That pesky social media. Just when you think youâ€™ve got a handle on itâ€”that youâ€™re hip, youâ€™re in the gameâ€”the tectonic plates shift a bit and suddenly, youâ€™re behind the curve. Even worse, youâ€™re outdated. Like when parents descended upon Facebook to keep tabs onâ€¦ I mean, stay connected to their kids, and Gen Y and Z fled toÂ InstagramÂ and Snapchat, leaving Facebook adults trapped in a miasma of political opinions andÂ cat memes. Staying current on social can be overwhelming and feel impossible.
Travelocity and Kayak Founder Terry Jones zeroed in on the rapidly changing nature of digital and social media during his mesmerizing presentation atÂ RISMediaâ€™s 21st Annual Power Broker DinnerÂ in November. As Jones explained, marketing has become a two-way street. â€śPeople are involved and engagedâ€ť through a multitude of digital mediums, such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, reviews, social networks, Bluetooth, boards and videos. â€śRelationships are changing. And if you donâ€™t like change, youâ€™re going to like irrelevance even less,â€ť said Jones, quoting U.S. Army General Eric Shinseki.
However, when it comes to change, Jones stressed, â€śYou donâ€™t necessarily need to knowÂ howÂ to do it; you just need to know that youÂ haveÂ to do it.â€ť In other words, we donâ€™t need to be the implementers of change; we just need to realize when itâ€™s necessary and enlist the skills and services of those who know how to put change in motion.
With that in mind, here are five painless ways to stay in step with changes in the social media world and avoid missing out on business opportunities:
- Hire a kid. This was one simple solution Jones offered for keeping up with social media and digital trends. He shared the story of his son who launched a successful video gaming company while still in college with four other studentshe never met! The entire collaboration was done virtuallyâ€¦and successfully. So lean on the younger generationâ€”both in your office and at the dinner tableâ€”for information on the most current social media strategies, and new and evolving digital platforms.
- Stay selectively informed. Thereâ€™s even more information out thereaboutsocial media than there is actual social media, so select just two or three good social media blogs and subscribe via RSS feed or newsletter. Hereâ€™s a list of good ones to consider fromÂ Brand24. Set up the alert frequency for as often as youâ€™d like, i.e., once a day, so you can easily give them a quick scan.
- Let the experts implement the plan.Perhaps the easiest way to make sure your social media is current is to subscribe to a service that takes care of it for you, making sure you never miss a beat. Programs like RISMediaâ€™sÂ Automated Content Engagement (ACE)take the guesswork out of what to share when by automatically posting daily articles, videos, infographics and more to the social media sites of your choosing. This starts generating exactly the type of engagement Jones was talking about.
- Follow the influencers. Think Arianna Huffington, Seth Godin, or our friend Terry Jones @terrellbjones. Pick your top three social media influencersÂ and follow them to stay on top of trends and see how theyâ€™re using social to their advantage.
- Keep one foot in the industry.While itâ€™s important to know whatâ€™s happening across the board in social media, make sure you also tune into whatâ€™s happening within our own industry. A social media trend that might be all the rage in one field might be a bust for real estate. Follow industryÂ media sources andÂ blogs, attend a social media session at your next industry conference, see what your clients are doing on social media, and talk to the people in your own officeâ€¦especially those millennials.
Iâ€™ll close with the quote from Charles Darwin that Jones used to end his presentation: â€śIt is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.â€ť Enough said.
Maria Patterson is RISMediaâ€™s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas atÂ email@example.com.