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  • Larry Alton 1:10 pm on April 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    4 Reasons Every Real Estate Pro Should Consider Launching a Blog 

    As a real estate professional – whether that’s an agent, broker, landlord, or investor – your main focus is on serving your clients. That’s how you stay in business and earn a return on your investment.

    While different people have different backgrounds, blogging probably isn’t your strong suit. You may have some marketing experience, but blogging and digital content creation are probably foreign concepts to you.

    However, this shouldn’t be an excuse to ignore it. Every real estate professional should consider launching a blog.

    4 Reasons to Start Blogging

    It’s 2017 and you certainly have a website. But if you’re like most of your peers, a blog isn’t part of this site.

    “You might think there’s not much point in this endeavor, but research says the opposite,” Houston-based property management company Green Residential explains. “Approximately 33 percent of first-time home and apartment hunters begin their research online, and 92 percent of shoppers end up going online for some of their research.”

    This means renters, buyers, investors – whoever it may be – go online to look for real estate. Doesn’t it make sense to meet them there?

    Without further ado, here are a few of the top reasons why you need to start a blog as soon as you can:

    1. Lead Generation

    Let’s begin by discussing the most obvious and compelling reason to begin blogging. Regardless of what market you’re in and how many years you’ve been in business, lead generation is something that you need in order to thrive.

    Blogging may not be your primary method of generating leads, but it can definitely become one of your best. Let’s say, for example, that you’re a real estate agent. If you launch a blog and it’s responsible for four deals a year – or one every three months – that means it’s worth roughly $30,000 to you (or whatever the average commission is). Would you launch a blog and spend a few hours on it every week if you knew it could net you $30,000? Most agents would.

    2. Online Authority

    It’s no surprise that you need an online presence in order to be competitive in today’s real estate market. Clients find you online. People search your name to get more information about who you are. Buyers use search engines to discover properties and research information. The list goes on and on.

    If your goal is to be visible online and establish some sort of presence, you need a blog. Blog content is highly searchable by search engines like Google and gives your website the “juice” it needs to run properly.

    3. Local Expertise

    Aside from search engine authority, a blog also establishes you as an authoritative source of information in your local market. When people see your name attached to a blog post, your credibility increases. This is good for business and helps you grow your brand.

    4. Humanization

    Finally, blogs do a nice job of humanizing the faces behind brands. As a real estate professional in your area, you’re probably just another name to most people. There are hundreds of competitors in your market and there’s no way for individuals to know who is sincere. It’ll take some consistency and time on your part, but a blog allows you to humanize your online presence and connect with people in a very real way. This can – and likely will – pay dividends for you in the future.

    Start Blogging Today

    There’s no other way around it. While you might be hesitant to add something else to your plate, blogging is a necessity. It’s a key component of any real estate professional’s digital marketing and lead generation strategies. Don’t neglect it any longer.

  • Larry Alton 6:16 pm on September 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Around The Clock: Scheduling Your Social Media Engagement 

    Running your business’s social media has become a round-the-clock job, and in an era where a small glitch can send your online presence into a rapid downward spiral, it’s no longer a job that cab be pre-scheduled. No, someone – really, several people – needs to be monitoring your accounts 24/7. But how many staff members does it take to do it right?

    The numbers vary by the size of your business, of course, but assume you’ll need a minimum of four full-time staffers to cover your social media pages. And that number shouldn’t just be the number of people who know the account login and understand how to post; they need to be actual professionals who can keep response times low, while also providing useful and appropriate information. A comprehensive approach might look like the following:

    Shift Change

    Make sure your social media presence always has a team member assigned by setting up recurring shifts. Although there are only three shifts a day, you’ll need four staffers to cover absences and give everyone a semblance of a weekend – but be sure to make the calendar easy to edit in case of illnesses or emergencies. Employees can maintain a well-run schedule with minimal interference. They work as a team to ensure coverage.

    The Math Master

    While their core job is running your company’s social media pages, each team member should also have an additional, related responsibility – a platform they specialize in or a skill they can offer. At least one member of your social media team, for example, should understand the analytics factor. This staffer is responsible for monitoring social KPIs such as reach, number of followers, and brand mentions, that other team members can use to devise and update the enterprise social media strategy.

    The Emergency Responder

    Another key member of your 24/7 social media team is the overnight responder. This person is in a crisis management position, because although the midnight hour isn’t exactly the prime social media use time, if something goes awry at 2 AM, there may not be other staff around to help. Your daytime team members can consult the appropriate colleagues if there’s a glitch or a data breach, but your overnight responder needs to know how to hold back the flood until morning without causing more damage.

    The Optimizer

    Finally, while certain parts of your social media presence can only be executed in real-time, such as live tweeting a meeting, most social media posts today are prescheduled. This includes scheduling a few weekend posts, updates for holidays, and most of your day-to-day content that customer engagement relies on. There are plenty of different programs you can do this, such as HootSuite for Twitter, as well as built-in scheduling features for Facebook.

    By maintaining a steady schedule of social media representatives, while offering team members specialized roles, you’ll get the most out of your online presence. Customers want to know that someone is listening when they write to you, no matter what channel they use; you need to set up the infrastructure to listen.

  • Larry Alton 5:01 pm on September 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Guides and Reviews To Help With Social Media Marketing 

    Social media marketing is a constantly evolving practice, and that means that in order to stay competitive in that field, you have to constantly adapt to circumstances and new technology. And sometimes that can be overwhelming. It can be hard for a single person to absorb all that data, and then figure out how to use it according to a complex set of plans to add value to your brand.

    But, sometimes it’s better to synthesize work that’s already been done with respect to that learning curve. For instance, by regularly going over tech-related guides, product reviews, affiliate suggestions, social etiquette advice, and brand management analytics, you can essentially take the best of each part and incorporate them into your own framework.

    Tech Related Guides

    For instance, tech support is a massive industry. If you don’t want to get lost in that world, and lose sight of your personal social branding goals, the smart money’s on hiring a tech support team as soon as you can afford it. Especially if you don’t want to either pay for the infrastructure behind your media marketing machine, utilizing 3rd party information and resources will save you money and increase your visibility.

    New Product Reviews

    What your industry is, you can create more marketing value from within your brand by setting up products review pages on your website. Simple listings of top 10s, within either your industry or a related one, can drive traffic to your site and increase your trust value with the people searching for information about your products and services. Be cautious about reviewing products outside of your realm of specialization though, because that will water down your value instead of improving it.

    Working the Affiliate Angle

    And if you want to mix the idea of making money into the equation, along with your typical social media marketing conventions, add some affiliate marketing value as well. It’s extremely common to link to Amazon products that support your brand, industry, or company, and once you set up an account, you’ll get money for you knowledge regarding advice on these products.

    Keeping Your Conversations Social

    The keyword when it comes to social media marketing is ‘social’. Start conversations that eventually end up mentioning your product. Give out good advice as your brand representative. Have consistent and transparent interactions, and people will naturally begin to follow your presence.

    Using Strict Brand Management

    If you don’t keep the tone of your social output consistent, red flags are going to go up in the social world. So if you want to have a successful social media marketing project, decide early on what that tone is going to be, and stick without throughout the course of the entire management period for that product.

  • Larry Alton 6:56 pm on September 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    6 Social Media Policies Your Employees Should Follow 

    Social media is an amazing marketing tool, but it can be somewhat of a loose cannon if businesses aren’t careful. When people post to social media, the words, photographs, and videos there are immortalized. This can be devastating to businesses looking to maintain a professional attitude.

    Many businesses feel that what their employees post on social media is their own business, but that could be a major mistake. Though you don’t have control over your employee’s personal lives, there are some social media policies that are necessary for protecting sensitive information and the company image.

    When you have some carefully planned and worded social media policies in place, you can effectively avoid disaster. Here are some suggestions.

