Mathias Bergendahl's Marketing Blog


20 Steps to Get Started with Social Media Marketing

I’ve been invited to speak at the annual installation of the Women’s Council of Realtors®, Pinellas County chapter, tomorrow Wednesday. As I prepared my presentation I created a list of twenty steps Realtors® can take to get started with social media marketing. I thought I’d share it here at my blog as well.

1. Write a description about your process and how it benefits consumers, and include your bio.

Consumers have expectations and they want to get a sense of what the experience of working with you will be like. I suggest you write a description that describes your process when working with buyers and sellers, outlines your particular service model, and briefly highlights your bio as it relates to the needs of the consumers you want to work with – in that order. Once you’ve completed the text you should use it in all the social media profiles you sign up for in order to give a consistent message no matter where consumers first find you.

2. Set up a blog at wordpress.com.

The value of providing insight and sharing your knowledge on a blog has been covered extensively at this blog. There are a few options available as to the choice of blog platform and two determining factors on which to choose should be price and simplicity. WordPress.com offers a free platform and with easy to use templates that don’t require knowledge of HTML programming your blog will be ready in a matter of minutes.

3. Sign up for profiles at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Sign up for free accounts at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Set up a profile that you’ll only use for business contacts for Facebook. If you already have a Facebook account with a mix of business and personal contacts, click here to read my recent article How to Avoid Mixing Business and Pleasure on Facebook.

4. Use the same username/vanity name for every profile.

Make it easy to sign in to the various platforms you’re on. And, make it easy to share the web addresses to the social media profiles you have. Both Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to have a vanity URL, such as www.facebook.com/mbergendahl and www.linkedin.com/in/mbergendahl. Additionally, my blog address is wordpress.com/mbergendahl and my Twitter profile is http://www.twitter.com/mbergendahl. As you can see my username is consistent across the board and I encourage you to do the same.

5. Put links to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter on your website.

Once you’re signed up for accounts and profiles at LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter it’s time to drive traffic to them. Make sure to put the logos of each social network at the front page of your website and link to each profile. You can download the logos at each respective network.

6. Put links from all social media platforms to your website.

It’s also important to drive traffic from each social network to your website. Similar to #5, add a link to your website at LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and any other network you’re on.

7. Put together a list of questions consumers never think to ask.

A common question is what to write about when you start blogging. Your blog gives you the opportunity to share answers to questions consumers don’t think to ask, or hesitate to ask. Additionally, you probably have a few topics that repeatedly come up in conversations with the consumers you work with. Most consumers are probably wondering whether this truly is a good time to buy a home – share marketplace statistics to back up your suggestion of buying a home right now. Sellers may wonder about the discrepancy between your suggested sales price and valuation levels provided at various websites – describe the process of how you arrive at an appropriate price level. First-time home buyers may not be familiar with the process of buying a home, including what’s expected from them and what their Realtor® will do for them – describe the home buying process. As industry professionals we often assume that consumers are as well-informed as we are and knowledgeable about buying and selling a home. For the most part they are not, and it gives you a great opportunity to educate. The more valuable information you provide the more likely it is that you’ll be the one they will want to work with.

8. Compose a list of top ten topics you anticipate you’ll cover on your blog.

Plan ahead. Decide what you’d like to share. Will you cover community events? Are you planning on sharing marketplace statistics once a month? By planning ahead you’ll be more structured and by knowing an upcoming subject you’ll cover you’ll be able to collect materials and data ahead of time.

9. Commit to a weekly update until you’re ready for more frequent content.

I’ve heard from many who seem to believe that as soon as you start writing for your own blog you’re expected to post daily updates. In my opinion, how you determine how often you should write a blog post should be based on your available time, and whether you truly have valuable information to share. With that said, I recommend posting at least weekly or bi-weekly to show visitors that the blog is active. With longer periods of no activity at your blog, visitors may get the feeling that you’ve abandoned it.

10. Take pictures around your community for later use in your blog.

It’s Sunday night and you’ve just completed a blog post about a community within the area you mainly serve. But, you have no pictures to enhance your blog post and illustrate what you described. Bring your camera when you go out on appointments and make a point to stop and take pictures along the way. It will help you build a library of images that you can use when you’re writing your blog posts.

