“What’s in it for me?”
That’s what your clients and potential clients want to know about your social media (SM) strategy. Why should anyone read your blog, follow you on Twitter, or check your board on Pinterest?
And perhaps you’re wondering, “Why should I bother?”
Social media takes time. However, if you organize it right and do it well, it doesn’t have to take too much time. Social media is happening, whether you are participating or not. And eventually you could lose clients to people who are paying more attention to it that you are. So here are five quick tips to keep you in the Social Media game.
1. State your purpose.
Don’t just jump in without knowing what you want to accomplish. Your communication will be random and unfocused. Do you want to attract new clients (of course you do!)? Get referrals from past clients and business colleagues? Raise your profile in the business community? Reach people outside your geographic area? Put your top three objectives in writing, very simply: My intention for using social media is (1)_______; (2)________; (3)_________. Keep this purpose always in front of you while you’re developing your content.
2. Use your web site as the hub.
Make sure it’s attractive and up to date. Make it interactive—clients must have quick access to you from your web site. Don’t bury the “Contact Me” link in eight point type at the bottom of the page—it gives people the impression you don’t want them to reach you easily. If you have a blog, it should be part of your web site. Have a link for reader comments so you’ll know who’s reading and what they think. Then slice and dice your web site content for your other SM outlets. Post a teaser line from your latest blog on Twitter. Send an excerpt in your email newsletter with a link back to your site.
Cyberspace is littered with lonely sites that have been abandoned by people who didn’t have a plan.
3. Provide something of value.
Touting your newest listings is NOT the purpose for using social media. People will be more likely to look at your listings after you’ve given them something they can use, whether it’s a review of a hot new local restaurant, a coffee gift card if they leave their email, or news about local street closures or construction projects.
4. Write it right.
One of the cardinal sins of bloggers and other SM users is carelessness about the way they write. Text-speak shorthand and acronyms are fine for high school kids, but you are a professional. You don’t have to be Shakespeare, but you do need to use correct grammar and spelling. Your word processing program has spell check and grammar check functions so use them. Hint: if it’s underlined in green (grammar) or red (spelling) there’s a problem somewhere. If you’re not confident about your writing, take a quick refresher course or ask a friend or colleague to proofread before you post.
5. Plan ahead.
Develop a list of five to ten topics or titles and have them ready to go or at least outlined. Blog posts don’t have to be long—200 to 500 words is fine. Short, snappy, and useful is the key. Tips for sellers and buyers, updates on current market conditions, client success stories—all these will keep people coming back for more.
Social media is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It takes long term commitment. Cyberspace is littered with lonely sites that have been abandoned by people who didn’t have a plan. Follow our simple guidelines and you won’t be one of them.