social media case studiesHow much influence does social media really have in our lives? Is it possible to engage with top influencers in social media to help you if you’re in a situation?

Let’s take a look at the definition of influence:

Influence is the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior and opinions of others. Source:


Your influence like your shadow extends to where you may never be.

It is astounding just how much social media has penetrated our daily lives. I would like to share a story about social media influence and how influential people helped to reinstate a 47,000-fan Facebook page that was terminated for a few days.

As you will see, compelling action was taken after a person of influence in the social media realm took the initiative to get involved.

I have a friend, Jonathan Rivera, who is the owner of The Official Real Estate Referral Group on Facebook with over 47,000 fans. The goal of this group is to connect like-minded real estate agents who are looking to grow their businesses via referrals and social media. For example, the page is used as a messaging system to alert agents about referral business if, say, an agent in Florida has a buyer for a property in California.

Jonathan’s fan page was recently taken down by Facebook because the name of his unique URL—which used to be—was required by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to use the trademark symbol REALTOR®. The NAR had sent an email stating that they didn’t want the group to be disbanded, but just to make the change to the URL.

Two years ago when Jonathan set up the page, he didn’t think about the implications of using the trademarked word REALTOR®. After the NAR contacted him, he sent in the request to Facebook to change the URL, but instead of allowing him to make the change, his 47,000+ fan base vanished into thin air.

Jonathan then decided to enlist the power of social media to get the word out to help get his page restored. He asked different people to share a blog post by Tech Savvy Agent on their Facebook walls. It was amazing the number of people sharing his story. It showed up numerous times in my Facebook news feed. I decided to take his story to Twitter and sent this tweet to a person of influence:

@MariSmith Any advice that I can pass on to my bud? Facebook Shuts Down Page with 47,000+ Fans

Boy, did this tweet start to go viral! Scobleizer even retweeted the story. The great thing is that Mari knew of a way to get Facebook’s attention. She was able to use her influence to get others to act. Everyone pulled together and did a spectacular job to help the cause; however, I believe Mari’s influence had a major role in the 1-day turnaround of his page being reinstated. Jonathan made a great thank-you video for everyone who helped to get his page reinstated.

Of course there are many lessons we can learn from this incident. Below I will share a few:

#1: Own Your Own Home Base

Social networks are awesome, but as you can see, your profiles, pages and contacts can be taken away in an instant. It’s best to have your own website or blog as your main focus and utilize your social networks to draw everyone to your home base.

#2: Maintain Your Contact Database

There are a number of ways to have your fans and networks become a part of your email database, but the goal is to have them in your own personal database. That way if anything happens, you have access to them without being connected only through a social network.

#3: Identify People of Influence in Your Niche

This can be very helpful in stressful situations. Identify, learn about and follow these people and make a point to befriend them. That way in times of need, they’re eager to help a good cause.

In addition, here are three tips and techniques that will help you use influencers to spark your particular cause:

#1: Know Where Influencers Spend Their Time

This is when listening in social media is really important. Determine if they spend most of their social media time on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. It will start to become obvious which is the best network to gain their attention.

#2: Show Your Appreciation for Their Work

It is possible to genuinely share their words of wisdom, blog articles, products and events via multiple social media outlets by tagging on Facebook, retweeting or even linking content on LinkedIn. It’s also an added bonus to append encouraging personal thoughts to the topic.

#3: Be Positive and Straightforward

As you start to interact with influencers, always be positive and value their time. Obviously if they are influencers, their schedules are very busy and there are numerous people vying for their attention. Be mindful of this and always give them the benefit of the doubt if they don’t respond as quickly as you’d like.

To learn more about social media influence, be sure to check out this social media examiner article.  It goes into more detail about the six weapons of influence and how to use them in your social media efforts.

Have you had a person of influence help you in a situation? If so, what happened? What are some other ways that you can connect with social media influencers? Spice up the conversation and let us know your comments in the box below.

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  • What timing! This is a very timely post, as we are just discussing the subject of a Fan Page with the name REALTORS® in it. Although facebook has re-instated that page, the url had to change to something other than the word REALTORS®, as the little ® is not allowed.

  • Mobilemattfarley

    Good info. Thanks for putting togehter such a thoughtful post! Facebook is a powerful tool – but like anything; keep your eggs in a few DIFFERENT baskets!

