Posts Tagged ‘Friends Family’
At its core, social media is about communication. It’s about keeping contact with friends, family, clients, customers, and whoever else you’d like on the list of people you keep in the loop. For business purposes, that means staying close to your list of professional contacts. Sounds easy enough. But the trick is doing it in a way that doesn’t make you a nuisance or an annoyance.
Here are some thoughts and tips …
It’s A Conversation: That’s the easiest way to think about your social-media campaign. You’re trying to start an ongoing conversation with a group of people that are connected to your business. These are people that you’re either currently doing business with or hope to be doing business with in the near future. In other words, you want to keep it professional and geared toward making a case for your services. For example, if your business was blankets, you’d post links to stories about how cold this winter will be rather than turning your blog, page or profile into an advertisement. In other words, everyone has an interest in the weather but someone who isn’t currently in the market for a new blanket is going to get tired of receiving your ads rather quickly. Then, when they do need a blanket, they will have already deleted and forgotten about you. Keep it conversational, interesting, and geared toward your audience.
It’s A Two-Way Street: In order to achieve some success with social media, you have to get your contacts involved and participating. Not only does this help them familiarize themselves with you and your business, it also provides an opportunity to do market research and receive feedback. For starters, you should probably interact a little with the social-media profiles and pages of your contacts. Reply or comment on something they posted or “like” an article or picture they uploaded. This encourages reciprocity and generates some goodwill. Also, ask for opinions and feedback from your online fans and followers. It will provide you with ideas for bettering your business, encourage interaction, and make your contacts feel included and valued. Which is, after all, the whole idea.
It’s Not A Chore: The trouble a lot of businesses have when starting a social-media campaign is their approach. If you’re trying to establish a personal relationship with your clients, contacts, and partners, you don’t want them to feel like you’re doing it out of obligation. Enjoy yourself and it’ll shine through. Try to have some fun with your online properties and it’ll be noticeable. That doesn’t mean posting unprofessional pictures or off-color jokes. It means approaching your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page the same way you would approach a phone call with a client. You wouldn’t mumble your words or seem unhappy to hear from them, you’d try to put your best foot forward and make them feel appreciated and eager to do business with you.
Blogs are to social media what Elvis was to popular music. Now before you declare this post ridiculous and stop reading, hear us out. Sure, Elvis didn’t invent rock-and-roll but he popularized it and inspired so many young musicians that he could rightly take credit for giving birth to everything from The Beatles to Black Sabbath. In much the same way, the basic idea behind blogs goes back much further than the late 1990s. But the popularity of blogging gave rise not only to social media but also the general idea that businesses could enhance their brand and Internet presence through a properly maintained and regularly updated online property.
Here are some tips and ideas to help build your business blog …
The Beginning: In the beginning, blogs were the domain of the self-absorbed. Developed as a sort of online diary, blogging soon became the Internet-based past time of anyone who believed they had something to say. And thus, the idea of the basement blogger sitting in his or her pajamas, cluttering the Internet was born. But the blog also became something more important than that. Blogs are easily updated and quickly customized websites. And businesses interested in having a presence online soon figured out that their static business website wasn’t drawing enough attention. So keeping a blog updated regularly with interesting content and relevant info became a way of expanding on their business’ online reach.
The Strategy: Social media, of course, isn’t really anything other than a way to share information with a group of friends, family members, clients, or connections. In other words, blogs stressed the importance of having content to share and social-media made it easier to share it. Which means, having a blog and a social-media presence is the most effective way of getting word out about your business and services. Posting information to your blog that will be interesting and helpful to your clients and connections is the first step. From there, share your blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social-media sites you are using. That will maximize the number of people that see what you’ve shared and also the possibility that they will then pass it along to their list of online contacts. Do this consistently and you’ll see an uptick in the amount of attention your online properties receive.
The Results: Developing a consistent posting strategy and sharing it across your social network will undoubtedly lead to an increase in traffic to your sites. But getting the right traffic is the most important part of any blogging strategy. If you’re running a business in Topeka, Kansas and your blog and social-media sites are receiving the majority of their traffic from Japan, you’re not doing it right. Targeting your region and industry is important. Share content that pertains to the people you want to attract and actively seek out new connections in your area, rather than waiting for them to come to you. Once you begin receiving some attention from the right audience, you’ll have an easier time converting blog visitors into business. Be patient and avoid the temptation to use heavy-handed sales tactics. It’s not a get rich quick scheme. Give it time.
Living in the Internet age is a lot like being around for the gold rush. There’s a lot of buzz about the limitless opportunities and possibilities but there are no guarantees that it’ll make you any money. Fortunately, unlike the gold rush, the Internet doesn’t require you to cross the country on a brutal horse-and-carriage led trip through the mountains and you won’t have to do hours and hours of manual labor in order to try your luck. Which is to say, if mining gold were this easy, everyone would have done it. And yet, there are those that are still hesitant to take their business online.
