Why Pinterest?

Pinterest IconI LOVE Pinterest. It is such a great resource for everything from recipes to home improvement to architecture to design to whatever you can imagine. Most of my friends are on Pinterest and if they’re not I invite them to be on Pinterest. But I’ve yet to meet a REALTOR on Pinterest from my office. There are REALTORS on there, but I believe it to be a mostly untapped social media marketing opportunity.

Although I hate to admit it, I don’t use it to it’s potential. Now, I have a Real Estate Board, but I use it more as a humorous/educational tool for myself, because sometimes I need a good laugh or a reminder as to why I am in the profession. I also have a Home Decor Board and a board devoted entirely to Atomic Decor (we have a lot of mid-century homes here) and of course one devoted toGarden Pinterest Gardening.  (I have a lot more boards which you can view here). The point I’m trying to make is that all these boards have to do with real estate: homes, home buying, home maintenance, suggestions for your home and garden. There is so much potential here that I have not tapped. I should be able to drive people to my website, my blog, my contact page, and my email.

My most popular pin was repinned almost 7,000 times. Could you imagine if that had been related to my business? As it was, it happened to be a recipe for fried rice. fried riceI did try (twice only) to post homes for sale. One was my sister’s house in another state and one was a beautiful home here. NO ONE repinned. I felt as though my pin had, well for lack of a better term, “cooties”. So, I need a different strategy and I’ll keep you posted on how that works out. But I will be starting a business Pinterest account and I have a few ideas already on Boards to create. Hopefully the following infographic will help you see the value in marketing on Pinterest. And I encourage you to dip your toes in the water. Contact me if you need an invite to join (just send me your email address. I will only use it to invite you not spam you.) E.
Check out this wonderful infographic from Prestige Marketing, Inc. Click here to be taken to their post.

Pinterest Marketing Infographic

6 Tips to Getting Started on Social Media

From Socially Stacked March 15th, 2013

EARLIER THIS WEEK Forbes published a great piece about the hidden benefits of social media. It includes lots of important points, especially for business owners who are frustrated when they don’t see a significant return on their social investment, and it reminds them that it takes time to build momentum.

The bottom line is that social media is a way to extend your influence among your current customers and to reach out to new ones. And it can be the ultimate brand-building tool, giving business owners the opportunity to build community, establish authority and, ultimately, increase web traffic.

No matter which social media platforms you use, or are thinking about using, there are some rules that always apply. Here are six of them:

1. Interact with enthusiasm. People who use social media are looking for authentic and positive interactions. Plenty of research shows that on the most popular social network, Facebook, positive posts generate more engagement and tend to be shared more than negative or critical ones.

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2. Know your boundaries. There is no rule that says just because you’re on social media you must divulge every thought you have and every detail — personal or otherwise — to your customers and fans. In fact, one of the biggest criticisms of social media is that too many people feel compelled to photograph every meal and share every other mundane moment of their lives. As a business owner you will have to walk a fine line between giving your customers insights about your business culture and employees and oversharing. But you might discover, after some experimentation, that you actually enjoy interacting with people who are fans of your business.

3. Show up on a regular basis. To have a rewarding presence on social media you must attend to it. You can’t tweet once a day, post one Facebook status update a week or blog once a month and expect to have any meaningful interactions.

4. Make connections. Social media is fundamentally about making connections. This means answering questions from fans and followers, sharing links to great content, leaving comments on blogs and answering questions that people ask you about your business via Twitter, Facebook, and on your blog. Social media isn’t an effective business tool if you ignore the people who reach out to you.

5. Don’t stress about numbers. Yes, there is something ego-boosting about having lots of friends and followers but what’s more important is having the right followers. One hundred quality customers who follow you on Twitter and regularly engage with you on Facebook is more valuable than 1000 who do nothing.  Work on cultivating a core group and chances are that you will find investing in social media is worth your time and energy.

6. Remember: it’s not all about you. Do you remember that time you went to a party and got stuck in a conversation with the person who talked on and on about herself and never asked you one thing about yourself? Don’t be that person or business on social media! Having a successful presence on social media depends on having two-sided conversations and creating communities of people who want to engage with you. People and brands who are successful on social networks have one thing in common: they give before they try to get (celebrities and the otherwise famous being exceptions to this rule).

