Friday, 25 May 2012


You’ve been warned before!   Even within some of my previous posts, I’ve mentioned how it’s never appropriate to blatantly self-promote or advertise “at” your audience while using social media platforms.  As we are now in an age of engagement, open communication and transparency, business success has less to do with advertising and everything to do with the quality of interaction with clients. People are not using social media to listen to others advertise their services and go on for posts and posts about how great they are at what they do.  But, when using social media for business, one of your main objectives is to seek out new clients and to garner repeat business, right?  So, where to draw the line?  How do you achieve that objective without self-promoting, advertising or spamming?

The solution is actually quite simple.  A fundamental thing to remember is that you need to be there for your clients.  You want them to know that you care about them and that your service commitment to them does not end once you’ve made the sale or completed a deal. 
Social media make this very easy to do.  It is in fact the very essence of social networking for business.  Always be available to your social networking community – let people know you’re there and that your online presence is customer-service driven.  

The best way to do this is to check in often on all of your social networking platforms.  If you’re connected on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, it’s a good idea to check your accounts daily for activity.  You want to respond to any questions, comments or complaints in a timely manner.  Never tell them why they need you, just ensure that you post relevant, need-to-know information often – information that you know people want and require.  This can be anything from cutting edge industry news to an anecdotal story that will be of benefit to people.  

Clients and prospects need to trust you in order to do business with you.  And, what better way to gain their trust than to be indispensable to them – to be an industry leader, always ready with the answers and meaningful info! 

If you have created a group on either Facebook or LinkedIn, ensure that you adopt a no spamming policy that that it is adhered to strictly, or you’ll find you don’t have very many members.  The key to a successful group is enlightening discussion.  Again, ensure that people are able to learn useful information from the discussions – not listen to Joe Blow promote his insurance, real estate or mortgage business!   Spam and advertisements are of no value to the people in your social networking community.  If you’re unsure as to what, exactly, constitutes spam, the following definition by social media marketing blogger, Toby Marshall, sums it up nicely: “Any material posted on to a community (eg. Groups on LinkedIn) that is selling a product or service. This includes offers of free reports, free workshops, free videos etc. Extreme examples include multiple postings of the same sales material on multiple communities.”

I’ll add to that with: Any unsolicited and/or self-promoting advice or offers related to selling a product or service.

So, bottom line: Don’t be a nuisance on social media sites by being self-promoting or by spamming people with advertising. Do make sure that you provide a wealth of valuable information that people genuinely want to know on all of your social networking platforms. You’ll soon discover that this will go a long way toward lead generation and keeping your existing clients satisfied.

Friday, 18 May 2012


Blogging is an effective way of keeping your name at the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to  industry news and relevant information.  Others are doing it, why not you?

Here are 5 tips that will help make your blog the one people keep coming back to read:    

1. Write with Intention:  People generally look to a blog post as a source of information.  You therefore want to ensure that your posts impart crucial news and enlightening info that people are sourcing out.  Keep it fresh, current and relevant.  But, be engaging (and entertaining where warranted) as well.  You don’t want your audience reading your posts as a sleep aid!  And, whatever you do, don’t use your blog as a press release or an advertising forum – people are not going to keep coming back to read blatant self-promotion.

The takeaway:  Make sure each post offers readers the illumination they’re looking for, but try to set forth a unique tone, a sense of personality (yours, of course!) as well.

2. Maintain a Sense of Cohesiveness:  Remember your grade 7 English Composition class?  Remember the rule about every piece of work having an introduction, a body and a conclusion?  Well, that applies here.   People aren’t going to stick around if they’re trying to make sense of a jumbled, pointless mess.  You want your introduction to hook your readers’ attention.  The first line or two should create intrigue and make people want to read on.  A little drama never hurt anyone. 

Transition smoothly into the body of your post – and this should be where you become a resource – a wealth of pertinent, need-to-know and up-to-the-minute information.  Keep paragraphs relatively short and engaging and keep it focused.  Go ahead and be creative – make use of your toolbar and incorporate style elements like numbered lists, bullet points, etc.

Your conclusion should briefly summarize the body content, but must also invoke a call-to-action.  Hopefully, this will be to contact you to either acquire more information or to hire you.  But, remember, no sales pitches!

The takeaway:  In order for your posts to be informative, they need to primarily make sense and to follow (at least some of) the rules of the written English word.

3. Maintain a Sense of Decorum:  You want to be engaging and entertaining in order to maintain your readers’ attention, but you also want to invoke in them a sense of trust in you.  It’s essential to therefore maintain a sense of professionalism.  This is not to say that you must steer away entirely from being a bit cutting edge, or even informal, but just remember that it is, after all, a business blog and you are a real estate professional.  As your mom would say:  Watch your language!

The takeaway:  You can go ahead and make em’ laugh, but just bear in mind your target audience and the purpose of your blog, and write accordingly.

