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New to Social Media? – Challenges

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This past week, Gia Freer and I were invited to speak at a panel for the Master Brokers Forum in Boca Raton, FL.  The panel’s subject was “Navigating the Social Media Ocean:  Facebook, Blogging and Beyond”.   Questions were prepared before the panel, answers rehearsed……but things changed a bit when we arrived at the venue.

The average age of attendees was late 50’s – everyone there was a top producing agent with years in the business and successful businesses at that.  So why were these people interested in Social Media for their business?  Some were just curious and had no intention to even venture into trying something new, but a lot of them, to my surprise, recognized that it was important to at least get their feet wet and see what all the commotion was about.

The first question – and one I will share because we need to ponder and then ponder some more, was:

If I’m new to social media, what are the three most important things I should do RIGHT NOW?

Some of us have been at this for a while and going back to basics may seem a bit trivial and useless….but guess what??  If you really think about this question, it may simplify your social media marketing strategy today.

Gia answered the following:

  1. Put up profiles NOW (in Twitter, Facebook and Linked In)
  2. Start at Blog
  3. Change your business cards  (include your social media stuff)

Denise Reynolds (aka @LuxuryWriter), third panelist and Luxury writer shared 5 stages of twitter acceptance and everyone in the room could relate to at least one of those stages – priceless information, from Influential Marketing Blog:

5 Stages of Twitter Acceptance

If this doesn’t help you identify your goals on Twitter….I don’t know what will.

I of course tried to be funny and said:

  1. get a computer (the crowd burst into laughter….but I saw a couple of nods in the crowd as well)
  2. stop using 20 year old photos for your marketing – when your client finally engages you online and then meets you in person, you will scare them away.
  3. drop the “fear factor” – you can’t get started if you are afraid

And lastly, earlier that day, I took the question to Twitter and received the following responses:

twitter question answeredtwitter question answered

Most of you reading this are way beyond the “beginner” point – but some of you may have started blindly and without direction.  I think the basics that need to be understood before you can really begin to reap benefits is to understand SM reach (the fact that you have access to your Sphere of influence’s sphere) and the fact that the medium is used to engage and make connections.  The most trivial moves in any of the platforms may lead to meaningful conversation and possibly a business relationship.  Stop telling people about your achievements and start asking others about theirs, the days of Interruption Marketing are over ….and… the Interwebs have no age cut off!


Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Hilary Marsh, REALTOR.org

    October 26, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Great post, Ines — there’s so much useful information in here!

    –Hilary Marsh, Managing Director, REALTOR.org

  2. Kelly

    October 26, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Including your social media on your business cards is a great tip. I never even thought of that. Thanks!

  3. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    October 26, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    @HilaryMarsh THANK YOU!! it was a really great group of people and the questions afterwards were so relevant and useful – because of the fact that they all have successful businesses.

    Kelly (you can thank @giabfreer for that) 🙂

  4. Derek Overbey

    October 26, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    This is a great post as always Ines. People can’t really experience the power of social media until they start participating in social media…the right way. Too many real estate friends of mine discount it before even giving it a proper shot.

    Social media may not be for everyone and I get that but it’s so great to hear stories like this one of successful people being opened minded and willing to learn something new.

    Derek

  5. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    October 26, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    @Dorverbey even if it means starting off with a widget on their site – had one lady come up to me (in her late 60’s), with a multi-million dollar business and 30 plus years telling me she was incorporating some SM tools to help her connect with her already established European clientele.

    I was very pleasantly surprised as well

  6. HowardArnoff

    October 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Time to move from 3 to 4, thanks Ines.

  7. MIssy Caulk

    October 26, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Those 5 stages of Twitter Acceptance are so true.
    Some of us move through the stages a lot quicker. I think I’m still between 4 and 5.
    Honestly on Twitter I mostly connect with other conservatives and not Realtors so much anymore.

  8. Ken Brand

    October 26, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    What’s Social Media?

    Seriously, this is useful information. Thanks.

