Homebuilder's advice on social media: 'Be yourself, but yourself without a megaphone.'
Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association has taken steps to encourage members and others in the home-building business to embrace social media.
Published: September 9, 2010
Q&A with Jeff Click Homebuilders use social media to reach out to customers
Q: The Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association presented members and others a panel on social media about a month ago. Did it take? How have builders responded?
A: Our industry has been such that mainstream marketing efforts weren't always necessary, but now that the housing market has changed, many builders are giving their marketing strategies a long-overdue look. Some are even looking at marketing for the first time. Homebuilding is a relational profession, and social media is one way I think builders can relate in ways that they're not all unused to, albeit via different media from the phone or face to face. I think those who are reasonably tech savvy and are serious about relating to the next generation of consumers are heeding the need for making social media one part of their greater marketing strategy.
Q: How does Jeff Click use social media? How does Jeff Click Homes use social media? What are the differences?
A: It's an often-asked question, whether to differentiate yourself personally from your more corporate presence. I treat them separately, but allow them to overlap. Often, people want to know the personal side of who's behind a company they're considering doing business with, and sometimes it's something about you personally that can drive someone to become interested in your company.
Q: What does a builder, or other small-business person, NOT want to do with social media?
A: Overdo it. It's easy to make the mistake of becoming annoying, which is counterproductive in gaining a following. Stick to providing content that's unique to you, rather than always trying to be everyone's news source. Engage in dialogue without being so chatty people question whether you actually do any work. Appropriately inform, but don't overtly sell your product or service. Be yourself, but yourself without a megaphone.
Q: What are the potential downsides to using social media? How do you avoid them or minimize them?
A: Being involved in social media, in a way, amplifies who you really are. So if you do things well, that's what it should project. Some fear the possibility that as you or your company become more visible, you become more of a target for potential public negative attacks. Depending on how you handle these situations, they can often be turned into opportunities.
RICHARD MIZE, REAL ESTATE EDITOR