4 Tips for a Winning Social Media Profile

One of the most important pieces of the social media pie – and often one of the most overlooked – is having a complete, engaging and searchable profile. Here are four quick tips for creating a profile that will help you attract new followers and build your business.

  1. Call Me, Maybe… – You want prospects to be able to contact you easily, right? Don’t make a prospect have to look too hard for your contact information, or they may give up and go to your competitor. Instead, post full contact information in your profile so interested prospects can easily reach you by phone, email or your website.
  2. Searching for Mr./Ms. Right – When writing your profile, include key search terms that prospects might use to find an agent just like you. By using terms like “Miami luxury real estate,” “Baltimore real estate agent,” or “Atlanta homes” in your profile, you will come up in search results when prospects search using these terms. Also, what you name your profile photo is searchable, so calling your picture “Suzy Seller Realtor” will be better than “IMG_0554.”
  3. Say Cheese! – People want to interact with real people, not a logo, so show them your biggest smile in an updated photo. Avoid using props like sunglasses, pets or cell phones, which can look cheesy and distract from your professional appearance. Remember, saying cheese is good, being cheesy is not.
  4. Who Are You? – Fill out your profile completely to show prospects who you are and how you can help them. Facebook’s “About” and LinkedIn’s “Profile” pages allow you to fill in a number of fields – the more you have filled in, the easier you make it for friends and acquaintances to find you. Twitter and Pinterest “Profiles” both limit you to 160 characters and Instagram allows 150 characters, so choose your words wisely, use key search terms and don’t forget to include your website. YouTube’s “About” allows 1,000 characters: Click here for tips on how to create a winning profile.

Follow these easy tips and you’ll be on your way to attracting an audience.

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Which is Best on Facebook? Personal or Business Page?

One of the questions I get asked most frequently by Realtors is which is better, a personal or business page on Facebook. Personal pages on Facebook were designed to represent a person, not a business, but many small business owners and independent contractors don’t understand the difference. By using a personal page for your biz, you may be sending the message that you’re not serious.

Perhaps the biggest reason not to use a personal page for your business it that it’s against Facebook’s user policy. Doing so could get your page shut down permanently with no notice. But even if you’re not detected, there are some good reasons why a personal page is not appropriate for your business:

The About section of a personal profile clearly speaks from the perspective of a person, not a business. You are from Boston, are married and like Taylor Swift and Twilight, not your business. Right?

  • Privacy settings are a good thing on a personal page, so you can restrict who sees pictures of your kids or who sees certain posts. When you’re using your personal page for a business, though, this only puts up a big Keep Out sign when prospects try to view your page.
  • Requiring prospects to send you a friend request before they can fully view your page is just another roadblock and will automatically turn off anyone who doesn’t already know you well, or perhaps even some who do.
  • Personal accounts can only have up to 5,000 friends, while business pages can have an unlimited number of followers.

To best showcase your business, create a business page in addition to your personal profile. It’s really easy to do, just follow these tips from Facebook and you’ll be on your way. Once your page is up, invite all of your Facebook friends to like your new page. Then use your business page to talk about real estate, and keep the cat videos to your personal page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool new Facebook tool!

Facebook has launched a new tool that I, for one, will be using frequently. Here’s a blog post on Inman from Coldwell Banker’s Lindsay Listansky, social media manager, explaining all the details.

Here’s the gist: You notice a cool item in your Facebook feed that you’d like to share or comment on, but you don’t have time. When you go back to find it later, it’s become lost among thousands of other updates and you can’t find it anywhere. Facebook has created an easy new feature that lets you save these items and recall them quickly whenever you want.

Great idea!

Outsourcing social media — wise or foolish?

Here’s an interesting article about social media lessons learned in 2011. Did you know 28 percent of companies are now outsourcing their social media work? I can see both positives and negatives with that, since I’ve been on both sides of the proverbial fence. Outsourcing can definitely provide the expertise and dedication that you need. But it’s absolutely vital that the person or firm is extremely familiar with your brand identity, communication goals, voice and day-to-day needs and news.

Do you Pinterest?

