Time: 5:30 pm networking; dinner 6:00 pm; speaker 6:30 pm
Place: Chama River Brewing Company
4939 Pan American Fwy NE
Topic: Social Media & Networking Taboos and Possible Consequences to Business
Presented by: Barbara Lemaire, PhD
CEO and Chief Strategist of Social Media Made Simple
Landing prospects through social media requires an investment of time
With the help of a marketing professional with a doctorate in psychology, I am gradually overcoming what I thought was an incurable disease: socialmediaphobia.
I fear what I don't understand, and I have not understood exactly what social media I needed, why I needed it or what it would cost.
Fortunately, thanks to LinkedIn, a social media site known for its business contacts, I met someone who could help.
Barbara Lemaire, owner of Social Media Made Simple.info, invited me to connect with her on LinkedIn. When I saw that she was a Ph.D. with a website that said she was "first and foremost a marketing professional," I practically blurted out my concern about social media and its cost to operate.
"What does a fundamental social media program for real estate agents look like and what does it cost? I keep reading about social media, but no one ever mentions price. Tell me, in order of importance, what you think, please."
Lemaire said this:
"They need, in order of importance, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google and they need to be willing to spend 15 minutes a day working in their social media community. There are only a few tasks they need to do.
"This is your business. This is not a function that can be delegated to an administrative assistant or Internet company, in most cases.
"This why I go on the student's computer and lead them step by step through the process for each medium, so they are comfortable posting and making connections. If I charged a monthly fee, they would tend not to learn what they need to do and say."
Here's her take on each tool in the social media package:
LinkedIn is the most important.
Prospects don't just visit the agent's website. Many potential sellers and buyers will Google an agent's name to find out more about them. Because LinkedIn is indexed by Google, their LinkedIn profile will come up in that search.
LinkedIn is an agent's professional profile -- their resume, if you will. Potential clients will read the agent's profile and get a sense of how they present themselves in a business environment.
"This is one reason I spend two hours on the LinkedIn site helping them create their profile, a company page, contact settings, deciding what groups to join, how to create quality posts, and badges," she said.
According to Lemaire, Facebook is a critical tool because so many people spend a lot of time on the site, and people value their friends' opinions.
A strong aspect of the psychology of social networking is that you can make real connections online. There is an interesting phenomenon that takes place when you regularly "see" someone, whether it is on TV, in magazines or on you favorite social networking site.
"You begin to feel as if you know them. This familiarity works in your favor to build a relationship and feel comfortable doing business together."
Agents learn how to join the online community and add value by providing important information in the form of articles, blog posts, comments and maybe point out a great buy.
This is how an agent can become a trusted adviser and also stay top of mind.
Lemaire said that the basic strategy of Twitter, from a business standpoint, is to follow the leaders in your industry. See what they are tweeting about, and check out the links they recommend. Also follow your local news media -- many journalists use twitter to come up with story ideas. Perhaps they will use you as a trusted source.
"Twitter is a great place for research, an agent can search Twitter using keywords and also to get a pulse on what is happening in the marketplace," Lemaire said.
She charges $450 for the six-hour initial package. Clients can get additional help in two-hour segments for $150. These sessions can include setting up Google profile and business page, Pinterest, You Tube, Foursquare, a Blog and email marketing.
Frankly, I don't know if her fees are good or bad. I do know that for the first time I found a source that could tell me exactly what I would get for what amount of money.
At my request, Lemaire shared these 10 marketing tips.
1. Your website is the hub of your social media marketing so spread your testimonies throughout your site, rather than all on one page.
2. Place your email address and phone number on every page. Contact forms are cold and not inviting.
3. Don't depend on your website to do your prospecting. Network as much as possible in person, and use email and social media to drive traffic to you website.
4. Research in your own field. Follow links to third and fourth levels because many times there is news you can pass along in your newsletters and blogs that your prospects need to see.
5. When writing about yourself, make it conversational. No one wants to read business speak -- people do business with real people.
6. Always put the price on the house. Prospects cannot make a decision to see the house until they sees the price, so why make them work to see it? We both agreed this is probably not a big issue.
7. Although you can keep your time in social media to 15 minutes a day, spend time at least once a week to go deeper into conversations and make new connections.
