Mathias Bergendahl's Marketing Blog


How to Effectively Lose the New Consumer through Traditional Advertising

Earlier this week I came across an ad in one of our major newspapers. A home builder offered what they advertised as great interest rates for homes in the local area. A map showed the locations of their respective communities, price indications, and how to reach them by phone. Oh, there was even a rush as the promotion would only last ten days. A website address was listed, but the font size was so small the text virtually got lost in the ad.

Curious about what I’d find I visited their website. With the mind of a marketer I anticipated an abundance of photos, virtual tours, videos, testimonials and maps. Here’s the message I found: “Complete the form to learn more about this offer.” Before I could access even the slightest of information I had to register my name and email address.

Reflecting on the ad, it struck me how so many companies – large and small – continue to rely on traditional advertising even though the climate around us has changed so dramatically. We talk about how consumers have changed, yet often I find proof that the ways to get their attention haven’t. Today’s consumers expect information instantly, and when they don’t find it, they move on somewhere else. Yet companies still withhold information in order to have prospective customers either visit a location first or call for more information. Truth is, advertisers will often receive little response to such marketing campaigns.

A traditional advertiser would say: “we need to sell homes and we want home buyers to come to our sales center first before we give them any information.”

An advertiser in tune with the way consumer preferences have changed would say: “let’s use this ad to drive traffic to our website, provide them all the information consumers would possibly want, focus on educating rather than selling, and then hear from them in the manner they prefer.”

The new consumers want all available information upfront, instantly and online without having to specifically request it. And, they want to remain anonymous until they’re ready to make contact. If they’re left unsatisfied, they’ll find it elsewhere.

The great news is that we have tools available to us that will meet the needs of the new consumer. We can upload videos, for free. We can post limitless photo albums on the Internet, for free. We have the means to convey the value we provide, for free. We can build the best resource center available for consumers, for free. We can educate consumers, for free. We can post testimonials, for free. We can access emails, and respond immediately no matter where we happen to be, inexpensively. We can make our response be automatic in case we’re not accessible, and even better, hire virtual assistants to make sure each response is handled by a live person.

Ten years ago I expected ad agencies and corporations with large ad budgets to integrate the use of the Internet, print ads, and television and radio commercials. Surprisingly, it took several years until they fully embraced the power of an integrated campaign. Now marketing executives and advertising professionals are facing the challenges of new consumer preferences and an even larger abundance of available tools. I wonder how long it will take until the traditional ads will be replaced by those meeting the expectations of the new consumer.

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Searching for Leads?
October 31, 2009, 2:30 pm
Filed under: General Marketing Topics, Integrated Marketing, Realtor Marketing

Seaching for Leads? Without a steady stream of new, prospective customers any business faces the risk of failure. We set out to discover what successful Realtors® are doing to generate, evaluate, and manage leads through a process until a transaction has been completed.

Click here to read Searching for Leads?, the feature story in the October issue of PROView Magazine.

This article was written following a request by a member. Want to suggest the topic for upcoming magazine and blog articles? Please send an email to Mathias Bergendahl at mbergendahl@tampabayrealtor.com.

 



Sharing Your Messages on All Social Media Platforms: How to Syndicate Your Blog Posts to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Most social media presentations I come across appear to focus on the bigger picture. While I mostly find arguments for why Realtors® should use social media at webinars, seminars and in articles, I rarely find resources that share actionable tactics on how to actually develop social media platforms.

In a couple of days I will once again teach the class Integrated Social Media Marketing Strategies and I thought I’d share a few outtakes from the presentation I’ll give. While I certainly will continue to share the big picture on social media through this blog, I want to make sure readers are provided solutions they can implement immediately. That’s why I thought the focus of today’s article would be to share how you can syndicate your blog posts directly to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. By following the steps below you’ll be able to have your articles published at each network without having to manually add them.

