You Have All This Stuff and No Engagement!

Social Media is a great platform to increase your bottom line.  However, if you are just a poster, sharer or liker it’s time to get back to building relationships and great content.   If you build it they will come!  Just because you have a Facebook page or an Instagram account doesn’t mean you’ll generate leads.  We all must be intentional in our marketing and with relationships.   So how do we create engagement?  What do our followers or future followers want from us on social media?

  1. They want relevant content – are you the thought leader in your market place? Tell me something I don’t know. Provide content that encourages a click, engagement or a lead.
  2. Followers want authenticity – be yourself and tell your story. We all have something to share.   I like telling my story of home ownership.  I purchased my first home in 1997 with little money down.  However, I had to pay $900 per month for five months, to the builder, until I closed.
  3. Information that makes them engage – What can you tell your audience that creates engagement? Are you running a marathon?  If so, tell your audience and encourage them to join you as you run or prepare for the race.   Do you volunteer?  Show us how you help the community.
  4. Information that makes us think – Have you ever wondered why someone would buy a house on a busy street? Me too!  Now go research why and share it.
  5. Video that makes your audience watch, listen or read. –  Are you renovating your home?  Show me the before, during and after.  One day I’ll show you my closet!  Create short video clips then piece them together in iMovie or VivaVideo.   Become a brand ambassador for your business.
  6. The power of the Hashtag on Facebook and Instagram. Hashtags are a group of words the bring a conversation together.   Test Hashtags by following your favorite businesses or television shows on social media by searching for their Hashtag.  I follow the #GoodDoctor on Twitter to join the conversation.

Take the necessary steps to build your social media, engage with your followers today!

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Are You Branded on Social Media?

Selling real estate today is much different from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s.   I started selling real estate in 2001.  Then we walked, cold called and asked our sphere of influence for referrals.  Creating postcards, emails and newsletters was simple.  We used tools like publisher and adobe illustrator to design marketing.  Today any agent can take over a market simply by building a social personality that shares relevant content, important community information with an authentic persona.  In the world of real estate, agents are in charge of managing their brands.  The current trend for many companies is to allow agents to co-brand.

Building a brand in real estate is essential for online marketing.  Who we are in direct marketing and in person must translate to the digital space.  If you are a direct marketer in real estate making the transition in brand awareness on social media, email, blogs and your website is not a difficult task.  Today, there are tools like Canva that make it easy for any agent to build creative work that can be redesigned in seconds for any social platform.   There is no excuse, every agent can compete in the online arena.

  • Do you want to be relevant in a few years? If so, it’s important to become an online personality.
  • Do you have a personal brand? If not, get started NOW, not tomorrow.
  • Does the consumer know who you are before they schedule an appointment with you? Not sure, google yourself and check your following on your social media accounts. If we can’t learn about you, neither can the consumer.
  • Are you posting and receiving engagement from your network? Not sure, Go Check!
  • No Engagement? Don’t worry, start responding to posts. Not just your posts, your networks posts.

A personal brand is, “the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. … Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization.” (Wikipedia)

The next generation agent is good at this.  They’ve been using technology for as long as they can remember.   I remember when my oldest son was three years old.  His childcare center offered computer classes.  24 years later he a computer whiz.  My most recent college student has her own online brand.  The youngest of the group is building his own YouTube channel.  They are just good at tech, not because they took classes, it’s because they always had an opportunity to use the technology.   If you’re not good at the technology, start playing with it.   Trial and error can be the best way to learn.

Building your own personal brand will put you in front of the consumer before they have an opportunity to meet you.   I always find it fascinating when I’m approached and someone says, “Carrie, I feel like I already know you.”  Our sphere of influence is an important part of helping our businesses thrive.  We count on our friends, family and past clients to be our Brand Ambassadors.  We want them to tell people how “fabulous” we are as agents.  The same applies to online, we need our social pages, email marketing, YouTube channels and traditional marketing to showcase our personal brands and our expertise.  Generating new business and repeat business has never been so easy.  The internet doesn’t turn off.  The idea that the consumer can find us 24 hours a day should excite all of you.

