Much of the older work force continues struggling with social media marketing while the millennial generation insists businesses first build a relationship before trying to make a sale (or real estate purchase). Many that began their careers in the non-digital world thought that putting up a Facebook page was all that was needed. Then came Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and a slew of other social media platforms. The rate of change has become mind boggling to those used to measuring change over decades but now face constant change.
Millennials grew up and came of age when the internet and cell phones have always existed. They have no idea what a rolodex is. For them, everything either is an electronic contact list or can be researched on the internet. One thing that social media has revealed is how much the opinions of others affect the decisions of friends, family, and even strangers. We’ve long known how powerful word-of-mouth marketing is but it has taken on a new life in the instant messaging, Facebook Likes, and all of the multiple ways people now have of quickly and constantly communicating with each other.
There are many important aspects of social marketing. Value added content is critical but effectively placing this information in front of the right eyes is just as important.
Social Media Influencers
Recent statistics show that 78 percent of adults have a social media account. This is a 5 percent increase over last year and can be expected to continue increasing going forward. But a shotgun approach that targets all of these people in the same way is not the most effective. You need to break your audience into groups by how much influence each has.
- Top influencers are previous and current clients that love what you offer and deliver. These people may already be sharing your value added content and promotions with others that are within their sphere of influence. These people are often the ones that have signed up for you email list and those that have already completed a transaction with you. You want to take extremely good care of these people. They already love your brand and you want to keep that relationship growing. Offer these people discounts, deep insights to your brand, market trends, along with other value added information. Your reward will be that these people share their enthusiasm for your brand with others in their digital community.
82 percent of Americans say they seek out advice from family and friends when making a significant purchase or transaction. Studies show a personal recommendation is 50x more likely to trigger a purchase by others than traditional advertising.
- The next type of influencer that you want to establish a solid relationship with are other marketers that have an established community of followers. Typically, these are other business people having an audience that is similar to yours but are not in direct competition. These people benefit when they can offer their audience high quality services or products from you as value added content to their audience. Obviously, your take away here is reaching another audience of highly influential readers.
- Online celebrities are the third level of influencers that you want to reach out to. These people may or may not be in your niche. However, they have a large online following through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or another social media. One tactic here is swapping content with each other. Since these audiences may not be directly connected to your market, you’ll want to start with basic information but be sure to include highly valued content that they can immediately put to use to attract them as followers to your advanced content.
The Social Media Funnel
The basic formula to social marketing has expanded to multiple platforms but the strategy remains mostly unchanged. You first want to learn which platforms are the most popular with your followers and/or potential followers. When you go with multiple social platforms, be sure your message clearly communicates the same brand message across all of them.
Your next task is connecting with your target audience. Not only do they want to hear from you but they often want to hear from other people active in the community. You can accomplish this by encouraging comments, posting testimonials, and even asking readers to make guest posts on your outgoing message platform.
Social marketing is evolving at a very fast pace and goes much deeper than this short article. However, you won’t go wrong when you begin by understanding who your influencers are and providing them with content that encourages them to share it with their community.
This is just the next step in word-to-mouth marketing. More to come as digital media continues evolving…
Please leave a comment if this article was helpful or if you have a question.
Author bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for 10 years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest. With the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction