Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

Social Media Strategies for Real Estate

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Key points:
 DRIVERS and CONTENT 

My efforts with Social Media for Real Estate total about 15 minutes a day and we are closing deals from Social Media every month. In my last blog post, I went over some of the main points, of using social media in my Temecula Real Estate business.

One of the topics I touched on, is the ease with which you can send useful information – we know this as items of value – to our clients, and through that, increase our touches.

Some of the very simple touches that makes your followers pay attention are things that resonate, I’ll call them Relevant for the sake of simplicity.  

So, by show of hands… What do YOU think is Relevant to your sphere?

  • Number of listings you have
  • Your sales stats
  • Your great features

I think you get my drift, how about things like: How to organize a pantry, or the fact that I love waking up in the morning listening to my kids play downstairs while I smell the bacon (this was a twitter post and got a decent number of retweets and favorites).  

The thing that is now going to earn you gold stars, is figuring out what works.  

To help us with this, we are going to narrow the scope of this article, and focus only on one channel: Facebook.

Let me start this off in a good way, jump over to www.facebook.com/terkel.realtor and LIKE my page, heck, if you really feel up to a challenge – why don’t you SHARE it with your friends? 

Let me ask you this: Did you just do that? Some will say no, they are reading to learn, not to participate in my silly antics, but quite a few did.

This is one of the strongest and simplest ways to drive new eyes to your Facebook page, and it works wonders.

My assistant (who arguably is a Facebook maven), uses this once in a while to get her friends to share her page with their friends. As a result, of this and other actions on Facebook, she has roughly 16 people in pre-approval, 4 active buyers, 3 active listings and a pipeline that many would like to see for a year.

I should note that she is 6 months in the business… She is pushing hard on her sphere, but she is doing it in a way that is making her friends and generating her Temecula Real Estate business.

Have you heard of friend of friend marketing? Great, so we are trying to get to talk to friends of those who are already our friends… Are constantly posting content that revolves around us going to get that done? Nah, not likely, nobody likes a slick sales person at the door.

But, if your content is more useful – say – how to keep your grill clean so the Ribeye tastes great… and people like what you have to say, then “Asking” people for their introduction to their friends is far less intrusive.

How about this.

The Temecula Real Estate market is really heating up, vales are up 20% over last year, if you want to see what is going on in your neighborhood, head over to www.livingintemecula.com/marketinsider

Remember, I am NOT spamming with this, it is an occasional CTA (Call To Action) to  my social community. Sometimes I’ll send this out, but ask them to share it with their friends. Or, ask them to share, and for those who do, they are entered in a drawing for a Starbucks gift card. 

Let’s wrap this up.

1. Use valuable content to touch and connect with your sphere.

2. Occasionally touch with a CTA, a driver to your conversion engine (I know, engineering speak for web site).  

Once again, my effort is just minutes a day and we are closing deals monthly. This week we are listing a house for “A friends, friends boyfriend“… This is someone we would NOT have connected with outside of Facebook. Case in point, if 15 minutes a day is not worth a closing to you…

I’ll leave you with that one.

How do you find influencers in your local area to help grow your business?

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Influencers is the new buzzword in digital marketing, and everyone preaches about building relationships with online influencers but no one shares tips for how to do so. Well today I’m going to change that.  Yes, building relationships with influencers can greatly grow your business because it puts your brand name in front of new eyes, and especially those in your local area. If you’re a small business owner, or franchisee, this is a must add to your marketing strategy. But how?

First define your goals; do you want to get more people to visit your restaurant or local shop? If so, you need to find people who talk about your industry in your local community. For example, if you own a restaurant you should you should begin by searching Google for “good food in Norwalk, CT.” If you own a boutique you can search for “fashion, Norwalk, CT.” Your search results will show online business listings that match that search but there should be URLs that link to relevant online content. Some of these URLs will hopefully be blogs that belong to local bloggers. If you do not find any blogs, there should be a few local news organizations in your area that are publishing this type of information. If you look in the comments section on these sites you can probably find a few people who seem knowledgeable about your industry.

Do not have fear if you didn’t find any blogs, you can head to Twitter and
do the same search there. Go to search.twitter.com and search for fashion or food and target your search to your specific geographic location. If you’re an Engage121 user you can easily do this in your Explore tab, and save the search for later. Your results should show some tweets that are relevant to your industry. Click on the profile picture in those tweets, and check out the bio of that person who tweeted the relevant information, as well as scroll through their tweets to see if this is a subject they discuss often. Don’t forget to click the URL they have in their bio, it might be a link to their blog.

You can repeat these steps on every social network. Now that you’ve identified a few key influencers in your local area, what do you do next?

