I took the first part of NAR's e.PRO class in February 2011 with Amy Chorew. Amy is a social networking guru. It was through Amy that I learned of Active Rain. Just being turned onto AR by Amy was worth taking the class. Here is an incredible social media post that is Part I of "Creating a Social Media Marketing Plan" featuring Amy Chorew. It deserves your total attention. Thanks, Tom
I wanted to continue the learning we've been bringing you on ActiveRain with a continuation of a theme we've been pushing for awhile on Social Media, that of having a plan and consistent methods to do marketing of all kinds, whether it be social media, print, or otherwise. Today I'd like to feature my friend Amy Chorew, who is a well known national speaker on Social Media, Cloud Computing, and their application to real estate. I'm honored to have Amy share some of her vast knowledge of this subject here on ActiveRain, and if you want to really deep dive it or get help creating a social media strategy, Amy is a great resource and someone I definitely recommend you talk to. (Apparently, the industry agrees as she is one of the most in demand speakers for social media strategy in real estate). So I'm pleased to feature her here today.
Amy and I are going to do a series of articles where we explore some of the basics and best practices for setting up a marketing plan. We'll focus on video, mobile, and print and also give a lot of great information from Amy's classes at ePro and Social Media Marketing Institute that I hope we'll help many of you as you implement the plan this year. As always, if you're looking to invest in a:
- Video Camera
- High Speed Compact Scanner
- Digital Camera
- Wireless Frames
please consider Kodak and take advantage of our discounts for real estate at our Real Estate Store: http://www.kodak.com/go/redeal and save 20% off with free shipping in the Continental USA, and visit our links at the bottom to follow us on Twitter and YouTube.
Now, let's bring on Amy Chorew!
Mark: Hey Amy, how are you?
Amy: Doing great Mark, glad to be here "in the rain" with you!
Mark: Thanks. You know, we talk a whole lot on ActiveRain about how agents can put video, print, and digital tools to use in their business. I love some of the success stories I've been seeing as well, but I've gotten some questions on "where to start" and how to plan a strategy around social media. What can you tell us?
Amy: Well, the first step in anything like this is to Have a Plan! So I'm going to share a basic way to start planning and analyzing your social media strategy if you're an agent.
First, you have to know where to get started. All of you on ActiveRain already have your start with this great blog resource. While there are dozens of other sites, the ones to link into are the ones where you interact with people the most. I like to divide them into "spokes", and create the strategy accordingly.
Second, take a look at the categories. All agents know they have a Sphere of Influence consisting of friends, families, acquaintances and business contacts that you will primarily keep in touch with on Facebook and LinkedIn. So make sure you have a Facebook Fan Page, and an up to date, accurate LinkedIn Profile. Put the professional description from the LinkedIn page on your Facebook Page too.
Your next category is your Geographic Farm and Listings. This is where your blog comes into play. Whether using ActiveRain or a similar tool, you want to utilize this blog and your website to reach out to these people and start GIVING information and become a resource. Tie in the fact that these updates are happening on your Facebook Fan Page and LinkedIn so that people in your Sphere of Influence know that you are generating content they should be interested in. In this way, you can build value to both audiences and accumulate more fans.
The hardest spoke, but often one of the most valuable business generators is your referrals and cold calls. Twitter offers the best way to create a legion of "followers" out of this base of users, and provide them timely information.
Mark: You know on that front, how valuable is consistency of content creation?
Amy: It's everything. If you go to the trouble of creating all of these pages and putting a plan around them, it will all "die on the vine" if you don't give the following audience fresh content. This keeps them coming back and keeps the referrals coming to your pages, while building value and "Google Juice" for you. If you don't update the pages and Twitter consistently, people stop coming back or don't pay as much attention, because no expectation of new content is there.
Mark: How often should people post?
Amy: I teach that agents should post every day, and I recommend scheduling time and following a consistent pattern for it. Try setting aside 1 hour in the morning for posting on social media sites. For the blog consider that a part of your prospecting time and schedule an hour at a time. For sites like Twitter, it's really easy to update these on mobile too, but sometimes it can get overwhelming during the day to try to keep it all on track, so the "planned approach" of setting aside time is usually best. I am finding I like to read and post to Twitter on my iPad the best!
Mark: For those that want to expand beyond the standard Facebook and Twitter strategy, what other sites are the most relevant and where can you set them up?
Amy: ActiveRain is great because you talk to agents and consumers see it. From a general social media site point of view, here are our recommendations for where most of the users are and info on how to start on them.
- http://support.foursquare.com/home (Location Based)
Mark: Amy, I'm looking forward to getting into some deep dives on strategy and content, but since you listed these sites above, how do you "prepare to launch"?
Amy: Great question.
Step 1: Create a great profile! By the way, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to talk about yourself, but the approach that is used most often in the recruiting world is a 3rd person point of view. It sounds more professional and less "braggy".
Step 2: Get a great photo! I recommend a 300X300 pixel photo for web posting. Take it with a great camera like the Kodak M580 Wide Angle Digital Camera.
It's simple and high quality, and you can take great pictures with it and most importantly TAG them for upload automatically to Facebook, YouTube and other sites with a single button on the camera. Here's the standard picture the Social Media Marketing Institute uses on our blogs. You can see it's serious but it's also fun, and you can definitely balance the two.
Reminder: Tag your photos, especially on Facebook.
Step 3: Share and Be Consistent: Once completed and your profile is setup, get an easy way to POST to all of these sites and also share updates with them. For real estate agents, conversational tools are the best, and I love Hootsuite personally. It helps me share my posts to Facebook, Twitter, my blog or website, but also allows people to comment back to me on what I've shared. This is cool because it's a way to talk WITH people, rather than AT them.
Consistency of posting is important, but consistency of message is so key! It helps magnify your message when people are seeing the same things and commenting on them.
Mark: Amy, I know there's a ton more content to get to, and I'm looking forward to the next posts where we can delve a little deeper into the strategies, but thanks for sharing tips on how to get started!
Amy: Thanks Mark, looking forward to sharing how we can use video, print, and other social media strategies in harmony across all of our social media activities!
Amy is truly a wonderful and professional resource for helping you put together your strategy. She and her group consult with many agents and speak nationally on the subject of Social Media integration. If you'd like some help with your social media strategy, keep following our KODAK BLOG and visit with Amy at her websites:
Amy offers great services including helping you start, plan, and implement your social media strategy. I'd like to thank Amy for her time, and both of us are here to answer your questions through ActiveRain!