8. If you like to write and can stick to a schedule, then blog. If you hate writing or do not have the time or the discipline, spend time in discussions in groups on LinkedIn.
9. Use videos on your website, and post on YouTube. They don't need to be professionally produced. Talk for two minutes or less about something you feel people need to know when buying or selling a house. Practice a few times, and then just talk to the video camera -- you can even use your cell phone. You know this stuff, just act as if you are talking to a client.
10. Take photos and post them on Facebook. In fact, whenever you are posting, try to include a photo or graphic. Your post will be read more often.
If we seriously expect to draw prospects to our website with social media, we need to understand the tools and the real cost. It's not only good business. It could be fun.
Or, do you think I am running a fever?
David Fletcher, a licensed real estate broker and lifetime achiever, is founder ofEMentoru, a company dedicated to helping real estate agents and homebuilders help each other make sales. Contact him by phone or text at 407- 234-2349, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you missed my interview on "New Mexico and Company with Larry Ahrens!" KIVA 1550 you can listen to it here
Larry Ahrens is a great host I look forward to talking with him again!
I am so excited!!! Just received my "review copy" of
Web Marketing for Dummies by Jan Zimmerman.
Her story about my success using LinkedIn for fundraising is featured on page 359.
Web Marketing for Dummies is now available on Amazon.
Barbara C Lemaire
intervied by Megan Kamerick of New Mexico Business Weekly
for article on social media published 7/22/11
Whether you only have one employee or one-thousand, it is imperative that you create a Social Media Policy. Although you may not have as yet embraced social media to promote your business, most employees are involved in the many platforms available to anyone and have been for a while.
How does that effect your organization? Your business may have a Facebook page, and you don’t know it; more importantly you do not have control over the content as it pertains to your business.
I have worked with a number of large companies who discovered they have a Facebook Page, yet have no way to edit it. This page may have been created by a former employee who and took the administration rights when they left the company. LinkedIn also offers a company page, and once again if it is created by someone in the company, they have the administration rights and you don’t.
This is happening in all types of businesses from multinational to start-ups. The first step toward harnessing this powerful medium is to create and deploy a social media policy that is clear, differentiates and empowers. “I'd say there are two broad reasons for having a social media set of guidelines for every company: crisis management or brand opportunity,” says Mario Sundar, community evangelist at LinkedIn. “Social media may be a huge opportunity for your employees to help build your company's brand, but let's not forget that there also exists a tremendous risk for individual employees to inadvertently damage the company's brand and by defining a set of guidelines you help mitigate that risk.”
Before Social Media, the Marketing, PR/Communications department carried the corporate message. Now anyone can. It is beneficial to you that everyone in your organization is reading from the same page.
A few of the items to consider when creating you company’s policy are:
· What are the official social media accounts for the company
· Who manages them
· What type of content will be posted
· Who will engage with customers/clients
The major social media platforms to consider in the policy are:
When crafting a policy, be sure to:
1. Focus on the things that employees can do rather than what they can’t. Don’t create an unnecessarily restrictive model of engagement that prevents your company from reaping the rewards.
2. Emphasize that employees must be responsible for what they write - exercise good judgment and common sense, regardless of whether an employee’s online comments relate directly to their job.
3. Don’t go stealth – ask employees to include their name and, when appropriate, your company name and their title. Consumers buy from people that they know and trust, so encourage employees to let people know who they are.
4. Employees must consider that their audience may include clients, potential clients, vendors, employees and future employees as well as investors. This is not the place to air differences of opinions.
5. Remind employees to respect copyrights and fair use and always give proper credit and make sure they have the right to use something with attribution before publishing.
6. Stress the importance of protecting the company’s confidential and proprietary information; if they disregard this policy, they risk losing their job and will be held legally responsible.
7. Empower employees to bring value to their conversations by offering useful information and solving problems.
Facebook Fan Pages
By Barbara C Lemaire, PhD
Facebook was the most visited site on the web for the week ending on March 13, 2010, surpassing even Google for the first time in history. Facebook is approaching one-half Billion users worldwide. That is a staggering fact considering Facebook has only been around for 6 years!
Facebook Fan Pages are becoming increasingly popular and more and more businesses are using them to establish a social media presence. This is because Pages allow them to stay in touch with their employees, customers and prospective customers.