Do you Pinterest? I’m just starting to get into it, and fear this could be as big a time-suck as Facebook and Twitter used to be. There’s so much eye candy, sometimes it’s hard to see the marketing potential. Always a sucker for odd-numbered lists of social media tips, I found this helpful article from Inc. Magazine about how to use Pinterest for business. It’s a start.

The secret to success

I saw something on Twitter today that really got the wheels spinning.
According to blogger Nick Usborne, the secret to success is staying focused on one thing. If your reaction to this is “Duh!” then you probably already are focused on your one thing. But for me, I found it rather insightful.

Now that I think about it, I can definitely see how that laser focus helps you succeed. My husband, for example, with his music. He’s consumed with it, thinks about it constantly, is always writing a new song, has his guitar in hand even when he’s watching the Jets lose. He’s going to really make something out of it one day.

But for those who are too easily distracted by shiny objects, or new trends, or reality shows like My Big Redneck Vacation (just awful!), it’s going to be more difficult to reach that high level of success. I suppose it’s a combination of wasting your time, never really being an expert at one thing, and changing directions too quickly to make a deep impact.

Hmmm.

Why PR should take social media seriously

Jeff Bullas tweeted a past blog post today about why the PR industry should take social media seriously. If you read my last post, you know how I feel on the subject.  While the numbers he cites are a little outdated now, it still puts things into perspective.

USA Today’s audited circulation is now 1.83 million plus 16.9 online readers, which means getting a story in there has the potential to reach almost 19 million readers. That’s a lot.  But consider Facebook, which has more than 800 million users. That’s a whole lot more!

Obviously there are many differences between a professional, edited and respected news outlet and a social media site. But the sheer size of sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn cannot be ignored. They offer tremendous potential to reach a wide audience. They also offer a huge challenge in times of crisis.

So I’m with Jeff. PR needs to take social media seriously.

“Not sure if this social media thing will stick around”

I attended a PR industry meeting this week where I watched yet another old schooler show just how stuck in the 20th century he is. I won’t give too many details in an effort to protect the guilty. But the presenter, who was  CEO of an agency, said, and I quote, “I’m not too sure if this social media thing is going to stick around.”

After wiping the sundried tomatoes and spaghetti sauce off my chin, which had fallen with a THUD onto my plate, I glimpsed up to see if his team was as mortified as I was. If they were, they weren’t showing it.  

To continue this agency suicide, the CEO went on to joke that he has a Twitter account and checks it once a year to see if anyone’s talking about him.  Then he quipped that it’s fun for the big celebrities with thousands of followers, but he didn’t see much of a business opportunity for clients. 

Now I’ll be the first to say that there are a lot of amazing PR pros out there who see social media for what it is — a huge PR opportunity and challenge. At no other time in marketing history has it been so easy for the consumer to immediately tell millions of people about a positive or negative brand experience.  Businesses can now skip the media gatekeeper and get their message straight to the masses.  The word of mouth potential is a bit mind-boggling.

But there are still plenty of old school PR practitioners who are resisting change. I can sort of understand — when you spend decades doing it one way and things change, you are bound to be sceptical.  But to publically admit — at an industry event attended by clients and potential clients, no less — that you don’t really get the “whole social media thing,” seems like agency suicide to me.

This really drives me crazy.  When established PR practioners stick their heads in the sand and insist that social media will go the way of VHS and cassette tapes, it makes the whole industry look old fashioned and unable to adjust to this new marketplace.  The ad agencies are cleaning our clock right now on the digital front.  The PR industry should be leading the charge, or at least locking arms with the advertising and digital guys and pushing forward at their side. Because no other marketing discipline knows more about building and leveraging relationships. And that’s what social media is all about.

The PR world is changing, and until we can all embrace it, we’re going to be left fighting for a seat at the table. True, Facebook probably won’t be the force it is now 10 years down the road, but something else will just replace it.  And I’m certain it will be digital and social in nature.

Now I’m off to listen to some Ke$ha on my iPhone…D-I-N-O-S-A  UR a dinosaur…and then Tweet about it.