Hopefully you can get some ideas you can put to use immediately if you’d like to use your blog as your news source and share your blog posts at Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Overview of Blog Post Syndication

SM1In previous articles I’ve shared how important it is to make sure your website and social media platforms are connected through links. For example, your website should have links to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube accounts, and each of those should feature links back to your website. Similarly, your website and social media networks should link to your ratings profile. You never know where a consumer will find you first and that’s why it’s crucial to link to other resources on each of your platforms.

In addition to offering links you can syndicate all new blog posts for immediate posting at Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Once you’ve done the initial setup all new articles will automatically appear at each platform. Below are descriptions of how it works for each network.

Make Blog Posts Appear on Your LinkedIn ProfileSM4

First, let’s take a look at how you can make all blog posts appear inside your LinkedIn profile.

  1. Go to your LinkedIn profile and click on Edit My Profile in the top left navigation bar.
  2. Scroll down until you see a box with the headline Featured Applications. Click on the right arrow button until you see the W logo, which stands for WordPress (for those who use a WordPress.com blog).
  3. Select Add this application followed by clicking on the Update Settings button on the right side of your screen. Make sure to check the box Display on my profile.
  4. Type your WordPress blog address, which for most users will be http://YOURBLOG.wordpress.com*.
  5. Once you click on the save button your blog posts will automatically appear on your LinkedIn profile.

 Sharing Articles through FacebookSM2

 Similarly, blog posts can automatically be posted at your Facebook wall once you’ve set it up.

  1.  Locate the panel at the lower right side of your screen once you’ve logged on to Facebook.
  2. Click on the Notes button.
  3. At the prompt giving you the option to import your blog, type your blog address in a similar way you did above for LinkedIn.
  4. New blog posts will appear automatically on your Facebook wall. Additionally, you’ll see all your blog content under the Notes Tab in your Facebook menu.SM3

 Using Twitter to Share Your Stories

SM5Syndicating your blog posts to Twitter require a slightly different process. Essentially, you’ll enable the distribution of links to your blog articles by signing up for a free account at twitterfeed.com.

  1. Go to Twitterfeed.com to create your account.
  2. Once your account is created you’ll have to verify the connection between Twitterfeed and Twitter, essentially allowing the transfer of information between the platforms.
  3. Next, create a new feed by typing in your blog name. For twitterfeed, you’ll need to add the word feed, though, and the final web address you need to type is http://YOURBLOGDOMAIN.wordpress.com/feed/*.SM6

Once you’ve created the feed between Twitterfeed and Twitter you’ll see tweets (as messages through Twitter are called) with links to your articles. While the concept of syndication in essence is the same for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, Facebook is the only platform that actually incorporates the entire article onto your Facebook profile. LinkedIn and Twitter instead provide links to the full articles at your blog.SM7

Syndication allows you to effectively reach your audiences at all respective platforms without having to manually add them each time. Such a set up will help you minimize the time you spend managing your networks. For other tips on how to carefully manage your time commitment to social media marketing, click here to read Ten Ideas for Creating an Effective Social Media Marketing Time Management Routine.

* The web addresses you use should be the ones you used when you signed up for a blog. In my case the web address for my blog is https://mbergendahl.wordpress.com/ for Facebook and LinkedIn, and https://mbergendahl.wordpress.com/feed/ for the connection between Twitterfeed and Twitter.

Click on images for a larger view.

 

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Marketing Toolkit for Realtors® Now Available

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A compilation of articles from the PRO Marketing Blog is now available. Please click here to download.



Why LinkedIn May Be a Better Networking Choice than Facebook – and Five Tips to Make Your Profile an Effective Branding Tool

“I want to stay connected, but I feel Facebook may be too personal.”

Following a recent presentation I gave on the topic of social media marketing, a Realtor® spoke about her hesitation to connect with consumers at Facebook.

“I want to continue to build my sphere of influence and I know the use of social media platforms will help me do that. I’m just not sure most of them want me to see the personal things they share on Facebook. As a result they may turn down my friend requests or worse, I may even alienate them.”

The main purposes of networking are to build awareness of what you do, build trust and credibility, and especially be the one they think of when they need a Realtor®.

To put the importance of remaining easily accessible to consumers into perspective, I thought about something that happened many years ago. As a newly appointed Executive Director for a local museum, I was asked by a newspaper reporter what I planned to do to increase attendance. I shared my desire to attract more families with young children. A week later I received a letter from a mailing list vendor. Having read about my plan, she sent me information about available mailing lists for any upcoming marketing campaigns, and she even attached a copy of the article so that I would connect the dots. I thought it was brilliant as she clearly provided me exactly what I had expressed that I needed. However, I didn’t need it at the time. Months later, as I was ready to do a mailing, I couldn’t find her contact information. I searched my cabinets. I searched online. I searched the yellow pages. In spite of all my efforts, I couldn’t find a way to connect with her. For her it was a lost opportunity. For me, it’s an example of how important it is for professionals to give recipients of a campaign a reason to stay in touch for when they need you. Similarly, imagine a consumer wanting to get in touch with you months after you first met, only to find that they can’t find you.

These days social media can help build a virtual rolodex of sorts, thus eliminating the risk of losing or not finding a printed business card. Similar to how you’d add a business card to your collection, you can now instead suggest a virtual connection. But, should it be through Facebook?

If the social media platforms we now have access to had been available at that time, would I have added the mailing list vendor as a friend at Facebook? Since we had no other relationship other than her contacting me the answer is most likely no. I would, however, have suggested that she become a connection at LinkedIn.

Don’t get me wrong; Facebook is a great networking tool. However; others may not feel that your connection is close enough to warrant a connection on that particular platform. Consumers may not want you to see their pictures, videos, and anything they would only share with those they know closely.

While the main social media “buzz” seems to center on Facebook these days, consider joining the online network at LinkedIn.com. Here are the top seven features you can use to make your LinkedIn profile become an essential part of your online networking efforts.

1. Get Online Exposure

Search for my name at Google and you’ll find that my LinkedIn profile is listed among the first few listings. Similarly, your name will most likely show up at the top of the search results once you’ve signed up. I’m not sure why, but it seems LinkedIn is favored by search engines, and having a profile will virtually ensure that you’ll be found when someone searches for you.

2. Share Presentations and Blog Posts

Did you know that you can add a Power Point presentation inside your LinkedIn profile? Through the website slideshare.net you can display presentations by adding an application. Consider posting a value proposition slide show or maybe a description of your process. Similarly, you can have articles from your WordPress blog featured at the center of your LinkedIn profile by adding the WordPress application.

3. Showcase Value through Recommendations

LinkedIn provides an easy to use tool by which you can ask your connections to write a recommendation on your behalf. Let others showcase your expertise – ask them to describe what it’s like to work with you.

4. Provide Links to Your Website, Blog and other Platforms

LinkedIn allows you to add three links, and I suggest you use them to give visitors to your profile additional resources. Consider adding links to your website, blog, and maybe your Facebook profile.

5. Show Your Professional Background, Affiliations and Awards

Essentially serving as your virtual resume, you can list your current and past brokerage affiliations and prior employments inside your LinkedIn profile. Additionally, you can list any awards you’ve received and designations you’ve earned. Affiliations with professional groups such as the National Association of Realtors®, Florida Realtors® as well as groups available to ABR, GRI, and CIPS graduates only can also be displayed.

Every consumer you meet may not need a Realtor® at that particular time. Asking them if it would be appropriate to connect on LinkedIn will give you the opportunity to be found when they do.



How to Avoid Mixing Business and Pleasure on Facebook
September 23, 2009, 3:52 pm
Filed under: General Marketing Topics, Social Media Marketing

Each time I add a blog post I typically add it to a discussion group at the NAR and FAR groups at LinkedIn in hopes they’ll be of value to the many Realtors® and industry professionals across our state and the nation who belong to those groups.

