One of the biggest misperceptions I continue to see in the B2B media space is the confusion between being "social" and effectively using "social media.”

I hear it virtually every day. Professionals and companies tell me that they want to get involved in social media but they don’t want to actually "be social.” The most common misperception is that being engaged in social media means you have to be social (i.e. comment and like everything you see, share personal information, connect with people all day long etc...). Wrong!

It's true that an engaging social media campaign that will generate results does involve being active on your networks and discussion groups. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What really matters is having good content strategy. Your end goal is not to gain the largest following on your Twitter or Facebook page; it’s about building a following of like-minded professionals who you can engage with and discuss relevant topics. In the old days, what we used to do over lunch, at conferences or over the phone, has simply been transferred to online platforms.

When it comes to creating a posting strategy, start your campaign by creating and sharing content with great consistency. Nothing about that involves being social in the literal sense – it means becoming more visible by creating and posting regular updates about your business.

The next step is understanding that content is king – the most effective and engaging posts and updates are the ones that don’t directly promote you or your company but rather inform, educate and inspire. Your goal should be to Create entertaining and educational posts that will encourage engagement.

That’s social media at its best. To complement your content strategy, consider the following examples of content that real estate professionals should be sharing on social media to foster even more engagement:

Press Releases – Every deal, every assignment, every milestone should be shared with your social media channels. Video – Videos on property tours or even exclusive interviews are the hottest type of content these days…not to mention video is like gold to your SEO strategy.  As a bonus, video works awesome on mobile. Networking – This is probably the one area that is closer to the "being social" aspect. Connecting with new people increases your exposure and visibility to get your content seen by a wider audience. I would recommend browsing through the available LinkedIn Discussion Groups to find ones relevant to you and start getting involved.

Once you have a content strategy, the easy part is joining networks and uploading. The best ones are LinkedIn, The News Funnel :) and Google Plus. Twitter is amazing but can be phased in to your social media strategy once the initial program is launched.

To avoid confusion, maybe instead of social media, we should refer to it as “content media.” For more ideas, check out our social efforts at The News Funnel: