"Taking AIM" - Developing a Social Media Strategy Part III

By
Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404

social-media-strategy-requires-good-aim"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:

"Social Media is a Conversation, Not an Advertisement"   

"The 'WHY' of Social Media"

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.

Taking AIM

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?jim-cronnin-the-real-estate-tomato

What does a tomato have to do with real estate? Absolutely nothing. But Jim Cronin has done a phenomenal job of branding his business, The Real Estate Tomato.

Daniel-Rothamel-the-real-estate-zebra

And when have you ever seen a Zebra buy or sell a home? But Daniel Rothamel has done an amazing job of setting himself apart by becoming The Real Estate Zebra.

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:

"Social media is content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies"create-your-own-unique-content

"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:

"Developing a Social Media Strategy, Part 1"

"The 'WHY' of Social Media - Developing a Social Media Strategy, Part II"

To Access the entire 'Blog Tips for Rain Drips' series, go HERE.

~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~

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:  kitsapagent@gmail.com

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Rich Jacobson is a District Director for Fathom Realty and a licensed REALTOR®; an avid Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.

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Ambassador
570,875
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Lorraine:   That would be my better half, my wife of 26 years. A truly amazing woman! Baby steps are good. Just bite off what you can chew. Then, when you're ready, bite off a bit more. It's not the number of friends or followers, but the quality of the connections...

Dec 10, 2009 05:19 AM #69
Ambassador
987,137
Sharon Paxson
Arbor Real Estate - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate

Rich - excellent article about targetting who your audience is, certainly makes you think about what you are putting out there. And also about branding! Great article!

Dec 10, 2009 05:55 AM #70
Rainmaker
691,786
Robert Hammerstein
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Rich - "If you don't know where you are going any road will take you there"...George Harrison

Gotta come back and read this in it's entirety. Right now I'm off to show/sell some houses....

Bookmarked....

Dec 10, 2009 06:35 AM #71
Rainmaker
69,590
Bill Blair
Coldwell Banker Realty - Covington, GA
Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes

Rich - Really enjoyed reading this, especially since I learned a lot.  Now I'm on the way to read the first two of the series since I missed them.  I even popped over to take a look at your soundbite blog.  Neat information there on the local scene, and very attractive and easy to read.  I actually thought it was going to be a series of voice or video blogs due to the name (which I've been considering doing), but really enjoyed it nevertheless.  Thanks for all the great info, and I'll continue to follow.

Dec 10, 2009 07:16 AM #72
Rainmaker
131,188
Karen Pannell
Real Living / Home Realty - Owensboro, KY
Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond

Rich,

Great info!  Thanks!

kp

Dec 10, 2009 08:24 AM #73
Rainmaker
1,490,684
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Rich, it really helps when you break down marketing into smaller chunks, thanks!

Dec 10, 2009 03:21 PM #74
Ambassador
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Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Personality, passion and perspectives, these are good things to keep in mind while writing. 

I also appreciate the way you explain brand; it gives me something to think about.

Dec 10, 2009 03:49 PM #75
Ambassador
570,875
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Christine:  Yep, the 3 P's....super simple and easy to remember!....

Sybil:   That's the way that I learn best. I need to learn in easy-to-digest bites. Othewise, I just get overwhelmed!....

KP:   You're entirely welcome!

Bill:   Actually, I've done a number of videos, but it's been a while. I should get into the habit of doing vlogs and podcasts regularly....

Bob:   Sell, Baby, Sell!!!!....

Sharon:   It's amazing how many people don't put any forethought into what they publish!....

 

Dec 10, 2009 04:29 PM #76
Rainmaker
350,249
Aaron Vaughn | Builder | Investor
Conifer Homes - Buda, TX
If the deal makes sense, the cash will follow.

Yes, just trying to get a handle on all this. Thanks for a good post with some eye-opening thoughts.