A Facebook Fan Page is simply a public Facebook profile used to share business and product information with other Facebook users. Facebook Fan Pages are a great way for a company to connecting by interacting and engaging through company news, photos, videos and exclusive offers.
The key to a successful Facebook Fan Page is to create an active community around the Page. Invite employees to “Like” the fan page. Then ask employees to invite their friends and family to “Like” the Page. Of course, companies would also ask their clients to “Like” their Facebook Fan Page. The Fan Page should become the hub for employee interactions, especially useful for companies that have offices nationwide and many product silos. By sharing photos, videos, asking questions and starting discussions, employees, friends, family, clients and prospective clients can create a community that will strengthen the company.
For Immediate Release
Barbara Lemaire to speak on Social Media Made Simple.
Albuquerque, NM – March 11, 2010 – Barbara Lemaire will address the American Business Women's Association, Albuquerque Charter Chapter on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 on her program Social Media Made Simple; a process that exploits the power of the Internet in 15 minutes a day or less.
“I came up with this program for my use as I tried to tame the social media monsters.” said Lemaire. “As I talked to people around the country I discovered that many people were wary of entering the Social Networking community because of they just didn’t know where to start and were afraid of the time it would take in their already busy lives.”
Lemaire will speak for 30 minutes, offering information on her process and examples of how to tame Social Networking to help your business.
Social Networking – as important as a cell phone?
by Barbara C. Lemaire, PhD
by Barbara C. Lemaire, PhD
Is Social Networking as indispensible as your cell phone? Perhaps not yet - but it is still a relatively new concept. Let me put this in context. Remember when you first began hearing about cell phones (those of us of a certain age.) Why would I need that? Of course, anyone born after 1980 could not wait to get their hands on a cell phone and those of us born after 1990; well not having a cell phone is not an option, it is a necessity, a lifeline…alas, as it is for most of us.
Back to Social Networking. In 2004 good friend involved in technology, business and the Internet, invited me to join something called LinkedIn. I joined, haphazardly filled out my profile, then I promptly ignored the site and its unknown potential. It took more than two years for me to become active on LinkedIn – two years I will never get back.
LinkedIn.com is the professional businesspersons Social Networking site. Its growth over the past few years is phenomenal. A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of their members are outside the U.S. LinkedIn has more than 60 million members in over 200 countries worldwide and they are influential! Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.
Here are a few other stats:
Average Age: 41
Average Household Income: $109,703
Household Income $100k+ 53.5%
Have a Portfolio Value of $250k+ 24%
Own Smartphone/PDA: 34%
College Grad/Post Grad: 80.1%
Business Decision Maker: 49%
Senior Management 16%
Middle Management 18%
LinkedIn offers a Social Networking site with a profile designed to summarize your professional expertise and accomplishments. However, its most valuable feature is the ability to connect with your peers through Groups and Discussions within those Groups.
Discussions within a group of your peers are by far the most robust way to Socially Network. By joining Groups specific to your industry or interests, you gain new insights through discussions with like-minded professionals in private group settings. You can also form your own highly specialized “Group” and attract people from all over the world interested your precise concern.
Although there are specific social networking sites for most industries, research has shown that participation is comparatively minimal and the diversity of the membership does not compare to larger, open membership sites.
So, if you have not yet joined the Social Networking movement I suggest that you start with LinkedIn.com. Remember that your personal profile is your resume and calling card, so treat it appropriately.
It is in your best interest that you be as complete as possible. Include your full name and email in title. Provide a clear description of what you do in the subtitle. Fill in your city and industry, current positions, past positions, education and websites. As you become more comfortable, add a reading list from Amazon, Slide Share or other apps that make sense to you.
Once you have your personal profile completed:
Invite people to connect using:
Ø Imported email contacts
Ask for Recommendations
Ø Ask for recommendations from colleagues and clients
Ø Write recommendations for colleagues and clients
Ø In your industry
Ø Of personal interest
o Participate in discussions
Create a group
Ø Colleague Based
o Invite colleagues
o Invite vendors
§ Participate in discussions
Ø Client Based
o Invite Clients
o Invite Potential Clients
§ Participate in discussions
Finally when accept invitations to connect be sure to screen them for appropriateness to your needs.
The Internet formed so that researchers could share information more efficiently – this is exactly what using Social Networking sites now accomplish for everyone.