A response to a recent article I shared through LinkedIn prompted today’s blog post:

Too late I recognized that my Facebook account, which I began for personal use, has become a wild mix of personal and business contacts, which it never was intended to be. Even after creating groups and setting different access privileges, I am rather unhappy with the resulting unruliness. Would you advise using a separate account for business on Facebook? And, how on earth am I going to move my existing business contacts over there? I suppose dumping them after a polite request or two will not really endear me to them?

The question is actually asked quite often in the classes I teach. Just as for the individual who posed the question, many of our members started with only one Facebook profile, and now find themselves with a combination of personal and business connections.

I faced a similar dilemma earlier this year when many of my business contacts invited me to become their Facebook friend. At that time I only had a personal profile where I connected with friends around the world. Rather than upset someone for not accepting their friend request, I set up a separate business profile using my email address at work.

Such a separation makes sense as the information you want to share with your business contacts should be different from those you have with your closest friends. Imagine being at a party at a friend’s house on a Saturday night and all you hear discussed around the table is business. Most would tune out, right? While you may share family pictures with your friends through your personal Facebook account, you should focus on posting information related to the needs of a real estate client at your business-oriented profile.

There are a few options available. You can use a fan page rather than profile for your business connections. Alternatively, you can mix audiences but hide the content by other than business contacts in order to keep the information focused on real estate. In my opinion, though, the safest and smartest solution to make sure you don’t mix the two groups at all is to keep two separate profiles. That way you make sure not to confuse either of your audiences, nor bore them with information they really aren’t looking for. The way you set up different accounts is simply by using two different email addresses.

Now to the issue of adding a business profile, and asking current contacts to move to another profile:

In order to not inconvenience your business contacts, consider keeping your existing profile as the one you’ll use for business relationships. Remove any previous posts that may have been of a more personal nature and links of the same kind. Next, add helpful information and links to resources suitable for that particular audience.

Your true friends will likely be more accepting to your switch so simply un-friend those you feel don’t fit the profile of a business contact and invite them to become your friends from your new personal profile.



Social Media Marketing Program – October 2009
September 21, 2009, 3:00 pm
Filed under: General Marketing Topics, Social Media Marketing

Getting Started with Social Media Marketing
Has anyone told you recently that in order to build your business you should open a FaceBook account and start blogging? Unsure how it may benefit your business? Don’t know where to start? This class will give a basic outline of social media marketing and walk you through the steps to get started.
October 8, 2009 from 10 a.m. until Noon.

Featuring a Step-by-Step “How To” Clinic for Facebook

My First Blog 101
Having a blog gives you an excellent tool to build an online presence and communicate with your sphere of influence. Knowing how to build a blog can be a bit intimidating, though. This interactive program will walk you through step by step until you’ve built your own blog. Must have access to email.
October 14, 2009 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Integrated Social Media Marketing Strategies
You may have FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, but are you using these social media platforms effectively? This class will outline how you can take a strategic approach to build your business by integrating online social media marketing activities. Prerequisite: Getting Started with Social Media Marketing.
October 22, 2009 from 10 a.m. until Noon.

Featuring a Step-by-Step “How To” Clinic for Integrating Social Media Platforms

My First Blog 102
Following My First Blog 101, where you learned how to create a new blog, this class will show you how to customize your blog, including how to change your blog title, change the language of your blog, add polls and additional features, and view visitor statistics. You will also find out how to add blog posts, upload and link to videos, photos, and sound files. Class is followed by a clinic (see below). Must have access to email. Prerequisite: My First Blog 101.
October 28, 2009 from 10 a.m. until Noon.

Membership Benefit – No Extra Charge

Please visit the PRO Calendar at www.TampaBayRealtor.com to register.

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