Social Media Profile Pics: Do You Have a Face That Stops Traffic?

Social Media Profile Pics: Do You Have a Face That Stops Traffic?

When you see a picture of this structure, most will know exactly where it is. Does your social media profile pic allow people to know exactly what you are about?

images for social media

Sydney’s Opera House is one of the most recognizable structures in the world.  Whether you like opera or not, when you see the building, you stop and marvel at the design and beauty.  You wouldn’t click on this picture if you wanted information on Chinese cooking or if you were interested in connecting with train collectors.  The photo gives you enough information to draw you in or cause you to move on.  In the world of social media and social networking, your online persona is made up of your name (or nickname), your avatar (or social media profile pic) and then the content that you provide.  You may not be recognizable to many in the beginning, but it doesn’t take long to create that recognizable online persona.

When I see certain pictures on Facebook or Twitter, I pay more attention to the information than when I see others.  There are some that I see and skip right over knowing it is not information that I want or need. (I know, I should just disconnect or “unfriend” them, but that is for another post.)

When developing your online persona, there are a few things to keep in mind.  First, is the photo that you choose to use.  Selecting a great headshot or photo that really represents YOU is important.  In my book, Gettin’ Geeky with Twitter, I spend an entire chapter talking about using a great headshot and standing out. I have some below that I feature in the book and I will explain why they stand out in my opinion. But do this simple test: Scan your list of friends on Facebook or look down the stream of Twitter followers, which pictures jump out and capture your attention?  Which one’s get lost in the stream?  Are there some that stop traffic and cause you to dive into their information?

A great social media profile pic or headshot is close up, it shows personality and it becomes YOU to all of US.  I used to think that everyone should use a REAL photo of themselves and not their dog or a picture of their book cover, but I have found enough exceptions to this rule to now say, “it depends.”  Who are you online?  Do you provide information from a dog’s point of view? Then a dog-face works for you.  Do you use an animated character because this is how you see yourself?  Cool.  As long as it is not a picture of someone else–like those who post a photo of a celebrity as if that were them, or there have been cases where someone posts a picture of someone more attractive because they don’t want the world to see who they really are.  This is different than posting a cartoon image or caricature.

I feel that this becomes a form of deception. Too many people create fake accounts with someone else’s face, name or both so they can write nasty comments or lead people into false relationships.  I guess this is done in face-to-face relationships as well, but it is wrong in either case (in my humble opinion!) I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this.  Depending on why you are online and engaging in social networking, it is usually important to build authentic relationships even when they are shot-term acquaintances.  A friendly or engaging avatar/photo is very helpful.

Here are some of my favorite Twitter profile pics–and the reasons I think they stop traffic:

Viveka von Rosen

Viveka von Rosen or @LinkedInExpert

Peg Fitzpatrick or @PegFitzpatrick

 

Both  Viveka and Peg have had great close up shots of their smiling faces.  Just looking at their profile pics, you would get the feeling that they are friendly and helpful.  After reading the content they provide on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and everywhere else, I know that when I see their face pop up it is worth stopping to read their post.

 

 

 

Here’s an example of a brand mascot being so recognizable he stops eye traffic. Moz is a brand that provides SEO tools and news that is always a favorite to read.

twitter bios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lil Pecan

Lil Pecan or @LilPecan

Lil Pecan is one of my favorite Twitter Critters.  First she is hilarious, she makes delicious chocolates (well, she has never actually sent me any, but they sound delicious by her descriptions), she has a great blog and she is always in character.  The only irreverent social media guinea pig that sings scat that I know of.  Lil Pecan is a great example of someone who connects with people through her character and it just works!

 

 

 

 

 

You be your own judge. What calls to you?  In our overly crowded information highway, you need to be sure you have a face that stops traffic and then you’d better have some good content for them to read while they’re there!  Let us know who stops traffic for you.

Now that you’ve got tips for your profile pic…let’s get that bio in shape!

Download our free RESOURCE GUIDE to Create Great Bios that Attract!

Create great social media bios

 

I’d love to hear from you @GinaSchreck

Gina Schreck, social marketing

How to Become Known as a Thought Leader or Influencer Through Content Marketing

How to Become Known as a Thought Leader or Influencer Through Content Marketing

content marketing to be found

In order for people to come to know you and trust you as an expert, they first must FIND YOU. Content marketing has become the leading way in which people are found, and because we live in a social sharing age, it is a way for people to become known by a much larger audience.

