What Twinkies Can Teach You About Your Online Content

TwinkieThis week we’re happy to continue our guest articles by Stacey Alcorn(http://www.staceyalcorn.com/). Please drop us a line and let us know what you think!

This year, Hostess filed for bankruptcy protection. What could real estate agents learn from this? If you are a vegetarian, this probably doesn’t matter too much to you. You already know better than to buy Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, or Ring Dings, as all Hostess products are made with beef fat.

There are an estimated 12 million vegetarians in the U.S. alone. Why on earth would Hostess eliminate 12 million consumers (not to mention the estimated 400 million vegetarians around the world) by needlessly processing their products with beef fat when there are tons of other inexpensive vegetable based shortening ingredients that could be used? Vegetarians like junk food too! Hostess is needlessly omitting a large segment of consumers who would love nothing more than to chow down on a Twinkie.

Are you doing the same with your social networking? Every day I see real estate agents throwing needless ingredients into their social networking mix. Here are four examples:

Political Opinions: If you wouldn’t fork over $10,000 to a political campaign, then don’t share politics on Facebook. I can almost guarantee you are losing at least one home sale by doing so. If you really want to share political views, create a list of your closest friends and family on Facebook and share your views with them through a non-public posts that only go to them

Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate: If all you post about is real estate, you are throwing a needless ingredient into your social network mix. If you assume that, at most, 5% – 10% of your Facebook friends (and friends-of-friends) may want to buy a home sometime in the next couple of years, keep your real estate posts to about 5% – 10% of your total posts.

Facebook Games: Daily, I receive Facebook requests from real estate agents who want me to participate in Farmville or Lucky Slots. I don’t think these agents realize that the app is sending out multiple requests to their Facebook friends inviting them to play these games. If you are gaming on Facebook you should make darn sure that the app is not sending out these requests. How would you feel if you received a Farmville request from your doctor?

Engage Wisely: Over the summer my significant other posted a photo of our daughter on Facebook. A fellow real estate agent commented on the photo and said, “Aren’t grandchildren great?” They probably are great, but this was a photo of his daughter, not his granddaughter. Of course, our family has been laughing about the SNAFU all year, but on a serious note, what if the agent made that comment to a potential customer? If you’re commenting on posts, make sure you know what you are commenting on.

Do not throw needless ingredients into your online content unless you have money to spare. Like beef fat in a Twinkie, the cost of needless ingredients is lost opportunity.

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