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Social Media is Not a One-Way Street

Social media has changed a lot in the past few years, but one thing that has remained the same is that at the heart of social media are relationships.

If you’ve been reading my blog for sometime or perhaps have seen me on stage, you know that I talk a lot about the value of being intentional; have a plan and a strategy for generating business with social media.

And, as much as I whole-heartedly believe in the value of having a content grid, a blogging calendar, repurposing your content and more – the flip side to social media is the personal side.

This is the side you can’t outsource.

You can’t hire a freelancer to “be you.” 

Now, I am all for hiring and developing a strong social media team. Perhaps you have an amazing assistant or a freelance copywriter who writes blog content for you, or a videographer who edits and shoots incredible video for you for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Hiring help with content strategy, content creation, frequency, marketing and branding is one thing – in fact, I think these people are some of the most critical parts of your team and it completely boggles my mind when I see multi-million dollar companies with a marketing team of two or three people. In fact, here’s a good read on what to look for when hiring someone.

But, regardless of the size of your team – the most important part of social media, the ‘secret sauce’ – the part you can’t rush, you can’t automate, you can’t outsource and you can’t ignore is the personal side of social media.

So, where do I see massive opportunities when it comes to the personal side of social media? Where do I see big opportunities for business owners and real estate professionals? Here they are!

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1. The magic is in the one-to-one. The next time you have a big announcement, or a new blog post, or something you can’t wait to blast everywhere – before you blast it – reach out to 2 or 3 people first. Make people feel special! Text, call, email or send a message using Facebook Messenger and say something like this:

“Hi___ Hope all is well! I just wanted to give you a quick heads up – we are going to be making a huge announcement tomorrow and I wanted you to be one of the first to know. Keep it on the down-low for now, but when you see the post, I’d love if you’d help share it out here on Facebook. Thank you!! -Katie”

2. Wish people a happy birthday. Whether you are 20, 50 or 90 – a birthday is still a big deal for a lot of people. Facebook makes it easier than ever to write on someone’s wall or send them a private birthday greeting. Take it a step further and stand out from the crowd by posting a fun video on their wall and tagging them, or send them a one-minute voice message using Facebook Messenger. Where are they most active on social media? Where would it mean the most? Post there!

3. Don’t post and run. You can’t just be on social media for a few minutes a day – post and run away. That’s what we call ‘drive by social media!’ Every time you post something on social media, take another five minutes to scroll through your Newsfeed and like, comment or interact. Same thing applies on any social network. If you are on Snapchat and love it like me, don’t just be the person that snaps all about them and then never watches Snap stories or engages. The engagement, the likes, the comments, the snaps back – this is the magic – this is where the relationships are formed!

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4. Share behind-the-scenes. You can’t outsource your knowledge, or the moments that happen throughout the day and the wisdom that sometimes just “comes to you” as you pull up in the parking lot at Starbucks or as you leave your kids school. Those aren’t planned moments – but those moments of clarity and inspiration are the perfect time to share a thought or wisdom using Snapchat, Instagram Stories – perhaps even a Periscope or Facebook Live broadcast. When you look at your life as content like I do – conversations with clients, videos you see online, funny things your kids say – all can be inspiration for content to share. This is the content that isn’t on the calendar, it isn’t outsourced – it’s real and in-the-moment.

5. Be proactive and present. There are dozens of great Facebook groups for each industry. Taking the time each day to search a few of these groups and answer questions and be a part of that community is huge. You can’t rush relationship building, but one of the ways you can build trust is by being present – not just here and there – but consistently.

Now, here is the ironic part. In a report evaluating top executives and their use of social media , 84% of CEOs and VPs say they use social media to help make purchasing decisions. And yet, only 27% of top companies said their C-level executives were actively engaged in social media last year, down 20% from the peak in 2012. Among the top 100 global brands, just 31 CMOs maintain active Twitter accounts, and only six of those big-brand CMOs have more than 10,000 Twitter followers.

Here’s the good news – the playing field is wide open! There are so many opportunities still to maximize social media as a business owner or executive – but you have to make time for it, you have to prioritize it. In the long-run, this is where the magic happens, this is where the ROI happens, and ultimately, this is where a lot of the business happens from – the personal side of social media!

I’d love your thoughts on this blog post, leave me a comment below or join us in our Social Media Forum Group!

P.S. Struggling with social media and making it work for you? We can help! Check out our #GetSocialSmart Academy today!

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