Here are 4 steps for building relationships with those influencers:

  1. Start interacting with them online. For example, if they are a blogger make sure you read their content often and comment on their posts to show that you find their information valuable. Make sure to share your thoughts on the content they publish. In time they’ll see that you are a repeat visitor and will take interest in you, and show their appreciation for your comments.
  2. Share their blog content on your own blog, your Facebook Business Page, Twitter account and tag them on other social networks they use. I refer to this as “scratch their back, and they’ll scratch yours.”
  3. Once these influencers start interacting with you, and it’s a 2-way conversation, invite them to visit your local establishment because you would love to meet them in real life (IRL).
  4. Once you get to this step you’ll have formed a relationship with this influencer, and you need to continue to do the 3 steps above. If you have not seen them mention your brand online, feel free to offer an incentive. Some people will argue against this point but if you’ve gotten to this step I personally think its ok because they know who you are, and you are no longer a stranger. For instance you can offer them a free product or gift card that they can raffle off on their blog.  They’ll love this because it will help them increase blog traffic, and it will help you gain more brand awareness and hopefully new customers. 

If you’re providing great content on your own blog and promoting your social networks in your store then you might not need to do these steps. However, make sure you connect with your offline customers, online and build relationships with them to secure customer loyalty and guarantee repeat business.

How did you find influencers for your business?

How iOS7 will impact your Business

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Apple held their developer conference, WWDC, today in San Francisco to reveal what’s next. The biggest announcement for me was iOS7, although they do have a new desktop computer, Mac Pro, which sounds amazing.

iOS7 has many new, and very cool features. Many critics are saying that the updates reveald are just cosmetic but these cosmetic upgrades greatly inprove productivity, and usability for iPhone, iPad and Mac users.

How will iOS7 impact your business? Here are 3 things to consider:

1. Mobile will rule the world:
In terms of mobile web share alone, iOS has 60% — far and above the competition, and 600 million iOS devices have been sold. If you don’t think your customers are using iOS you’re wrong. Make sure that your website is mobile friendly, and especially your blog. If you are sharing the content you are creating on social networks it needs to be accessible through a mobile device. WordPress is a great platform to use.

2. Siri now shows web search results direct from Bing: 
Why does this matter? If someone asks Siri about your business, whether it’s for your contact info or website,  you need to make sure that your online business listings are accurate. Search your company name on
Bing.com to see if the results are accurate.

3. Design matters:
If 60% of mobile users are using iOS and experience the user-friendly, sophisticated interface design daily on their smartphone or tablet they will not want to switch over to an archaic layout that has poor user-functionality to read your information. Make sure your website, blog, Facebook business page, etc are attractive to your viewers and keep your followers engaged.

Technology is propelling our lives forward at incredibly fast rate, don’t let your business get lost in the dust. Are you an iOS user?

Facebook rolls out Verified Pages and Time Range targeting for Ads

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It’s Social Media Recap time and today I have a treat for you! You’ll have to click play to see.

This week Facebook secured both updates, they finally rolled out Verified Pages and Profiles for big brands and celebrities. Good job Facebook, Twitter has had this function forever. You can not request to get verified, Facebook has to reach out to you.

Facebook has a new feature for advertisers, and one that I’m very excited about. You can now allows target your ads to those who have recently interacted with Facebook. For example, you can target ads to those users who recently checked into your shop or restaurant over the weekend. This will be the great way to follow up with attendees after your host an event.

What did hear in the news this week about your favorite social networks? Comment below if you like my sunglasses.

The change Social Media presents Real Estate Professionals today

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As Real Estate professionals struggle with the fit for Social Media, consider the following as a lesson from SDAR members learning how to solve the problem.

Is Jennifer your next prospect? 

Jennifer moved to San Diego last year.  She just got promoted with a new title and a nice raise. She works hard, so she has few friends outside the office.  Your physical business network doesn’t reach her, but your social media network can.

As Jennifer updates her LinkedIn profile with her cool new title, she recalls her father’s advice: “stop wasting money on rent”.  She searches LinkedIn for “realtor” plus the city and state where she lives.  She finds many agents with limited content, and a few with a nice mix of industry news and community posts. She learns more on Facebook. She checks Tweets. Jennifer is getting to know the agents she will contact. 

Would Jennifer contact you?

Consider why so many agents signed up for Engage121 at the SDAR EXPO…

Engage121 can position you in Social Media as a local real estate expert. Engage121 gives you compelling industry news and local stories you can post in minutes to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. A daily Hot Content email offers five suggested stories to post from your phone or tablet or computer.  And you’ll engage all your social contacts on one convenient page.

