As you prepare to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, and ring in the New Year in style, it’s important to think about your business resolutions, in addition to your personal resolutions.
Whether you’re a social media maven, or are still confused about what Facebook is, anyway, adding social media to your business resolution list is a smart decision for 2015. With 92% of buyers using the Internet in some way in their home search process, being present in online communities is quickly becoming a necessity for the real estate business.
For the Beginner
Resolution: JUST JUMP IN, ALREADY. Getting started on social media is more daunting the longer you put it off, so stop with the excuses. Give yourself an hour or two on a quiet day in January, and start using one social media site. I suggest a Facebook Business Page (yes, a business page, not a personal profile)—it’s quick to set up, easy to use, and there’s a wealth of online tutorials to get you started.
Pro Tips: Don’t stress. Unlike Kim Kardashian you can’t break the Internet. If you make a mistake on your Facebook page or another social media account you can delete it. If you post something and change your mind, you can delete it. Use the same good judgment you use in every other part of your business, and you will be okay.
My only rules of thumb are: if you’d be embarrassed for your grandmother/mom/son/daughter to read don’t post it, don’t discuss potentially contentious issues like politics and religion (on your business pages, if you’d like to on your personal accounts, that’s your prerogative) and ask for permission from your clients before posting personal information and photos.
For the Social Butterfly
Resolution: Make a more conscious effort to build your network. You’ve probably invited your current friends and family to like you on your different social media sites, but there are steps you can take to build your network further.
Pro Tips: Start by sending a Happy New Year email to your sphere of influence—including all your past clients, and include information about your social media sites. Tell them what kind of information they can expect to see on your sites, and make sure to give a link directly to the page. Actively ask them to like your page.
Mention local businesses, news outlets, local personalities, etc., on your social accounts. (Make sure you follow them, also.) Social media has a focus on reciprocity and social karma, so by actively promoting other local entities to your social network, you’ll be putting yourself on their radar to do the same.
For the Instant Gratification Lover
Resolution: Try your hand at Facebook ads. Facebook ads offer a quick return for a small amount of work. Once you set up the ads, which can be done in 15-minutes or less, Facebook will handle the back-end logistics while you reap the benefits.
Pro Tips: When trying your hand at ads, remember that there are three different types: get more page likes, get more website views and boosted posts. “Get more page likes” ads will increase the number of likes on your Facebook business page, “get more website views” will drive traffic to an outside website, and “boosted posts” will make sure that more of your current followers see a particular post from your business page.
You can choose to run ads at any price point, so feel free to start small and work your way up.
For the Perfectionist
Resolution: Begin creating your own content. When you’re updating your social media finding the perfect article or video to post can be time consuming. Instead of searching the depths of the Internet, take 2015 as an opportunity to try creating your own content. Whether you want to start a blog or try your hand at video creation, having your own content will give you a steady stream of information to feed to your social networks, and you can be sure it’s something you approve of.
Pro Tips: If you’re planning on starting a blog, starting on wordpress.com will give you customization options without needing to host and build a website. Your blogs should be on topics you can speak about with authority, and always make sure to source any facts you quote from elsewhere.
For video creation, starting with the tools you have at hand is where you want to start—your smartphone and video editing apps can produce nice results while you’re still testing things out. From there, DSLR cameras can have great video recording options, which doing double duty as great traditional cameras. For video editing, I like Camtasia Studio 8 for a simple, easy to learn option.
What are your 2015 business resolutions this year?
If you have any questions about anything discussed in this post, please contact Samantha Jorgensen, Digital Marketing & Content Manager for William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance at firstname.lastname@example.org.