Five Pillars of Social Media Marketing

Mortgage and Lending with San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751

BIll Roberts, an Oceanside, CA real estate broker said this to me, about my return to ActiveRain:

"Hi Brian, It is good to see you back here instead of wasting all your time on Facebook."

I haven't wasted any time on Facebook.  In fact, Facebook was the top social platform for business development for me, over the past five years.  Why has it been so successful?  Two reasons:

1- Facebook is huge.  It has over 1 billion mobile daily users.  That's over three times the size of the United States and close to the population of China.  Why use Facebook?  That's where the people are.

2- It's relatively easy to work through the five pillars of social media marketing and get to pillar five---off line engagement.  If you're trying to get belly-to-belly with local prospects, Facebook is a great way to accelerate the process.

My friend Sean Purcell highlighted a speech I gave, back in 2007, about the Five Pillars of Social Media Marketing:

The Five Pillars of Social Media Marketing (with Sean's notes)

  1. DECLARATION OF IDENTITY – Here I am and I am and here’s what I do.  Don’t hide your light under a bushel.  There is no point to marketing if people don’t know how they can use you or why.
  2. IDENTITY BY ASSOCIATION – You are judged by the company you keep.  This is true in all aspects of life but can be utilized advantageously on-line.  Make purposeful decisions about what groups you join and who you associate with; the perception of who you are can be greatly enhanced.
  3. CONSUMER GENERATED CONVERSATION – By declaring your identity in well chosen places, you open yourself to contact by consumers.  Either directly, through forums or in question & answer format, the consumer will talk to you if you are listening.
  4. PROVIDER GENERATED CONVERSATION – This is what you push out; the answer to the question, the story that relates a benefit, the information that is useful.  This is your opportunity to really shine.
  5. OFF-LINE CONVERSATION – The secret!  This is the step missed by so many.  The first four pillars will enable you to acquire prospects, but this game is a contact sport.  The whole point of marketing is to cause the consumer to take action.  This reminds me of a little retail wisdom I heard from Home Depot’s founders.  They said “we didn’t spend all that money paying for advertising and buying products just to have the consumer walk away because the check-out line was too long.”  When someone walks up to your register with money in their hand… engage them!

What's that mean about my return to Active Rain?  Expect engagement from me but I see an opportunity here (again)--an opportunity to re-engage the Southern California online real estate community to congregate offline.  Relationships can be initiated online but they are nurtured and developed offline.  Certainly emails, comments, and phone calls help to nurture those relationships but nurturing happens belly-to-belly.

That's always been my goal-- get belly-to-belly with people in my industry and potential customers.  If you choose to follow me here, I"ll show you how I've been successful doing just that.


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Rob Marken
Bend River Realty - Bend, OR
25+ years experience in Bend

Great tips for social media marketing.  My Marketing Manager Michelle got me onto Facebook this year as a business.  A friend from middle school contacted us through Facebook about his home.  We listed and sold his home!  Without Facebook who knows if he would have contacted me directly.  It is amazing how social media contects you with people. 

Aug 26, 2014 01:59 AM #1
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I agree with 'a secret'. Bringing everything to more personal level brings value to social media. Linked in is better works for me, though.

Aug 27, 2014 05:10 PM #2
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Brian, interesting observations, I am  a bit contrary by nature and wonder out  loud... of the Billion FB users how many are really going to be in my market? I find FB more of a time suck vs. a business generator, so please enlighten me where am I going wrong...obviously since I had not one transaction since I have been on FB and you have prospered I know I am not on the right path...on the other hand AR has generated lots of business and friendships, Endre

Aug 28, 2014 03:47 PM #3
Brian Brady
San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751 - San Diego, CA

I don't think it's a mutually exclusive choice Endre.  To share my success on Facebook would require a full-blown webinar but I"ll sum it up for you this way---follow the five pillars.

1- declare you  identity (set up a profile)
2- associate with past and potential customers and referral sources (friends list)
3- respond to legitimate questions asked you on Facebook
4- provide relevant and interesting comment consitently (weekly is fine).  I try to tell people what I"m doing on a daily basis .  Here are examples of status updatest I put out :

Monday--  trying to figure out how to best structure a loan for a 7-unit property
Tuesday-- looked at properties with a bunch of local real estate agents today to better understand what's for sale in Encinitas
Wednesday-- just funded a loan for our 20th active-duty service member this year
Thursday-- meeting with our attorney about approving a condo complex with VA
Friday-  just took a loan application for a first-time homebuyer.  These meetings can be long but are always gratifying to me
5- pick up the phone and call people on your friends list (start with birthday calls)

Contact is important--don't be afraid to talk to lots of people every day

Aug 29, 2014 02:32 AM #4
Brian Brady
San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751 - San Diego, CA

The content you put on Facebook can be similar in frequency to what you do on Twitter Endre Barath, Jr..  You've been on Twitter 2190 days and have 1636 tweets.  You're putting out five tweets a week---that should get things stoked on Facebook.  Remember to call people when they respond to what you put ou

Aug 29, 2014 02:37 AM #5
Jen Mahon

Good post Brian Brady - will share with my network. These are points that 90% of realtors have yet to practice!


-Jen @ProjectRealty

Aug 29, 2014 03:52 AM #6
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Brian -- I like the example you shared from one of the Home Depot founders regarding customer/client engagement --- so important and so often overlooked.  

Aug 29, 2014 09:23 PM #7
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

I have such an adversion to facebook, I just can't see myself marketing there. I'm glad to hear of others' success with it, but it's just not me. 

Aug 30, 2014 11:29 PM #8
Brian Brady
San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751 - San Diego, CA

I get that Pamela Seley, REALTOR® .  Had I known that Facebook would share data the way it does (back then), I might not have started there.  But...after 7 years, the thing has legs

Aug 31, 2014 09:56 AM #9
Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME.
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Let me help you find your path to the beach.

Real estate is a contact sport.

Feb 21, 2016 07:10 PM #10
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