Weaving A Brand

Each time you post, tweet or make a comment on a blog, you are creating your personal brand. All these tiny pieces from around the web are woven together to create the impression that people make of you, they might see one tweet, your whole blog or your Facebook page but these should all match in tone and message.” Peg Fitzpatrick

 

Twitter Best Practices

It’s important to understand how using social media can promote your business and part of that is understanding how best to use the different social media outlets. If it isn’t something you can commit to then you need to determine if you can delegate it to your personal assistant or if hiring a social media “butler” would work better. It isn’t enough to just sign-up; you must also make the time commitment to use your chosen social outlet. You can contact me with any interests you may have in my social media business services. The following article, by Craig H. Collins, honestly spells out what you need to do to make Twitter work for your business.

Twitter Best Practices

from craighcollins.com by Craig H. Collins on August 29, 2011

Learning how to leverage social media sites like Twitter is simple – but not always easy to become effective. While that may initially sound like a contradiction, the evidence is clear; many small business owners establish a Twitter account and send out sporadic tweets but fail to garner the loyalty of clients or gather new converts. The results are predictable – wasted time and effort that leaves everyone feeling frustrated. In fact, it may cause more harm than good in the loss of goodwill and reputation.

Simple Doesn’t = Easy

The simplicity of establishing a new account and getting involved in social media sites like Twitter are partially to blame; simple doesn’t always mean easy. Yes, the technical considerations are indeed quite simple but it isn’t easy to establish meaningful content that connects with clients. It’s even more difficult to create original information that gets retweeted. Building a thriving online presence is hard work!

Best Practices

Today we are going to cover some of the best practices in taking your Twitter activity to the next level. Some might sound like common sense but research shows the vast majority of users fail to implement these standards on a regular basis.

1. Real Time Messages – Twitter operates in real time so make that work for your small business. Understand the need for immediate response in real-time. Don’t neglect the value of spontaneous tweets that relate to the world around you and your business routine.

2. Tweet the Horn – Bragging about others is good business! Send out a virtual congratulations whenever possible to other business owners, service persons or just to recognize that special somebody.

3. Pause – Sooner or later someone will tweet a negative about you or your business. Take time to carefully consider your response prior to posting…whenever possible, put a friendly and helpful spin on the response without wasting time on negatives.

4. Spontaneous – Register for automated alerts when others Tweet about you or your company then make a practice of dropping in and responding in real-time. Whether it is a simple “thank you for thinking about us” or a more meaningful gesture like a small gift certificate, it makes a great impression!

5. Remain Positive – It can be tough to remain positive in a world filled with negative news but unless you have solutions to problems like politics, economics or religion it is best to avoid those things which you cannot change. People are searching for solutions and reasons to remain upbeat – make it part of your corporate and personal philosophy to be the solution – not part of the problem.

Video Marketing Tips for Realtors

5 Social Media Tips for REALTORS

Realtor blue logo I was doing some research about social media and real estate marketing. As you know these are two forces I love. I came across this wonderful article from blog.hootsuite.com by Katie Lance. She is the CEO/Owner of Katie Lance Consulting and Chief Strategist at Inman News. I hope you find her write up to be as valuable as I do. I have come across a number of Realtors who just don’t see the value or desire to make the time commitment to social media marketing. This wonderful, concise article spells out the “Who, What, When, Where, Why and How” of social media for real estate professionals. Make the time and a plan to incorporate social media marketing into your business! You’ll ask yourself, “why didn’t I do this sooner?!”

5 Social Media Management Tips for the Real Estate Industry

1. Be Consistent

The key to being successful in social media is consistently posting content. You can’t Tweet or post to Facebook once in a blue moon and expect results. You need to be there everyday—just like you are with your phone calls, email and the rest of your marketing strategy. One of the best parts of using a tool like HootSuite is the ability to schedule your messages. You can spend just 15 minutes a day and schedule 3-5 new posts to “drip” out during the day. This is like drip marketing, but for social media.

2. Have a Content Strategy

You have to have a content strategy to be successful in the long haul with social. Ask yourself, ‘what type of content would be most relevant for my brand, for my audience and where am I going to get that content?’ Next, create a content grid or editorial calendar where you can map out topics you plan to post about over the next 30-60 days. Curate content by using Google Alerts or by creating specific lists on Twitter for specific types of content you’d like to re-tweet or re-post.

