Sometimes the hardest part is just simply getting started! I’ve broken it down here into 7 steps … 7 easy steps to get started.
At Keller Williams Realty, we have access to all kinds of tools and training to help us out.
This post is designed to present a common-sense approach to getting started in Social Media for your business as a Keller Williams Agent. I’ve included some guidance + links to more information + links to source and resource sites which will prove helpful as you get started … so let’s get started …
- Pick your #1, favorite, Social Media site
- Complete your profile
- Identify your target market
- Identify valuable information for your target market
- Regular Posts … and make them count
- Invite Friends
- Integrate business
Which Social Media Site is Best?
The Big 3 are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I’m very tempted to add YouTube to the mix simply because it is so powerful as an online marketing tool and so important in searches. However, I’m not quite ready to add Pinterest in yet, but I’m liking what I see so far.
Let’s keep it simple: If you use one of the Big 3 … that’s your pick!
If you have no social media presence at all … pick Facebook.
Here’s a Social Media Cheat Sheet – it doesn’t include LinkedIn, but it does have good fundamental comparison information:
The best social media site for Realtors® is the one the Real Estate agent actually uses effectively. They’ve all got online Help to assist in setting up an account or starting a profile; refer to the Help for ‘rules of the road’ and ‘best practices’ also.
KW Social Media Introduction and Training – Keller Williams agents must be logged in.
Social Media Profile
Complete your Profile! 100% Complete. No kidding – It’s the single most important thing when you are getting started. Both Facebook and LinkedIn have significant, searchable, profile capabilities. The goal is 100%, but use the 80/20 rule to start with and continue to improve it as you go along.
Getting Started LinkedIn Training – includes the importance of profile completion, a good jump start if you chose LinkedIn as your favorite.
Here is another ‘getting started’ and ‘getting traction’ guide:
Target market selection actually goes 1st, but it’s also one of the top reasons people never get started. They spend so much time trying to figure out which social media site is best for their specific market or niche.
800 Million on FaceBook … I’m pretty sure your target market is represented. Same is true for LinkedIn and Twitter – your people are there! So I promote picking the right site for YOU – the one you are most likely to keep using – for your first foray into social media marketing, and trust that your niche is adequately represented.
DO take some time to identify your target audience in more detail – who, what, why, etc. There’s enough for a college course for this topic all on it’s own and I won’t go any deeper in this post!
The biggest hurdle to getting started with Social Media, for Keller Williams agents – for any Real Estate agent or business owner, for that matter – is ‘content‘. What do you write about? Where do I find good content?
Identify items of value. Things your target market wants. If you don’t know what your target market wants … go back a step and figure it out! It’s going to make the ‘content’ part a lot easier.
Items of value:
- create them = hardest, but usually the most valuable
- borrow them = easier, and still good
- link to them = easiest, and perfect for a lot of items
Don’t over-think this part! Items of value are articles, blog posts, pictures, announcements, listings, etc. One way to think about what to write about is ‘what’s valuable to my audience?’. Offer that, and you’re golden! Create it, borrow it, or just simply link to it.
Sources of Content:
www.Homes-in-Loudoun.com – Your KW or independent website
www.KW.com Keller Williams Company info and General Real Estate Info
www.Realtor.com Listings + General Real Estate and Market Info
www.Realtor.org NAR Real Estate info, market studies, etc
http://www.kw.com/kw/mvvbp.html – Culture on KW.com (public)
http://kwconnect.kw.com/connect/ (KW agents will need to be logged in)
Post, Contribute, Interact
The primary goal should be consistency … set a goal you can keep … even a couple of times a week, every week, on FB or LI is better than 5 times a day for a week, then nothing for 3 months. Be realistic.
Post – create it, share it, or link to it. And get a couple of posts done before you start inviting people – it’s like ‘staging’
Contribute and Interact … the ultimate goals is to engage your audience.
Make it count … and count ’em … more is better if you are providing valuable content. Engaging is best – use pictures, videos and people tend to interact more.
Use a 5-to-1 ratio. 5 non-business to 1 business; lower business on ‘personal’ pages, more business content is acceptable on business pages like your business fan page.
Friends & Connections
Invite friends (after profile is above 80% and you’ve got a couple of posts) – just look them up and ask them. Look through friends lists, if they are public … only invite people you know, to get started.
Connect with me (some of my connection lists are public):
Go to my pages and request a connection – for Facebook, leave a comment as well – I’ll reciprocate.
After you have connected with friends, and friends of friends, concentrate on your content. Posting, contributing to conversations, and interacting with others – plus your profile – will attract new connections.
Integrate Your Business
Follow the rules = the Golden Rule + site rules for posting. Treat others how you like to be treated online. Don’t spam. Some sites (or groups) have restrictions on what you can post; plus all legal rules of spam apply.
Spam also means a high number of links to your business site – like tweeting a link to your affiliate page, every hour on the hour.
Having said that, integrating is the ‘look at me’ part. It’s important to tell people what you do for a living, where you do it, and how they can do business with you. Posting listings, pictures of houses, events, company information, congratulations, client appreciation … and the list goes on.
This is another topic that could fill a semester, so I won’t go too deep here. Contact me directly to swap ideas on this how to effectively integrate business into your social media sites.
More Sites to use:
http://www.Homes-in-Loudoun.com Your own KW site
http://www.blog.kw.com Public KW blog
http://www.youtube.com/user/kellerwilliams All the KW Youtube videos!
7 Steps! It’s easy! Well, it’s simple enough … but it does take some time and persistence. The best way to add social media to your marketing plan is to Take Action!
Keep it simple and strive for consistency. Social media should be fun, entertaining, and profitable if you are using it as part of your business marketing strategy.
Manage Social Media
Here’s a little bonus – social media can be overwhelming. Even if you start with one site, most people end up using the Big 3 – Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – at least. There are a lot of tools available to help manage Social Media; I’ve included a couple of the better known ones below.
Check out related posts on this blog and also these tools directly:
www.Hootsuite.com (try the free version first)
www.Seesmic.com (used to be Ping.fm; try the free version)
www.SocialBios.com (KW agents already get access, and it can be integrated with Realtor.com)
This last one is not as popular for managing multiple Social Media Profiles, but it’s a great add-on for Realtors®
About the Author:
Michael Wilson is a full time Realtor® at Keller Williams Realty, Loudoun Gateway in Ashburn Virginia. He has an extensive background in business and marketing strategy, coaching, online marketing, and of course Real Estate. Michael uses his blogs, seminars, and webinars to help Realtors® improve online marketing and social marketing skills.
This blog post provides the starting discussion for a Social Media seminars at KW Loudoun Gateway with local Keller Williams Agents.
Connect with Michael here or on Facebook at Loudoun County Real Estate