    1. Avoid Discrimination

    Favoring equality in business is extremely important, and social media can damage this endeavor. Employees have their own opinions, and sometimes those opinions can demean those of certain ethnicities, gender associations, races, and the like. Occasionally, their discriminatory posts can be associated with your business, which will make your company look very bad. Include a non discriminatory clause in your policies to avoid this issue.

    1. Separation of Employee and Company

    Most companies mandate a clear separation of employee and corporate posts on social media. Before an employee publishes something online, they’re required to disclose their affiliation with or without the company. Violation of this agreement can result in termination.

    1. Outline Confidential Information

    Make sure your employees know when they’re dealing with confidential information. Define the type of data employees can share online without legal repercussions. Very clearly spell this out so there are no loopholes and all confidential information remains secure, which is critical since leaked data could mean the end of your business.

    1.  Provide Education

    Have frequent trainings on your social media policies so that no one can claim ignorance when an incident arises. Employees who are well educated on the appropriate use of online media are also less likely to post inappropriate content that can jeopardize your company and their good name.

    1. Overview Contract Agreements

    Remind employees of certain contract agreements that may affect their online activities. If they’ve agreed to withhold affiliation with the company when expressing a personal opinion in the contract, they can be penalized legally for breaking that agreement in their social media presence.

    1. Honesty is the Best Policy

    Remind employees of the importance of being honest and playing nicely while online. Explain how this is important for maintaining professionalism for their personal careers as well the professional image of the company. It seems like this subject goes without saying, but many people simply don’t think before they post. A little reminder can go a long way here.

  • Larry Alton 7:48 pm on December 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    4 Ways to Boost Your Online Marketing in 2016 

    16755600997_e205757ab8_kWhile paying for online advertising in strategically placed ads, pay per click or otherwise, is a great way to get noticed and get your business found, there are things that you can do to market your business, be seen, and convert web visitors into sales that may not cost you a thing. In fact, they could even make you money.

    The idea is to utilize everything the internet has to offer when it comes to getting your name out there. That includes being on social media, creating apps, and even using crowdfunding. If you are ready to use all of the tools the internet has to offer in order to market your business in a virtual word, keep reading. (More …)

  • Larry Alton 8:00 am on July 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Twitter ’s Money Move: Will Partnering With Square Boost Their Social Media Game? 


    Things have been looking rocky lately for Twitter, as the company failed to meet growth expectations, and Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo stepped down, leaving the company in the hands of Square founder and CEO Jack Dorsey in the interim. Without the same kind of popular cache as Facebook, or the undeniable force of Google, Twitter needs to reevaluate its strategy to make the kind of gains that’ll keep the company on the radar. But what’ll that look like?

    With Dorsey at least temporarily at the helm, many have been hinting at the possibility of a Twitter and Square merger. And, with Square also falling behind in the online payment industry, combining the two might just give both the momentum they need to start grabbing headlines again. As Lior Ronen of Amigobullspoints out, “Both companies could benefit substantially from such a move, in light of their competitive difficulties and business stagnation.” Stagnation’s the enemy of any social media outlet.

    Twitter ’s Growth Troubles

    As the social media scene grows, different networks appeal to different sub-markets. Facebook’s scored big with just about everyone. Pinterest aims for a somewhat older demographic. Tumblr’s audience seems to be getting younger and younger. (More …)

  • Larry Alton 10:57 am on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audience, ,   

    5 Ways Retailers Can Increase Audience Engagement on Social Media 

    Shouting Bluebird

    When your retail business was a startup or boutique (or if it still is!), the idea of managing your firm’s social media page probably sounded easy and fun. However, anyone who’s actually attempted to do it can tell you otherwise, and may sing the praises of a professional social media manager.

    When it comes to optimizing social media for a business, retailers have unique needs and challenges. More and more often, you have to “pay to play” on Facebook, or the vast majority of your posts will never be seen by anyone who isn’t actively following you.

    However, paying for social media exposure may not be in the budget for smaller retailers … and it shouldn’t have to be. Before throwing in the towel, make sure you’re on the “right” social media platforms for your needs and markets (and no more than that).