Karen wants to be known as a leader in the human resources industry. She wants people to hire her to work with their companies and trust her 23 years of experience. Her problem is, only a few know about her. She doesn’t want to spend time “messing with social media” and she doesn’t produce any other form of content to let people know about her expertise.

content marketing

Kevin has a great service taking people on adventure vacations. He provides everything that is needed; food, canoes, backpacks, transportation to get into the remote areas where their adventures begin. He is passionate about adventures and helping people have a safe and memorable time, but he doesn’t like marketing and is trying to figure out how to get the word out about his awesome service.

content marketing to be known

You may be the very best consultant in the country or the finest hat maker in the world, but if no one knows who you are and what you do, your business won’t last long.

Today’s consumers are tech savvy and www stands for Whatever they want, Whenever they want it, and Wherever they are. When a question pops in our head, we simply whip out our smart phone and ask SIRI, or Google. So when Sally in San Francisco wants to know, “Which kind of hat goes best with a spring dress?” She simply asks Google. When she does, Google serves up content that Sally will most likely find helpful and interesting.

blogging to be found as an expert

What would your ideal customer type into Google if they were searching for your products or services? Write down a list of questions they might ask about your industry. Now go type these questions into Google and see what content comes up. See WHOSE content comes up. Who is known in your space? Who are the leaders that have the answer to the questions your ideal customer is searching for?

If you want to become known in your space as the leader or someone who is an expert, you must start creating more content.

Your marketing content can come in many forms:

  1. A Blog.

    This is simply a spot on your website, or perhaps it stands alone on a blogging platform like WordPress, for you to share thoughts, stories, answers to questions people have about what you do. Blogging is one of the easiest and quickest to start with since it’s simply writing. If you feel that you can’t type, simply open up a word document go up to edit and select start dictation. Before you know it you’ll feel like a doctor dictating your patient notes.

  2. A Video.

    The beauty of creating a video blog (or VLOG) is that it usually takes a lot less time. If I turn on the camera and speak what’s on my mind or provide 3 helpful tips, I am usually finished in five to ten minutes. If I write a blog post on the same concepts, it usually takes an hour. If you can be a one-take wonder and not need to stop and start, it’s quite easy. You can even use the camera on your smartphone to do this. Another thing that is great about video creation, is you can have the video transcribed when you are finished and turn it into tweets, quotes over graphics, and perhaps even another written blog post or article. (Check out TRINT for easy and low-cost transcription service) I love what Jessica Edwards does. She is a realtor in North Carolina that does videos from her car. They are GREAT and talk about easy! Check out her YouTube channel. No fancy intro or outro graphics or music, just answers to her ideal customer’s burning questions!
    creating video content as a thought leader

  3. Screenshare or Webinar Video.

    While this is still a video blog, it’s a form of blogging that requires no “good hair days” to go live on camera. Using tools like Screenflow, Jing or other screen capture tools, you can record your audio along with whatever you are showing on your computer screen. A great way to share technical information in a video blog. Because video itself, has very little SEO (search engine optimization) power or Google Juice, as I like to call it, you will probably want to do a short write up to go along with your video or have it transcribed like above. A great screen capture video tool that I have recently been using is called LOOM. It is a FREE tool that allows you to create short, 10-minute, screen recordings with or without your video showing in the bottom of the screen. Super easy to use and it is a Chrome extension, so there is no expensive or clunky software to install. See the video I created using LOOM right here:

  4. Photos.

    We know a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you love taking photos, this could be another way for you to share your expertise. Now a photo alone will not be very “findable,” but if you are artistic or work in a very visual industry, snap more photos and then write a short paragraph about what is going on in the photo to share with your audience. If you are a personal stylist, take pictures of items of clothing on someone or laid out creatively on the floor, creating style boards of your own (very popular on Pinterest). While Karen Hutton is a photographer, her photo blog will inspire even those who feel they don’t have a creative bone in their body. Pay attention to how it is laid out and the other content pieces she offers in her right side bar. How can you use this style of blogging in your industry?

    content marketing for creatives

  5. Podcasts.

    If you are not wanting to turn on that video camera, you can certainly do an audio blog or podcast, as everyone else in the world calls it. Podcasts seem to be more popular than ever and with all of the apps available, they have become easier to produce. Like video content, if you want to be FOUND in searches, you will still need some text for Google to read. Adding a thorough description and tags is important and if you have your podcast transcribed, you can add that in your show notes for added search engine sweetness.