3. Never Forget: Real Estate is Local

When you are planning your content strategy make sure to include things that only locals know—like the best place to get a slice of pizza or the best place to get a cup of coffee. Buying or selling a home is so much more than the home—it’s the local parks, the school districts and so much more. Your audience and potential clients love that hyperlocal information—and as a real estate pro that is one area that will really set you apart.

4. Dip Your Toe Into More Than One Stream

Understand the conversation doesn’t just happen on your Facebook page or Twitter stream. Conversations about real estate are happening in Facebook groups, in personal chatter on social platforms, and throughout Twitter. It isn’t enough to just post to your social channels—be aware of conversations happening in your social circles about real estate and jump in. The conversations are there whether you are there or not—wouldn’t it be better if you were there? You can add several “Streams” in your HootSuite dashboard to listen in on the topics of your choice.

5. Find a Way to Measure the Success of Your Efforts

Do you know which Facebook posts or Tweets get the highest number of clicks or engagement? Do you know how much of your web traffic is coming from social networks? Do you know where your audience is? Make sure you are checking your HootSuite Analytics once a week to gauge your success. Also make sure you integrate your Facebook Insights and Google Analytics into your HootSuite account so you can really see the big picture.

Social Media Success – Getting Started

from turnitsocial.com October 30, 2012 By Sherri-Lee Pressman

So you have read and followed my advice from my first post 4 Steps to Social Media Success BEFORE you start on Social Media:

1) Know what you want to accomplish
2) How much time can you spend on your social media
3) Narrow down the networks you will participate in
4) Plan your content

wordpress, coffee, cup And now you are ready to get going with the next steps.
I know you are eager to get moving and to start seeing results, but don’t jump over these steps they are very important to reaching that success you so want and deserve. They are the foundation to everything in the future and believe me, it’s easier to do it right the first time than to have to go back and fix it later.

Am I suggesting you will never change these things once you have set them up? Not at all… in fact I recommend you review the previous 4 steps regularly as a way to evaluate the success of what you are doing and to review the upcoming steps often as well.

As your goals grow and change, as the social media world changes and as your business changes, you need to review these items regularly. That’s not the same as skipping steps now to get going and having to go back later to do them because skipping them shorted you on some success. So invest in yourself and go through the steps now!

So what do you do next?

1) Know and follow the rules of the networks you are joining: Most of these social networks are free so it’s their sandbox and you are getting to promote your business for free… the rules are there to make it fair for everyone so take the time to follow those rules so you aren’t penalized for breaking them. This could mean losing access to your accounts to having them shut down completely. It would be a shame to lose all your hard work because of a rule being overlooked.

2) Fill out your account info completely: This is a great opportunity to tell people who you are and what you do and it’s where people will make a judgement about you and your business. So take the time, fill it out completely and then review it at least quarterly to ensure all your details stay accurate.

3) Find the right people to follow to build your network: Use the search option on the network you using, try a variety of terms. Find a leader in your industry and follow them, then follow the people following them as well, these people are looking for your info, you just need to connect. Add your numbers, be selective about who you connect to, send a hello to them, start the conversation and connect.

4) Listen: Spend time on your social networks listening to other people’s conversations, contribute when you have something useful to say (not just “me too”). Use the search field to find conversations relevant to your industry to participate in.

5) Give before you receive: Start sharing and responding to other people’s posts. People notice this and usually then make an effort to do the same back for you. We all want people to engage with us, be the first to go and engage with them. It will be noticed.

6) Add value, be the go-to resource for information in your field to the people in your niche: Find useful information that the people in your niche need to hear and be the one to share it. Don’t worry about being the one to create the content; sharing content is a powerful way to position yourself as the go-to expert.

7) Ask for the action you want: When you post a thoughtful, useful or just fun item and you want people to engage with… don’t be shy to ask for what you want, sometimes people need to be guided. They are sitting at home nodding their head in agreement, but the thumbs up or retweet is the virtual head nod… ask them to do it!

These steps are the basics of any successful social media campaign on any channel. They will guide your interaction with the goal of growing your network, engaging with people in a caring way and building relationships. Don’t short change yourself or your business by not doing these steps; the results won’t be the same without them.

I’d love to hear how you are doing on your social journey!

About Author

Sherri-Lee Pressman is Your Social Media Minder, helping business owners use Facebook and Twitter to grow their businesses. She is a Social Media strategist, educator, speaker and coach. She lives near Vancouver BC, Canada with her two kids, one crazy cat and an even crazier puppy. You can visit Sherri’s site here.