By Julie Escobar
Finishing out our series on social media – I was honored to keep company with fast moving and far-reaching super star Michael McClure – aka @ProfessionalOne. He was recently named one of Inman’s “50 Most Influential Online” and if you follow him for about five minutes even you’ll know why.
Forget baby steps — smart, funny, eager to share and wonderfully open – Michael is someone who took a GIANT leap into the social media not all that long ago. In fact, he’s the same man who was quoted in 2009 as saying “I think Twitter is the stupidest, dumbest, most moronic idea in history. I have no idea why anyone would waste their time on this narcissistic endeavor.” I’ll admit to almost choking on my coffee when he sent me the link to an article written by another social media wonder Chris Smith (@TechSavvyAgent). Clearly, he’s no longer of that impression – but it was a fun place to start – as we all know there are plenty of you out there who still believe social media in general and certainly certain platforms are just as “stupid” today as Michael once believed.
Now, as someone’s who’s business has jet propelled beyond even his expectations and is now joining panels of experts alongside industry powerhouses such as Stefan Swanepoel and Sherry Chris, he’s all about the tweet, the post and connecting with people far and wide.
A little background to start…Michael McClure is the President and CEO of Professional One Real Estate, which was named a “Beta Brokerage of the Future” in 2010. Named one of Inman’s “50 Most Influential Online” and one of Proxio.com’s “25 Most Connected,” he’s co-founded several blogs, including P1Fran.com, MacSavvyAgent.com and 500CoolThings.com, and he contributes to several others, including Dale Carnegie. He co-founded and co-hosts BlogTalkRadio.com/RaiseTheBar, which focuses primarily on the issue of “raising the bar” in the real estate industry. McClure has spoken at many industry events, including Inman Connect San Francisco, Inman News’ Agent Reboot Tour and NARdiGras. He is a CPA, and worked at the international accounting firm Price Waterhouse for 10 years before entering real estate. He attended Michigan State University, where he received a degree in Accounting. He lives and works in Plymouth, MI, a suburb of Detroit.
Good grief – does he sleep? Let’s take a peek inside his world to find out some secrets he was gracious enough to share about how to succeed using social media as your springboard.
Q: Michael – thank you so much for sharing your insights and inspired thought with our readers! Let’s start out with the obvious – you’ve really managed to find a great way to not just embrace social media as a means of communication – but also truly make it a pivotal part of your business strategy and marketing plan. Can you share with us some best practices you’ve come to trust? Let’s start with Twitter…
A: Absolutely! I’d love to – let me start by saying the really short answer is this: Success in Twitter boils down to (1) mega-engagement, (2) providing content of value, (3) having an intentional strategy and (4) not “selling” anything. In a piece I wrote not long ago, Think Before You Tweet and in terms of the “golden rules of Twitter” – here’s what I shared…
- Engagement | Just as in real life, the BEST conversationalists are the ones who ask questions…listen to the responses…and then ask more questions. When Tweeting, engagement is EVERYTHING. Remember, “you” is every other person’s favorite word.
- Be Intentional | Tweet with a vision and a purpose. Before every Tweet, I try to stop and think: “What is my ultimate purpose in Social Media, and how does THIS Tweet further that purpose?”
- Digital is forever | Digital is FOREVER. When I’m about to hit “send” on every Tweet, I think, “How would this look on my resume?” If the answer is “not good,” I TRY not to send it. Or, as Twitter superstar Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) said it so perfectly: “Don’t tweet anything you don’t want to see on a billboard, with our name/logo on it and your mom driving by.”
Q: Grin – great advice Michael – and nods to Scott (note to self – follow@ unmarketing!) What about Facebook? What are your thoughts on making that work?
The same basic principles that apply to Twitter also apply to Facebook. It’s a different platform though – with different languages in some ways. I was late to the Facebook game (I’ve only been using it for about six months), so I really don’t consider myself very knowledgeable. To really get up to speed, go to http://budurl.com/khqz and learn from the guy that is REALLY crushing it on Facebook, Chris Smith.
Q: From the looks of things – you’ve done more in six months than many there Michael! But you’re right – Facebook too is really about engagement – just a little different feel to the communication. And Chris is extraordinary – (grinning at the thought of the Twitter group hug this morning!) – you both are so willing to share, help others up and out in terms of learning and growing – from that perspective you’re both CRUSHING it! Let’s talk about LinkedIn…
Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of LinkedIn. I view it as the least valuable of “the big 4” (Twitter, Facebook, blogging and LinkedIn). I wrote about my thoughts in a post called If You’re Only Going to Do One Thing in Social Media – it sort of sums up my thoughts….feel free to share!
Q: My thoughts as well – now let’s move onto something you are CERTAINLY an expert in – BLOGGING! I’ve lost count of how many you manage and contribute to – but it is a great means of communication and connecting – what are your top three suggestions for today’s bloggers?
A: Blogging, and all social media really boils down to these three things: Consistency, Quality Content and Authenticity. In terms of consistency – you’ve got to be willing to show up over and over. You’ve got to be willing to put the effort into making your messages count by providing quality content and you’ve got to be true to who you are. I’ll share the take-aways from an interview we did with Jay Thompson who is tops in the field of blogging – I believe much of what he does on this topic and I think your readers can get a lot from him – find it at Top Ten Thompson Takeaways.
Q: Goodness – another great one to follow! Thanks Michael! Let’s talk a little about those newbies to being cyber social – your best advice for Beginners?
A: Social Media truly IS the next (the now?) big thing. Get into it or be left behind. The “digital divide” is REAL, and you do not want to get caught on the wrong side of it. Beyond that, succeeding in Social Media takes real time and real effort. If you think you’re going to see results without putting in the time, forget about it. Just like anything else in life, the people that work the hardest at Social Media tend to do the best. Remember – you’re running a marathon – not a sprint – so don’t make the mistake that some do and think of social media as a shortcut. It’s simply not. In fact – instead of working less – you can find yourself working harder – working more. But the difference is that the results can be EXPONENTIALLY larger. Your sphere is expanded in huge way – and the opportunities for success, if you’re open to them are limitless.