  • Thanks Matt! Good to hear that you enjoyed this story and found it useful. 🙂

  • This is a great reminder to keep everything in perspective and at the same time remember what social media is all about – connections and being connected! Great post, Naomi!

  • Thank you for sharing this! What an awesome story! I do have a ? You mention in #2 to maintain your contact database; can anyone offer some strategies to accomplish this? As I grow our fan base this is definitely something I’m interested in. Thanks!

  • Way to go Naomi.

    I know that the issue is more of safeguarding your followers on a site like facebook, etc. However, another thing to consider is that most people don’t realize the implications of using Trademarks on pages or domain names.

    Legal department of most companies are hired to safeguard their company’s trademarks, and pursue offenders. It all depends on the company. I know Coca Cola for one, did not pursue it on the creator of Coca Cola fan page on FB but supported them of their effort.

    On the other side, companies should be careful of too much rigidity in their policy as the efforts could backfire.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Jonathan has such a great fan page … thank goodness it was re-instated. Great article Naomi.

  • Boris Fowler

    Great article. I really enjoy all of the social media insight from this website. I think businesses will figure out a way to enlist social media in a more powerful way in the not too distant future. However, I think the main focus has to be on the main website.

    In my collection of resources, I have recently added a section for social media. Some SME articles are there, but your readers may find a few of them helpful. I will attach the link if anyone would like to use them. They have been quite helpful for me.

    Thanks for posting!!

  • I think if you have a dedicated fan base and you produce worthy content on your blog or website, then there is nothing wrong with encouraging people to sign up for blog email updates or a newsletter. In addition, if you are a spice company, you could write up an interesting piece about the different uses of spices in international cuisines, and customers can have access to it in exchange for their email addresses.

  • I can’t thank you enough for getting that story in front of Mari— I believe she was instrumental in making it happen. —But to tell you the truth, Im glad it happened because it showed how our community could pull together and use these tools to send a message.

    I’m humbled by the experience and grateful to be a part of such a great community.

  • The power of “world of mouth”! Just think of any cause that’s important to you! Get folks to rally around it! And you can move mountains!

  • A thousand blessings to you Jonathan!! Truly my pleasure and an honor to support you and your entire tribe get back up and running in Facebookland!! I love your positive attitude. Keep up the the great work. 🙂

  • Wonderful post, Naomi – really nicely done illustration of the power of peeps rallying together!!! 🙂

  • Darcie Holt

    I am Glad to see a way to get our products out there without being in the realm of having to compete with major Company’s like Pepsi Coca cola or any other Big Company’s. They dominate the marketing side of television & Radio the little guys cant even touch the cost of this so praise GOD for this medium. A way to network with other Like Minded people whom are willing to go the extra mile for our Country and our Natural health

  • I highly suggest having an email capture form on your fan page as a way to maintain your contact database. Here is my fan page sample:

  • Hi Ross, yes we were all doing the happy dance for him! 🙂

  • Thanks Mari! I get the warm fuzzies when we can rally together to help each other! hehe! 🙂

  • Great job my dear!!!! Owning your home base is such an essential component. I see so many neglect their sites and blogs for social networking…this is very wrong. Social networking should only be used as a tool. It is a single ingredient in the entire recipe. Keep up the excellent work!

  • Naomi this was an incredible story, thanks for sharing. I guess you can say Jonathan Rivera has got all the right friends in the right places 🙂

  • Dkosala82

    This is all in one basket post. This has everything we need to think about when doing social media campaign.
    Good job Naomi !!, way to go!!

    Kosala from

  • Jenny Lens

    Trademarking a common word like REALTOR is scary. Pretty soon we won’t be able to use many common words in our own sites, or profiles/pages in Facebook, Twitter, whatever is around the corner. That’s what alarms me! Not so long ago people could not and did not register/trademark COMMON words. I am far more concerned about the ramifications of this. I see it daily and am shocked that common words are now being privatized. Doesn’t ANYONE get the danger of this practice? How can we sit back and allow this to happen?

  • Thanks Mirna! A story like this will hopefully help people to understand that the goal is to have a home base. I super appreciate your support my dear! xoxoxo

  • It makes sense when things are kept in perspective. Interesting article. Keep it up.

