As part of my job at a real estate company, I assist agents with their social media needs. It varies from SEO to how to login.


Because social media is always redefining itself I am as well. I'll tell you what books I'm reading, what html coding I use and hopefully we figure it all out one, +1, tweet, post and share at a time.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Time Flys When You're Swamped

Sorry guys, Its been a month with no blog posts and my only excuse is work has been keeping me busy. 


In unrelated news......... I got a work twitter!

Please Follow me @KatieJKyle 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Basics of Twitter

Did you hear?  ‘Tweet’ now an official word in Oxford English Dictionary. Talk about Twitter influence. Below is all about the basics and is a perfect guide for someone who has never tweeted before. Before I can address tweeting for a business we must start on the ground floor. So go out, make yourself a twitter and practice.  -SMGIT












Composing a Tweet
  1.    Click on the blue icon.
  2.     Type your message and use hashtags
  3.     Keep it to under 140 characters


Using Hashtags on Twitter

Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.


  • People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search. 
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.



Monday, June 3, 2013

Email Marketing: Its All In The Subject Line

In a world where flashy internet ads seem to be the future, remember email is not dead! This is especially true in the real estate industry. In fact any company that has repeat clients should set up a simple monthly email newsletter to share with their sphere.

Now what does one put in a newsletter so you can catch reader attention?

From: Who is it from? Whether it’s your name, company or brand it has to be familiar to your reader or else they are just going to assume its spam. Most of all be consistent.

Forward this email to others: Giving people the opportunity to forward the email gives you an opportunity for more business.

Bait them with timeless INTERESTING information: Timeless information is more likely to be read/forwarded/enjoyed. If an email has time sensitive news and the reader doesn’t get a chance to open it for a week, it will often just fall by the way side.

That being said there is a place for current information too. Happy Holidays or something big/cool/exciting is happening in your office/community/market is a great to include.

Update your email list: Whether it’s removing the emails that bounce or adding new people to your sphere, edits should be made every month. 

Use a pro-fishing rod by using professional email platforms: I personally use mailchimp who allow you to have 200 contacts and sent up to 2000 email a month for free. However there are tons out there including tiny letter and campaign monitor. They are fantastic for tracking how many emails have bounced, opened and forwarded. Oh and did I mention it’s free!

*Outlook as easy as it seems is not a great idea for email marketing. This is because most emails end up blocked or spammed. If you still will not jump the outlook boat, send emails in batches of 25 to keep your bounce numbers low.

Hook them with your email subject line: If they know who it’s from and the subject looks friend you’re in! Bob Bly and Michael Masterson recommend the 4-Us formula. Is it Urgent? Is it Unique? Is it Ultra-specific? Is it Useful? Your email subject should be at least 2 of these if not all 4 every time you send a newsletter. The top 2 in my book are Ultra-specific and Useful.

Example: 23 Ways to Help Organize Your Pantry Today.
It’s Urgent (ish), Ultra-specific and Useful.

Reel them in with your first sentence: Don’t let it just be a repeat of the subject line, you’re wasting the readers time if you do.



All this fishing talk makes me want to go to the lake.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Top 3 Social Media Reference Books

My Top 3 Social Media Reference Books

By Social Media Guru-in Training


Number 3: Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off


By Jine Cockrum
"Simple, powerful marketing strategies every business can afford to implementThere's never been a better time to be a marketer or entrepreneur than right now. Thanks to the Internet, a new world of free and inexpensive tactics can help get the word out to the prospects of any business with a limited marketing budget. "Free Marketing" delivers more than 100 ideas to help any small business owner or marketer generate new revenue--with little or no marketing budget.

With both Internet-based and creative offline ideas, you'll discover ways to turn your top customers into your unpaid sales force, get your competitors to help you promote your new products, and other innovative ways to get the word out.Create a "squeeze page," the most powerful one page website you'll ever build. Use simple YouTube videos to grow sales. Hold an eBay auction for publicity purposes (author Jim Cockrum made $30,000 and earned tons of free publicity from just one auction)and more!

Grow a successful business without letting your marketing budget tell you "No." Jim Cockrum has proven that the most powerful marketing strategies are the cheapest."


Why I like it: It helps me keep my approach to social media fresh.