  6. Industry Articles.

    If you don’t want to commit to weekly or regular blogging, perhaps writing for magazines, industry publications or even other people’s blogs will fit your schedule and style. Many people use this strategy as they are building their own blog following. Become a regular commenter and then ask the blog site owner if they accept guest bloggers.  The challenge with this is I think it takes more work to find regular guest blogging spots than it does to just write more often on your own site, but this is a good way to get noticed.

What is the content strategy that you feel most comfortable with? What challenges do you find with this? I’d love for you to share with us either in the comments here or on our SocialKNX Facebook Page.

@GinaSchreck

Gina Schreck, social marketing

 

Where to Begin Your Social Media Marketing When You Are Starting from Zero

Where to Begin Your Social Media Marketing When You Are Starting from Zero

where to start with social media

Everyone wants to know, “What social media platform should I focus on if I am just starting out?” or “Where do I begin my social media marketing if I am starting from scratch?” These are not questions that have a simple answer, although everyone wishes they did. If only the answer was, “Just post one piece of content each day on Facebook. That is how to begin” or “Definitely start on Twitter. That’s where you should always begin.”

I love springtime and gardening. I’m not that good at it yet, but every year I want to know what I need to do to plant and nurture a beautiful garden. What should I do first? What’s the easy way to plant 100 bulbs? Gardening is a lot like starting out, or reviving a stalled social media marketing plan. There is no quick and easy button.

The reality is, there are several things you will want to do if you are starting from zero and putting together your marketing plan. Of course, you need to take some time to really explore who your ideal audience is. Sure you want to target everyone, but as the saying goes, if your content is for everyone, it is for no one. After identifying your ideal (keyword there is IDEAL) customer, do some research to find out which social media platforms they are active on. Where are they engaged? What type of content are they commenting on and sharing?

Now it’ s time to fire up two engines simultaneously — your content creation engine and your community building engine. It’s like love and marriage, or peanut butter and jelly. You can’t have one without the other.

content and social media community

Start Blogging

You need to begin sharing your expertise and creating content that you can draw people in with. Your blog content can be written or it can be video, or perhaps a little of both. The core of your social media marketing is your blog or website. You have to spend time creating content there that you will share on your social channels. Set a schedule to write one post per month or one per week, depending on the amount of time you have. [READ: 8 Blogging Tips to Connect Better with Your Readers]

Create Content for Your Social Media Channels

There is a temptation when starting out on social media, to just start connecting with people. But if they come and see an empty profile, you may have a harder time getting people to connect back with you. Before connecting and inviting people to come over and LIKE or FOLLOW your brand, decorate the house just a little. Be sure you have 7-10 posts loaded on any social channel you are using so when someone comes to check you out, there is enough there for them to know what your area of focus is. Make them visually appealing. Make them different, intriguing, inviting. Not sure what to post? We have you covered. Download our “20 Types of Facebook Posts“. You can use these strategies for any platform.

types of facebook posts to increase engagement

 

Find and Follow (the RIGHT) People Everyday

Aim to find and follow at least 25, people each day on Twitter and Instagram to follow. This should take you no longer than 10-15 minutes a day. Use hashtags, geolocation, keywords, and other accounts that your target audience would be following, to find people. After following these people, scan your streams and spend about 15 minutes a day commenting, liking or retweeting their content. Let the relationships begin.

On Facebook and LinkedIn it’s a little more work since you can’t necessarily just follow individuals from a Facebook business page and if you just started randomly sending connection requests on LinkedIn, you’ll probably get “dinged” pretty quickly. You have to find other business pages and groups and get involved. Become a welcomed and valuable member of these “communities” and they will want to come and check you out. Comment, answer questions, do NOT try and sell or be spammy with “come and check out my page” comments. That will turn everyone off, except other spammers who will want to recruit you!

