"Social Media is the new Water Cooler.
It's where People Connect and Interact"
~ Rich Jacobson ~
Before we jump into the nuts and bolts of developing a social media strategy, I thought it would be best to understand the bigger picture of why you, as a real estate professional, should be using social media to grow and promote your business.
Here's one of the best definitions I've come across for social media:
"Social Media is the collection of tools and online spaces available to help individuals and businesses to accelerate their information and communication needs." - Axel Schultze -
If there's one area that people in our business typically neglect, it's in developing and implementing a detailed and deliberate marketing plan. Most of the time, we simply play 'Follow-the-Leader' and employ whatever methods those around us are using. We get a website, send out postcards, giveaway calenders, call on 'expireds,' join the Rotary Club, and then cross our fingers, hoping that new business will come our way as a result. Rarely are we intentional in our marketing efforts, nor do we take time to analyze and evaluate what methods are the most effective.
And so it is too with many who wander into the social media arena. A fellow agent in your office has encouraged you to join ActiveRain, so you signed up. Or perhaps you overheard someone sharing with excitement how they had attracted a new client through their blog on ActiveRain.
The fact that you're here, reading this article, demonstrates your intrigue and interest, and more importantly, a willingness to adapt or try new things. Your courage to step outside of your comfort zone is to be commended.
So why social media?
Expanding Your Digital Footprint
First and foremost, using the tools of social media allows us to expand/enhance our digital footprint. With more and more consumers accessing the Internet for their home buying and selling needs, one of our primary strategies should be to spread and enlarge our web presence. It's not enough to simply maintain a website. Our end goal should be to dominate a specific geo-targeted area and maximize our 'findability' for select key search terms. In other words, when consumers enter particular key search terms into a search engine, terms that are relevant to your local market, some element of your digital footprint should show up in the search results, i.e. blog article, website, pod-cast, video, etc..
One of my former managing brokers always used the analogy, "The more hooks you put into the water, the greater your chances of catching the Fish!" An effective social media strategy necessitates varying levels of participation on multiple platforms, networks, and applications.
Connecting with Your Sphere Digitally
Using social media empowers you to make meaningful connections/interactions with your Sphere of Influence and potential clients. It enables meaningful 'touches' to occur faster, more efficiently than more traditional methods. That's not to suggest that you should abandon your previous marketing efforts. Utilizing social media should simply augment, not replace the tasks you've been doing up to this point, especially ones that result in new business. Nothing will ever replace the value of face-to-face contact. And some people just aren't engaged in using the Internet on a regular basis. But what you'll find is that social media can become one of the most cost-effective and results-oriented marketing methods you can employ.
Now that you hopefully have a better understanding as to the 'Why' of social media, in our next installment we'll begin to map out some specific practical strategies you can use to develop your own successful social media strategy!
For Your Further Reading Enjoyment:
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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.com, SOUNDBITEBLOG, Crabbing in the Hood, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org