Dana Moos is one of the most useful people I follow on Twitter (@danamoos). I happened to finally meet her in real life at two tweet-ups (that’s a meetup for Twitter users for the non-nerds out there).
Anyone who watches Dana on Twitter or anywhere else sees that she makes great food (usually associated with the hashtag #foodporn), takes gorgeous Maine photos, and otherwise seems to be everywhere at once. I asked if I could pick her brain about how she uses her website, Twitter, Facebook, and other websites and manages to sell real estate.
First question: Do you ever sleep? If so, how do you manage to do your job, study, be a social media superstar, and have fun?
For the most part, I work from home. So if I’m not out showing property, I am on the computer from the first cup of coffee until it’s time to think about dinner! Then I might be back on the computer after dinner for a little bit.
It takes time, dedication, focus and organization! And it has become part of my routine. Just like exercise (which I don’t do as much as I should!) but the time that it takes hasn’t become a chore for me because I can be so creative with it. Any time I can be creative, I’m happy about what I’m doing. In high school and college I was involved in the Arts, then got away from it and into business, now I’m back. But now I can combine both and I love it.
How did you get into using social media? Did it start out with a blog like it did for me?
That’s exactly how I started. When I was an innkeeper, I learned a great deal about web marketing. So when I got into lodging brokerage, The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty has a beautiful website, but I wanted my own, for my listings, my focus. So in December 2008, I designed a blog through Google Blogger (mainelodgingbroker.com) because I didn’t have the time to have a website designed by a professional. Besides, I wanted to take a stab at eventually designing my own! So after my blog was established, I joined Facebook and Twitter. And I follow my stats very closely. Seeing the impact of just these two social media sites, I expanded my blogging and photo blogging, primarily for business.
You’re an excellent photographer. I know you share your photos across a few websites but do you have a favorite way to share photos?
I started out using Google’s Picasa for sharing photos. But I like the quality of viewing the photos on Flickr much better. So I do post my listings to both, but I post all personal photos to Flickr. But recently I’ve added several photoblogs – my favorite is Posterous. The posting options are simple and the picture viewing quality is nice. People can subscribe to your posts, so naturally, that’s better for business. Tumblr is a new one that I like too. But I think Posterous is my favorite for photo blogging, Flickr for photo sharing. My wordpress blogs (mymainephotography.com, foodmadam.com) are a combination of blog and photo blog.
Do you find your social media presence helps you with your job? If so, how?
ABSOLUTELY! I have not only made friends and networked with some great people, but I’ve received leads and clients from it as well. mymainephotography.com has gained the attention of National Association of Realtors and is being used as an example of personal branding/marketing in one of their accredited courses. Social Media has allowed my sellers to see exactly what and how I am marketing their properties; how potential clients can see how if there’s a site that makes sense to be a part of, that I do it. It’s also made me appear to be a “local expert” on Maine, tourism and the lodging brokerage industry. When a potential client asks “how will you market my property?”, I have the answer and they can see that. I tell them to Google my name, they’ll see where I am and what I’m doing. 85% work, 15% play. And sometimes going on that coastal drive and photographing the journey is part of the work and the play 🙂
You’re on the big social networks but also on some ones not everyone has heard about. Have you become a part of something you think might be the next big thing in terms of online communication/sharing?
That’s a good question! I’m not sure. I really just try to follow logic and what makes sense. And I try to stay focused on promoting Maine, tourism, lodging brokerage and real estate in general. If I come across a new site (new to me) that is easy to use, has a good following and is mobile phone friendly, I’ll get on it. Tools like Feedburner make posting to multiple sites and broadcasting easy. Micro-blogging seems like it’s growing and being able to network with people with the same interests makes sense, professionally and personally.
What’s your secret ambition?
I’d love to have a MPBN show which would showcase Maine’s fabulous bed and breakfasts, restaurants and food farmers and artisans 🙂
So Twitter isn’t just for people selling the idea of social media but it’s used by people who actually sell things, like bed and breakfasts on the coast of Maine! Anyway, if you want to see some great Maine photos or are interested in what you can do as a real estate agent, let Dana inspire you.