Showcase your brand on all platforms.  Are you and your business recognizable on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat and Instagram.   Are you a brand or are you all over the place?   Take inventory of your social media today.

The Top 7 Reasons We Don’t Act on Social Media!

Acting is often the easiest step to take when starting something new.  So, why won’t we ACT?  There are many reason we don’t act or simply start.   When I educate agents on social media and digital marketing, the comments I hear include:

Carrie, “I’m just too old.”

“I don’t want everyone to see my personal information”

“What if I make a mistake?”

“I don’t have time to learn something new.”

“Who has time for this?”

“I’m not sure where to begin”

The list goes on and on.  Many have excuses, however, if the truth be told, the way we engage with consumers is changing.  If we don’t ACT on Social Media, we might be replaced by the agent that is willing to ACT.

Maybe I can help.  If you are challenged with the Top 7 Reasons We Don’t Act on Social Media, I have solutions for you.  Don’t let the 7 Reasons keep you from acting.

1. Not sure where to begin? Pick one of your social media accounts and schedule time to learn it.  Have conversation with the people on your personal page.  If you have a business page, share content about your communities, your listings, upcoming events and things to do in the areas you farm.

2. I don’t have time for social media. No time for social media?  Really? You have time to build a brand, generate leads, and build relationships.  We do this everyday.  If you adjust your week and schedule your social media marketing, you can take time to be social.   There are many ways to plan your social media marketing.  You may choose to take 15 minute a day to market on social media.  Another option might be to take two hours, one day, a week to pre-schedule your marketing.   What works for you?  How much time do you spend talking in the office?  Take this time to plan your social media.

3. I don’t know the rules for advertising on social media – The rules are simple.  Read the terms of agreement for social media.  Facebook wants you to have a business page if you are selling something.  Adhere to real estate license law and the Code of Ethics.  If your goal is to generate a lead when you post on social media, make sure the average consumer knows who the sponsoring brokerage is, don’t share other agents listings without permission and don’t share anything that’s a violation of Fair Housing.   Think before you post.  If it doesn’t seem right, it might not be ok to post.

4. I don’t have any followers! You didn’t have buyers and sellers when you became a real estate agent.   THINK!  How can you gain followers on social media?  Add your social media links to your direct mail marketing, to your email signature, and invite your sphere to like your pages with an email blast.

5. Video – No way, I do not want to be seen on camera. I am with you on this one!  I don’t like to be seen on camera.  I don’t even like to watch my own videos.   If the truth be told, I create video and avoid watching them.   When I was a teenager I would break out in a sweat if I had to speak in front of the class.  Couldn’t figure out why.  Now I know.  When you know your subject speaking in front of people or video is easy.  So, If I can do it, you can do it.

6. I don’t know what to say on video or Facebook Live, Instagram Live or Periscope. Just like talking to your clients you can talk on video.   When you became a new agent, you were scripted.  We used notes to speak intelligently to our clients.   That’s exactly what you’ll do when creating video.   Script yourself.  Use bullet points to begin.  If you’re extremely uncomfortable have someone interview you.   Try the prompter app from your Google Play Store or your Apple App store to get started.

7. Procrastination – most struggle with not starting because of anxiety and stress. We often procrastinate because learning something new might be difficult.   Don’t let putting off something new.  Start using social media on purpose today.

Social Media has been around for years.  Many of the early, non-college students, began using Facebook in 2008 or 2009.   If you were lucky enough to start using social media in the early adoption years, understanding the functionality is easier to understand.  If not, don’t waste another day.  Integrate social media marketing into your business plan.  Visit my YouTube channel on Facebook and get started today.

Drip Campaigns Saved My Life!

As an agent, I am overloaded with inquires, potential clients, future clients and the ones that need my attention right now.  Chaos was my best friend.  My daily routine was working in chaos.  I had to do something.  So I did, I started using a drip campaign system that freed up at least 2 hours a day of my time.  More time to work with clients, writing and lead generation.  I was already using Mailchimp as an email marketing tool for my clients, however, I needed more.

I love using Mailchimp for email marketing.  It works great when sending e-blasts to clients, agents, and strategic partners.   This awesome tool to keeps me in front of my past clients, current clients, agents that request my schedule, and updates on the market place. Although I really love Mailchimp, I’ve come to realize that in order to be successful you need a drip campaign system.  What is a drip campaign?

A drip campaign is an automated process that provides relevant information to your buyers and sellers based on their current stage in the buying and selling process.  The campaign sends automated emails or text messages to your clients based on the emails or text messages you choose.  Many systems have pre-created campaigns.  Click and go!  Takes seconds.  I use Liondesk, a great tool for only about $25/month.   I stay in front of the client while I work with active clients.  No excuse, my buyers will always know I am in the business of selling real estate.

Things to know about Drip Campaigns:

  1. Drip Campaigns help you follow up with your clients automatically.
  2. Agents can build their own campaigns that send auto emails based on the information you want them to have.
  3. These campaigns keep you in front of the buyer or seller so they don’t forget who you are.
  4. Gives you the freedom to work with your “HOT clients” while the client in the incubation phase, receives timely updates on the market and the areas they’re interested in. Keeps you “Top of Mind” with the future client.
  5. Using a drip campaign let’s your clients know that you are still in the business of selling real estate.
  6. Allows you to re-direct your database to your social media or website.
  7. Drip campaigns can be used for past clients, current clients and future clients.

Example of a drip campaign:

Lead signs up for your offer on Facebook –>3 days later you send a new email with market information –> 3 days later you provide a link to “What’s Your Home worth” –> and so on.  Great content keeps the consumer clicking –> you follow up via phone, email or text and schedule the appointment.

Choose 4-8 collegesthat match youracademic profile.

Once you’ve selected the best CRM start a drip campaign right away.   Always ask for the new lead.  You have not because you ask NOT.  Most buyers start the home buying process online months before they reach out to an agent.  So make sure you’re the agent of choice.  Top of mind all the time.  And by the way, When you upgrade your mail chimp account, building drip campaigns is are easier to build for any business.

Snapchat, Instagram or Messenger Stories – And the Winner is?…….

A few years ago, my kids started using an app called Snapchat.   Of course, I had no idea about the app until over hearing on the news that Facebook wanted to buy it.  And yes, if Facebook wants to buy an app, I needed to download it and try it.  My daughter, Lauren, said, “mom, there is an age limit”.  She almost had me.   I’ve been using Snapchat for a few years.  The only reason I used the tool was to keep up with technology and to keep up with what my IMG_5490kids use for social media.  And yes, my teenagers are using Snapchat more than any other social media.   Snapchat launched in September 2011 and any millennial or i-generation user has a 6-year jumpstart on many of us.

Snapchat, Instagram or Messenger?  Each of these apps give the user the ability to build a story board. But with three options, where should we build our stories?  If you’re not familiar with either of these apps, anyone using these apps can build a story where the message self-destructs in 24 hours.  Each of these apps have history.  Instagram is known for images and 60 second videos.  Messenger is Facebook’s private message tool.  And Snapchat is the first app that create the self-destruction message, then in 2013 they added the 24-hour story board.

Snapchat has dominated stories in their App since October of 2013.  Instagram launched their version of stories in October of 2016.  And on March 9th, 2017, Facebook released their version of Stories.  Anyone using Facebook Messenger can build stories similarly to what Snapchat and Instagram are already doing.

Instagram stores

  1. Build a story
  2. Create private messages for people you select in your Instagram contacts
  3. Features a live streaming option
  4. Upload recent photos to your stories
  5. Add current photos
  6. 15 second videos
  7. Add a filter
  8. Build a story with the hands-free option
  9. The boomerang app integration
  10. Add text, emoji’s, write with a highlighter or color
  11. Re-purpose your videos and images on other social sites

Messenger stories+

  1. Build stories
  2. Create private messages for people you select in Facebook
  3. Upload photos from your mobile device
  4. Filter categories
  5. Add text, emoji’s, draw and write with color
  6. Integrated their “Write Something” feature
  7. Take photos for your story
  8. Add 15 second videos
  9. Make phone calls with messenger
  10. During the call use filters
  11. Re-purpose your videos and images on other social sites
  12. Chat in groups

Snapchat Stories

  1. Build stories
  2. Create private messages for your Snapchat followers
  3. Use filters
  4. Snapchat also has fun filters – a few change your voice
  5. Discover – learn, read or listen to news and shop.
  6. Build your own geo-filters
  7. Add emoji’s, write, draw and add text with color
  8. Add your bitmoji character
  9. Call feature
  10. Build snapchat groups
  11. Build reusable stories
  12. Re-purpose your videos and images on other social sites

And the winner is………

The winner is where your network is!  If you weren’t an early adopter of Snapchat, start building stories for your network.  If your network is on Facebook, start there.  If you’re a real estate agent here are a few ways to begin building your story:

  1. Talk about the communities you serve
  2. Home ownership tips
  3. Steps to purchasing a home
  4. The fastest way to get your home sold!
  5. How to reinvest your tax refund.
  6. Do you work in the luxury market? Share hidden secrets
  7. Remember when sharing not show another agent’s listing without permission. If the home was yours you wouldn’t want an agent walking through showing your valued possessions.  Think before you add content to a story.
  8. We want to know interesting tips but we don’t need to know the details of your last inspection.
  9. Show us your park district or your favorite restaurants.

When you look at the 3 apps, Snapchat is the clear winner for building stories.  Their filters are higher quality, the functionality of the tool is much easier to use, and Snapchat is for the next generation.  This is where they are and it’s clear they want to watch short videos.

All 3 apps can serve you well.   When messenger launched their version of stories I used it immediately.  I have a much larger following on Facebook. Therefore, I could see immediate results.  People are engaging on Facebook messenger because I use Facebook.

Not sure where to begin?  Follow me on Snapchat, Messenger and request me as a friend on Facebook messenger.   Pick one and get started!

Guaranteed Ways To Increase Lead Generation on Social Media

March 2001, I decided to enroll in the real estate pre-license course. I guess you could say I was tired of the Monday – Friday work week.  My class met every Monday and Wednesday evening.  To this day, I think the real estate course was one of the hardest courses I’d ever taken.  I studied every day and signed up to take the exam within a week of the class ending. Yep, I passed the first time taking the exam.  Passing the exam may have been difficult, but what’s hard is learning how to sell real estate.  Securing leads and turning those leads into clients isn’t as easy as I’d hoped.  The one thing I figured out before finishing the course was to ask my friends to wait until I finished the class to sell their homes.   It’s a good thing I asked for the sale.

July 1, 2001, I listed my first home and sold it in 30 days.  After my first 3 transactions, I did whatever was necessary to generate a lead.  I walked my subdivision, put flyers in laundry-mats, took flyers to apartment complexes and held home buyer seminars.  Anything to keep marketing costs down.   My favorite call to action was, “Warning, Renting is Hazardous to Your Wealth”.  Yes, that Call to action still works.

Today, my model has changed.  My primary source of business is Facebook and my 2nd is by referral.  If you already know where your business comes from, it will be easy to add online marketing to your business plan.

Marketing online is extremely inexpensive.  Maximizing online tools is a great way to build a real estate business if you are using social media, email marketing, drip campaigns and lead capture tools.  The key to these inexpensive marketing tools is your “Call to Action”.  Are you able to create a click-thru on what you’re offering?  Do your followers want what you’re offering?  How about your paid advertisement?  If what you’re offering doesn’t apply to me I am less likely to click.  Think about what makes you click when you shop online.

Per the National Association of REALTORS 95% Millennials used the internet to shop for a home and only 60% of the Silent Generation.   The way we shop has changed.  I watch my kids shop on Amazon for clothes, technology and food.  There is a shift in how we consume information, make decisions and buy what we need.  Consumers are doing online research before they decide to purchase a home.  Millennials are searching for 11 weeks and Baby Boomers about 8 weeks before contacting YOU!

If our clients or potential clients are shopping online weeks before deciding to work with an agent how can we get their attention online? How do we break through the noise?  What is the guaranteed way to make someone click on your link?  The guaranteed ways to get someone to click is your “Call to Action”.  If your “Call to Action” or lack of “Call to Action” isn’t great, the potential client will not click.  Are you great at lead generation?  If so, you can be great at lead generation online. If you’re not great a lead generation we need to talk J.  If you are new to online lead generation below are a few ways to build great “Calls to Action”.

