Social Networking Dos & Don'ts

If not used correctly, social networking can backfire.

April 1, 2010

Don’t dwell on your work. Although it’s tempting to view Facebook and other sites as a free-for-all promotional platform, using it only to market yourself and your listings will alienate the friends you have on the network, says Vianey Ojeda of Hanover Properties in Glendora, Calif.

Do make social connections. Discuss your interests. This may well include topics related to real estate, but it should be a genuine pursuit, and not a lead-in to a sales pitch, says Jim McMahel, a practitioner with RE/MAX of Buckhead in Atlanta. "That doesn’t mean it can’t help you stay 'front of mind' with your friends."

Don’t forget that it’s a two-way street. Online networking, like in-person networking, requires give and take. To build a bond with your friends on Facebook and other sites, take time every now and then to read and comment on other people’s posts.

Do remember that you’re in public. When you’re having fun, it’s easy to forget that almost anyone can find what you’ve written on your social networks. Make sure you don’t say anything that can damage your professional reputation.

"Unless your profile is private, which defeats the purpose, Google sees everything. That means means your boss or that 'high maintenance client' you just complained about can find it, too," says Daniel J. Hunter, with Fruits Real Estate in New Port Richey, Fla.