Email and Lead Generation

I don’t want to scare you or overwhelm you, so just know that after you have done the first three steps, you need to start thinking about building that email list and nurturing the subscribers to convert them from LIKES into LEADS. If you have not set up an e-mail service provider (different from your internet service provider), check out services like Mailchimp or Drip. This is important to do as early in your business as possible. I cannot tell you the number of people who say “I wish I would have started building my e-mail list earlier. When someone subscribes to your list, think about how you will nurture the relationship with them. Will you send a monthly newsletter? A weekly tip or word of encouragement or just hold on to them until you want to sell something (not the best idea).

Once you have an e-mail service provider, you can use tools like Leadpages to create easy templated landing pages that will collect e-mail address in exchange for a piece of content you have created. Sometimes these are called “lead magnets” “value offers” or “freebies” but the concept is the same. I create a valuable piece of content and you exchange your contact information for the item. You can then add the link to the value offer in your social posts and blog posts to begin building that list.

Stick with It

Like anything, social media marketing takes time and consistent care to grow your audience and content inventory. Make time each day and each week to keep these activities up and you will see lasting and beautiful blooms in no time!

where to begin to build your social media marekting

What has been the hardest piece for you getting started, or even if you have been using social media in your marketing mix for quite a while and now are wanting to put more focus on making your plan more strategic and helping you build your business, what is the hardest part? I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions.

If you need regular help with your marketing and you just don’t know where to turn, join our DIY.social group on Facebook for regular tips.

@GinaSchreck
Gina Schreck, social marketing

 

 

 

Taming Those Wild Marketing Tendencies

Taming Those Wild Marketing Tendencies

social media marketing, marketing style, marketing spirit animal

Many agree that the world of marketing and social media today is like a wild jungle or zoo. So many social media channels and tools to discover and plenty of opportunities to hurt your business along the way. So how do you tame the marketing beasts and help your brand thrive in these wild times?

Just like there are different personality or communication styles, there are marketing styles or tendencies that we may fall into that can trap us or hurt us if we don’t learn to balance those with some good habits.

If you haven’t taken the “WHAT IS YOUR MARKETING SPIRIT ANIMAL” quiz, go take it to see what your tendencies are.

We are going to take a look at four of the beasts that can help or hurt your marketing and give you some tools to tame them.

Spray and pray marketing

The Elephant:

We know that elephants use those long trunks to spray themselves as well as everyone around them, so this animal represents the SPRAY & PRAY marketer. Just throw a bunch of good content and interesting posts out there to see if anything sticks and draws someone in. This often leads to frustration when the water runs dry and you realize that all that effort has led to very little, if any, return.

Without a strategy and daily plan to draw your ideal customers closer, it won’t happen. Step back and outline your purpose on each channel. [READ: Where to Begin with Your Social Marketing] Write specific activities that will help you achieve that purpose. Do you need to add a strong call-to-action at the end of your blog posts before promoting them on social media? Are you capturing email addresses with landing pages and helpful content pieces that help build trust with your ideal audience members? There are several steps needed before you start spraying social media posts.

too serious on social media

The Owl:

Owls are all business and oh so serious. This animal represents the DRY & NOT-SO-SOCIAL marketer. Only posting business content that shows their expertise and wisdom. While this is not all bad, you could be missing the point on SOCIAL media sites, and that is, to be SOCIAL.

Like the strategy outlined in our elephant’s profile, you may need to plan to be social throughout the day. Make time to comment and like other people’s content. Create or find some fun content that shows a lighter side that people may be more likely to connect with. On Facebook, especially, look for ways to create fun posts that encourage engagement, not just consumption. Perhaps a question to your audience? A fill in the blank statement. A fun photo that you found that people in your industry would find the humor in. [Check out our 30 Things to Post on Social Media When You Don’t Know What to Say]  and download our guide: 20 Types of Facebook Posts to Increase Engagement.

all social but no marketing plan

The Dolphin

Dolphins are playful and fun. Who doesn’t want to hang out with one of these friendly creatures? This animal represents the VERY SOCIAL BUT NOT CONVERTING TO BUSINESS marketer. Dolphins are on their social channels a lot; commenting and sharing everyone’s content but putting very little focus on their own business strategy. They are always wishing others happy birthday or congratulations on business accomplishments. Being “always present” but applying little focus on your own content can hurt your brand. People start to wonder, “What do they actually do?” “How do they actually make money?”

