say to this person?” feeling. You already know at least something about them, and meeting them “IRL” (In Real Life) is almost without fail a grand experience.
Last night I met Beverly Kidd “IRL” for the first time. We’ve interacted on Twitter and Facebook. Beverly is the Phoenix Channel 3 Evening News anchor and I have to say I was momentarily star-struck when I first met her. But literally within seconds, I found out Beverly was just another one of the regular folks out to interact and meet with people. She’s just how she seems to be on Twitter ”“ genuine, funny and just an all-around nice person. Heck, she’s even nicer in person that she is on-line, and that’s saying a lot.
This is why you participate in social media folks. Not to generate “leads”, not to convince people you’re the greatest real estate agent on the planet. Not even to meet local celebrities.
You “do” social media to meet new people, and hang out with old friends. To interact with them. To engage with them. You do it (to use an overworked clichÃ©) to expand your horizons.
Does social media really help your business? Maybe. Probably. But there is no question it can help your life.
And isn’t that just a wee bit more important?
Want to participate in one of the myriad meetup events happening in and around Phoenix? Check these sites out:
Phoenix Friday Night ”“ aggregator site for the East Valley, West Valley, North Valley, Downtown and Light Rail Friday Nights events.
East Valley Tuesday (or Thursday) Morning Tweetup. Mmmmm, Liberty Market breakfast”¦
None of these float your boat? Start one!