Many of us have or are realizing the importance of social networking sites and how they fit into our overall marketing plans. Many of us read blogs, see mentions of tools (social networking sites, analytics, etc.) we feel we need, we want to use and that we go through the process of setting up. But do we truly know how to measure the success of the marketing dollars and time we are putting forth and the time and effort to create and maintain them? How do we know our social networking efforts are making a difference to our business?
This list contains 5 things to focus on and examine to ensure your social networking efforts will bring you the results you desire:
1. What sites work for you?
Unless you're some kind of superhero, you don't really have any business or you have more than 24 hours in your day, it's impossible to be on every single social networking site and do it in a way that's effective. Explore some of the sites available to you, focus on the ones that make the most sense for your business - where you will connect with consumers and agents that you can learn from in sharing experience and information that makes sense for your business. Once you've discovered the best sites "for you" - jump into the action but more importantly Listen to what's being said.
Now that you're there, listening is key to your success on these sites. Find a way to help consumers or other agents with their problems by offering ideas and solutions. If you engage with a consumer find ways to gage what they think about the real estate market and even more helpful your company. Use this feedback and information, even if it's hard to hear, as a way to engage and show consumers who you truly are and what you can offer.
Time to engage and immerse yourself into the social networking experience. Being on twitter, your blog, Facebook, Trulia and the many sites available gives you an opportunity to drive people to your sites. If your sites are ready for visitors with ways of engaging them and encouraging them to interact with you further (Calls to Action, sign up for your newsletter, subscribe to your blog just to name a few) then you're opportunity for sales increases.
4. How to use them
Know how to use these sites and use them wisely. Most importantly you need to know how each site works. For example, many sites have tools associated with their site that makes the experience of using them that much better. Twitter for example has a new tool every day or so it seems. You can investigate with the helpful post from Regina Brown who shares with us some of the great tools she's discovered right here.
There are even resources to be found outside of these tools to help you improve your usage and experience. One example is listening in to the JCKC Blog Talk Radio Show where Jason Crouch and The Ken Cook talk about all things Twitter and even add some valuable social networking tips and guest speakers sharing their experience, knowledge and helpful tools. You owe it to yourself to become a fan and follower of this show.
Measure how social media networking is impacting your business. Social media networking has some great effects on your business as it drives people from those sites to the sites you own and author like your blog and website. Examples of this are:
- Your search engine ranking, the growth of consumers subscribing to your blog feeds (track via feedburner), comments increasing on your blog and consumers engaging with you on your website through your calls to action.
- Another way to see the effects is to create a Google alert with key phrases, such as your name, your business, your community to see how many mentions you are receiving.
- Finally you can also utilize the many great analytics tools available to track your visitors and where they are coming from. (stay tuned for an upcoming post on this)
We can all find countless examples right here on AR of how social media networking has impacted many of our businesses. The key is finding and using the right tools for your business - where you will have the greatest impact, reach and experience - one that both you and your consumers will benefit from.
How or in what ways has your involvement in social networking paid off for you? Share your experience and give hope to those that might still be discouraged...
If it's not evident to you by now, consumers are very knowledgeable and computer savvy and are using the Internet to not only search for homes but for real estate agents and real estate professionals who they feel are like minded and can lead them to the results they are looking for.
As we all know, there are only 24 hours in a day to get it all done...are you focusing on the right stuff to grow your business and meet your client's needs? Contact us today to get started!
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