11. Include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn logos, with web addresses, on all printed materials.

“I have a blog, but how do I get people to read it?” It’s a common question I receive when I teach the subject of social media marketing. In short, you have to drive visitors to each platform and while I’ve previously suggested adding logos of each social network at your website, equally important is it to include addresses to your blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter platforms and profiles.

12. Invite leads, prospects and clients to follow your blog.

It’s a common practice to send out postcards, newsletters, and emails as drip campaigns in order stay in touch with those we’d like to work with, and those we previously had helped. For your next campaign, add a note inviting recipients to visit your blog. Many agents report that quite often consumers may follow a blog for several months before making the first connection. Give those you stay in touch with a reason to learn more about what you can do for them – invite them to your blog.

13. Be personable, not too personal.

There’s a fine line between being personable and personal – and we’re seeing that rather vividly at especially Facebook and Twitter. While it’s important to be personable, responding to messages and interacting with contacts, refrain from sharing personal information such as religious beliefs, political views, and especially things you really only share with your spouse, family, and close friends. Comments that may be suitable for the latter are often not appropriate to share with prospective clients. Sure, they want to get to know you, but, I suggest you draw a clear line between what’s personal and what’s personable.

14. Write blog articles based on top questions and concerns consumers have.

Make a point to frequently ask readers of your blog and contacts at Facebook what their top questions and concerns may be. Asking blog visitors questions on what they’d like to read about will give them the impression that you care and the benefit for you is that you better get to know those who follow you.

15. Sign up for a free Feedburner account, allowing readers to subscribe to blog posts.

Many readers may come to your blog once and then never return. One way you can make sure they’ll continue to read what you have to share is to give them the option to subscribe to new blog posts. Consider signing up for a free Feedburner account, which is provided by Google. You’ll need to sign up for a Google account first and then add the Feedburner feature.

16. Syndicate new blog posts to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as outlets for your new blog posts, and drive traffic to your blog, by syndicating all new posts automatically each time new content is added to the blog. For details on how to do that, click here to read my recent article Sharing Your Messages on all Social Media Platforms: How to Syndicate Your Blog Posts to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

17. Sign up for a profile at YouTube.

I encourage you to start mixing your content on your blog with both written articles and videos. If a picture tells 1,000 words, a video clip may say 1,000,000. First, let’s look at a presentation of yourself. While the written word certainly is effective, a video enables you to share not only your words, but viewers will also be able to see your body language and facial expression – both giving you the chance to expression your passion and compassion for helping those you work with.

18. Create frequent videos, upload to YouTube, and link from your blog.

Consider starting a monthly market update per video. Each month, gather market statistics and devise an analysis. Tape yourself using a camcorder and upload the video to YouTube. Once your video is uploaded, YouTube will give you codes you can use to either link to the video from your blog or embed it inside a blog post. Click here for an instruction on how you can link to a video or embed it. Click here to view how Nick Burrafato, broker/owner of Florida HomeGallery in Lake Mary has replaced email drip campaigns with a Florida HomeGallery Weekly Update using video as described in Lore Magazine.

19. Use your social media platforms as part of your response to leads.

Social media marketing is much more than sending messages through Facebook and Twitter. Consider the following. A consumer responds to a listing at Realtor.com with a request for more information. Consumers are looking for instant information and expect it to be delivered. Consider setting up an email auto-reply that goes out automatically with links to a virtual tour, lots of pictures, videos, and an introduction to the agent. Rather than having to wait for a reply email or phone call from an agent, a consumer can familiarize themselves with you and your business while you’re getting ready to respond to their request. For more information on this concept, click here to read How to Capture the Attention of a Prospect: Build Consumer-Centric Greeting and Response Platforms, an article I wrote earlier this year.

20. Have fun with your blog!

For many, writing a blog post may feel like a chore; one that may always come last in your list of priorities. View your blog as a great way to connect with people, invite their suggestions, and share your insight and knowledge. It may take a few blog posts until you find your own style and I encourage you to not give up.

BONUS TIP

If you’d like to learn more about any of the above tips, and how to technically make it happen, consider attending the free Social Media Marketing program offered in January and February to members of the Pinellas Realtor® Organization.

Bookmark and Share
Advertisements

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: