We all know that Social Media has exploded over the last few years, and has become a cornerstone for marketing and networking in real estate. From blogging, to Facebook, to Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube; you can see where I’m going with this…(Google+).
As we look for better ways to effectively manage our time and our businesses, it would seem to make sense to “outsource” these tasks so we have someone to take care of them for us. But is this is a wise strategy? Yes, as long as you are not taking “YOU” out of your social media strategy.
What Should You Outsource?
The first steps to outsourcing social media are to have a solid strategy, goals and objectives, and a plan. If you find yourself struggling with a plan of your own, collaborating with a consultant or a VA for an hour or two can clear a path that will help you stick to your goals, and that may be all the help you need. But to maximize the potential for outsourcing let’s break it down a bit more. Below are some great tasks to outsource.
Establish and optimize your social media profiles: As a business owner your profiles should reflect your branding consistently throughout platforms. Your written bios, profile picture and contact information should reflect up to date information so that no matter how people find you, they recognize you and can contact you.
Facebook Business page: Customizing your page can include adding in contact forms and coordinated branding to your website and other goodies which can be a great lead generation tool. There are some FB apps that can be added, like Roost, the MLSApp, and others to add real estate specific engagement tools to optimize the page. Add your assistant on as an additional Admin to add these items and help you manage the page.
Automated status updates: You can have your assistant set up your RSS blog feed to automatically update your Facebook page. They can also add in other events, videos, photos or add reviews. (your assistant can also update Twitter and Facebook at the same time)
Background design: Your Twitter background is the first stop for visitors to get a fresh, quick look at what you are all about. You can get a bit more creative with your background and have fun. Have an assistant or designer create something custom for you, or use one of the many background tools.
Scheduling Tweets: When you aren’t engaging on Twitter you can have your assistant find great information and schedule tweets for you. From Open House announcements, your newest video, industry resources, or fun community events, take advantage of tools to pre-schedule content. (Be prepared to respond yourself to any re-tweeters once or twice during the day so you can grow your network.)
Organize Lists & Followers: Have your assistant create lists in Twitter to help you manage your followers and those that you follow with more clarity. Connecting and following people on a hyper-local level will effectively streamline your time spent on Twitter. If there is a conference you’d like to follow by #hashtag, have your assistant set-up the search, and transcribe the conference information afterwards.
Your assistant can upload your videos and customize your YouTube channel. By utilizing DropBox or Box.net for shared video files you won’t have to wait for those videos to load. (both of these also have mobile apps to make uploading video a snap)
Trulia Profile and Blog
Have your assistant optimize your profile, update your listings, add content to your blog, and announce your Open Houses. (The real estate Q & A and other engagement should come from you, the professional.) A good VA knows all the tips and tricks to get you and your listings in front of more homebuyers on sites like Trulia.
Have your assistant integrate your real estate blog activities with your social media profiles by setting up and managing RSS Feed readers and Google Alerts to develop consumer-centric content, articles, news and links. Using apps like Evernote, your assistant can create a “Notebook” just for your content for you to review and collaborate future content.
Others like Yelp, LinkedIn
Optimizing profiles, organizing and publishing testimonials, recommendations and reviews is something your assistant can do to make sure they stay up to date and fresh.
What You Shouldn’t Outsource:
Quite simply, YOU are the most important part of your social media strategy. Your relationships and your conversations are the keys to success. Here is the list of things you should not, by any means outsource to another:
- Your voice
- Your expertise
- Your unique experiences in life and in business
- Your passions, causes and hobbies
- Your neighborhood, your favorite people, coffee shops, restaurants, photos & videos
- most of all… your simple, joyful connections to others
Social Media is a combination of marketing and networking, and although you might outsource marketing tasks, you wouldn’t send someone to impersonate you to a networking event. The same holds true for Social Media. Automate the technical things, and spend 10-15 minutes a few times a day connecting and engaging to others, and the ROI of the trust that others find in you will positively impact the success of your business.