While being friendly and social is important, don’t forget why you and your brand are on these social media channels in the first place. You want to connect with potential customers, draw them in closer to you with helpful and interesting content and find a way to do business together. Even if your product or service doesn’t seem to fit the model for creating a sales funnel and content to draw people in. Activity on social media can seem futile without a solid plan. How could you personalize your marketing if you had people in different email lists? Could you create some special promotions or content pieces that are for a very targeted audience? How could this help you close more business?

marketing plan for social media

The Zebra

Zebras are social and efficient, traveling in packs to help each other survive. The zebra is INTERESTING AND HELPFUL, blending focused content with social activities to draw others to them. Regardless of how amazing your content is, without a plan, your content is will not return the results you hope for.

To be more efficient in your marketing, create a plan that ties into your overall business goals. If your goal is to increase brand awareness because you are a new hair and nail salon, you need lead magnets or tip sheets on hair and nail care that people can download and have your location and phone number at the bottom. Add a 10% off your next visit coupon and you can track the number of people your social media activities brought in. If your goal is to build a mailing list for your new book launch, you need lead magnets that allow people to exchange their contact information for the item being downloaded. The more specific you make your lead magnets, the better you can qualify someone and even put them into different lists in your email system to further customize your offerings. If your goal is to drive sales, you may want to look into buyable pins on Pinterest, or the shop feature on Facebook and Instagram. Tie your social media activities to your overall business goals and you will not just survive in the social jungles, you will thrive and greater success spending time there.

So regardless of your “Marketing Spirit Animal” be sure your animal is tamed and has a plan to turn that social media activity into business. Let’s all make sure we are putting more focus on being helpful and interesting with our content to draw people in, build trust and business.

Need more help with this? Be sure to join our DIY.social group on Facebook, for tips and resources to build your business.

Create your own fun quizzes on Interact

Gina Schreck, social marketing

 

Connect with @GinaSchreck on any social channel to continue the conversation

 

Seven Reasons Twitter Still Belongs In Your Marketing Mix

Seven Reasons Twitter Still Belongs In Your Marketing Mix

Twitter for business

Have you heard, “Twitter is dead”? Have you asked yourself if Twitter is a social media channel you should really be investing time in? There are many tools to use in your marketing and Twitter definitely has a place IF…you share content from a blog, or vlog, if you want to drive more traffic to your website, or if you want to connect with people globally or locally that you may not otherwise be able to do.

So YES, using Twitter in your marketing mix is time well spent.

Here are 7 reasons why Twitter should be a part of your social media marketing strategy:

1. The Sheer Number of Twitter Users

In 60 seconds, Twitter users share 500,000 tweets,  There are 319 million monthly users on Twitter. A surprising 43% of those don’t send tweets themselves, but watch or read others’ tweets.  We’re looking at a concentrated area of people, who you are able to segregate by industry and keywords.

2. Brevity is King

There is no getting around it: short and sweet wins the game on Twitter (and everywhere else these days). You have 140 characters to get your point across. No talking someone’s ear off with lengthy copy.  The more you tweet, the better you become at whittling down your message while retaining its meaning. After all, don’t you appreciate when someone is on point and takes up less of your precious time?

One Twitter user who is an ace at getting his point across succinctly is Brian Fanzo. His motto is ‘Talk Fast, Tweet Faster’. He does both well and adds tremendous value to those following him.

Talk Fast Tweet Faster Brian Fanzo

3. The Use of Hashtags to Find and Be Found

What a wonderful component of this channel! Use industry keywords (e.g. #SocialMedia, #smm (social media marketing), #TravelTips, #productivity) in your tweets to help others find you and your content. Many people want to curate content around a certain topic and when they click on a hashtag or search for one, Twitter serves up all content that contains that hashtag. 

Tip: Search first if you’re unsure about a specific hashtag and make sure it’s relevant in your industry.  If no one’s using it, you’re less likely to get the big bang out of it. Use hashtags that are relevant and popular in your industry.

