How to Manage Social Media: Life Made Easier

Life Made Easy How to Manage Social Media

One of the constant cries we hear about using social media is that it takes too much time. Are you going to stop in the middle of a showing, an offer, or an inspection and tweet, for heaven’s sake? No, and you shouldn’t.

But if you’re going to use social media, you need to be consistent. And you need to know what social media is doing for you. How are you going to manage that, on top of everything else you have to do? Get a social media dashboard.

What’s that? Glad you asked. A social media dashboard allows you to:

  • Manage all your social profiles from one place
  • Schedule messages in advance, to be posted whenever you choose
  • Integrate all your accounts so you can post everywhere from a single submission

There are several different dashboards you can use and most provide a basic, bare-bones service for free. We recommend starting there. Later, if you find you need a higher level of service, more analytics, or additional bells and whistles, you can upgrade for around $10 a month as an individual subscriber.

There are several different dashboards you can use. HootSuite and TweetDeck are the most widely known. TweetDeck, as you might guess from the name, is a service of Twitter but you can use it to manage other social media too. You should check out each site to compare prices and specific features and then pick the one that works for you. I have recently started using Buffer and I love it for simplicity. We’ll keep this article generic, since the basic features are virtually the same.

When you consider the social media most often used by Realtors, you’ll find that most use Twitter to promote listings, Facebook to build a following in the local community, and LinkedIn to connect with colleagues and other professionals. When using one of the dashboards, there are four things you need to do:

  • Create filters
  • Schedule for maximum impact
  • Narrow your focus
  • Use analytics

Create filters
Since social media can get overwhelming fast, you need to focus on what’s most important to your business. You can filter your communication by interests, for example: people interested in buying a home; out-of-towners looking for local information; other agents and professional colleagues; people interested in market data. Once you’ve done that, you save yourself time in two ways. First, you target communication only to those who are interested. Second, you can read the most important stuff first and leave the rest for later or not at all.

Schedule for maximum impact
Maximize your reach by targeting communications when and where people are looking. For example, if you’re having an open house, schedule a series of tweets to let your buyers’ list know where you are and what kind of property you’re showing. Schedule market information to post first thing Monday morning. Schedule community happenings, such as carnivals, shows, or holiday celebrations to post on Fridays, when people are thinking about the weekend.

Narrow your focus
Most dashboards have a geo feature that allows you to see only messages from a geographic area you select. For example, once you have filtered for your area, you can set up a Twitter search for #homebuyer and you’ll see only local prospects in the market for a house. You can filter your outgoing communications in the same way.

Utilize analytics
Most dashboard programs provide analytics that allow you to determine the success of your social media outreach. For example, analytics will tell you which links on your web site attract the most users, what web source those users came from, and even where they are located geographically. If you have a blog, you can see which blog posts attract the most response. Simply put, you can see what’s successful and do more of it and you can quickly eliminate what’s not working.

Using social media effectively is not easy, but it can be easier. By using a dashboard to organize and analyze your communications, you’ll save yourself time and spend your resources wisely. You could even be posting to your entire network while lying on the beach in Hawaii or riding Splash Mountain at Disneyland. Now that’s multitasking at its best!

So what are you using to make social media easier for you? Leave me a comment below.

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Comments

  1. says

    I think that each social network needs their own format of post. I don’t like publishing or blasting out content destined for multiple social networks from one place. This may be alright if you have a short piece of text to syndicate to your networks (which will all show it as you intended), but it doesn’t work for more media rich content. Scheduling posts ahead of time is a great idea and you can do that without a program like HooteSuite (facebook has their own feature to do this, and BufferApp works great for twitter). We have found that weekday posts get the most engagement at noon and to save our best content for Fridays because it tends to last longer on fb and be spread a greater distance. Great post!

    • Richard M. Hartian says

      You bring up a good point about tailoring your messages to individual media types. I think what intrigues me most about your comments (if I may say:)), is your timing of posts and tweets. I have been researching this lately. It’s interesting how it varies with each media type. Thanks for your continued participation with WinningAgent.

      • says

        No prob! You write a mean blog (are you a Damn Fine Words student?). When it comes to timing, an awesome photo or groundbreaking video will usually make it through and get shared, but that content is hard to come by. Even on reddit, it comes down to timing and little bit of luck (some people will share a post and get 100 upvotes vs 3 hours later when someone else re-shares it and it gets to the front page with 1500+ upvotes).

        • Richard M. Hartian says

          Both of which (an awesome photo or groundbreaking video) take a lot of work to come by if you produce them yourselves. I’ve looked at video, to do it right is a lot of work.

          • says

            Absolutely. Everyone wants to use their mobile to take photos and videos now (as suggested by most influential marketers in our field); it works, but the content isn’t great. Instagram is making it easier for lower quality photos (phone vs DSLR) to look cool while looking like they are supposed to look like lower quality photos (which I think gives them more appeal and less subconscious judgement/criticism resulting in more engagement). Mobile video would be easier to make look cool if there was an instagram-like program for taking mobile video, besides iMovie of course. I think the best strategy for photos is to get a DSLR and the best strategy for video is use a DSLR, external mic, and a (rough) script. What do you think?

  2. says

    Great article, Richard. I really like the filter idea. More people need to take advantage of that. I incorporate Buffer App into my social media managing workflow and it’s worked out really well.

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