    Just because everyone’s on Facebook doesn’t mean it’s a meaningful platform for you. Your business may do better on Pinterest or Instagram alone (although you need a Facebook account), or a Web Trends-approved niche site.

    Once you’ve identified the right platform, here are a few ways to actually engage audiences and foster relationships: (More …)

  • Larry Alton 9:00 am on November 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: content marketing, , , , ,   

    A Company Blog as Content Marketing 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    A Company Blog as Content MarketingOne often overlooked content marketing component is a company blog. Although many people think of a blog as a way for individuals to share their thoughts and ideas, they are also a simple way for businesses to present themselves as experts in their industry, a critical component of successful content marketing. In addition, new search engine algorithms are requiring websites to include quality, well-written and original content. The easiest way to keep your content updated and original is by including a blog as part of your content strategy.

    Owned Media

    One benefit to a company blog is that it belongs to the company, unlike other forms of social media whose requirements can change at any time. It is a way to get a company message to current and potential clients 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Blogs should be viewed as a form of social media as they need to be designed to target a specific community and should be integrated with your other social media efforts as well.

    Engage and Interact

    (More …)

  • Ana Asuero 9:00 am on September 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    How do you store your information in the cloud? 

    Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

    How do you store your information in the cloud?A few days ago I read an article by Enrique Dans, a regular contributor to this blog. The article was about Diogenes syndrome, a behavioral disorder that consists of hoarding large quantities of rubbish and objects that are largely useless.

    Applied to the digital world, we might think of a common syndrome that many of us have when it comes to emails or information that we hoard in the cloud. Enrique classified users in a much earlier article (2005, in spanish) based on their email storage behavior patterns, a classification I have reproduced below.

    Tell me how you store and I’ll tell you who you are

    1. The auditor:

    Everything ever received must be carefully filed… one never knows when somebody is going to be reminded that they sent such and such about such and such on such and such date, or when the corporate server will crash and the firm’s collective memory will have to be reconstructed from his or her files, thus converting him or her into some sort of corporate hero… At first glance, this person’s inbox looks clean and tidy, containing only emails waiting to be answered or processed. Everything else is carefully hidden away in folders. Every now and then, knowing that Outlook .pst archives become unstable once they get beyond a certain size, the auditor files them carefully, transfers them to CD, and starts again from the last three months… In reality, he or she has never ever had to consult one of those CDs filed neatly on the shelf, but every afternoon, when work is done, it’s a great feeling knowing that they are there…

    (More …)

  • Francisco Eguiza 9:00 am on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    SoMoClo, your company and its entire ecosystem always connected 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes SoMoClo, your company and its entire ecosystem always connected A couple of years ago, people were already talking about SoMoClo as a potent, exuberant and explosive trend, above all in the fields of digital marketing and innovation, allowing companies to reach a greater audience with a more precisely-defined target and even better results (i.e. using geolocation services to send catalogues, discounts, payment methods and calls to action to smartphones). However, in this article I’m NOT going to talk about SoMoClo in terms of marketing. I want to dedicate this space to looking at how this trend can be used to help your company or business, to help your organization. So…

    What is SoMoClo?

    Let’s start with the following premise — nowadays EVERYTHING is Social, EVERYTHING is Mobile and (almost) EVERYTHING is on the Cloud. SoMoClo is an acronym for Social Mobile Cloud. Given that the previous premise holds true (and I’m not the only one who says so), why not align your company with Social, Mobile and Cloud principles?

    In the strictly business sphere, the objective of SoMoClo can be summed up in a single phrase: “Your company and its entire ecosystem: available anytime, anywhere.”

    Imagine the impact on your company or organization by having all the relevant information available, NOT just on your team’s PCs, but in a secure, private repository where all you need is an internet connection to start working. Response times are reduced, information is expanded, feedback becomes a positive tool (that, after all, is why we talk about Social) and work teams are fully capable of acting and reacting via the Cloud. (More …)

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