Yes, you can ignore Threads, and you will stay in business, Inman contributor Teresa Boardman writes of Meta’s latest social media offering. “If you are on the fence, I am writing this for you.”
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As my mother used to say, “If your friends all jump off a cliff, are you going to follow them?” Or “Everything looks nice when it is new.”
I have not signed up for Threads, and I don’t plan on using it or claiming my business name or brand, so if anyone wants it, grab it now.
The day that Threads launched, instructions were published for Realtors so that we would know how to use it. Apparently, everyone else can get the app and sign up, but Realtors need remedial training and extra instruction from people who read the directions.
Within 24 hours of the launch of Threads, I was made aware of plans by one of the associations I belong to for a webinar on how to use Threads.
As I write this, Threads had been around for less than a week, and I am already seeing articles online about why real estate professionals need to use it. I have not read about the best practices for its use, but that is only because I haven’t been looking.
I plan on writing about not using Threads and possibly about the best practices for not using it. I think not using it is going to be a game-changer. Go ahead and prove me wrong.
Back when Clubhouse was a thing, I couldn’t even use it because I was using a Samsung Galaxy phone, and the app was unavailable on that platform. An invite was required to join, which makes me suspicious.
There were events that were held using Clubhouse because it was so important that real estate professionals learn it and use it. I felt excluded but I got over it.
Clubhouse was a game changer and a must-have for real estate professionals. I still don’t have an account.
No one knows what kind of an impact Threads can have on a real estate business. No one knows the correlation between social media engagement and winning business.
Threads could become the next place where neighbors gather to mention that they heard explosions or gunshots last night. It could end up being the place where people can crowdsource answers to important questions like “Which database should I be using for my business.” Or “If I have a lump on my back near my spine, do I see a dermatologist or an orthopedic surgeon, or should I remove it myself?”
Maybe Threads will be the next place teenagers can go to be radicalized. Perhaps the platform will be manipulated so that lies and half-truths and lies about presidential candidates can be spread along with conspiracy theories about the government.
If Threads becomes a thing and is a big success, there is at least one billionaire who will have even more money. Social media isn’t really free.
There is some evidence that spending time on social media shrinks the part of the brain that is needed for maintaining concentration. In general, it leads to poorer cognitive function. No one mentioned that when they presented the best practices for real estate professionals.
According to the National Institute of Health:
“Internet use and excessive social media engagement have, however, been linked to cyberbullying, social isolation, stress, and depression. Frequent social media activity is also linked to harmful behaviors, such as addictions, self-harm, and suicidality that can be detrimental to mental health.”
I was first among the hoards to jump on Twitter when it first arrived on the scene. I was at it a couple of years before social media was even acknowledged by most in the real estate industry. Now the industry acknowledges social media and rushes to encourage agents to use it before anyone understands how it works.
If you are on the fence about Threads because you don’t want to spend more time on social media, I am writing this for you.
Yes, you can ignore Threads, and you will stay in business. No one knows the future of social media or of Threads. No one knows the best practices for using Threads if you are a real estate agent. No one knows what kind of harm the platform will cause or if it will lead to civil unrest or be used to overthrow the government.
We know money can be made by writing about Threads or teaching others how to integrate it into their business.
If you are looking for a game changer in your business, be that game changer. Be different. Do something to stand out in an overcrowded marketplace. Be a leader instead of a follower of the latest trend.
Social media has rules and algorithms. Don’t invest too much time and energy in what amounts to digital sharecropping.
If you are a social media marketing guru, be kind. Do not exclude people from events because they don’t use the same social media you use. Create a big tent that welcomes everyone and makes them feel welcome no matter what kind of hardware or software they use.
Teresa Boardman is a Realtor and broker-owner of Boardman Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is also the founder of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com.