Another tip: Look at the trending column from your home page and see if there are any topics you can tie in with your brand’s message – capitalize on what’s already working! (Caution, do not hijack a trending hashtag just for the sake of jumping in, if it has nothing to do with your brand. Many have become Twitter case studies of what NOT TO DO while attempting this.)

4. The Use of Tweet Chats to Connect with Like-Minded People

One of my favorite uses for Twitter is attending tweet chats. Think of them as meet-ups you can be a part of without actually having to drive somewhere to attend. I have met so many wonderful people in a Tweetchat (or Twitter chat as some call them) who have helped sharpen my skills by sharing their knowledge.

Typically a moderator will ask a short series of questions, and people in the chat answer them by number. You always have the option to just lurk, read, and not respond. However, your answer may help someone. I encourage you to join the party!

Tip: Use a free tool like TWEETCHAT.com to filter out all other tweets during the chat. You can follow along easily and it adds the hashtag you are following to all posts you send out during the chat.  Two of my favorite weekly chats are #CMGRCHAT (Wednesdays at noon MT) and #BRANDCHAT (Thursdays at 9am MT).

5. Twitter Lists Help You Filter 

As many professional organizers will tell you, everything in your home and office should have a place. Twitter is no different. Organize your digital stream by using lists. You may be following 1,000 people but you have a handful of people you really want to keep an eye on. By adding them to a list, you can be sure you don’t miss their tweets. You may want a list for co-workers, one for favorite business leaders, or news sources. You can even create lists that stay private so you can create a client list or add your competition to a list and see what they are doing on Twitter.

When you want to read posts just from the people on your lists, you simply go to your profile page and click on your lists to filter out all the other noise. You can also use a tool like Hootsuite to pull these lists into columns on your social monitoring dashboard for even more convenience.

Lists are also a great way to find new people to follow. You can look at an industry expert’s lists they’ve created or are a part of, and find a helpful trail of similar people to connect with. You can subscribe to the list itself or choose to follow specific members.

6. Proactive Community Growth

You truly are limitless (when in compliance with the 2000 rule) with your growth potential of your Twitter community. As you are starting out, follow 10-20 interesting people a day. They don’t all have to be in your industry. Follow people or brands related to an interest you have or because they offer great content.

Tip: People/brands should be active on Twitter to be considered interesting! Check to see the last time they posted a tweet before following them. You don’t need any duds.

Add them to a created list or simply read through some of their tweets and like, comment or retweet (or share) their content. This will help you get on their radar and hopefully get a “follow back.”  Twitter is one of the tools that allows you to find and follow people without needing their permission to connect (for the most part–there are some who get on Twitter and make their accounts private, but very few).

7. The Ability to Tag Accounts and People

A great Twitter feature is the ability to mention (@mention) others both in the post itself and in tagging photos. If I am reading a book or attending an event and want to mention the speaker or author, I simply add their Twitter handle in the post @PersonsName and they get a notification that they were mentioned or tagged. This helps you jump into a conversation with someone you may not have had the chance to do so before!

Use tagging as a way to engage with others. You’ll get so much more out of Twitter by “talking” with others as opposed to just lurking.

Pitch Perfect Twitter Tag

Are you using Twitter in your marketing mix? What are your reasons for doing so? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Download our free e-book  HOW TO USE TWITTER STRATEGICALLY FOR YOUR BUSINESS for more tips and insights on making this key social network a part of your social routine.

Twitter marketing

Where to Begin with Your Social Media Marketing

Where to Begin with Your Social Media Marketing

how to begin with social media marketing

Social media marketing can leave even the most seasoned entrepreneur exhausted and filled with frustration. We all start on this journey in a similar fashion–a head full of dreams and a heart filled with hope. Everyone dreams of the successes that lie ahead when they start their business. Sure we all know there will be challenges and pitfalls along the way, but we’re sure there will be a solution waiting for us when we cross those bridges.

Social media has been changing the business landscape for ten years. Some industries have been slower to feel the effect and some are completely immersed with their digitally savvy consumer. You may be just starting out, you may be starting over, or you may be ready to throw in the towel, but it is time to step back and look at how to incorporate social media into your marketing and business objectives.

Let’s all go back as if we were just dropped off at the same place…the starting point for our businesses. Even if you have been at this for 10 years, I want you to take each of these steps as if you are just starting today.