Number 2: The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Marketing "The Social Media Bible"

By: Lon Safko
"Using the systematic approach presented in this comprehensive guide, you'll learn how to: Increase your company and brand value by engaging people in new forms of communication, collaboration, education, and entertainment. Determine which social media tactics you should be using with your customers and employees. Evaluate and categorize the tools and applications that constitute the rapidly evolving social media ecosystem. Make social media tools like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, blogging, podcasting, and hundreds of others a part of your business strategy. Do a social media analysis inside your company to improve internal operations and outside your company to create and monetize relationships with customers and prospects. Implement social media micro- and macro strategies to give your business the competitive edge it needs to survive and thrive.

Virtually every business can use social media to increase sales and profits, and "The Social Media Bible" will show you how. Part One introduces you to social media, and gives you a helpful framework, and presents practical and tactical tips for using some of these tools. Part Two introduces you to over 100 social media tools and applications in fifteen different categories, giving you a quick rundown of the features and functions of the tools that should become part of your social media strategy. Part Three offers mini exercises and assessments to help you conduct a social media audit of your company, your competition, and your customers, so you can craft the perfect strategy for your business.
If you want to grow your business, you have to stay connected to your stakeholders- whether you're a big corporation, a small business, or even a nonprofit. "The Social Media Bible" will show you how to harness the collective wisdom and viral value of your stakeholders and stay ahead of your competition."


Why I like it: It covers everything and is well organized making it the perfect reference. I keep a copy on my desk.


Number 3: The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue

By: Shama Kabani
"In the two years since the first edition became a global bestseller, the world of social media has grown and changed enough to require an updated guide.

Whether you use social media now or not, people are already talking about your company online. By becoming part of the conversation in a more meaningful way, you can start connecting directly to your customers and clients and finding new ones right away with ease and efficiency.

Social media marketing isn’t like traditional marketing—and treating it that way only leads to frustration and failure. In The Zen of Social Media Marketing, Shama Kabani, social media expert and president of The Marketing Zen Group (MarketingZen.com), teaches you the "Zen” of using social media tools to find your own marketing nirvana.

With a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Chris Brogan and updated content on Google+, online advertising, SEO, and more, the newest edition of The Zen of Social Media Marketing gives you:

-A comprehensive overview of why social media works and how to use it to drive traffic to your website and fan page
-A proven process to attract followers and fans and convert them into customers and clients
-The latest updates and step-by-step guidelines for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and group-buying sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial
-Tips on why, when, and how to use online advertising
-Essential advice on content marketing and targeted tactics to enhance your SEO
-New information on why self-expression is the true driver of social media use and how to leverage it for your business
-Insights from dozens of leading online marketers and entrepreneurs, with strategies for success"


Why I like it: This book gave me the words to better explain why social media is helpful and how. I recommend EVERYONE in the business world should read this book. 



What are your favorite reference books?






Photos and summaries curiosity of GoodReads.com

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Basics of a Facebook Business Page

Sometimes the basics are the hardest part. To help those who are new to the facebook business page world I created the handy dandy guide. What are your thoughts? Am I missing something? -SMGIT

NOTE: Please excuse the spray paint name erasing, I don't have permission to put up my companies brand on my personal blog. 




Making sense of your Facebook business page

Accessing Your Page
  1.        To access your page you must first login to your personal facebook
  2. 2. On the left side of the screen under the word pages will be the title of your page, click it. 


 Your Admin Dashboard Explained



*To edit your profile picture, or cover photo run your mouse over it and a “change photo” button will appear.


Posting on your page

Status
What’s on your mind? That can be a daring question. This is where you can post about heading into the office or at an open house. You can wish your followers a happy holiday and keep them up to date about your comings and goings. Don’t be afraid to be a real person. You can say “Off to visit my family this weekend” or “Working hard at the main office finishing up paperwork.” It makes you a real person!

Just type your message and hit post!


Photos/Photo Albums
Here is a great way to reach out about your business. You can post your flyers and photos of happy customers. You can click attach photo to post one or create an album if you’re going to post many about the same topic. It’s a great way to showcase success. 


Offers/Events/Milestones/Questions
An offer is a great way to get people’s attention because who doesn’t like a good deal! Offer a free meeting to talk about options or something along those lines.

An event is a great way to get word out a deal going on.

A milestone could be announcing you a won best in show or got elected to congress; whatever you think is important, share.

The Question is used to poll your followers about a topic like “What do you first look at when shopping for a home?”


Sharing
To share a post with your followers you first click the share photo at the bottom of the post.



A window will then pop up, so you can  type something about the post like “Wow! Sounds like fun.” Or “Austin is the best city” etc. Then click on your own timeline and CHANGE IT TO ON YOUR PAGE! Then click Share.




