5 Steps to Social Media Success
Social Media is changing the way we communicate with our clients and build relationships with prospects. Used correctly it can be a powerful tool in growing your real estate business. Using these new tools effectively can sometimes be a challenge. Here are five steps you can take to make the most of your social networking efforts.
1. Integrate and optimize your core Social Media tools
Your first step to Social Media Success is to decide which programs you are going to work with and then use them to their full potential. For most agents the foundation of their Social Media toolbox should include: LinkedIn, ActiveRain, FaceBook & Twitter. Make sure that you completely fill out your profile on each site.
These tools work together in different ways. For example, if you post something to your ActiveRain blog it will post to your personal blog and send a Tweet on Twitter. Your Tweets can be automatically sent to FaceBook, and so on. Link your Social Media sites together and to your phone so that you do not have to duplicate your efforts.
2. Define your brand and demonstrate it clearly online
Who are you and what is your value proposition? If you have developed a logo for your business or created a website in the past you have probably already been confronted with this question. It is not always easy to answer but it is absolutely necessary that you do. Just like in traditional marketing the unique talents, skills and interests that define you also attract certain people to you. Your online personality should be an extension of your real life personality and not an "alter-ego".
Your personal brand will shine through in the pictures you choose to post the look and feel of your Blog and Twitter homepage and the comments and content you post. Define your brand based on the type of people you want to attract to your business.
3. Be Interested and Interesting
Networking online can be a lot like mingling at a cocktail party. You can jump from conversation to conversation, connecting with people, learning something new and then moving on. Just like in real life you don't walk up to a group and start talking right away. Take a moment to assess the group, learn what they are talking about and then add value to the conversation when the opportunity arises. If you are not sure how to participate in the conversation ask questions (be interested) then when you are ready to contribute make sure that your comments add to the conversation in a meaningful way (be interesting).
4. Spend as much time building relationships as you do building your network
Social Media shouldn't be thought of as a popularity contest measured by how many FaceBook friends you have. The size of your next work matters but it is quality of your contacts that matter more. You should always "Friend" new contacts soon after you meet them and you should continually look for ways to increase your network. However, you should also spend equal or more time commenting on other people's posts, reconnecting with friends, and providing value to the friends you already have.
5. Participate daily
If you really want to use Social Media as a tool for generating business you must participate on a regular basis. FaceBook and Twitter's ongoing conversations push your posts off of the first page fairly quickly and if you don't post regularly you will rarely be seen by many of your friends.
Follow these five steps and you will be on the path to Social Media Success!
Hillary Vickers is ProREA Staffing's Social Media Specialist. She helps agents set up their Social Media accounts, works with them to develop their online brand image, and assists with the ongoing management of their Social Networking efforts.