Social Networking Power Profiles takes a look every week at different successful business owners and professionals who use social networking to build their business. These are not your social media gurus. Instead, they are professionals who have found value in using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks to grow their business.
Scott Newman is a perfect example of how using social networking can change your business positively. We have been connected on Facebook for the past two years, and he has been extremely active and successful using Facebook to build his business.
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Name of principal(s)
Newman Realty is heavily involved in social media marketing as well as traditional print methods. We are also developing a niche for combining our brand with popular restaurant/night life spots to bring our client base exclusive discounts and perks.
Time In Business
I began in the business just over 7 years ago with Coldwell Banker. After learning the business and making key contacts I decided to strike out on my own and move my business downtown.
Today, I am the Broker/Owner of Newman Realty, which specializes in residential, foreclosures, short sales and leasing in the city of Chicago and beyond.
When did you start using social networking?
I became heavily involved about three years ago out of necessity. I was a 25 year old, small business owner, with no marketing budget, no staff, and a strong desire to extend my reach and grow my network as quickly as possible without spending a fortune. Social networking seemed like the perfect fit at the time, and it is something I continue to use as the bulk of our marketing plan.
How did you get started learning about social networking platforms?
Trial and error. I watched friends put up profiles and interact on MySpace, but it never appealed to me in a personal sense. Once I realized how well-suited social networking was to business a light bulb went on, and I began to spend as much time as I could educating myself on sites, technology, and techniques which I could apply to my own business.
Did you attend in-person events, classes, or webinars to learn more?
No, I never have. I wanted a more organic experience where I learned by doing, rather than going to hear some under-qualified guru jam one-size-fits-all advice down my throat.
What is your favorite social networking site for business? Why?
Facebook. I use it for more than just broadcasting the Newman Realty brand and awareness about the industry. I actually use the site as a gauge of my business’ reach. Nothing makes me happier than when my marketing efforts yield a new client that I have 3,2,1 or even 0 friends in common with because that represents a giant opportunity to make in-roads with that person’s entire network, knowing each one of those people is a new opportunity. Seeing that on the screen when I look up a new client’s name is such a succinct example of just how powerful and effective social networking can be for business if done properly.
How do you use social networking for your business?
I use social media to push for transparency and freedom of information in the industry. Real estate is a business of customer service, not sales, and those who try to hoard information will not last because it is out there already. If you cannot bring value added services, guidance, and results to the table for the people you’re broadcasting to, they are going to go elsewhere. With that in mind, I try to educate and empower consumers and let them find their way back to Newman Realty on their own once they realize just how much we have to offer over the competition.
How has it changed your business?
I realize that the world is changing at the speed of light and you have to not only be a leader, but a visionary in your approach, dedication, and creativity.
Being so actively involved in social networking for my business has allowed me to connect with people across the street and across the world without any barriers like cost or time spent traveling. This has allowed me to broaden my horizons and fine tune the strategies and ideas in a way that has never existed before.
What was your biggest mistake in social networking?
In the beginning, I made the mistake of putting a lot of spam out there using auto-posting services and other cheap and cheesy ways of pushing out generic content. I thought that is what people wanted, but I quickly became blocked and ignored by the very people I spent so much time trying to reach.
What would you tell people starting out in social networking to focus on?
Do not sit on Facebook for eight hours a day and then complain when you did not close any deals. Good old fashioned “hustle” is still in play, and social networking is just one of the many tools in your tool belt for growing a business, not some magical quick fix that will assure your success.
Do you have a specific strategy that you use to be more effective when using social networking?
Time management is key. I am constantly concerned with the ROI for time spent on social networking. It is crucial to carefully examine the metrics from your efforts and always be willing to implement changes when it becomes apparent something is not working.
What direction do you see social networking going in the future?
I see it growing and becoming an even more inherent part of people’s daily routines. I firmly believe if you want to be successful in any type of business moving forward you will need to learn, implement, and effectively manage an online presence and social media strategy or you will be left behind.
This has been your Social Networking Power Profiles of The Week!