Creating Traffic
The best way to create traffic on your page is to use your page. Post things, add photos everyday if you can. You should at least be on a few times a week.

Another way to get people informed is to highlight things. If you take your mouse and put it on the post a star and a pencil should pop up. Click the star to highlight your most important posts so they can reach more people.




CRAP- I shouldn't have posted that!

Sooner or later you’re going to post something you didn't mean to. Whether it has a spelling mistake or you shared the wrong post it is very easy to fix.  If you take your mouse and put it on the post a star and a pencil should pop up. Click the pencil then click delete. If someone else posts something you don’t want on your page you can do the same but click hide.



Ideas about things to post on your page
Local news
Cool events going on around town
Reviews from customers
Upcoming deals
Pinterest is a great place to get posts on home DIY
Just remember to keep things positive and happy!



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What does SEO mean for my business?



Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the hot topic of the moment. In a world where ‘Google’ is a verb, a company’s success is due largely in part to where they fall on a results search.

For example, when Googling “real estate in Austin TX” and the only companies that came up in the search results were paid ads. General housing sites like ‘realtor.com’ and ‘Zillow’ filled the first page. How does one break through that wall? SEO seems to be that answer.


After reading hundreds of articles and how to guides on the surface has only been scratched on SEO basics. Chris Warden, CEO of Spread Effect, breaks it down into 6 parts in an article called, “Give Me 10 Minutes and I'll Make You an SEO Expert (Kinda),”which I plan on reviewing in more detail. 


“On-Page Optimization” – Keywords, Title Tags, Meta descriptions.


Keywords, the good news is you know what that means. Bad news is so does everyone else including you great aunt who calls to ask you how to turn on the internet. Keywords are important for all businesses. Using words and phrases that are informative to the complexity of all that you do, but are simple enough for consumer to understand, is key to your success.


‘Title Tags’ are the title of your webpage that comes up in search engine results. The most effective ones include the title of the company-location area- motto. You only have about 10 words to get you message across so make it count. Refrain from using a web address. It gives the impression your website is untrustworthy. “www.bestcompanyever.com we help you buy the car you want…” People just are not going to give your page a second glace.


“Meta descriptions” are the few sentences found just under the Title Tags in searches. Do not waste the space and repeat your title tag, give the searcher something more. If they are taking the time to read your Meta description they are ready to be hooked. Hook them!


“Content, Content, Content”


 Content is not just fancy wording littered with keywords. IT’S SO MUCH MORE.  Embedded videos, social media scrolls, and info-graphics are going to be a major staying factor. If your company writes “72% of our business is relocations from out of state,” show it in a graph. People like pictures, it really is that simple.


On a side note with pictures- don’t use stock photos from Google  please. The same 8-10 photos of cheerful employees and customers are found on many start up websites. This can discredit your page before a consumer has a chance read the title. Photos are pricey but worth it. They also help transform consumers into customers.


“Social Content”


Social content is the key to having a successful SEO; it assists in keeping your site active and current while giving consumers an opportunity to see you on multiple platforms. Think of all the back-links people!


“Mobile website capabilities”


 If someone uses a search engine on their phone and you don’t have a mobile site- surprise you are not going to show up. Save your flash effects, because if you do not have a fully functioning mobile website, you will lose business. Phones are getting smarter every day and desktop and laptop sales are down. Your home page needs to have both a clickable phone number to call and a clickable address for mapping capabilities.


There are so many things that go into having an optimum SEO that in all honestly only a webmaster can handle.  Ask your IT guy the hard questions about SEO, read the 32 how to pages (including some coding) from Google about SEO. Be educated on what your site needs even if you do not have the programming skills. Remember, there is not a 15 letter combination you can add to the bottom of your website to make it number one on Google. 


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What Sites Aren't I On?


Personal Pages I Use
Facebook
Twitter
Blogger
LinkedIn
Instragram
Google +
Foursquare
OKCupid (stop judging me)
YouTube


Business Pages I Use
The Company Website
Facebook
Google +
YouTube
Google Places*
Foursquare*
Realtor.com
CirclePix
Trulia
Zillow
Yelp*
Angie's List*
Yellow Pages*
City Grid*
Insider Pages*
City Search*
LinkTown*
Mojo Pages*


*Listing sites

When it comes to business pages I feel like I'm lacking. I made it a point to update and verify our company information on the listing websites but I still feel like there are more places out there.

What do you use?