I wrote a post a while back bemoaning an agent’s take on social media and last week I came face to face with a similar position. I was sitting in an agent’s very quiet office last week. Everyone at their desks, no sound of a telephone. One particular young member of staff looked very agitated indeed as he sat staring into his computer. I asked the principal what he had this young lad doing and he explained he was in a difficult position as he could not yet send him out on crucial instruction appointments, especially in the current climate and therefore he wasn’t doing much.
When the owner popped off for a rare telephone call, I meandered over to where the lad was sitting. Speaking with him briefly I noticed he was on Facebook and I asked whether he was a keen Facebook user. He was and I put to him the suggestion of creating a page for his current employer. He was keen to say the least so I mentioned this to the employer and he gave me a resounding, we shall see type statement, which I knew meant I am not paying him to play on Facebook. No indeed, you are paying him to do nothing and you don't want to advance your business I thought.
Anyway, this bright lad calls me later and says he is going to build it regardless of what his boss says and try and impress him, but where should he start. I pondered for a while and the following is for you young man. My additional advice is to also consider going it alone, set up as an online agent on your own. Indeed, I will give you a management system and website as I believe the industry needs people like you.
The following is a summary from the excellent WOMMA web site which reports on a post from upperkut.
11 first steps for Facebook.
1 – Get involved now and experiment. Someone in your office will be familiar with Facebook and others, speak to them ask them what they are doing. Get them to do it, but do something !
2 - Build a fanpage, not a group page. You cannot add applications or get statistics for a group page.
3 – Facebook is all about showing off. Communicate your moods and ideas. Call to actions are also about showing off, both you and your friends. Invite friends to come and show off, invent something that allows people to show off to their friends. The I hate Foxtons Facebook page is really popular, you can use these ideas.
4 – Your fanpage is like a t-shirt, it has to be cool. You don’t have to uber trendy just cool enough to allow people to be seen in it. Help people show off. You are not in this space to sell a product, you are here to give people something. Research, sit and watch what others are doing, what can you give the space that others will say, hey that is cool, I belong to this.
5 –If you are going to use Social Ads, use them as a ‘conversation fuel’. Don’t think you can put a page up and then ruthlessly advertise your product.
6 - Think long-term.
7 – Love your page and keep it growing. Thinking long term as in point 5 doesn’t mean you forget about it.
8 - Be a ‘friend’. Have you noticed? What people add the most in their Facebook profile, is other people. They can be friends, they can be strangers. If you want the exclusive privilege of gathering “fans” of your brand , you must approach them in an authentic way and you have to be generous with them. Give them incentive for “talking” with you. Stay away from heavy gimmicks and commerce in Facebook: stay on the human level. Be a friend.
9 - “Odd” is culture. Show how cultivated you are. Any weirdly funny, strangely clever or otherwise odd idea that you can relate to your brand’s universe, particularly if it’s a long shot (think Mentos and Coke), may get your brand an additional chance of being adopted by the Facebook crowd when word gets around. No one will talk about The Great (Your Brand) Contest, but everyone will talk about the Great (Your Brand) Frozen Turkeys on Skateboards Race. Watch our page for crazy owl stunts!
10 - Leverage your Facebook presence in traditional media. Why not? Not many are doing this yet, but it make sense.
11 - Target interests, not socio-demographics. build on whatever brings people together, rather than what differenciates them.