Very simple social media in 3 steps
By the way, baby steps are only easy for people who have already learned to walk. Most babies fail dozens or hundreds of times before they can even walk across the room. Be patient, keep trying.
I asked on The Hip Roof Radio last night what I can do better for attendees of the seminars and events where I speak. Sheri Moritz said, “We leave these seminars with our heads spinning because we’re so full of SEO and ROI and metrics. Nobody ever takes the time to say ‘this is how you create a Twitter account, here is why and here is what you do with a Twitter account once you have one.’”
Loudly And Clearly.
If you do not have a Facebook account you will never get a referral or client from Facebook.
If you do not have a Twitter account you will never get a referral or client from Twitter.
If you do not have a LinkedIn account you will never get a referral or client from LinkedIn.
Beware of bloggers, gurus and commenters with great sounding theories and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS shop for price before paying ANYONE for services such as setting up your WordPress blog. Think long and hard before you let someone handle your social media content for you because it’s not their license at risk – it’s yours and maybe your broker’s, too.
Here is how anyone can succeed in social media and I mean any one. Success is relative but this will get you there. DO NOT GIVE UP TRADITIONAL MARKETING IF IT IS WORKING! If you sell 3 houses at $3500 commission each a year from a $500 yellow sheet ad don’t stop. If post cards yield 2 sales commissions of $5000 per year at a cost of $1000 you’d be a bonehead to stop.
Get a website that can accept form data from visitors (landing pages, WordPress, hard coded – doesn’t matter)
Open accounts on at least those three social communities and use the same name or “handle” on all of them if at all possible
Write a short but very pointed profile (“I am a real estate agent with homes for sale in Tootooville. http://mycoolsitebyken.com 678-439-8683″)
Make sure your branding is an accurate portrayal of you and your services and use the same branding on your website, Facebook profile, Twitter background, and LinkedIn profile.
Do not use social media like a town crier’s podium – get involved, join conversations that you did not start, make friends, do NOT sell sell sell (with some small exceptions)
Establish a specified time every day to touch every site for your own plan – you can change later but develop the habit of checking Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well as posting to your blog. (ActiveRain is great but get your own blog on your own server, too.)
Twitter is so simple it is amazing. There are about 15 million real, actual users on Twitter. (source) That said most agents would be pleased to sell 1 more home per year for a 10 minute daily investment, yes? If you do not have a Twitter account go to Twitter and sign up. When asked to create a user name think about what your real name is, duh. This is not to say brand names are wrong but branding to your name is pretty simple and hard to duplicate (unless your name happens to be Ken Cook).
Whatever graphic representation you use in your marketing should be the icon for your Twitter account. You won’t burst into flames if it is not. It will be re-sized and squared so words generally are unwise. A good clean RECENT photo of yourself may be a good idea.
Find some friends you truly know on Twitter and follow them. Then message them to say, “Hi, I am finally on Twitter.” Do this for 10 minutes every day until you have a comfortable number of connections for you. I have 17,000 – I’m still comfortable but it is impossible for me to keep up with that many people manually so I use automation and lists. I use automation to “listen” for certain words. You may never need that but when you do I can help you.
Talk about whatever you want to talk about. Don’t listen to the “guru” who tells you not to tweet about what you are eating or where you went shopping – be yourself. If people do not like you for being yourself then you have still won. However … keep in mind Google listens to Twitter. This means people may actually find your Tweet with a link back to your landing page which asks for information from the visitor so you can provide them with the information about the content of your tweet.
Think of Twitter as a community picnic. You would not show up at the event and start shouting, “Hey! I have a listing at 123 Main!”, “Hey! Look at my post on Active Rain!” Certainly if you did your welcome would soon be worn out. Twitter is about engagement and providing value. Earn some respect and people will be more interested in what you are saying. That said you can do whatever you want and do nothing but feed your ActiveRain posts to Twitter. Google will find them. Just don’t ever let me hear you say, “I don’t get anything from Twitter”.
Twitter is the community event and Facebook is the high school or family reunion coupled with a little industry love. About the best you can do for branding on Facebook is your profile picture and the five thumbnails to the right. Some people are pretty slick with that. Take a look at Randy Barnes’ Facebook page.
There are different types of pages and incorrect use is a violation of FB terms. Businesses have available business pages, personal pages are (intended) only for personal use. There are tons of terms to learn at Facebook and Mike Mueller is a true Facebook expert.
Facebook business pages provide excellent marketing opportunities and FB ads work. I’m not guessing that they work – they absolutely work. I have generated many leads and closed transactions because of FB ads to highly targeted markets and demographics. I can help you with your Facebook ads or applications. Did you know you can accept form information on a custom coded Facebook business page? Take a look at the one I did for one of our branches here.
Security and privacy settings. Seriously, to get into this here would take hours to type and it sill would leave something out. Don’t worry about privacy on you business page which is where you want everyone to see everything anyway. Do what you want with privacy on your personal page.
Now to the Chamber of Commerce for social media. LinkedIn is all about business. It is a place to meet, engage and solicit other business people. LI groups are amazing and the more I use them the more I learn. Again, like Facebook, branding is limited but possible.
Every Tuesday night at 8PM eastern there is a chat on Twitter called LinkedInChat. I learn in there every week from people like @LinkedInExpert (Viveca von Rosen) how to use LI to increase the size of my network and learn from people who are experts in their fields.
Remember these six things
FUR and APE. Contact me and I will happily send you the white paper for free.
If you want more, deeper, faster, farther I’ve got it. I have been developing online applications, sites and communities since 1988. I still do it, full time. There are a lot of “new” people who have entered my industry. Some of them are pretty darned good. Very few of them are in the real estate industry. You can do one of a few things:
Sign up for the newsletter at http://SocialMediaEdge.com in the right side bar. I won’t spam you to death.
Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/thekencook
Call me 678-439-8683
I charge. It’s not a free service. However, I only accept payment through PayPal which has one of the most customer sided resolution services I have ever seen.