By the time you read this, David Dao’s altercation with United Airlines will probably be a distant memory. Every few weeks, if not every few days, something new captivates us. The pace of life on the digital frontier can be exciting and exhausting at the same time, but more often than not it seems frenetic.

For many of us who have actually used telephone booths, the social media zeitgeist often doesn’t feel natural. But it’s here and no amount of “back in my day” will set the clocks back. In fact, as millennials contribute more and more to workplace culture and business decisions, it’s becoming even more important to curate an online presence.

There are lots of different ways to approach the topic of social media, but here are three guidelines I follow:


Leave the marketing for other forums. Social media is inherently personal and people are accustomed to having conversations rather than being talked at. Followers are hoping for insight, snippets of day-to-day life and discussions they might never get to have with you in the real world.

I spend a lot of time at industry events and social media is a great way to share the fun that happens behind the scenes. We’re not stuffy and boring all the time!


The word “conversation” keeps popping up and it’s for good reason. Using a social network as a bullhorn for your message is tone deaf. People communicate more openly and informally on social networks than in other places, so rehearsed, polished statements stick out like sore thumbs.

Read what your intended audience is saying and get a look into their needs. While you’re figuring out what style works best, jump into the discourse.


It seems like there’s a new social network popping up every month, so it may be hard not to get a little anxious about what to post where. Instead of trying to cover every network, pick one or two that suit your style and industry.

If you’re always out visiting properties, Instagram might be a great place to show all the different types of assets your company handles. If you’re chained to a desk, you might consider something more like Twitter. Wherever you post, just do it regularly so readers don’t forget you’re out there.

Many millennials are graduating from entry-level jobs into positions that help shape company culture and direction. The way these new leaders consume information is different than their mentors, which opens up a lot of exciting new opportunities. Meet these professionals where they’re comfortable and start a conversation!

A mentor, a real estate executive and a mom, Karen spends time all over the map. If she isn’t traveling, Karen is busy with everything from IREM to Virginia Tech’s Real Estate program. When she has a few minutes to spare, she considers it a personal mission to find new homes for all of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue’s four-legged companions. Keep up with Karen on social media @KarenJWhitt.