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Honing Your Social Media Strategy

Social media is like a conversation – and it’s one of which you want to be a part. It’s important to keep in mind that just because you aren’t there doesn’t mean that conversation isn’t happening – so here are a few tips for you to stake your own place at the table.

In a way, social media is a throwback to small-town values; where the corner restaurant knew your name and your favorite item on the menu. This is a departure from the one-dimensional way in which marketing once took place. No longer can you buy a billboard or a magazine ad and call it a day. Today effective marketing takes the personal touch – a multi-faceted approach facilitated by the various channels of social media that are out there.

I’d like to look at strategies for three of the most high-profile of those channels – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – as well as the power of visual and video marketing via Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

First, let’s discuss LinkedIn. When you’re working with the LinkedIn Connected app, it gives you a wide variety of opportunities to link up with current and future colleagues. You’ll be able to recognize people and keep abreast of their professional and personal happenings such as job changes and birthdays. You can also use LinkedIn Connected to connect with people after meetings and keep the teamwork going long past an initial face-to-face interaction. Additionally, the app lets you tag and organize your contacts, making your business that much easier to manage.

LinkedIn Connected is a powerful app that can hook you up with the right people.

LinkedIn Connected is a powerful app that can hook you up with the right people.

How about leveraging Facebook? Did you know the average adult has 300 Facebook friends, according to PEW Research, and that more than three-quarters of Facebook users access the site on a mobile device? When using this platform, remember that it has dual faces:

  • Personal profile: This is where the relationship between individuals is built and strengthened.
  • Business page: Here’s where your business is built through lead generation and marketing your brand.

A few tips when using Facebook:

  • Be who you are. That’s your brand! Be authentic and real – people connect with real people. Don’t be afraid to share some personal passions; parenting, gardening, wine, pets, sports – these are things that we connect with other people about in real life – and online!
  • Be a storyteller. People love stories – it’s a way to communicate any message you are trying to get across. For example, if you are a real estate agent – don’t just put up a link to your new listing. In 2-3 sentences try to tell the story of what it feels like to walk into the house. Try to paint a picture with your words!
  • Celebrate moments. Moments are what make up lives. Celebrating the successes you have in your business and in life are a great way to share your success in a way that showcases why you love what you do (without seeming like you are bragging.)
Use Facebook to tell your brand's story.

Use Facebook to tell your brand’s story. GoldieBlox does a great job at this!

Remember, context is key on Facebook. The Cape House does this well!

I also suggest you weed through the noise by creating private Facebook Lists. I highly recommend setting up at least two lists.

  • Clients
  • Potential clients

The value of using lists is that each day – instead of looking at your Newsfeed of 300+ Facebook friends, you can take a few minutes to click on each one of these smaller lists. Now, you can see the people you want to connect with the most and take the time to like, comment or share – which helps to build relationships with those people.

Facebook Lists help you organize your connections.

Facebook Lists help you organize your connections.

A few things to remember: keep context in mind when providing content. Remember that people are seeing your posts amidst their friends and family.

Schedule content on a Facebook Business Page with the help of a content grid, which will assist you in organizing what gets posted when. Also, taking the time to work on your Facebook business page strategy is key – especially looking at opportunities to generate leads and business through Facebook ads.

Now let’s talk Twitter. The primary way to be intentional with Twitter is to use lists. These curated groups help you cut through the noise and talk to the right people at the right times. Additionally, Twitter Advanced Search helps you further narrow down the sea of information so that you can get to what you need when you need it.

Twitter lists help you cut through the online noise.

Twitter lists help you cut through the online noise.

What about visuals? First let’s talk Instagram, which proves that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. What makes this so powerful? Well, photos are the number-one type of content that’s being shared these days. Just a sampling of the images you’ll see floating around the social-media marketing world:

  • Home details: architecture, doors, views
  • Community: neighborhood nuances, favorite parks, quaint coffee shops
  • Customer stories: happy clients, testimonials, success stories
TacomaJones is a great example of using imagery and details to market your business.

TacomaJones is a great example of using imagery and details to market your business.

  • Product details: beautiful images of products and customers using them
  • People: family, children, vacations, lifestyle
  • Food and wine: delicious meals, incredible wines, amazing restaurants

Instagram is a great vehicle for lifestyle marketing. Baldacci Family Vineyards sharing pets, BBQ and wine.

Use Instagram to grow your brand like Becky Higgins, LLC.

Images are also huge on Pinterest, a site which thrives on the concept of a photograph. Here are five tactics that make a difference on both Instagram and Pinterest:

  • Text over photos
  • Creating a collage of your photos
  • Shared photos from clients or customers
  • Infographics
  • Making sure to include at least one “pinnable” image in each blog post
Text overlay can grab attention on Instagram and Pinterest.

Text overlay can grab attention on Instagram and Pinterest.

Now let’s talk YouTube, the internet’s second-largest search engine. Keep in mind that when using YouTube, titles and descriptions are key. You have a choice here – do it yourself or hire a pro. If you’re doing it yourself:

  • Shoot horizontally
  • Keep it short and simple
  • Be prepared

If you’re outsourcing:

  • Interview between three and five people
  • Request samples
  • Request references

Also, know that you can get creative! Here is just a sampling of the types of videos you can produce:

    • Video blogging
    • Market update videos
    • Property tours
    • Neighborhood videos
    • Video email (BombBomb.com is one of my favorite sources here!)

Looking for even more tips on these key social media platforms? Here are additional articles I’ve written that you may find helpful:

LinkedIn:

Facebook:

Twitter:

Instagram:

Pinterest:

Also check out my YouTube Channel to see how I’ve implemented video in my marketing. I hope these resources help you to hone your own social media strategy, you can do it!

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