  1. What does the online shopper want to know? Think about your buyer and seller client.  Are you a 1st time buyer agent? 1st generational buyer agent?  Luxury agent? Global buyer agent?  Do you sell horse property, Farm Land, Condos or townhomes? Do you work with investors? Think about your market and your client base.  Create Calls to Action that reach your client.
  1. What can you offer that makes someone want to click? If your primary focus is investors, write titles that reach investors.  Example:  Are you looking for a list of fix and flip homes?  Click now for a list foreclosures in your area.
  1. Have you ever offered a “FREE” download? Example:  Thinking of selling your home?  Now might be the best time.  Click now to find out when the best time to sell.  Your free download might include tips on determining the best time to sell.  However, your potential client can’t receive the download until they provide an email and/or a phone number.  Once received you can send accurate information for their home and their city.
  1. What about a “How to Video”? How to videos can provide steps to home ownership.  Saving for your first home.  Tell your story.  Tell your followers about your 1st home purchase and your experience.  This video on Facebook generated over 2900 views, 10 leads, and  6 closed deals from June 2016 to October 2016. Let me negotiate your down payment.
  1. Have you ever considered sharing information on the “best restaurants” in your city? How about the best gyms or even showcases the park district?  I live in a city that has a swimming pool with a bucket.  Yes, this pool is exactly like the water parks in Wisconsin Dells.

My husband’s good friend always says, “Give people what they want, not what you want them to have”.  We want the consumer to see our listings, top producers, the best of the best, and that we sell X number homes per year, or that we’ve sold over a million in sales.  Guess what? The next generation buyer is a consumer of content and they want information.  It’s important to produce, so keep producing.  While you sell homes reinvent your marketing and provide awesome content.  Own your market place by creating great content and “Calls to Action”. Make us click and contact you!

Did You Know Your “Friends” Are Hiding You on Facebook?

What you share on Facebook could hurt you!  Yes, it’s true.  Your network has the option to “HIDE and UNFOLLOW” your posts.  “Say it isn’t so”, you say.  Well, if you fall into one of these categories someone has already hidden you.  Are you sharing:

facebook unfriend.png

If this is you, rest assure, someone has hidden your posts, unfollowed you, or unfriended you.  I am never opposed to a great debate on politics, a heated topic in the news or asking for a bit of help to pick my next meal.   But many times, we go too far when we’re not in a face to face setting.  Social media is a great way to hide behind the screen. On social media, we are willing to say things that are inappropriate or harsh because people aren’t in the same room.  So how can we make Facebook a great place to build a business and connect with our networks?

Facebook still holds the rank of being the #1 Social Media platform.  It’s also a great way to connect with friends, family, businesses, people you might do business with and more. Although, there are many reasons our networks “HIDE and UNFOLLOW” us, let’s focus on business.  Before the idea of social media when a business wanted you to purchase their products they used traditional strategies to entice us to act and buy.

  1. Cold Calling
  2. Television Commercials
  3. Direct Mail
  4. Billboards
  5. Door-knocking +

Today, if you have a home phone you’re probably not answering it, if you don’t recognize the number.  Television commercials are skipped because we recorded our favorite program and can fast forward to the next scene.  Direct Mail, although still affective, hits the mailbox then finds the recycling bin before we get back in our homes.  Billboards are now digital and move to fast for most of us to view it before they switch to the next ad.  Don’t even think about Door knocking at my house.  I am not buying or donating unless you’re the local kid fundraising for sports or school.

