One of the quickest ways to destroy any goodwill or positive mindshare that you have with your network is to not respond to their social media comments.
As real estate agents and loan officers, you’ve worked so hard to get people to notice you, to follow you, to pay attention to what you have to say and to keep coming back for more. All of that can goodwill can disappear in a fraction of a second if you make someone feel like you’re ignoring them.
Dustin Brohm, Columnist
When you don’t acknowledge that somebody interacted with your content and sent a message or left a comment, the sender only assumes the worst. They assume you’re not a real person, business or brand. To them, you’re just another profile pushing out stuff with no real person real behind it.
Or, they think that you are too busy for them. I mean, if you can’t even respond to a short Instagram comment or answer a simple question on a Facebook post, how could you ever have time to guide them through the complicated home buying process while giving them the personal attention they deserve?
Worse, they may simply think you’re a jerk; that you’re not approachable or relatable and that your only goal and intent on social media is to talk at people, with no intention of letting them talk back. They think you only care to push out content in one direction.
See, that’s the thing about “social media.” People expect you to be social. That’s how it works. They expect you to reciprocate being social if ever they socialize with you. Especially on content that is clearly part of a marketing or advertising campaign! Failing to respond to questions or comments on one of your Facebook Ads? Pfft. Epic fail.
Need an example of what it feels like to a consumer when they reach out to or interact with, a businessperson or brand that they like or respect?
Here’s a simple analogy for you: You’re sharing an elevator with someone. You don’t know them, and they don’t know you. But you briefly make awkward eye contact. Then you say “Hello” or even “Hey, I like your shoes.”
Their response? Silence. They say nothing. They completely ignore you. You know they heard you, but they act like they didn’t. How do you feel?
It’s similar to that feeling when you hold the door open for someone and they just walk on through, saying nothing in response. No thanks, no nod. Not as much as a creepy wink! They won’t even acknowledge that you held the door for them. They just walk on through. We’ve all had that happen to us. It’s incredibly annoying. If we’re being honest, it pisses us off! And it should. People do not react well to being ignored.
So then why is it OK to ignore people on social media? (Spoiler alert: it’s not!)
When you don’t respond to comments on your posts, you’re pretty much doing the same thing as the imbecile that didn’t acknowledge you for opening the door for them. You’re sending the message that you just don’t care enough to respond. That the time they spent to comment is not worthy of your time to respond. That your time is more valuable than theirs.
Now look, I completely understand it’s possible to miss a notification or three. It happens. I’ve certainly had emails, messages and notifications somehow get marked as read when they weren’t.
But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a pattern, a habit. People notice, for better or worse. They notice, and your network can tell whether or not you are respectful of those who engage with your content.
Remember, being social is expected on social media. If you’re treating it as a one-way message board, and you never consume, comment on or engage with anyone else’s content, then you’re not going to make many friends. You certainly won’t retain much of your current audience either. When people are made to feel ignored, they’ll go to someone else.
Make a conscious decision right now to respond to all of your comments. At a bare minimum, like or react to your comments. All of them. They took the time to comment. Take the time to respond back.
At the very least, it’s yet another valuable impression; an opportunity to be top of mind, even if for just a second. Those impressions add up, and eventually, if you’re doing it right, they’ll never forget you.
Even on that one special day every year when 100s of people you rarely ever talk to post happy birthday wishes on your Facebook timeline. Respond to all of them. Every. Single. One. What, you really won’t make time once per year to go through and thank every single person individually? Come on, that’s lazy.
Of course, you can make time. You’ve just chosen not to. Even your lack of response sends a message. Whether or not that’s the message you want to be sending is another story altogether.