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Your Next Social Media Bible, Courtesy of Matt Heinz

August 29 2012

heinz ebookI've had the pleasure of working with Matt Heinz in his professional capacity, so I know firsthand that he practices what he preaches in his new book, Successful Social Selling. A seasoned marketing expert with deep roots in the real estate community, Matt Heinz is an excellent resource for insight and advice. His new book offers just that – instructions on "how to find, manage, and close more business from the social Web." In it, he makes a variety of key points – I'm going to share a few that I think are most relevant to real estate professionals.

Listen on Social Media

Matt explains that, if you listen closely on social media, you'll be picking up on the "buying signals" of prospective customers. Quite early on, they'll begin expressing an unmet need or a pain point in their lives. They'll also complain about current vendors. What does this mean for real estate? You'll know when someone is ready to find an agent or switch from their current agent if you're paying attention to social media.

When you pick up on one of these signals, however, be careful not to respond with a sales pitch. Instead, reach out to them with an offer of advice (such as a link to an educational article). Be a source of information, rather than a pushy salesperson.

Build a Presence Where Prospective Customers Live

You might not have the time, energy, or inclination to master every social media platform. If that's the case, how do you pick which channels to focus on? The answer, according to Matt, is to find out where your customers spend their time. If the majority of them are on one or two social media platforms (i.e. Facebook and LinkedIn), then focus your efforts there. The shotgun approach isn't necessary.

Matt also points out that you should focus on platforms you're comfortable with. While this is certainly true, in my humble opinion, it's far more important to focus on where your customers are comfortable.

Toward the end of his book, Matt breaks down social media strategy by channel. He provides a step-by-step guide to building a strategy for Twitter and some best practices for your Tweets. I found this section of the book particularly compelling and recommend it to anyone interested in focusing on Twitter.

Learn from the Pros: How Top Salespeople Use Social Media

Social media still isn't an exact science. Experts like Matt are well on their way to understanding it, but there's still quite a lot of ground to cover. Taking that into consideration, one of the wisest things you can do is emulate the people who seem to be having success with it. Matt offers several examples of how top salespeople are using social media; particularly interesting to me were:

  1. Using their existing network to get referrals.
  2. Staying alert to buying signals on social media.
  3. Establishing themselves as experts by sharing information, and thereby gaining a following.

Investigate Tools to Make Social Media Easier

Matt mentions some tools that may help you sell more with social media. These include HootSuiteHootSuite, which is actually one of my personal favorites. HootSuite allows you to manage a variety of different social media channels through a single platform. I highly recommend you check it out.

Matt also mentions TwitHawkTwitHawk, TweetAdderTweetAdder, Dlvr.itDlvr.it, Timely.isTimely.is, UnTweepsUnTweeps, TextExpanderTextExpander and ActiveWordsActiveWords, among a few others. I haven't had a chance to experiment with any of these yet.

 


 

Spend 15 Minutes a Day on Social Media

Spend eight minutes in the morning and seven in the afternoon – that's enough to make a decent impact on social media, says Matt. His plan focuses on three key activities: creating, curating, and engaging.

  1. Create content to share on the social Web. For instance, write a new post on your blog and share it on your social channels. (HootSuiteHootSuite could help with this; or, Matt recommends Dlvr.itDlvr.it.)
  2. Curate content you see elsewhere. Share links to resources you like.
  3. Engage others by responding to their posts, comments, content, etc.

Ask 3 Questions before Creating Content

Matt recommends asking three questions before creating any content:

  1. What do I want people to see, hear and/or learn?
  2. What do I want people to think?
  3. What do I want people to do?

Keep the answers to these questions in mind as you create your content.

He also offers a few elements that will help take your content viral once you've created it. A few of these definitely struck a chord with my understanding of effective content creation:

  • Humor
  • Controversy
  • Brevity
  • Immediate practicality
  • Statistics

Time and again, these elements prove effective at making sure your content is shared and shared and shared again on social media.

Check Metrics to See What Content Works

When you're creating original content or curating content from others, it's important to use metrics to assess what works and what doesn't. For example, pay attention to which posts on Facebook get the most comments, likes and shares or which Tweets get retweeted the most.

Get Your Complimentary Copy!

These are just a few highlights from Matt's book. If you'd like the complete picture, you can get the book yourself for FREE on Matt's website: HeinzMarketing.comHeinzMarketing.com.

Other articles of interest: Understanding the Millennials Part I | AgentOffice