No stranger in this house

Originally posted August 16, 2010 on The Telivant Blog:

Patrick Healy and Joe SpakeI invited a stranger to spend the weekend with my family and me.  A stranger who was wearing a floppy hat and sunglasses when I picked him up at the airport, unrecognizable from the pictures I had seen.  But Patrick Healy was really no “stranger” to me, and once the car door opened, it was like reuniting with an old friend and heading straight to a favorite restaurant, even though it was the first time I had ever met Patrick IRL (in real life).  Known nationally as a real estate thought leader, Patrick has been a social media friend for quite a while via Facebook and Twitter, and more recently a collaborator as a member of Telivant’s product council.

There is a lesson to be learned from the stranger’s visit.  Social media is more than a real time bulletin board of how we are feeling, where we are, who or what we are photographing, and what we are eating.  It’s about engaging with others and sharing a part of ourselves.  It’s about building relationships – strong relationships.  Maybe you don’t feel comfortable with that concept, but it is happening all around you every second.

Over a very short period of time, social media has become an extension of “real life”.  The question for those using or considering using social media as part of their marketing plan: How can I engage with potential clients, re-engage with friends and past clients, and take that engagement to a high level of trust?  Social media is a powerful tool, but participation and honest, non-manipulative engagement are requirements for success.

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About 

Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.