25 Ideas for your 2012 social media real estate plan [Part 1]

12:44:57 | 2012-09-19

Wondering how to maximize the time and resources on social media in 2012. I took some time to research some of the most useful and popular recommendations from 2011.

If you apply these ideas whether you’re just starting out, working on your strategy, trying to listen harder, increasing your engagement or turning up the tracking  2012 could be your best year yet.

Idea 1: Socialize your culture, not just your technology.
The days when businesses controlled the conversation are over, but most businesses haven’t adapted. They use social media as a megaphone, not a telephone. Your whole real estate tactics  needs to adapt to the empowered customer.

Idea 2: Write up a plan.
Your social strategy needs just as much forethought as any other business process. Taking the time to plan ahead will pay off.

Idea 3: Cultivate long-term relationships.
Retaining your current customers is 5 to 10 times cheaper than acquiring new ones. So why are you blowing all your social media efforts on the short-term sale? Use social media to cultivate the long-term customer experience.

Idea 4: Automate the boring stuff.
A more wide-ranging social strategy means you need to get more efficient.

Idea 5: Calculate the value of your social customer.
Real businesses like yours aren’t doing social media for kicks. How can you figure out what your social customers are worth? Well the basic idea is pretty simple: “Add up all the real estate services they got from you, subtract the cost of servicing them (phone calls, emails, chats, site visits, etc.) and you have a pretty fair measure of what a customer adds to the bottom line.”

Idea 6: Require certification. (Marketing Executives)
Require every team member (regardless of their function or business unit) who wants to engage on behalf of your brand to complete your our certification program. That ensures they not only know what they’re doing, but that they’ve imbibed your core principles.

Idea 7: Require extra certification. (Marketing Executives)
Require additional certification for anyone using social media to communicate to shareholders and media. A misstep at this level could be a disaster that costs your company millions and damages your brand beyond repair. Make sure the people at the controls have enough training. Then train them some more.

Idea 8: Share the vision.
Share and promote your social media strategy, governance and principles, not just low-level tips and orders. If you have a group or team don’t turn your members into robots: they’ll feel frustrated, and so will your community. Instead, inspire them with the big picture. Then free them up to use their own voice and their own judgment as they engage online.

Idea 9: Double-check for compliance. (Marketing Executives)
Monitor your pool of brokers social media accounts to make sure they are active, brand-compliant and tracked. Don’t wait for an broker to screw up. Watch what they’re saying and how they’re engaging. Correct them when they make a mistake. Encourage them when they excel.

Idea 10: Craft a content strategy.
Don’t blog and write willy-nilly. Ask yourself why and for whom you’re creating content.
Nail down the Big Idea that will play out in everything you write and all the tactics you execute. It’s a big decision and it should be broad enough to work for a long time.

Idea 11: Go beyond text.
Blog posts, eBooks, case studies and white papers may form the heart of your content, but work in some variety by considering other media.

An audio podcast is like having your very own radio show your audience can tune into while at the office, during their morning commute or while working out at the gym.

Photos add a little variety and freshness to your content. They personalize and humanize your business. Adding an image to your blog post will double your page views.

Use video as a way to spotlight your properties or people in your group. Rather than waiting for the media to interview your company spokesperson, tape your own interviews and upload them to YouTube or Vimeo.

Webinars, unlike many conferences and events, can be both convenient and affordable. Participants have the ability to ask specific questions and chat with the guests and moderator, and there are no geographical hindrances. Webinars are a great opportunity to gather names and email addresses for followup.

If you want to convey information that contains numbers, dates, locations, measurements or comparisons, present it as an infographic.

Idea 12: Fill in the topic gaps.
Ask these questions as you figure out what to write about:
Is the topic interesting right now?
Is it popular right now?
Is it timely?
What is the competition doing or writing about?
Will you have enough content for the month?
The sweet spot? A topic that you love, that’s timely, and no one else is writing about.

Idea 13: Build community relationships through your content.
You can learn a lot from your community if you take the time to listen. Though the members of your community can give you a good indication of whether or not they find your content valuable, through various social options, sharing your posts, comments, tweets and quoting your content, direct feedback is always best.

Idea 14: Pay attention to people talking about you.
Be aware every time someone mentions you online. That includes all the names by which you’re known, any apartments listed, and members of the your team.

Positive mentions boost your team’s morale, highlight what you’re doing well, and uncover your fans. But negative mentions, painful as they are to hear, are even more valuable. They give you a chance to turn a vocal critic into a vocal fan. And they’ll show you what you need to change.

Listen and tag brand advocates and detractors. That will help you respond intelligently to questions and complaints. Make special note of influencers in the real estate industry: people who can shape the attitudes of hundreds or thousands of followers for or against you.

Learn where customers are talking about you. It may be Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. But every brokerage or real estate corporation has its own forums and venues where folks hang out and talk shop. This knowledge will keep you from wasting resources on the wrong networks.

Listen for the most popular topics about the real estate industry. Note what words and language leading real estate broker use, and adapt your own accordingly.

Idea 15: Gather competitive intelligence.
Social media is for the most part a public and open venue. Anything you can learn about your own persona, you can learn about your competitors.
Monitor your competitors’ feeds for recent company news and their latest product releases. Mine their blogs for company insight. What market segment are they pursuing? What competitive advantages are they pushing? How are they comparing themselves to you?


By: David Ramos , Marketing Strategist

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