Here are some tips and ideas for those of you still on the fence …
Social Media Is Local: Stop thinking of the entirety of the Internet and start thinking about it as a way to get in touch with people in your area and region. The Internet may be able to reach all four corners of the known universe but its users generally are engaged with their friends, family, and community when they’re online. That means, social media is actually more efficient and valuable to small businesses than large corporations. After all, no one is going to pay too much attention to a tweet from Coca-Cola but they’d be more likely to read a post or click a link sent from a local business they know and trust. If you’re not doing business in India, there’s no need to set up a social-media campaign aimed at world domination. Keep it focused, targeted, and small to start.
Social Media Is Participatory: Here’s the part that trips a lot of people up. Despite being named “social” media, many people are turned off by the idea that they will actually need to communicate and reach out to other people. They want their social-media campaign to function like an online advertisement waiting to be seen by the right people. Unfortunately, there’s no quicker way to become lost in a pile of forgotten social-media profiles than to set up a page and quickly abandon it. You needn’t feel like you have to constantly be updating and refreshing your pages but it does help to have something to offer. And always be polite and engaging with the people that follow your pages and posts.
Social Media Isn’t Going Anywhere: Fortunately, the opportunities and possibilities of the Internet will be around a lot longer than the gold was in San Francisco. Which means, there may not be a rush, but there’s also no reason to wait. The early adopters will have the advantage of offering something their competition doesn’t. If you wait five years to take your goods and services online, your Facebook fan page will still be beneficial but it won’t give you a competitive edge. Which means, not only can a properly executed social-media campaign benefit your business but the sooner you start the better those benefits are likely to be.
It’s been said that it not what you know, it’s who you know. And these days, who you know includes your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and LinkedIn connections.
So how do you meet more people online? Here are a few ideas to help you build a bigger online network of friends, followers, fans and connections …
Import Your Contacts: Increasingly, social-media sites offer their users the ability to import contacts from their other online profiles. In other words, if you’ve got 121 connections on LinkedIn but your tweets are going unnoticed, you can locate your LinkedIn contacts through Twitter’s “Who To Follow” function and boost the number of people reading your tweets in a few simple clicks. Or try this.
Promote Your Profiles: Make it easy for your contacts to find your online profiles. Most social-media sites offer badges and banners that can be added to your blog, website, and email signature. Adding a link to your profiles will provide potential clients and business partners an effortless way to find and follow you online.
Be Active: There’s a reason it’s called social media. The more you socialize and engage your network, the bigger your network will be. That means, posting regularly, offering interesting information, running contests and polls, and asking friends, family, and online fans to help you promote your pages. Keeping your profiles active and updated will keep your existing contacts coming back and lead to new connections you wouldn’t have otherwise made.
Offer Something Exclusive: Once you’ve successfully driven some traffic to your social network, you still have to convince that traffic to become a fan or follower. Deals, discounts, and freebies are a great way to build your fan base and your business.
More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, and here.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
Imagine the Internet is a never-ending cocktail party and the guest list includes nearly every prospective client and possible referral partner in your region. Now imagine it’s well known that this cocktail party is where nearly 90 percent of all real-estate transactions begin. Now imagine that this cocktail party is taking place right across the street and welcomes you to attend in your most comfortable pair of pajamas. Now imagine not making the effort to show up and make some new contacts, all while complaining that business ain’t what it used to be.
Selling anything requires getting in front of potential clients. And social-media sites offer a relatively simple means of accessing thousands of prospects unattainable through traditional efforts.
A few things to think about …
1st-Time Homebuyers: Younger buyers are even more likely to rely on the advice and opinions of their online network of friends, family, followers, and connections when making a big decision. And there’s few bigger than buying a home. Having a social-media strategy means you’re more likely to have made a connection with someone’s aunt, uncle, cousin, mother, or brother along the way. And that aunt or uncle, mother or brother is then more likely to recommend your services.
Previous Clients: Inviting your previous clients to become part of your social network means building a larger online community. And every contact you make online means more exposure, as you also become part of their community of friends, family, and neighbors. After you’ve setup your online profiles, invite your previous clients to join your network and don’t be surprised if they end up doing some of your marketing for you.
Above and Beyond: Once you’ve invited your friends, family, previous clients, and the rest of your personal network, it’s time to reach out beyond the people you regularly contact. Luckily, social media sites make it easier than ever to get back in touch with old friends, former co-workers, and anyone else in your community that might be interested in buying or selling a home. Sending a friend request on Facebook is a lot less awkward than making a phone call out of the blue. And after you’ve established a network online, some of those old acquaintances may lead to new business.
More social-media tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, and here.
Josh Millar / The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
To learn more about the Ibis Network’s Professional Networking Suite for Realtors and Mortgage Professionals which features these valuable marketing tools:
* Your own Real-Estate or Mortgage blog updated daily with original content
* Monthly e-newsletter ready to send to your contact list
* Social Media set-up on the 8 major networking sites
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your business website
If you’d like a free Real-Estate blog designed for you… no strings attached – click here: http://theibisnetwork.wordpress.com/want-your-own-real-estate-blog-for-free/
If you’d like a free Mortgage blog designed for you… no strings attached – click here: http://theibisnetwork.wordpress.com/want-your-own-mortgage-blog-for-free/