Does this describe you?  You know you should do Social Media Marketing, but….

  1. you don’t have enough time
  2. you don’t know what to post
  3. you can’t tell if it’s working

Engage121 solves these three problems for SDAR members.

“Engage121 makes social media marketing simple. It was easy to work this platform into my schedule and I’ll be strongly encouraging all my agents to do the same. This is a Real Estate marketing game‐changer.” –Luke Middleton, Managing Director, Canter Brokerage

“It’s just doable. It just makes using social media very easy!” –Glenn Bennett, Owner/Broker, Cowles Mountain Realty 

Engage121 enable you to become a local expert, find more leads, and help sell more homes! To learn more now, visit: www.engage121.com/realestate

7 things you need to consider before using Facebook Ads

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I think Facebook Advertising is one the best ways for you to 1. Build your Facebook Community 2. Get more leads 3. Gain more visibility. However, to be successful, there are a few things you need to know!

It all comes down to one word, targeting. You can run anything as a Facebook Ad and you will get lots of clicks, and even some new page likes, but they won’t be from people who care about your business. They’ll be spammers or people who do not make up your target market. How can you ensure that your Facebook Ads are being seen by the target audience for your business?

First, you need to determine which type of Facebook Ad you would like to use. Below are targeting options that pertain to all 3 types of Facebook Ads, but I’m going to focus on Sponsored Post Ads, in other words, a published post on your timeline converted to an advertisement.

Geographic Location: You can target your advertisement to people who live in a certain country, state, city or zip code. You can also check a box to include cities near that location within a 10, 25 or 50 radius.

Age: There’s no need to show your ad to people who are 13 years old and older if your target audience is retirees. Select the age range that is most appropriate for your business and the content you are promoting.

Gender: Is your target market mostly men or women? Or, is your target market men, but women also contribute to the buying decision? You can select them both or just one.

Interests: This is what I consider the “gold” of Facebook Advertising. You can select certain interests to ensure that your ad is placed in front of the right audience. For example, if your target market is stay-at-home moms, you can target your ad to Parenting, Family, Kids, Kid Activities, etc.

Connections: You can show your ad to anyone, people who already like your page, or people who do not yet like your page.  However, the “platinum,” is friends of connections. By selecting this option your ads will show to friends of your existing fans (those who already like your page). The great thing about this is that your ad will show with the viewer’s friends name in it. For example, my Facebook friends would see “Jenny likes Engage121″ or “Jenny likes New Blog Post by Engage121.” See the potential? We know everyone values their friend’s input, especially when it comes to buying decisions.

Advanced Targeting: If you’re not socially savvy, you can skip this paragraph. I’m just kidding! The one targeting option here that you should select is language. If you’re advertising in the United States select English (US), or if you’re targeting other ethnicities add Spanish to your selections or whichever language reflects your audience.

Budget & Time Frame: Lastly is the budget you set for your ad or campaign. You can run a Facebook Ad for as little as $5/day. You can also say you want to spend$50 on the ad, which wouldn’t require you to set a daily limit. There are other conversion options, but I’m going to keep it simple for now. Comment below if you’d like to get techy with me.

Why do you need to do all of this work? By targeting your ad you will ensure that those clicks you’re receiving aren’t from spammers. How? Because spammers on Facebook do not fill out their profile and so there is no data such as age, gender or interests associated with their profiles.

I previously wrote a blog post on How to Get Results with Facebook Ads for SpinSucks, which outlines the return I received from using Facebook Ads. There are some additional points in that article that I think you would find helpful.

Have you ventured into Social Advertising yet? Or are you still skeptical?

Yes. A Tragedy Should Alter your Content Strategy

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As with any tragedy, we often explore this topic every time innocent life is abruptly taken.  However, how should you alter your content strategy?

While the answer to me is somewhat obvious, I continue to see folks not understand the most basic of principles.  Being, (i) You’re not always the most important thing in the world and yes, (ii) a sale can wait a day or two.  While there is no timetable for personal bereavement, or a national tragedy like Newtown, which hit VERY close to home.  Respect for those who have lost their lives is just a human trait. I recently witnessed a spat between a VERY influential celebrity and a writer… which matured into an insensitive chest beating by the celebrity informing this “correct” writer that he didn’t have enough “followers” to tell him how to tweet (auto-posting) during a tragedy or any other time (image of writer responding to the celebrity below, informing him how insensitive he was – I agree with Steve).