Are you marketing on Facebook using one of these five traditional sales tactics?  If so, expect to be hidden.   This is what I am experiencing on Facebook.  Recently, those that want my business are doing these four things:

  1. Tagging me in their upcoming events – If you’re tagging your friends on Facebook for an upcoming event it’s like taking over their space.
  2. Sharing only business related content – Business as usual, you say. Sharing only business content is like being on a pitch to sell something 24 hours a day.  Really, I’ll let you know when I want what you’re selling.
  3. Using Messenger to ask me to LIKE their business pages – recently when I add someone as a new friend I receive an autoresponder that says, “Thank you for your friendship, please like my page.” Yep, I unfriend you!
  4. Sending a private message and, without a relationship, asking for the sale. I call this the “messenger – COLD CALL”.  I already have a relationship with loan officers, inspectors, and attorneys.  Please tell me why your private message will make me choose to work with you.

What does this mean?  It means people are door knocking on Facebook.   If you want someone’s business get to know them on Facebook.  Engage in their posts and don’t go in for the hard sell.  Consider attending a live networking event at an association, maybe a Women’s Council event, a chamber, or a real estate networking event.

Don’t lose your Social Media Connections. If you want to build a strong network on Facebook, engage, connect and share relevant content.  Use your Facebook business pages for business and occasionally, re-share your business content to your personal page.  Your personal page is meant for you to be personal.  You wouldn’t attend a Super Bowl Party and only talk business.  So why would you only talk business on your personal page.  Is there a perfect day and time to re-share or post on Facebook? The more friends you have on a personal page the more often you can re-share your business content.  I try to share from business to personal once a quarter.   This is my reminder to my network that I am in the real estate business.  Social media means just that, media where you can be social.  With that in mind, let’s be social and build a strong network on Facebook.

Generate new likes on Facebook – Facebook made a few updates.  Click MORE under the banner on your business page to invite your current friends.

Snapchat for Business

It’s been a few years since I started using Snapchat.  I downloaded the app during a news broadcast when I heard that Mark Zuckerberg wanted to buy the social media app.  Evan Speigel, Robert Murphy and Reggie brown are   the co-founders and owners of Snapchat that never sold their trending app.  The app is mostly used by millennials and the igeneration.   I vaguely remember my 14 year old at the time telling me the app had an age limit.  She almost had me convinced.
Now that’s it’s been a few years using Snapchat, this is what I know:
  1. Millennials are clearly using this tool to communicate with their friends. All 5 of my kids use the tool daily.  The 26 and and 25 year olds use it differently than the high schoolers.  My youngest doesn’t snap as much but clearly uses the chat tool to communicate.
  2. Millennials and the generation are getting their news from this app in the Discover section.
  3. It’s a great way to build a story for business and build followers that might not follow you on Facebook or Twittersmartgirlgeofilter
  4. Snapchat uses geofilters.  Not sure what that is?  Small businesses can build their own filters to build awareness about their new products and services or to promote an event.  I recently created a geofilter for a tradeshow and a geofilter for my kids homecoming dance.  One of the filters from the homecoming dance generated 87,000 views. That’s 87,000 more opportunities for your business.
  5. We can create 10 second snaps and re-purpose those snaps on other social media platforms.  Re-direct your current followers to Snapchat and share new or different content.  A great place to build a short series of snaps about your business.
  6. Not quite ready for Snapchat?  Create an account and let someone else in your company manage it for you.  You social media team can create a behind the scenes experience.  Bring your fans into your office.
If you haven’t considered Snapchat, download it today and check it out.  I am sure your kids can teach you how to use it.  If not,  register for my online course at www.SmartGirlUniversity.com or click here.
snapchat-basics-pdf

Facebook Live Vs. Periscope

Live Streaming gives a face to your personal brand and your business.  In 2015 Periscope gave the average marketer the ability to broadcast their thoughts, opinions, tips, basic information, hobbies or just about anything to the world.  These tools give everyone the ability to share news in real-time.  We have officially become our own broadcasters.   Although, a picture may be a thousand words, live video can show you around the event live and invite the audience into the conversation.  The trend in social is changing.  More businesses are using video and asking for assistance in video per the Social Media Examiner annual report.

live streaming

Periscope officially launched in March of 2015 for Apple IOS and Android in May of 2015.   The live streaming app gives the broadcaster the ability to share whatever they like to an audience that chooses to join your broadcast or when the broadcaster builders a network of followers that jump into the stream whenever they go “live”.