  1. What is your business objective?

    Of course to make money is the main objective for most, but is your business objective to become a well-known and well-respected business consultant? Is it to have a fitness studio with hundreds of students and a thriving team? If you are a realtor, perhaps your business objective is to build a thriving real estate brokerage that will be profitable with or without you doing all of the selling. This objective is important to get clear on because it will be the CORE of all of your marketing. It should drive every decision in your marketing.

  2. Who is your ideal consumer?

    So many people will say, “everyone is my ideal consumer,” and that is why their marketing is too vague. You need to focus on not just the person who will buy from you, but the person you would like to do business with. We have had several people “buy from us” that I shouldn’t have allowed to. These were people who were too high maintenance and frustrated our entire team day after day. Create a detailed profile for the perfect customer. If you have a couple different types of consumers that you serve, create two separate profiles. You may likely need to use social media differently for each persona.

  3. Where do these ideal consumers hang out?

    I hear so many people say, “My customers aren’t on social media.” You might as well say, “My consumers don’t use mobile phones or computers at all” and this may be true. You might be targeting those over 90 years old who live in rural farming communities and they still have a wall mounted phone with party lines (wow, how do I know about such ancient things?). If this is truly the case, then buy yourself a horse and get off social media altogether. Although you would miss the great tweetchats that go on each week in the agriculture world– #AGchat or #FarmChat.

    You need to do some research to find out which social media sites your ideal consumers are on. You might do a survey of current customers, asking which social media channels they are most active on, or if you don’t have current customers, you need to mine your competitors and organizations that are complementary to yours but serve the same type of consumer. If you are a realtor in the luxury home market, look at resort hotels, luxury car companies, golf clubs or country clubs in your area. Find those social media pages on every channel and see where people are most active. What are they talking about, or engaging with? Take note.

  4. What type of content do your ideal consumers engage with?

    You started this one in the last step. You need to really dig into as many pages and profiles that you can to find the ones that have people sharing, liking, and commenting. Make note of a few things: What type of content is it? Video, funny images, short question type posts, long-form blog content? How often those pages are posting. Do they post once a day? Multiple times a day? When do they post? Are they posting in the early morning hours? Throughout the day? At night? Make note of the ideal times to post. If you keep notes on the pages, profiles, and information, it could come in handy if you decide later to do some targeted advertising to reach these same people.

  5. Let’s talk lead generation

    Before you start posting content on social media channels let’s go back to step one and revisit the objectives. If you want to reach people in your city to join your fitness studio, or you want people to hire you and your firm as consultants to help their leadership team, then you will want to start building an email list as well so you can get more specific with your marketing. To do this you can create some bigger pieces of content that people will exchange their email or contact info for when they download them. These bigger pieces can be resource guides, tip sheets, ebooks, video tips, a webinar, and on and on you can go. Any piece of content that people find valuable enough to give you some information in exchange for, is considered a “lead magnet” or “value offer.” You will then use social media to pull people toward these pieces of content. These lead-generation type posts will be mixed in with other content ideas you came up with in step four.

  6. Now you can build those social media accounts

    After all of this planning, and hopefully, creating of content, it’s time to open the doors to your social media accounts or do a “re-opening” if you have been using social media for awhile but without focus. Before you invite people to connect or come to LIKE your page, be sure you have it set up and ready. Put some interesting and visually appealing content up. Be sure you have filled out your profile and company information completely. Add that all-important profile pic [Read TIPS FOR GREAT SOCIAL MEDIA HEAD SHOTS]

 

types of facebook posts to increase engagement

BONUS: Download our “20 Types of Facebook Posts to Increase Engagement”

Once you’ve gotten through these steps, prepare to put blinders on and stay focused on the tasks at hand. There will be many shiny objects calling you away from your plans, showing you new social media tools to try, new “critical” techniques you need to use. I, for one, will be someone shouting those things from the sideline but don’t listen. Stay the course. If what you are hearing doesn’t align with your #1 (business and marketing objectives …in case you’ve forgotten already) move on. If you can see how it fits into your own plan, implement and experiment.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions on this.

how to begin with social media

@GinaSchreck

Gina Schreck, social marketing