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How to Plug Your Real Estate Career into the Power of Social Marketing: Part 2

So you have followed my advice in Part 1 of my article on social marketing and you have decided to put your toe into the Social Media water. You want to take it slow, so you decide to start by signing up on the basic three: FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For those of you who are techno-phobic, there are lots of companies, Hobbs/Herder included, that will set up your social media sites and get you started for a small fee. Once you have your sites set up, you will think…

…Now what?!

First, completely fill out your personal profiles on all three sites. The secret to having an effective profile is to allow your natural personality to come across. Think about this as if you were decorating a home office where you regularly meet with clients. You want to project a professional image, yet at the same time they are getting a first hand look at how you live. Your profile should give people insight into your personality, your passions, what is important to you and your values. The big mistake that most people make with social networking is they do not focus on a specific group of people. In social marketing, there are already a lot of agents networking, so what makes you different? It’s your personality, your interests, your passions and hobbies. When you share them, you naturally attract people who share the same interests. Don’t try to be all things to all people or you will end up attracting no one. I know this is hard, but it is the key to successfully building a strong social marketing presence.

If you are into family, mention your kids and post their pictures in an album. If you are into wine, talk about your favorite bottle of wine and ask for people to recommend theirs. Don’t hide the fact that you sell real estate, but remember that selling real estate is not what will make people want to connect with you. Your goal is to build a relationship with people over time, and if you come across like you are just trying to sell your services you will fail. The key is to be personal, but never cross that line and post things that would undermine your professionalism, no matter how funny or interesting you think it might be.

Once your profile is a reflection of who you really are, you are ready to start making posts. Don’t worry about building a following yet, or building the size of your network. You want to get a feel for social networking before you have a lot of people watching your every move.

I find the best place to start learning the art of posting is on Twitter. Twitter limits you to 140 characters so you have to be brief and to the point and at the same time let your personality come across to your readers. Twitter asks you to answer the question, what are you doing? That’s a great place to start, wake up, login and make a post.

Morning Post:
Back from my morning run, looking forward to previewing
homes today, need to find a great four bedroom in Seacliff
for my clients from Nevada.

Only post what is true, do not make anything up or it will come back to bite you. In social media the key is to build trust. Making stuff up kills trust.

Noon Post:
I found the best 4 bedroom in Seacliff and it is priced to sell.
My clients are going to love this one, I love being a Realtor!
Early evening Post:
Going out to taste some Rockriver wines at the Wine Room with
my wife, Patty; she was my high school sweetheart. We love
trying new wines with friends.
Late night post:
The Rockriver wine was very disappointing. Anybody have a
recommendation for a great cabernet, at a drinkable price?

The key is to be yourself. Make posts that make what ever you are doing sound interesting and pose questions asking for help. The objective is to engage people. If you see a question that interests, you answer it. You have to give value in order to receive value. The best way to engage people is to be engaging.

Make at least three posts each day for the next two weeks. Space them out, morning, noon and night. Every day take a look at your past posts by clicking on your name at the top right hand page of your Twitter page. Read through your posts from the day before. Ask yourself are they interesting, does your personality come across? Ask your spouse to read them and give you their take on them. If you do this for a couple weeks, your social media voice will start to emerge. Soon, as you are going through your day, things that make great posts will start popping out at you — jot them down so you always have something to say.

Also, start looking for articles, pictures and videos online that you find interesting and put links to them. Don’t post everything. You want to make sure that what ever you post you truly have an interest in and find interesting.

Once a week, make what I call the expert opinion post. In social media parlance, this is called thought leadership. Share local market stats and explain what those stats mean to typical buyers and sellers in your marketplace. To do this effectively, it’s going to take more than a couple sentences. So put your opinion on your web site or on your FaceBook page, and link back to them posting a link from Twitter.

Once you have found your social media voice, you are ready to grow your network. Start by uploading your client contact list into your FaceBook account and email them all an invitation to join your FaceBook page.

Go to www.Twellow.com and do a search for people in your local area and start following them. It is Twitter etiquette to follow the people who follow you. Also upload your client list into FaceBook and LinkedIn. Send them all an invitation to join your network. This will start your network growing.

In both Facebook and LinkedIn, you should download your contact list and send them an invitation to join your network. As people join, segment the people in your list. Create segments like past clients, active sellers, active buyers, friends, family, realtors, Seacliff Farm, etc. By grouping people into segments, you can look at that group’s posts on your wall and get a better feeling for what they are concerned with and thinking about.

Then interact and spend ten to twenty minutes a day interacting. When people ask for advice, give it; give referrals and recommendations, as your goal is to become part of the network. This is just like networking in the real world–it takes time and energy to build relationships. Stay with it and over time this will become a strong dynamic group of people who will help you when you need it, give you referrals and find you leads.

Also, remember that many prospects today are checking your social media sites before they call you. You also want to go to sites like TwitterLater.com and enter key words to follow, like your name, homes in Seacliff and other phrases that people in your area might be Tweeting about. Once a day they will send you a list of every time your name gets mentioned so you can see what people are saying about you and respond to those people. This is truly an amazing way to know what is being said about you. Encourage your clients to write an endorsement about you on LinkedIn, etc.

Stay active, and don’t expect anything for three to six months, and you will be on your way to social marketing success. Be true to your voice and your target market. Resist the urge to become all things to all people — that will kill all your chances.

As always, I would love your feedback. Also follow me at Twitter.com/GregHerder and become my friend on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gregherder. Of course, you can always email me at Greg.Herder@HobbsHerder.com.

(To read part one of this article, Please click here.)