Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What’s your Social Marketing Plan?

I’ve got a Facebook account with two different business pages, a Twitter account that I use every day, a LinkedIn account that with a network that is growing in size literally every day, my own Youtube channel, two blogs, and a Flick’r account. How am I using this amass of social media sites to make money? Does any of this sound familiar?

I talk to a lot of people who were told they could generate income for their business if they had a Facebook account. Now, granted they have had a bunch of fun playing games and getting caught up with people they have talked to since college but the only thing they really have to show for it is a lot of nostalgia. Friends are great, don’t get me wrong, but most of the people I’ve talked to about this say the same thing, “I haven’t gained any business from all this. In fact, I’ve used a lot of time with nothing to show for it.”

Emily Soares Proctor in Social Media Examiner gives 5 easy steps to a winning social media plan including Find your Audience. Let's look at how to create a social media marketing plan strating with finding our audience.

Find Your Target Audience
Before venturing any further into social media marketing, you’ll have to identify your brand. Jeremiah Owyang details two types of brand: personal brand and career brand. Emily Soares Proctor asks, in personal branding, “what unique aspect of your product or service attracts your target population?” She follows up with a great career branding question too. “What do your readers want from you?” Emily recommends writing out a basic profile of your most common customer.
Specifically, look at the geographic or spherical group from which you want to draw business. What are the characteristics of that group? Include income level, education, hobbies, and even their ability to navigate the internet.

Become a Trusted Advisor
Use your social media sites to help people learn about their shared concerns. For example, one of my blogs is titled Quail Valley Real Estate. I have recently written several articles about the Quail Valley Golf Course. In the past year I have included reports on the Turtle Creek Drive construction project. Currently I am reporting on the road construction project on FM 1092. These are items that concern all the residents I Quail Valley. Brainstorm a list of topics that are of interest to all your readers. Research the topics and start writing. By writing on shared concerns and providing current information, your readers will begin to rely on your site for the information they need. You’ll become their “go to” person.

Mix it Up
Write on a variety of topics and in a variety of forms. Do lists, post videos, interview local experts, write personal interest stories, and include controversial topics. Don’t forget to have fun and let your personality to shine through. To get someone to reach out to you first you have to get them to know, like, and trust you.
Post Consistently
To me, this point is the toughest part, consistently providing information so the reader will know when to expect information from you. I know, for example, if I turn the television on at 7:00 in the morning on weekdays I can watch Good Morning America on ABC. It’s always there. I can count on it. Get the point?
In order to have that consistency I have to schedule a lot of my posts to go out at times different than when I write them. I can’t seem to write everyday and produce quality information. Instead, I write a lot on the weekends or at night. I can then break my articles into smaller pieces to be posted at regularly scheduled times. Some blogs allow for posts to be published at scheduled times. There are also sites that can automatically publish posts at scheduled times. Check out SocialOomph, HootSuite, and even to some extent TweetDeck. There are others as well.

All this writing, researching, planning, and posting takes time. It's just like any active marketing activity. You've got to schedule the time and do the work. The greatest reason I can see for including a good dose of social media in my marketing plan is that most real estate customers are beginning their buying and selling experience online. If they have already made a connection with a real estate, their trusted advisor, they will turn to that agent for help.


  1. It's true, a lot of social media is a time waster. It's tough to figure out where to spend your time to be most effective.

  2. Wasting time stinks,so use a marketing metrics program to increase return. Sites like Google Analytics or even some blog sites help track the effectiveness of keywords and traffic.