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6 June 2014

Keeping Social Media Manageable

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We are just about at that point where social media marketing is really another tool in our marketing bag, and as a result, our industry struggles with how to incorporate these tools into an already taxing and busy schedule.

When we review the statistics that 90 percent of consumers go online to do their research before they ever contact us, it becomes abundantly clear that we need a strong online presence. I always preach that a website or blog needs to be the center of that presence and every social media tool you use is a spoke to drive people back to your site.

Social media is just another set of tools to create the online conversation with friends, clients and soon to be customers. After an introduction to the advantages of social media, I usually get three responses in my class:

Hyperventilation – So excited to implement!

Crossed arms – I don’t care what someone is eating for breakfast. (Translation: Please share with me the return on my time; how it will impact my real estate business)

Exasperation – I don’t have time. I am already maxed out!

I do think that participating fully in social media as a business and marketing strategy requires discipline, automation routines, and a daily commitment. Now, you’ve got to balance that with the fact that much of your activity is about building long-term momentum and deeper networks. That doesn’t always make the cash register ring today.

Let me share my systematic approach in the hopes this may reveal some tips that make your experience more fruitful:

Let me remind you why you are engaging in this new form of marketing:

  • You’re an extrovert and love to connect.
  • You have an agenda that is supported by this kind of connection.
  • You’re researching.

First, examine your marketing mix:

  • What is working? It used to be direct mail, print, newspapers, and a website. Now, it’s some of those activities, PLUS email, blogging, video and audio, and of course . . . social networking.
  • Replace what’s not working with social media activities.

Next, pick your channels wisely:

  • Which will you use?
  • Which will you ignore?

There are some main categories of social media tools. Not enough time to go into all of them here, but research and see which types of tools resonate with you:

  • Blogging
  • Social Networking sites
  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Mapping for community information
  • Listing Syndication
  • Real Estate Communities
  • Instant Video Communications
  • Review sites

More tools pop up every day, so don’t be afraid to jump in. But, do make sure to do your research before committing long-term to something you don’t think you have the bandwidth for in the long run.

Finally, use your calendar ruthlessly – you don’t have to do every aspect every day. Breaking up your social media activities will help save on time. Decide which days will be your:

  • content generating days
  • social media admin days
  • prospecting days

Just like you do for your other appointments, set times on your calendar and stick to it. Please don’t be too over aggressive with this.

Create content when you have your greatest inspiration. (Mine is shower time, which makes it a little difficult!)

Like everything in life, you get what you put into it. Social media admin time does not have to be time-consuming.  If you’re smart and strategic about it, and you do it regularly.

Remember, social media is here to stay, it’s just another way of communicating one on one with your clients and your community. Good luck!

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