In December 2015 Facebook began testing the ability for users to go Live.   It was then made available to all iPhone users January 2016 then later to Android users.  Facebook live was first available for our personal feeds.  A business owner can now verify their business pages to allow Facebook Live on business page feeds.  If you broadcast on a personal page only your network will see the “Live Event”.  If you have a large network on your Facebook Personal Page your live stream will receive many live followers.  The same would apply for the business page.

Is there a difference in the platforms?  Yes, However, the platforms are also similar. The user can live stream to just about anyone.  By having a following on your Facebook Personal Page you’ll receive instant success if you have worthy content.  If you are new to periscope you’ll have to build your audience.  Periscope is owned by twitter and the great thing about this app is that someone can watch your live feed on the app or watch it live on twitter. You could literally have no one in your scope but have 20 people watching your broadcast on Twitter.  Both are great live streaming tools.  Now you need to chose the one that works best for you.  You may choose to use them both.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 10.58.52 PM

Choosing to live stream might feel overwhelming.  Even I struggle with the idea of going live for anyone to view.  I can say that every time I broadcast live on Periscope I gain new followers on the app and more followers on Twitter. I have also seen an increase in growth in engagement on twitter.

Join me on Facebook for Carrie on Facebook Live Events

Hashtags, A Pound Sign and Why I Need them?

Hashtags were created for Twitter by Chris Messina.  When he proposed the idea to Twitter the response was, “These things are for nerds. They’re never going to catch on.”  Since the adoption of #hashtags, Words with a Pound sign in front of them, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and other social media platforms have started using hashtags to group conversations or subjects.

So what is a Hashtag? First, a hashtag is the Pound (#) sign on your phone or laptop keyboard. A hashtag is also a word or a phrase to group a conversation or your content.  When using a #Hashtag in a social media post it becomes a hyperlink that takes you to the results of that tag.  A hashtag, when searched, allows people to search for specific content on a specific topic, brand or conversation.  It filters online content for those that share the same information as you.  My branded #hashtag is #CoffeeWithCarrie.  Marki Lemons-Ryhal also an instructor uses #ReMarkitable.  If you search for either of these phrases with the pound sign in front of the phrase, you’ll find every post made that is grouped in this conversation.    Check out my Instagram account and add the #CoffeeWithCarrie hashtag.  You’ll see all of my grouped posts on Instagram.

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Hashtags can be used to brand your business and create engagement among your customers and followers.  A great way to build the conversation online.  When you tag your content with a hashtag you’re adding it to a specific conversation.  That hashtag is now a search link that puts your post in a specific category.   By using hashtags it immediately spreads your reach beyond those that actually follow you.

There aren’t really “Rules” to how many hashtags you should use.  However, let’s think about your network and people using a specific hashtag.  If you use too many hashtags it might take away from your key message.  If you use a hashtag that isn’t searched often you won’t be found.  Should you tag a business with their hashtag in your post?  Yes, if it’s relevant to their brand.  But don’t take a hashtag to steal followers.  It’s just bad business.  Let’s look at the top social media platforms and apply #hashtags:

Start Implementing #Hashtags in your Business Today!

  1. Create a simple hashtag
  2. Start using the hashtag each time you post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.
  3. Research your industry to determine the top used hashtags. Add these hashtags to your posts.
  4. If you are using a newly created hashtag to brand your business, add that hashtag to your YouTube channels, live streaming platforms and direct mail. Tell your network to use your hashtag find your posts and engage in the conversation.
  5. The number one way to lose followers is to not engage with those followers. Make sure you are checking social media daily.  Yep, I am sure most of you went, “really Carrie, daily”.  Yep, daily.  It’s easy when you turn on notifications and maximize your smartphone apps.  Ok, If not daily, then schedule time to check your updates.   Make a point to engage with your followers just as you would your actual clients.
  6. Check out the top used hashtags for any industry at top-hashtags.com or click now for the top real estate hashtags.

 

Facebook

Twitter Google+

Instagram

2 to 3 hashtags 1 to 3 hashtags 2 or less is better. This is the only social media site that will suggest #hashtags if you allow permission. No rule.  Consider adding 2-4 #hashtags then revive your post a few days later by adding new #hashtags to the comments.