Developing an Online Social Media Voice Through Automation

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In last week’s article I talked about “How to Develop an Online Social Media Voice People Want to Hang-Out With”. If you missed the first part you can read it here.

Some of the things we went over were:

  • How social media can help you get known as “Number One” in your industry
  • Why you needed to decide what your desired outcome would be from your social media presence
  • Your social media voice, and how to get other people to want to listen to you
  • How social media can help you to grow your business

Don’t Be a Dinosaur

Real estate investors have been notoriously slow to adopt some of the online strategies that will grow their businesses, and it is easy to understand why. They feel like they are just too busy with the day to day activities of those particular businesses to do one more thing. But make no mistake: implementing these online activities and social media strategies will ultimately separate you from your competition. All you have to do is to look at the BiggerPockets site to really understand why you should be taking advantage of social media. What if no one knew about BiggerPockets? What if you had to accidentally find this site or wait for someone to tell you about it? You don’t have to do this because of social media. 

If you are like me, you probably came across it on the internet.

I originally came across BiggerPockets on Facebook.

 One of the best examples I can give you goes back a little over 20 years ago when the internet first surfaced. There were a lot of folks out there; the old timers that exclaimed “that the whole internet thing would never last”. Some of you reading this post are too young to remember the time before the internet. For your generation it has always been here at your disposal.

But there are also a lot of real estate investors that can remember that period of time when there was no internet. Many real estate investors were very slow to adapt. It took a lot of them years to put up websites (if they ever did). But those people that adapted quickly were the real winners of that era.

How to Create an Online Strategy that Takes 30 Minutes (or less) Each Day

There are several FREE online services to take the burden of this online posting off your hands. You can set your routine posts up in advance and pretty much be done with it. The service that most people I know use is called Hootsuite. It is pretty easy to use, and you can set it up so that all your posts will automatically go to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You will be pretty well covered with just those three sites.

Here is how you handle this process:

  • You can set up your posts for the entire day by taking a few minutes in the morning or at night.
  • You can set them up for a whole week in advance.
  • You can outsource this to a virtual assistant someone in your office.

Choose a Mix of Information and Resources

The key to success here is to always provide great content. If you have something like a book that you have created and you are selling it, let’s face it; you did that to make a profit. There is nothing wrong with that. Just don’t only be that “pushy sales person” online, or people will leave you behind in droves. Be a giver first.

Related: BP Podcast 012 : Wholesaling and Marketing with Sharon Vornholt

What Are Routine Posts?

So what is a routine post and how often should they be posted each week on each social media site? Remember that you will be setting this up through a service like Hootsuite that will do the actual posting for you. Here is a suggestion for how you can easily do this. Remember that you don’t have to do all of these things at once. Just start small and after a while it will just become a habit.

Once a Day: Post a helpful business article. How about posting one of the articles from BiggerPockets or another favorite site each day? You can also set up Google Alerts for topics you think your readers might like to hear about.

3 to 5 Times per Week: Quotes. Folks love business and inspirational quotes. Just Google “quotes” and in seconds you will have a long list of quotes.

1 to 3 Times per Week: Articles and Blog Posts. Send out notifications of new articles and blog posts each time you write one.

2 to 3 Times per Week: Free Reports or White Papers. Take some time one evening or weekend to create a few Free Reports. Think of things like:

  • “10 Tips for Adding Cash Buyers to Your List
  • “7 Ways You Can Get Motivated Sellers to Call You
  • “How to Sell Your House Fast”

You get the idea. These don’t have to take much time to create. People love freebies and they will drive traffic to your site whether it is a “We Buy Houses Site” or a blog.

1-2 Times per day. Promotions. If you have something for sale like a book you have written or a program you have developed it’s OK to post those. You can use the same formula if you have affiliate products you promote for others. Like I said before, you just don’t want to be that pushy sales person.

Connecting with Your Tribe

Sometimes it’s not enough to (only) connect with these people through social media. When you meet someone online that is special or is a “heavy hitter”, you just might want to take this relationship to the next level. I like to think of this kind of like “dating”.

If you are in the same area, you can arrange to meet with this person and grab a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks. But even if you are in different parts of the world, there are things you can do thanks to Google+ Hangouts and Skype.

It used to be that if you were in different physical locations and you wanted to take your “online business relationship” to the next level folks would just schedule a time to talk on the phone. Now with Skype and Google+ Hangouts it’s easier than ever to add that personal component. There is just nothing like looking someone in the eye and seeing their personality on the other side of the computer screen when you are talking with them. It’s almost as good as meeting them in a coffee shop.

Just Get Started

You’re going to have to trust me on this one; you need to get started.

If you aren’t already using social media in your business, what small steps can you take this week?

Photo: striatic

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About Author

Sharon has been investing in real estate since 1998. She owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. In January of 2008 she took the leap of closing her business to become a full time real estate investor.

17 Comments

  1. I think that the posting guidelines are really good.
    This seems pretty ideal for a Facebook page or profile, probably right for Google+ as well.
    I’d make a couple small caveats though.

    Promotions: On a FB profile I think 2 times a day would seem very obnoxious unless it is some time sensitive thing. Like you are hosting a networking event tomorrow. On a page I would not think anything of it.
    This is also assuming you aren’t posting about multiple promotional things that are running concurrently.

    Personal: In the other article you pointed out that you have to be a “real person” so some amount of personal posts should be made as well. Note this is for the profile, the business page doesn’t really need that. Though I will say there is some value in making some professional posts that aren’t just “stuffy”. Not really sure what the optimal frequency for that is. Probably often enough that you still seem real but not so much that it diminishes your professional business persona either. I’d guess anything from 4-5 times a week to 2-3 times a day would work, and better to have the frequency be inconsistent since that is much more real!

    I also am not sure that these are right for Twitter or LinkedIn. Honestly have no opinions on LinkedIn. I have an account and maintain it since I have been told that I should. To be honest if I didn’t use Hootsuite I don’t think I’d even know how to post on it.

    As far as Twitter goes I have always had the impression and have been told by some “Social Media Experts” that Twitter is about content and volume, and mostly volume. Apparently those that “win” Twitter are the prolific posters. Good content helps but isn’t as important as getting mediocre content out a lot.
    This is where a thing like Hootsuite can really help since you can take something like a quote and just post it every day at different times 6 months out. Totally mindless so easy to outsource to a VA or a kid, or just do it while listening to a BP Podcast or something where you don’t want to do anything that will actually tax your mind while listening.

    • Shaun –

      I think the posting frequency is a little different for all the social media sites. I have made many lasting business relationships on Facebook. Getting a business page up is definitely on my list.

      I can tell you what is really valuable about Twitter; it will build your subscribers for a blog and drive traffic back to any site if you have content to share. It is great for affiliate promotions. I don’t do much promoting on FB unless it is to let someone know about an event I think they would like. Every now and then I have a blog post with an affiliate link in it. You can share the same article at 4 different times of the day on Twitter so your article is seen by more people. That isn’t a problem there.

      Posting links to videos and articles about affiliate products has increased my sales 3-4x. The same is true for my blog. I will tweet out my new posts for several days, and I also sent out the URL to my blog with a headline like “Want to learn to invest in RE FREE? I have a great resource for you”. I also post any freebies I have pretty much once or twice a day. My sign ups have increased 4x since I started doing that.

      For Linked in, I only post my blog articles, BP articles and other things I can share. I don’t do much there.

      I disagree with you about the FB business page. I think you have to have some interaction there too. Whether you are blogging about your business or industry, or posting/sharing articles others have written about your industry you need to monitor and address any comments or replies. It’s also good to ask questions there and get folks to interact.

      Let’s say you have a FB page for your “We buy houses” business. You can post all sorts of things that will put a personal spin on your page. People do business with people, so there has to be a personal aspect to that too.

      Sharon

      • Sharon I think you misunderstood what I was saying about the profiles vs. the business page.

        I completely agree that you should be interacting on your page. You want to acknowledge and respond to any comments. I also agree there is nothing wrong with posting thoughts and opinions about business and industry related things outside of being attached to an article or blog post. Actually I think that those are all really good things to do.

        I meant full on personal. Like posting cute pictures of my kids, checking in at the restaurant I am having my anniversary dinner with my wife, sharing a picture of the sporting event or concert I am attending. This level is probably too personal for a business page but good to do on your personal profile to make you a real person.

        For the pages I think you need to keep things professional still but humanize the business so it doesn’t seem to “corporate” for the people viewing it.

  2. Nicely written and some great ideas on how scheduling can help ease the burden or social.

    Thanks for sharing and for recommending our humble tool Sharon!

    -Connor from HootSuite

    • Hi Connor,

      I use Hootsuite and like it a lot. It is a very easy to use tool and nice user friendly and visually appealing platform. Overall a very useful resource.

      One thing I would like to see is being able to add a Google+ profile. I know that you guys have made pages available not that long ago but still not profiles.

      Any chance that this is a capability that you guys will be looking to add sometime in the future?

      Thanks!

      • Hi Shaun,

        The timeline on personal profiles is out of our hands and up to our friends over at google. Rest assured, we’re working hard and hopefully in the near future we’ll be able to offer google profiles for everyone! It is our most requested feature.

        -Connor from HootSuite

        • Thank you for the response and clarification Connor.

          Surprising that Google is making it hard to setup. They are usually all about making things simple and easy to do.
          You’d also think that they would encourage anything that would drive more usage to Google+. It is actually my favorite platform of any of the major networks but I still don’t feel there are enough people using it that I am going to devote a lot of independent time to it. If I could automate it when doing my other networks I would use it all the time.

  3. Hi Sharon

    Thanks for the article, I was trying to pull up information on direct mail yesterday, and you came up in every different search I did….lol

    As an investor are you trying to pull leads off of these social sites, or get your website ranked higher with back links? How well has it worked?

    Thanks,
    Adam

    • Adam – Well now, that’s really good to know!

      Any time you can get a back link that is icing on the cake. I have various things I am trying to accomplish. In the beginning I was just trying to build my “expert status” which those platforms help with and especially a site like BP and a personal blog. Twitter is great for getting subscribers to your blog or website. As I told Shaun, my subscribers have gone up 4x with the use of social media.

      I believe that each one of those sites can perform a different function. I got a (local) cash buyer here on BP once for a house I had to wholesale so you just never know. That lead came from an article I had written that my buyer just happened to see.

      You just have to create an internet presence. You can use the same ideas with a “we buy houses site” by writing some short articles and shooting some short videos.

      Thanks for your comments.
      Sharon

  4. Great article. We have been busy improving our online presence. First, we simply used a Facebook page to offer updates on our recent closings and soon expanded the postings to LinkedIn and Twitter. We saw an immediate uptick of activity. We have since created a weekly educational webinar which primarily consists of a 45 min interview with an industry expert. Though we have plenty still to do (such as posting the webinars on our website, etc.), we have created a weekly routine that can easily be modified / increased to meet specific goals. The pure number of social media outlets can be daunting, but I found just selecting a couple at first can go along way. By the way, be careful with virtual assistants posting on your social media sites because it can become very apparent, very quickly that the postings aren’t coming from you personally (it hurts when you are called out on it too).

    • I have not used a VA for that stuff yet but am considering it since it seems like a pretty easy task to out source since the “system” you need to create isn’t all that complicated.

      I don’t think I would have them do anything that “real” though. Probably give them a page of quotes, links to a bunch of my blog posts, links to other good articles and blog posts and videos and stuff and give them some scheduling parameters and have them get on Hootsuite and schedule all that stuff out for me a few months at a time.

      • Bob and Shaun –

        I agree with not having a VA “write” on your behalf. But for your routine posts, they can copy and paste those that you have supplied. You supply them once and they can just save those links in Hootsuite and do the actual scheduling of those posts.

        If you have a good VA like I do, she can simply go online and download a book of business quotes and pick those out and post them for you.

        Brock – the webinar idea is good. I am doing a weekly podcast series which will start in September.

        I have 4-5 interviews “in the can” already, my iTunes channel is set up (outsourced to my VA’s husband), the artwork for the podcast is done ($5 on fiverrr), my podcast intro will be back today ($10 on fiverrr because I like choices and I ordered two), so I’m almost ready to go. I use a free conference calling service to record the podcast. I will also be outsourcing the podcast editing and adding the intro – $5 for that too.

        It’s been hard, but I am really trying to get rid of anything that is not a business building or money earning task. In 12 months or less, I will have a brand new business model.

        Shaun – I really appreciate all the feedback. You keep me on my toes!

        Have a great day guys.

        Sharon

        • Hahaha…
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