If you’ve tried using social media for real estate like Facebook, Twitter and/or blogs to build your business, but the results have been more frustrating than financially rewarding, try using some of the pro’s tricks. Included below are ten of the best.
Set a limit of 110 characters – Twitter limits messages to 140 characters, but if you want your tweets to get re-tweeted more often, keep them to 110 characters or less. Why? This allows people to add a brief comment of their own and fire off a re-tweet to all their followers without having to do any re-writing.
Follow others (in order to get more followers of your own) – When you start following someone, they get a notification, together with a link to your Twitter pages. Many will automatically follow you in return, boosting your posse of followers. (Follow a celebrity or other popular Twitterer, and the results can be even better.)
Above all, make your tweets interesting – People can only stand to read about you and your company for so long. So tweet about your industry and related topics, as well. Retweet the posts of others that you find interesting. And, best of all, ask your followers for their ideas on what to tweet about.
Let your followers take over – One of the smartest Facebook marketing moves you can make is step out of the way on a regular basis and encourage your followers to connect and share with one another. Think about it: You get all the credit – and the increase in followers – but they provide all the content and interaction. Consider hosting a Facebook happy hour, offering up an expert to answer followers’ questions, or encouraging your followers to share with one another (learnings, stories, advice and more).
Add video and photos – The first thing most Facebook users look for when they visit a page is new photos. So give them more of what they want – plus the new hot item: self-produced videos. For small- and mid-sized businesses, photos and videos are not only great at showcasing products, services and projects, they’re also incredibly effective at personalizing your brand (allowing the real people behind your business to shine).
Encourage interaction – There are plenty of places online for people to read, watch and learn; but Facebook users want to interact. And the best way to encourage interaction (while benefiting your business at the same time) is by holding contests and polls. Everyone wants a chance to win something (even when they have to participate in a marketing program to get a crack at the prize). And most will be flattered when asked for their opinion (via a poll).
Generate controversy – An edgy blog title, a thoughtful riff on a controversial mainstream news item, a behind-the-scenes expose … these are the kinds of things that will rally your blog readers and inspire them to return for more.
Encourage subscriptions – You may be one of the most entertaining bloggers there is, but if your followers don’t know when there’s a new posting, they may never get around to reading it. Encourage your readers to sign up for a subscription service like Google’s Feedburner, and you can start sending new posts directly to their email inboxes as soon as they’re typed.
Add commenting capability – If you don’t allow people to comment on your postings, you’ll frustrate your readers. People expect blogs to be a two-way communication medium where they can not only read what you have to say but also offer their own thoughts, ideas and experiences.
Comment on others’ blogs – Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you can’t comment on others’ blogs. In fact, posting thoughtful comments on the blogs of others is one of the best ways to draw new readers to your site.
Putting It All Together
Once you’ve got your social community voting, commenting and contributing, then you can start incorporating the best of the results (survey statistics, insightful comments, testimonials and more) into your direct mail marketing materials. By engaging and interacting with your social media users, you’ll be able to generate all kinds of cross-marketing opportunities.
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