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Q: Lately, I’ve been getting involved in social networks and have realized how much time it can cost. How much time should I be spending on social media?

A: There’s no doubt that social media’s not going away. But with that being said let me add that not every Realtor should be using social media.

Now, by “using” I mean participating for the purpose of business development. If you enjoy purely non-business social participation then by all means knock yourself out.

Social Media Time Suck #1

However, when it comes to social networks as business channels they may not make sense for your business. If you’re already getting good business from traditional channels (good ol’ door knocking, referrals, classifieds, events, etc) then tossing social media into your mix could very well be a monkeywrench in your productivity.

A good question to ask yourself is:

Are the people you want to reach (your target market) using social media?

If they’re not then most of your social media time will probably be wasted.

Social Media Time Suck #2

Let’s say that you’ve determined “yes they are”. The next time hurdle to clear is to select which social networks you’ll participate in.

Many folks slip into the time suck sinkhole by hopping from one social network to another and not making headway on any of them. Pick the one or two networks where the majority of your market is already active. Stick with those ones and avoid the countless others.

Social Media Time Suck #3

The next time hurdle to clear is how you actually spend your time when on those networks. Participate and engage with purpose and you’ll get better results than shooting from the hip every time.

Social media is very much a brand driven media. Cool thing is that your brand doesn’t have to be Nike, your brand is you. To build your brand search for questions you can help answer, participate in relative discussions, share news and info that, you guessed it, supports your brand. Purposeful participation. Beats talking about your cat.

Being productive

Frankly, nailing down how much time you should be spending on social media is a bit difficult since every Realtor’s business is different. With these three tips, though, the time you do spend on social networking activities will be more productive.

If you have additional tips on how to make your social media time more productive, please let us know in the comments.