  9. Gia Freer

    October 27, 2009 at 5:25 am

    Ines…Fantastic post…you would be surprised how many folks love the fact that they know what sites I am on by my business card alone (they don’t have to write it down ’cause it’s already there). They can look me up, befriend me and have an online conversation easily and they tell everyone else they know about it 😀

  10. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    October 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Howard – the stages of twitter are a wake-up call to many 🙂

    Missy, and you can move backwards too – again….after you define your goals and know what you are using the medium for

    Ken – love seeing older people embrace new ideas, especially when it comes to the Internet

    Gia – the idea of a landing page is not a bad one either – I created one but still waiting for my domain https://ineshegedusgarcia.wordpress.com/ or https://marianawagner.wordpress.com/ or https://www.jeffturner.info/

  11. teresa boardman

    October 28, 2009 at 7:20 am

    seriously after writing a blog for more than 4 years I have concluded that it isn’t for everyone. I always suggest it because it is powerful but most won’t do it or stick to it or post often enough to get any traction

  12. Doc Reiss

    October 29, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Ines,

    I cannot thank you enough. I have been studying and listening to “experts” explain about social marketing, but no one has made it resound as you have. I feel as if I have been comfortably moved into a new realm by a guiding, reassuring hand. Thank you.

  13. ines

    October 30, 2009 at 10:01 am

    @tboard interestingly enough, some people use other mediums within SM and get great results as well without blogging – I just don’t know what I would do without by hub

    Doc – and don’t forget that many of us are available to help….so just knock on our virtual doors if you need anything

  14. Sherrie Cook

    November 1, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Your information is good, and I look forward to receiving more useful recommendations and opinions to consider.

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Business Marketing

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.

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The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

1. Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
2. Can lift over 50lbs
3. Can stand for 8 hours

The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to PrisonPolicy.org, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

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Business Marketing

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.

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instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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Business Marketing

2020 marketing calendar – plan this year’s marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Have you ever wondered when is the best time for your ad campaign, well look no further. This marketing calendar has every event listed, even weird ones.

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When you work for a small business or non-profit, marketing is one of those essential tools that can make a difference in your monthly bottom line or fundraising take. And yet it’s often a challenge for busy owners and employees to find — and take advantage of — fresh promotion opportunities.

Add this to your toolkit… a 2020 Marketing Calendar from the team at Liramail, making note of big events and days that you can use online and IRL to engage customers and donors.

February marketing calendar

Some dates are obvious… major holidays, for instance, particularly the gift-giving ones. But you can find success around other events as well. The Central Texas Food Bank uses the Super Bowl as a driver for one of their most visible annual events, the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” On a smaller scale this year, restaurants and shops around the Austin area and all over the country used January 25, Australia Day, to raise funds for bushfire relief—drawing customers into their businesses, creating community ties and doing good all at once.

This marketing calendar compiles dates both big and small, providing plenty of opportunities for tie-ins and promotions. Running a clothing boutique? Play with Fashion Week. Looking for a good cause to support? World Wildlife Day and International Women’s Day are just a few weeks away. Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day… and that’s all just in the next six weeks.

The calendar is as useful for engaging your social media audience as it is promoting IRL events. You don’t have to own a pizza place to make a post with your team celebrating International Pizza Day and quizzing your followers on their favorite topping. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to turn Love Your Pet Day into a way to engage people by encouraging them to share photos of their pets.

And if you do have a direct tie? Absolutely use it. Each March, for instance, the small Austin well-building non-profit Water to Thrive observes World Water Day with a quick Facebook fundraiser. One of the Austin-area businesses that participated in Australia Day, Bee Cave coffeehouse/boutique Runaway Luna Lifestyle, did so because of family ties there, raising several thousand dollars with an in-store event and social media promotion of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

So page through the marketing calendar, making notes of days that you can take advantage of. And don’t forget, if you’re inspired to create an in-store event or other promotion, be ready for it. Get the initial date on the calendar, and then work backwards to create a long-range plan to support your event. Check your inventory, possibly looking for related items to feature. Book your advertising, draft your newsletter, schedule your social posts. Let your audience know that something special is coming up.

Have fun with it. Add your own dates. Whether you zero in on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Make a Difference Day, you can create new opportunities for your business or non-profit and for your customers as well.

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