  • That’s exactly it Kari- when we use Social Media to make real relationships amazing things can happen.

  • You’re absolutely right– Like I’ve said before—- all roads (online) need to lead back to your home — your blog —and hopefully to your email list 😉

  • I’m with Naomi on this one – you have to lead capture. As I mentioned in the video above, I created a “List Building” report to help people use Social Media to build their database. You can get it here Austin >>>

  • I think one thing people don’t take into consideration is that a massive amount of people with minimal influence can still make things go viral and still make things happen. Like you were saying, you saw the story in your feed multiple times, once the word spreads, sometimes it doesn’t matter if a well known person is talking about it or not. Sure, it’ll help, but us little people have a voice too 🙂 Glad the page was put back

  • Always a great story when the underdog wins. The post on making an email capture screen on facebook – I’d love to know the details on how to do that.

    Karen Vaisman

  • Karen Vaisman

    Hi Naomi,
    I’d love the code to do this.

  • Hi Karen,The code is given to you from using or which is an email marketing system that you pay for as part of your marketing budget. I hope that makes sense. Let me know. 🙂

  • Amazing story, and a valuable lesson on how flimsy third-party platforms can be. While maintaining a presence in Facebook and Twitter is crucial, they need to tie to your blog or website.

  • Sue Porter

    Naomi, may I use this article in my blog, giving you and the SocialMedia Examiner the credit? Would appreciate it. Sue “The Accidental Leader”

  • Ameenia

    We’ve used to buy a few thousands of fans for multiple facebook pages and they always over delivered on the number of fans that we purchased by up to 30% of extra fans. After the Socialkik campaigns were over, newer visitors to our Facebook page are more willing to become a fan than before, because they see that it’s being liked by over 10,000 of other fans.

  • I gladly visit this blog to read the latest updates on social media. My experience with so far with this blog is Great. Apart from providing real insights, it offers us tips on how to practically implement for our professional growth.

    Anyways, keep the good work. I’ll turn back soon once I get more updates from you on social media soon!

  • Great post,really enjoyed reading it!the points raised about Facebook will really help me in the future.

  • Reply to Question 1: I did. I freelance for a magazine called “Honda Tuning.” About a year ago I lost my regular job. I emailed my editor-in-chief and asked him if he knew of any other magazines under the Source Interlink umbrella that could use my skills. I would up writing one article for “Modified Magazine.”

    Reply to Question 2: I like to share content, links, comments, etc. of social media influencers to help them out as they have helped me out or to simply build rapport.

    Reply to Article: That is really awesome that everyone came together and helped him. Then it was even more awesome in that he personally thanked them with a video.

    Great write up!

  • Thanks Sue! Let me know when your blog post is ready! 🙂

  • What a super success story! i love it when users can generate enough influence to get their concerns answered and issues corrected. If I had heard about it we would have definitely been of assistance. You can count on us (myself and others like me I collaborate with closely) to raise visibility and support any group efforts like this.

    What happened will turn a potential huge loss into a great win for you. I had not come across you until I read this story and now many more will know about and share what you’re doing. You’ve already jumped to 51,342 and I predict that will go far higher as this story spreads. Anyone who has ever lost a successful page on any site will want to share your win.

    P.S. How ridiculous is it that anyone was allowed to trademark a generic word like realtors. That is simply wrong.

  • Mariana

    It is amazing the power that facebook has, and how having people that can pull strings was such a big help to get the facebook page bak on.
    Thank for all the good tips, i will keep it in mind everytime i open a group or fan page.
    I also agree that with internet strategist, on how funny it is a that simple word like realtors is actually allowed to be trademark.

  • A touch of brilliance here my friend. Loved this story.

    This is such a great example of what happens when you build Social Goodwill. If you actually take time to listen to mentors like Mari and other great people here at SME your learn the what it means to build quality relationships, trust and care about each other. When you then reach out you will experience a tremendous response.

    Now I will jump in a like Jonathan’s page. Though my wife is more Real Estate savvy then I am, I am starting to figure it out.

    Cheers.. Are 🙂

  • As you mention in your post being positive and showing appreciation for other people’s work is very important when interacting on a social network. They key to using social media correctly is to be social!

  • I would love to safeguard our site like this as well, is there any way we can get the code you used for this?