“Tweeps with My Peeps” (Greg Clement, myself, Jeff Watson)
‘Hay’ there, Friends! I was at the store recently and was magnetically drawn to the Easter candy aisle…I came across my favorite childhood Easter candy, the marshmallow Peeps! Remember those sugary little birds that went stale about as quickly as you opened them? I noticed they are now available in BLUE and with social media on the brain, I couldn’t help but think of the little blue bird that represents Twitter. So if a blue bird = Twitter, then blue Peeps =….Tweeper? I couldn’t resist and bought an embarrassing quantity of blue “Tweeps” 🙂
Anyway, I had the pleasure of speaking at the HINT/Omega Wealth Protection Conference in Cleveland, OH this past weekend. Since I focus on making social media effective for small business owners, I was asked to conduct a presentation that addressed how real estate investors in particular can effectively leverage social media and I’ve prepared a recap to share.
The event was hosted by Jeff Watson, “Top Shortsale Lawyer”, who is a true master in his niche (and one of the quickest minds to keep up with!). I have known Jeff for over a year now and he consistently over-delivers with every bit of insight he shares. A fellow speaker on the agenda was Greg Clement, a well-respected and successful entrepreneur in the real estate investing space –the kind of mind that’s fantastic to brainstorm big ideas with.
A group of savvy real estate professionals were in town from all over the country to take a deep dive into some powerful investing strategies and concepts to grow their business further. I had the opportunity to speak to a number of folks from TX, CA, MI, VA, TN, OH, WA and the GREAT thing is, regardless of where you live, whether you run a restaurant, a hobby business or if you work as a real estate investor, as a small business owner, you have a tremendous amount to gain from the RIGHT social media activity.
It was most important to me to come up with a roadmap that these small business owners could follow to put social media TO WORK for their business. It’s always easier to be accountable when you have actions in addition to suggestions.
The 3 main areas I addressed were:
– WHY social media is absolutely CRITICAL to a small business
– WHERE to start
– WHAT social media ACTIONS to implement
While we spent time going through each section, here are the “cliffs notes” on the presentation:
Why Social Media is Absolutely Critical
The way we use the internet today is evolving from a search focus to a social focus. Yesterday, people would use Google to simply search for products or services; today, people are asking their social networks for recommendations. Social media is not only shifting the way we as a society community, but its ultimately shifting the way we make our buying decisions. It makes sense. People are many times more likely to do business with someone their friend recommends than any other advertising method and the essence of social media marketing is word-of-mouth marketing. If social media is an online conversation about your business, you don’t want to miss the chance to have a voice.
Where to Start
Being a huge fan of analogies, I asked attendees to think of an effective social media strategy as a martini – a visual I often refer to. A perfect martini is made up of a few quality ingredients mixed in the right quantity for a potent end result.
If an effective social media strategy is a martini, then your BLOG is the VODKA –the MAIN ingredient. The main purpose of blogging is to share valuable content about your business with prospective and current customers. When you blog about your business, you can establish your position as a leader—as an authority in your field. When you add value to people’s lives by educating them and giving them the tools to make important decisions, its natural for people to feel appreciation and to keep you in mind when they are ready to do business.
After talking through some of the mechanics of blogging, we covered the other critical ingredients that make up a social media martini or an effective online presence:
– Facebook business page – allow your business to have the right presence in front of customers on the world’s largest social network. Facebook is absolutely a utility for our lives and you want to connect with customers where they spend their time. Think of your Facebook business page as a conversation platform, while your blog is a content platform.
– YouTube Channel – allow people to get to know you through recorded video message – upload quick videos to YouTube bring your business and message to life.
– Twitter – allows you to stay in the conversation –target your content with hashtags (#). Example: #shortsale. Use them to search to see what people are saying on that topic as well.
– LinkedIn – as a business owner, it is critical to have a presence among this growing professional social network.
– BiggerPockets – this is a niche social network platform for real estate professionals in particular. Set up a profile on your industry’s niche social media platform to engage with peers in your business.
What Actions to Take
So you now have a clearer idea of what ingredients come together to make an effective social media presence. You are fired up and ready to start blogging for your small business! Now, here is the recipe to follow to implement the actions in the right order:
1) Create your blog post (written or record a video message)
2) Upload to YouTube
3) Publish the video or written post on your blog
4) Share a link to that blog post via your Facebook business page
5) Tweet the link
6) Head over to LinkedIn and BiggerPockets to pass the link along –be sure to state what a person can expect to learn from that message.
7) Repeat each time & enjoy!
Just like anything in life, consistency is key…this social media process must be followed regularly in order to experience a stronger result. Be sure to mix “promotional posts” about your business with conversation. It’s important to dedicate time to forming relationships through social media because it is inherently personal. When you go out and network, you talk about your business and hear about someone else’s…you mix work talk with casual conversation…simply bring this same practice online through social media.
I will challenge the small business owners reading this the exact same way I challenged the outstanding audience I spoke to in Cleveland. SHAKE UP your marketing strategy! Hold yourself accountable to do ONE THING to put social media to work for your business. Start a Facebook business page, buy a Flip cam for video or come up with the topic of your first blog post.
If you don’t feel like you can take on one more critical initiative in your business, then ask me about options to outsource the management of your social media presence effectively and affordably.
Thanks to Jeff for having me on the agenda, thanks to the real estate investors present in Cleveland and thank YOU for stopping by to read this post. By reading this content, you are clearly committed to learning how to get social media results for your small business!
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I look forward to releasing a potent revised guide called, “The Recipe for Social Media Success – Shake up Your Marketing Strategy with a Social Media Martini!” Feel free to send an email to “info at emilyahay.com” if you’d like to receive a copy of that before it goes live via my blog. Stay tuned – can’t wait to share! 🙂
THANKS AGAIN for visiting!
~Emily A. Hay