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What Small Town USA Can Teach Us About Social Media

Drew Burks Technology & Social Media 9 Comments

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Drew Burks

Drew Burks

By Drew Burks

Does Facebook Privacy have you concerned?

Lately, it seems like everyone is concerned about their online privacy …

… I can’t help but ask what are you hiding?

what are you hidingAs a real estate professional, I use social media sites to expand and grow my business first and foremost; therefore, I want my information to be found easily.  In fact, I go out of my way to optimize my online presence so that more people will find it.

I was teaching a class on Facebook to REALTORS(R) last week and I actually had someone ask me if I felt it was safe to put your phone number on social media sites …

… Are you kidding me?

I was also asked several other questions like:

  • What kind of information is OK to post?
  • Is it OK to post my hobbies & interests?
  • Should my profile picture be professional or casual?
  • Is it OK to accept friend requests from other REALTORS(R)?
  • Is it OK to unfriend someone or hide them from my news feed?

My advice is …

Be Who You Are! Stop worrying about what you post online; just be authentic and real.  Let people learn about you.  If you have something private that you don’t want others to know then don’t post it online!  It’s just that simple!

Social media is not about privacy, it is about sharing!

As the world moves online, social media has quickly transformed the way we communicate and interact with others.  The irony is that as we progress into uncharted territory it seems that we are going back to a small town mentality.

Growing up in small town USA, everyone knew everyone.  You knew your neighbors names and their children’s names.  You knew where they worked, what kind of money they made, where they went for vacation and where they hid their spare keys.  Everyone knew if someone was getting married, divorced or newly dating and they knew all of the juicy details.  It was virtually impossible to keep anything private.

This lack of privacy came with a sense of security and comfort though because small town USA feels like a big family.  As we connect and learn more about each other online we may be giving up some privacy, but we are gaining far more than we are giving up.

Drew Burks has built a brokerage in San Diego, Dream Design Realty, with a unique twist on an old business model. His Web site is devoted to helping real estate pros succeed with technology: www.WebRealEstateTools.com.

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Comments 9

  1. Ahh, but those same concerns were voiced throughout smalltown America as you were hearing in the class.

    “I hate that everyone knows my business.”
    “I can’t do anything around here without my mom finding out.”

    It is a natural human response. We crave the independence, but find solace in the community.

    Facebook may be the size of the fourth largest country, but it still has the feel of Danville, Ohio – a community of 1000 – to those I associate with.

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  3. Drew, great article! I think people need to remember that the computer and what you post online is permanent. So if you don’t want people to remember information that isn’t as flattering as you would desire, don’t post it! These social media websites are our footprint on history and even if we delete it, it still exists somewhere. We are learning new information everyday, as we learn about other people they are learning about us! Great point, just be real, and don’t fall into the TMI category!

  4. Drew,
    I was raised on a Farm in Limerick, Ireland, (not a house for miles) Would that be PRIVATE ENOUGH for the posts who wanted very few to know there PRIVATE stuff?
    My worry is, I’m getting on a bit (in years) and learning could be slow, I’ve just got the hang of searching the MLS, CTMLS, Etc. and then along comes, Facebook, Twitter, Etc. I would be delighted to spread my ugly mush around out there, your’e doing a GREAT job.
    How could I get some more info from you and I will have to get the hang of these new FANDANGOS.
    Best of luck,
    Mike Sheehy.

  5. Nice story! I use social media for our real estate business and agree that authenticity is key. Of course it’s a good idea to keep some things private and maintain a level of professionalism – just use good old-fashioned common sense. Social media is a fantastic way to expand marketing efforts, share information, and help clients. Ultimately, real estate is about communication so bring it on!

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    Kate ~ thank you for your comment. I hadn’t thought of SM sites being our footprint on history, but I love it 🙂 I might borrow it.

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    Mike ~ I really appreciate your kind comment. Ireland is one of my favorite places in the world, spent some time in and around Limerick in the mid-90’s and had a great time. I was traveling around Ireland for about 2-3 weeks and loved every single minute 🙂

    I am happy to help you -a good place to get more info from me is on my blog: http://www.WebRealEstateTools.com or send me a FB msg anytime.

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    Holly ~ I couldn’t have said it any better. Real Estate is about communication, use some common sense & don’t post info you don’t want others to see. Seems simple to me.

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