"If You Aim at Nothing, You'll Hit It Every Time!"
~ Zig Ziglar ~
Okay, so the first two installments of this series helped us to better understand what Social Media is, what it isn't, and why we should consider using it to grow and promote our business:
In this 3rd part, I want to begin to dial things down, and become much more basic and practical. If this is covering old ground for some of you, I apologize. It's always challenging to know where to start when there is such a huge disparity between various levels of knowledge and ability. Some of this initial stuff may seem rather elementary, but I think it's crucial for building a solid Social Media Strategy foundation.
The first primary elements of your Social Media Strategy can be found in the acrostic A-I-M:
Audience: Who are you trying to reach?
Image: What kind of image are you trying to project? What is your brand?
Message: What information are you trying to communicate?
Audience - Who are you trying to reach?
Identifying your target audience is critical because it determines the nature of your content/message and the particular platforms, tools, or applications you will choose to connect/communicate.
As a real estate professional, I have several target audiences I am attempting to reach/attract. First and foremost, I want to engage potential real estate clients, primarily Buyer clients since more than 85% of all Buyers are accessing the Internet in their home buying process. Much of my social media content will be geared towards Buyers, but I will publish information relating to Sellers as well.
Secondly, another audience I want to target is my Sphere of Influence (friends, acquaintances, and past clients in my database) and people in general within my geographic market area.
And lastly, I want to develop and maintain connections with other real estate agents, fostering potential referral relationships.
Image - What is your image/brand?
Much has been said lately about 'branding.' My sense is that many people make it out to be much more complicated than it really needs to be. No doubt the stakes are probably much higher for huge billion dollar conglomerates whose global success depends upon effective branding. But for smaller businesses and real estate agents, where our markets are significantly smaller, what exactly is crucial?
I think your primary goal in branding is for people to remember you. In the endless sea of real estate professionals, what sets you apart? What distinguishes you from all the rest?
It can be a logo, an image, or a catch phrase. It simply establishes your uniqueness among the masses, and helps people to remember you.
Here on the Kitsap Peninsula WA, surrounded by the waterways of the Puget Sound, a popular pastime is recreational crabbing. Ask anyone about my personal passions, and they'll tell you that I love to catch and eat crab! So it only made sense to use a crab as my brand. Follow me on Twitter, and you follow the Crab. Read any of my articles here on ActiveRain or SOUNDBITEBLOG, and you'll see the Crab. I even have a blog dedicated to the sport of crabbing.
Message - What do you want/need to communicate?
Take a moment and read some of the more popular definitions of Social Media:
"A category of sites that are based on user participation and user-generated content, and are centered on user interaction."
"Social Media are primarily Internet and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings."
"Online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other."
"Software tools that allow groups to generate content and engage in peer-to-peer conversations and exchange of content."
Allow me to recommend a few key elements about your message from these definitions:
- Your message should be your own 'unique' content
- Your message should engage the reader and stimulate participation and interaction
- Your message should share your knowledge, experience, opinions, and expertise
Put yourself in the shoes of your intended audience. What information can you share that would be most helpful and beneficial to them? Empower your readers by helping them to better understand your local real estate market and make informed decisions. But don't forget to convey a sense of your unique personality, passions, and perspectives (The 3 Powerful P's of Conversational Blogging). You'll bore them to tears if your message is nothing more than an endless string of market statistics.
"Communicate to Connect!"
For Additional Articles in this series:
To Access the entire 'Blog Tips for Rain Drips' series, go HERE.
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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: email@example.com