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How, When and What of Social Media

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Marketing your business online continues to evolve as more and more buyers turn to the web and social media sites for information prior to making a purchase or listing decision. With 88 percent of prospective clients using the internet as a resource, building your own presence is a critical component of your overall marketing strategy.

Producing quality content, whether it is created or curated, is essential to promoting and growing your business online. However, building your presence can feel overwhelming.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are excellent conversation facilitators. Nevertheless, understanding where time is best spent and how to maximize effectiveness can evade even the well-versed individual.

The following tips will provide a foundation to grow your personal brand online.

1. Set Measurable Goals

Define your goals and then put them in writing. Answer each of these questions:

• What type of followers/fans do you want?
• What makes you unique? Translate that in to your social media profiles. Your message should be consistent across all channels.
• How much time can you commit to managing your social media?
• What results are you hoping to achieve?

2. Start Listening

As you begin to venture into social media, it is perfectly acceptable to eavesdrop. Listen first then begin to join in the conversation. People do not want to be talked “at,” but talked “with.” Engage others in conversations – then listen. Focus on what is important to them and how you might benefit from building a relationship.

3. Build Relationships

This one falls in line with the last. As you start to share content on your social media platforms, focus on building relationships. If you constantly send out market reports, but you don’t talk and engage with the people in the area, you will be talking to a brick wall. It is considered poor etiquette in the social sphere if you don’t talk and converse, but just shout out links to posts you’ve written.

4. Share Interesting Content

Your updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be of any subject matter that interests you. Remember to include not only real estate posts, but other updates that will gain the attention of potential clients. Remember, simply posting listings will not appeal to your past clients. Share content that will be relevant for your audience.

5. Get Out and Engage

Visit Facebook pages where your target audience spends time. Comment and interact within that community and bring awareness to your page. This is not about being spammy and selling your product or service. It is about offering valuable insight and building a solid reputation for your office.

6. Get Local

Concentrate on building your social media networks with people in your service area. The more local people you add to your network, the greater possibility the real estate leads will come to you.

7. It’s NOT About the Sale

Don’t sell yourself before you know someone. People want to have something in common with you; it could be as simple as you both live in the same city. It might be that you both have a dog, or that you have both eaten at the local ice cream shop. Build on these things. The very best thing that happens within online networking circles is when someone else shares a link of one of your posts.

8. Create Conversation

It’s more important to converse with others than to simply post listings. Your posted content should consist of:

• 20 percent linking to your content
• 20 percent linking to other people’s content (A local sports team, restaurant, school district, government office, local blogger, reciprocal linking, etc.)
• 20 percent other business talk
• 40 percent personal talk and networking (Ask how your followers’ animals/kids are! People love it online just as they do offline)

Getting Started

There are a number of social media channels that might benefit your business. I would encourage you to choose only a few as you get started and build once you are comfortable and consistent with your strategy.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are three completely different platforms and will attract different personalities. Try out each of the big three I mentioned above, feel at ease with the way in which you communicate and then decide which is best for you.

This article was originally published on the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate blog, Clean Slate.

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