Dec 10, 2009 06:11 PM #77
Ambassador
570,875
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Aaron:   There is a lot to get a handle on! I hope something I've shared will be of help to you!...

Dec 11, 2009 03:40 AM #78
Rainmaker
624,984
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team

I am doing ok with Activerain but Facebook and Twitter is something else!!! YIKES!!

Dec 12, 2009 09:51 PM #79
Rainmaker
122,935
Marie Westerman
Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate/ Wilson Parker Homes - Evans, GA
New Homes Sales Specialist Evans GA REALTOR

Rich what great information I have bookmarked it so that I can study and make my plan. Thanks

Dec 13, 2009 03:50 PM #80
Anonymous
Jay Gierak

Thanks for the post Rich -  At Stik.com we are developing an AUTOMATED comprehensive social marketing strategy for all our users (especially real estate professionals).   In the process of developing and refining our content, we are looking for feedback from our customers.  Please take the survey here to help us get a sense of your needs, as well as qualify for the service for FREE as one of our valued contributers. Survey can be found here:  http://www.stik.com/streamsurvey.html

Thanks for your help!

Dec 14, 2009 07:42 AM #81
Rainmaker
1,034,039
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Rich..finding your target (niche) shooting and hitting it are Crucial in our Business, another Great Post Well Done.

Merry Christmas from Fred Carver

Dec 16, 2009 01:51 AM #82
Rainmaker
678,158
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Glad that I've been following this. I think that the most important thing that you said is that you can have several different target audiences that you are writing for when you blog, or engage in any other social media outlet. That lets me know that I am right on target with my blogging efforts. Thanks for the encouraging advice.

Dec 19, 2009 03:39 PM #83
Rainmaker
524,742
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Thanks for this article and the others in the series.  I am new to Active Rain, so I have a lot to learn. I know enough HTML to be dangerous.  I have been frustrated by using the built-in tools to format my articles.  Your articles are well written, rich in content and beautiful to view.

Do you do the layout in another application and then post into the Blog?  It seems difficult to do, especially without knowing what tags are acceptable and what may be contained in style sheets.

My websites are DEEP in that they have virtual tours for each property and I have made maps of neighborhoods that show my properties off well.  My focus now is getting some BREADTH in my exposure. It seems to me that Active Rain and other Social networking is the answer to that.

See my Land Man Website and my Google Map of the Seligman, Arizona Area.

Dec 27, 2009 01:18 PM #84
Rainer
41,186
Jill Schmidt
Aurora, CO

Thanks for applying AIM.  I especially like your focus on buyers for social media and then your sphere.  I'm going to apply that to my 2010 plan!

Jan 01, 2010 05:34 AM #85
Rainmaker
275,952
Jay Beckingham
Fairway Independent Mortgage Company - Delray Beach, FL
"I love first time homebuyers"

the crab, the tomato, the zebra

this hadn't struck me quite as much as it did last night when i was watching ohio state and oregon.coach kelly, the ducks, had come from the university of new hampshire, me too. they mentioned that a lot of friends had come to the game from NH and the surrounding area. they called themselves "the new england ducks." i'll probably always remember that.

that's the point isn't it.

Jan 02, 2010 01:57 AM #86
Ambassador
1,695,708
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Rich, I am in the early stages of social media.  This article made me think about things that I really hadn't.  Using the AIM acronym will help me better remember my goals.  And I hadn't really thought about branding myself.  That is a great concept.  Now I just have to figure out what works for me.  I like how you used your love of crabbing as a means to brand yourself.  This is so good, I'm going to part 4 right away.

Jan 20, 2010 04:12 AM #87
Rainer
50,380
David Northup
David Northup - Aim RE Group Inc, Temecula Realtors® (AIM) - Murrieta, CA

Hi Rich!

Great ideas here and I love the AIM acronym! I'll let you guess why. :)

I've bookmarked this one so I can review further.

Good stuff!

Mar 10, 2010 01:54 AM #88
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