Here are my tips for the Guy Kawasaki’s of the world that believe they are above reproach.  Oops, I name dropped:

  1. Posting directly after a tragedy should reflect how you or your business support those of the tragedy; please turn-off scheduled tweets or posts, it’s insensitive. (see image of Engage121 during the Boston Bombing)
  2.  Stay away from political dialogue.  As with Newtown, we were all upset with the vicious nature of the crime, however this is a time for the victims, not political posturing.
  3. Timing – within 24 hours, we need to showcase our resolve.  While I recommend this period to showcase resolve, use common sense and social media.  Social conversations are a great barometer for sentiment.  Listen and your community will tell you if it’s ok!
How do you currently alter your content strategy?

What does it take to be a good Community Manager?

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I’m often asked “what does it take to become a community manager?” My answers usually turn people away, so instead of focusing on how difficult it is, I’m going to focus on what it takes to be a good community manager once you’ve landed the role. Although, you don’t have to take my word for it, I interviewed 3 rockstar CMs to share their thoughts.

Here are 6 tactics that will get you to the top:
-Research
-Connecting
-Experimenting
-Listening
-Tracking
-Pushing back 

Research: This never stops, and it shouldn’t no matter what profession you’re in, but with social media marketing you need to be the “go-to person” for Facebook questions, and any other social network that your clients or company is using.
How-To: Read blogs, a lot, written by the top content producers in the industry, such as Mashable. Also by the top influencers in the industry, for example David Armano, Gini Dietrich, the list goes on.

Connecting: You need to build relationships with the people I just mentioned above. If they are true “influencers” and actually use social media daily, and don’t  have their assistant do it, then this is possible.
How-To:  Read their blog posts, and comment on the posts by giving your thoughts. I know it’s scary since you’re just starting out and this person is a big-wig but I promise that they’ll listen. I remember the first time I commented on Spin Sucks, I was so scared I think I read my comment 15 times before publishing.

Experimenting: Take risks, immediately. In the beginning you’ll only have your own personal networks to experiment with but that’s ok.
How-To: Write a controversial blog post, tweet someone you wouldn’t dare to on a normal day. Post content that you know will piss someone off. This is how you push the envelope in Social Media, and it is the only way you’ll learn what the boundaries truly are with your audience.

Listening: Listen to what others are telling you, in your company and online.
How-To: You need to be able to take the feedback you receive and implement it into your current strategy. Sometimes, heck most of the time, you won’t agree and you’ll know that it’s not “best practice” for completing a task but you need to find a way to show them that you are listening. You’ll need their help later getting more people on board using Social Media, as well as getting budget for events and applications.

Tracking: If you’ve landed a role in Social Media Marketing and you don’t have data to take with you, then you mine as well stay where you are because getting a job somewhere else, especially if  you’re moving up, is going to be tough without analytics in your portfolio. If you only have access to your own personal networks that’s ok,  you can track your followers, the engagement you received for certain types of content. But being able to show the growth you achieved for your employer  by conducting your current social strategy is a game changer.
How-To: Tools, they’re out there, and if you don’t have a budget you can use some that are free. If you have a budget I would highly suggest paying for a SMMS, Social Media Management System. Using an SMMS you can create charts that track data for you, compare them against your sales data for the month, and so much more. Plus using an SMMS makes your job so much easier, and gives you much more free time to do things like write blog posts.

Pushing Back: You are in your role because you know what you’re doing, remember that. If you have years of experience using social media marketing to grow a business then don’t let someone tell you that you’re doing it wrong, again you need to Listen, but stand your ground.
How-To: You’ve got data to back up your strategy, use it to show them why you’re right.

Do you agree with my strategy above? If so, why? If not, let’s debate in the comments below!

 

Photo credit: socialfresh 

How much do you really know about your Twitter followers?

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Do you know where they shop? You should. Here’s why, imagine you’re creating a new marketing campaign that is focused on Twitter for a new product, and you’re looking to offer coupons for this new product but you’re not sure which features will redeem the most coupons. If you know where your customers shop, you’d know which stores you should offer coupons at, and drive your customers where they want to shop. Which in turn will help you build customer loyalty.

How can you determine where your followers shop? Our new Twitter demographics chart in Engage121, enables you to glean this type of marketing intelligence. Our new chart provides users aggregated opinion data about your followers’ preferences for brands, hobbies, sports, schools, restaurants, travel and more. So, you can better understand your customers’ habits, profiles and preferences.

 

This new feature provides you with powerful info-graphics describing your Twitter audience, revealing:

  • Whether they are male or female.
  • Their interests.
  • Where they like to shop and eat.
  • Who they follow.
  • How active they are.
  • The languages they speak.
  • Their family status.
  • …and much more.

What do you know about your Twitter followers?