The Imperative of Creating a Professional Presence on Social Media
Nowadays, customers don't respond to a cold sell, right?
They're eager to, and expect to, interact and engage with companies on social media which allows for two-way communication between buyers and sellers, brands and customers.
So WHY should realtors, loan officers, sales professionals, consultants, and small business owners be on social media? Let's explore!
1. Enhanced Customer Service
Nowadays if someone has an issue or complains on social media, studies have shown they expect a response within 30 minutes. More important, leaving customer questions unanswered makes a business look unprofessional and like they don’t care. In a study released in January 2016 out of those who have ever attempted to contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support, 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.
2. Brand and Reputation Management
With social media it’s simple to improve brand awareness and build your brand's identity compared to traditional methods. Online, you can give your business a personality and human voice that people can relate to. Managing your reputation online is an important part of any marketing strategy and social media provides offers a fast and effective way to do this. When you respond within an hour you can more effectively diffuse negative comments and resolve issues that come up.
3. Trust and Credibility
Let's say I met someone at a networking event and go home, sort through my business cards, and look them up on Facebook and Twitter. OMG they have no presence or, even worse, a really bad one that's hurting their brand and credibility. My perception of them is changed, no matter how charming that person was when we met. By going online and simply commenting, liking, and sharing prospect and customer posts, you create relationships with buyers and boost your credibility!
4. Increased Website Traffic
Being active on social media will help you increase the amount of traffic to your website because social media as an SEO ranking signal is increasing in importance.
Basically, when Google picks up social media activity it ranks your corresponding website higher in organic (AKA free) SEO because Google identifies you as authoritative in your industry.
So at this point, you're probably thinking, "Um Rachel, yes this is all great info but...MY TIME IS MONEY!" Totally get that which is why I'm now going to tell you HOW realtors, loan officers, sales professionals, consultants, and small business owners be most effective and efficient on social media. Here are some quick tips:
1. Monitoring Tools
Besides adjusting social media email alerts, which get pretty annoying, set up free accounts on Mention and Google Alerts to track for when your name pops up online. When I got press through HARO (help a reporter out) I didn’t know until I got alert! Talk about a potential missed opportunity.
2. Think Local
Even though social media enables you to reach hundreds of millions of people around the planet, for most of us, what really matters are the people within a 60-mile radius. You should tailor your content to local readership, news, and trends.
A great way to boost engagement is to tag and mention local followers, “likers”, and friends to involve them in the discussion as well as tweeting and posting while attending local events. For example, when I tag the author of article I’m sharing on Twitter, my post has MUCH higher engagement rate because they are likely to retweet to their own followers which creates a snowball effect.
3. Be Helpful + Patient
Nurture your target market and leads with educational content. Think about what you’d want to read online, or what you’re looking at at 1am when you’re in a article-reading black hole! Salespeople have to be willing to put in the time and effort to engage with their target buyers on an ongoing basis, and even then, there’s no guarantee that their efforts will pay off.
4. Automate Content with Buffer
For $10/month you can get an account with Buffer and schedule out up to 100 posts to go out across all your business social media accounts. If you’re a Google Chrome user, you can also get a free extension that will change the way you find content. When you're on an article, you simply click the Buffer button, add in your commentary, some hashtags, and maybe an emoji and then...add to queue and you're done! BOOM.
So, now that I’ve given you the WHY and the HOW, let’s talk!
I’d love to hear feedback on these tips and, if you guys like what I said, maybe we could schedule a Periscope!