Keeping Social Media True to Yourself is Key: Melanie Stone

ESTATENVY catches up with Stone to learn how social media has helped shape her brand and grow her business.

If you’re looking for an example of how to create a social media presence that’s both professional and personal, a great example is Melanie Stone Chicago.

Melanie Stone is a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker in Chicago, IL. Her personal brand, Melanie Stone Chicago, blends her passion for real estate with her day to day life in Chicago.

Right away, you’ll notice that the Melanie Stone Chicago brand is cohesive and elegant. Each photograph that she posts is well filtered and framed in a way that you would see in glossy magazines. Stone also likes to keep things fun and simple so it feels like you’re just following one of your friends rather than your local real estate broker.

ESTATENVY recently caught up with Stone to talk more about how social media has helped shape her brand and grow her business.

How has social media helped you with business development?

Social media has helped me immensely. When I started, I spread the word about my new business through Facebook and Instagram. I would post photos of pretty homes, share about client gifts, and anything else that I thought my friends would like. Since then, I've relied on social media to help me build my brand, grow my following and express my creative side.

What would you say is your company's branded voice on social media?

I like to think my online voice is: lighthearted, humble, and fun!

Is there a certain visual aesthetic your aim to portray across all of your social channels?

Everything must be pretty and sophisticated. I use VSCO to edit my photos before posting them on Instagram. That way, each one has a similar aesthetic. A6 is the best filter!

How do you engage with your customers most frequently?

I think Instagram is best for that. It’s so easy to reply back to comments on an Instagram story or post, and it feels much more intimate than a Facebook message or email.

Do you strategically plan out content for the month in advance or do you post more as-you-go?

I post as I go. Planning would take the fun out of social media!

How do you find a balance between posts that are strictly business and those that are more humanizing / culture-based?

My Instagram is a personal account, so I share about my life and real estate. I’ll post pictures from fantastic Chicago restaurants, trips with friends, MSC marketing, and beautiful homes.

Do you promote your social channels anywhere other than your website? (Ex: Business Card, Email Signature, etc.)

I don't put my social channels on my business card or email signature. I do have a link to my website/blog on both, which points straight back to Instagram and Facebook.

What is your best advice for a new real estate broker looking to build a presence on social media?

Be yourself! It's boring to post-market data and stale listing photos. Share a slice of your life with your followers and mix in a little real estate -- people like that, and will follow along.