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23 January 2015

Social Media Check-in

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Happy 2015! It’s the second week of January and now, while everyone is still dating documents 2014 instead of 2015, is a perfect time to take stock of your social media channels. Consider it a temperature check for what channels you’re using and what’s working or not, as well as getting a read for who your audience is on each channel, and curating your own lists.

With 91 percent of American using social media regularly and spending more time on social than any other major Internet activity, including email, it is worth taking a few minutes to do ask and answer these questions:

  • How many channels are you using? Are there too many? Are you spreading yourself too thin to make any of them successful for your business?
  • What audiences are you reaching on your channels? Are you talking to friends and family on one, clients or potential leads on another, colleagues on still another?

Ok, ok. One question at a time.

How many channels are you currently using? Are there too many?

First make a list of your social channels.  Then take a fresh look at each as if you were a friend or client coming to that page?

Do they look current?  Are your posts getting engagement and if so, is one channel is performing better than another?

Clean up the channels that work and eliminate the ones that don’t.  Moving forward concentrate your efforts on what’s left. Determining which channels work best for you and your workday – and then focusing on your effort on your most effective channels – is hard but also one of the most useful things you can do to set up a successful 2015.

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Determining which channels work best for you and your workday – and then focusing on your effort on your most effective channels – is hard but also one of the most useful things you can do to set up a successful 2015.

What audiences are you reaching on your channels?

Odds are, you’re on Facebook to talk to friends and family, Twitter to talk to the world at large, LinkedIn for colleagues, and Google+ for search engine optimization. Take a deeper look at your followers across all of your accounts.

Each platform has native tools that will tell you your social audience and help guide which types of posts (and posting times) help move the needle on social.  Below are some quick tips for the most popular platforms:

Facebook Insights for your business page can show you the gender and age breakdown, as well as the geographic breakdown. Just learning these basic demographics can help guide the content you post. This Facebook Insights primer might help you get the most out of the tool.

Twitter has a wealth of information that everyone now has access. On the header bar, click on your profile picture at the top right-hand side, and click Analytics. That will take you to the Tweets tab, where you can see how many impressions you’ve earned over a 28-day period, with a daily breakdown, as well as a by-tweet breakdown. You can even check out your engagement activity.

If you click on the Followers tab at the top, it will show you how many followers you’ve gained, what their top and unique interests seem to be, their geographic breakdown by city and country, and gender breakdown. There you’ll get a snapshot of what your Twitter community looks like, what they’re interested in, and where they come from.

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Most every platform has their own set of insights, and it’s useful to take a look at the types of information available, and learn as much as you can about the people you are talking to on each channel.

While you’re looking at your audiences, also take the time to prune your lists. That goes two ways – who is following you, and who you yourself are following.

We’ve talked about this before on Clean Slate, particularly for Twitter – you can have 20,000 followers, but are they interested in what you have to say, or are they just a faceless bot? It’s an ongoing battle to weed out the real from the fake, but set aside some time every month to take a look at your newest friends and followers.

Also, take a look at who you’re following as well. Make a point of following the 33 people changing the real estate industry. (Congratulations for being named to that list, Sherry Chris, Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate president and CEO, and broker Leighton Dees of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Generations!) Follow this year’s Inman Connect speakers. Find other prominent people in real estate by searching wefollow.

Finding, following and even connecting with those real estate leaders will help you learn more about our industry, but also is one of the easiest ways to help you make a connection short of meeting them at any tradeshow or conferences. And, on places such as Twitter or Instagram, don’t be afraid to branch out beyond real estate into other industries to find other business and professional development thought-leaders – great business ideas transcend industries!

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Taking stock of your social media channels and audiences takes some effort. But doing it now will save time in the long run. Be on the lookout for more social media tips and information in the weeks to come.

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