Today I was honored to give a presentation on Social Media to several clubs at Suffolk University in Boston. These students had great questions and offered very interesting insight into the changing trends online.
…but how do I find the time for social media?
Week in and week out, this is the refrain I hear from my clients. They wonder aloud how they will find the time throughout their busy days to post. Some even wonder how important it is to have a social media presence. In this post, hope to answer both of those questions and even offer a few tips.
Time-Saving Social Media Strategy
My client’s social media accounts look as though I am posting several times a day, each day of the week – including weekends. Some weeks, I post over 50 updates! So, how do I do it and still manage to meet with 15 clients per week and build websites and such? I use Hootsuite, a social media dashboard. For some of you, this terminology is new. A “dashboard” is a page that shows all of the activities in one place. With Hootsuite, I can see all of my clients social media accounts (except for Pinterest). Then I can make posts and schedule them in advance. Therefore, if I sit down for a few hours, I can set posts to run throughout the week. I would say it takes about an hour, per client, per week. Then, I schedule a few mornings or evenings to go in and “be social” — I will, as my client, comment on others’ posts. This is the best system I have seen so far and one that has generated success for my clients.
Is social media really necessary?
I wasn’t really sure how important social media was until I experimented for myself. While working for a major metropolitan real estate office (and seeing that my agents weren’t using Facebook) I decided to post a few of the company videos to my Facebook page. In the space of two weeks, I generated two leads. Because I was not an agent, I gave them to my agents. Since then, as I check Google Analytics to monitor the performance of my clients’ websites, I notice that Facebook is consistently the top referring site. So, yes. Social media is important.
My next post will be about creating a winning social media strategy.
**An earlier version of this post incorrectly noted that Google+ wasn’t available in Hootsuite. It is indeed part of their great system. I stand corrected (technically, I SIT corrected.)
- taken photos – The most fun camera apps are Hipstamatic and Photosynth by Microsoft. Now I know you are thinking, “Microsoft made an iPhone app??? and it’s COOL???” You need to see it to believe it.
- edited photos – PS (Photoshop) Express is pretty darn neat.
- created and edited videos – You can use the iMovie to get fancy or the native camera app just to shorten videos.
- blogged, tweeted and facebooked - I love WordPress. But, the native apps for Twitter and Facebook are also very good.
- dictated a document – Dragon dictation software can allow you to blog or compose emails while you do the dishes or dust (not vacuuming – that is too noisy). I love multitasking.
- shared word processing files – Google Apps is part of the Google app (say that 5 times really fast). You can create or share files from your Apps account.
- checked the weather in Reykjavik – I like the native Weather app for international or national weather (different cities) and the Weather.com app for my local weather. Continue reading
If you have seen the infographics that have been used to illustrate stories in Wired, Fast Company or other sites, you’ve probably thought… “Hey – how’d they do that?” Well, it is simple, thanks to Visual.ly. Peruse some of the neat infographics here.
Go to Visual.ly, click on create and select the type and style you like. Then punch in your login info and VOILA! Can you think of a more visually engaging way to show social media activity?
This is so cool, I may or may not have gone overboard the other night… (ie. I was on it for an hour or so…) I have to admit it: I am in love!
There is more!
Tagxedo.com makes word-cloud infographics. See below…
- You’ve read some painfully boring blog posts.
- You blogged once or twice and it gave you a headache.
- You haven’t blogged about a topic you like.
- You are afraid because you haven’t blogged before.
No matter the reason you have been avoiding it, you should blog. Blogging is good for your business because:
- It creates original content that can help your search engine optimization (SEO).
- It positions you as an expert in your industry.
- It shows you are actively involved in your business.
- Serves as a resource for potential clients.
5 Ways to make blogging more fun
- Be yourself. Style matters. If you’ve read boring posts, you probably read a sterilized version of the writer’s actual opinion. Of course we need to be professional in our business blogs. But, we don’t need to remove all humor or style. The blog post needs to offer good info delivered in an engaging way. Otherwise, it’s not worth writing.
- Select topics that interest you. There are aspects of our jobs that we like and those that we don’t like. I find that, all too often, people blog about the things they DON’T like because they think it is more valuable. If you think about the origination of the word “blog”, it is a “web-log” — essentially a blog is a diary. In this case, think of it as your own daily/weekly record about what is happening in your industry. So, choose the items that interest you first. Then, add your own style/spin to the items you don’t. This will make it more fun to write and more engaging to read.
- Make a schedule for consistent timing and varied topics. You still need to have an umbrella topic, but you can vary the individual post topics. For instance, if you are an interior decorator, it needs to relate to that industry. But, you could write about…
- color trends
- fabrics trends
- green production/healthier materials
- style choices
- decorating small spaces
- decorating on a budget
- famous designers
- famous spaces
- modern looks
- traditional looks
- different rooms and their approaches
- adjusting rooms for seasons
- and this list was just what I could come up with in two minutes!
- Make a fun blog post once per month or once per week. I do my Fun Friday posts to make myself and my followers giggle. It also happens to get me blog-writing with glee. Then, I will write one or two less fun posts after that. If you are a real estate agent, you could always…
- find type errors in ads
- bad house photos in ads
- houses in strange locations
- houses with strange designs
- neat overseas homes
- famous houses
- There are lots of options.
- Invite other authors. You can take a little of the pressure off yourself by inviting other authors to post. For instance, if you are a photographer, you could…
- ask a client/subject to talk about the experience of being photographed
- ask your local supplier to talk about changes in technology
- ask an editor talk about the importance of photography in his/her magazine
If you have wanted to blog and are having trouble finding topics, post your industry/career in the comments. I will reply with ideas. If all else fails, buy a pair of Groucho Marx glasses — it is virtually impossible not to have fun when wearing them.
Please contact me for more information about marketing your business.