4. Make Use of Visuals:  Yes, your post will be engaging and enlightening, but it never hurts to add a little visual enhancement.   Insert a relevant photo or two where pertinent and this just adds to the ‘keeping - their- attention’ factor. 

The takeaway:  Photos add an element of interest and help to break up the text.  People love pictures!

5. Brevity is Key:  Even though people are sourcing you out and wanting to read what you have to say, they won’t want to be reading the second coming of War and Peace.  You will only be able to maintain people’s attention for so long, therefore you want to get all of your most important points down in a well-paced manner.  If people don’t care to stick around to finish a blog post, chances are, they won’t be returning to check out your next one.  A good rule of thumb is to try not to let any post exceed 1000 words.  If you’re blogging on a popular topic that is worthy of more than 1000 words, consider breaking the post up into Parts I & II – a great way to keep people coming back for more!

The takeaway:  Keep it brief and you won’t run the risk of boring your audience!

Ready to start blogging?  By following the above strategic moves, you should be doing it like a pro in no time at all!!

Friday, 11 May 2012


With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how social media influence moms and their decisions when it comes to consumer goods and shopping-related decisions.  Turns out, according to a study conducted by Performics, a performance marketing firm, that mothers are very much influenced by social media. 

The study shows that ...”mothers are approximately 61% more likely than other women to own a smartphone. They are also more likely to be active on social networking sites; for example, they are 16% more likely to visit Facebook daily and 46% more likely to visit Google + daily. Additionally, they are 75% more likely than other women to trust information they receive from companies through social networking sites. 

Also from the article on
“Moms continue to take advantage of the little spare time they have by utilizing all the tools at their disposal.  This includes their mobile devices and social networks,” notes Daina Middleton, Global CEO of Performics. “Increasingly, as a segment of the social networking population, moms perception is their voice can be leveraged to influence, participate with, and promote brands.”

The study also maintains that moms, more so than other people, tend to trust brands that they see on social media sites and furthermore, that moms often use social media platforms as their foremost points of contact.  It appears as well, that moms like to promote brands of which they are fond on their own social media accounts.  Some more fascinating findings from the study:

Moms are more likely than other people to -

  • Recommend companies/brands via social sites (34%)
  • Discuss companies/brands on social sites after seeing an ad elsewhere (48%)
  • Talk about companies/brands they follow on Facebook (24%)
  • Link to a company/brand ad (23%)
  • Post a company/brand ad (53%)
  • Post interesting or relevant content about a company/brand (50%)

It looks like the old adage about “the hand that rocks the cradle” might have been right on the money after all...

Happy Mother’s Day!

Monday, 7 May 2012

5 Things You Can Do on Social Media to Find Your Dream Job

Technology and (most especially) social media have simplified our lives in too many ways to count.  And, finding a job is definitely not the same daunting task as it was even just 15 years ago.  There are a variety of ways technology has put things at our fingertips when it comes to the job search:  websites showcasing available employment opportunities; websites that help with resume writing; websites that offer job interview tips and, of course, social media sites that connect you to the whole world of the job hunt and open up an unprecedented wealth of opportunity!   
Here are a few tips for you to consider when using social media in the search for your dream job:
1.  Ensure You’re Up-to-Date and In the Know – Knowledge, as they say, is power.  Make sure that you’re up to date with all of your industry’s news, trends, info and goings-on.  Social media make it very easy for you to stay current.  Check out industry-related people and news via Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and LinkedIn.  Monitor and join discussions and groups and stay a part of the action.
2. Get Connected (and Recommended) on LinkedIn – Of all the social media platforms, you’re probably aware that LinkedIn is the most professionally relevant.  Unlike its social media peers, LinkedIn is all about connecting & keeping up with other professionals and businesses.  And, LinkedIn takes it one step further – it has its own “Jobs” tab and built-in job search functionality.  It’s like one-stop shopping for the job hunter!
Make the most of what LinkedIn has to offer by ensuring that your LinkedIn profile is at 100% completeness.  Think of your LinkedIn profile as your online resume and fill it in with as much detail as possible pertaining to your employment history, educational background, experience and skills.  Ensure that you request plenty of recommendations from past employers, co-workers and educators.  Use an abundance of keywords to better your chances of being found in a search for suitable candidates for employment.  LinkedIn really is unparalleled when it comes to looking for a good job in your industry – take advantage of what it offers and you’ll be employed in no time!
3. Mind Your Manners and Keep it Professional – Most people use Facebook and Twitter for personal use and entertainment – and that’s fine.  But, when you’re on the job hunt you want to mind what’s publicly viewable because anything in the public domain that your friends can see, your future employer will be able to see as well.  So, while you’re actively looking for a job, watch what you tweet and what you post on Facebook.  Check out your Facebook privacy settings and use them wisely.  If you blog – watch what you blog about and showcase your smarts rather than posting a scathing, sarcastic piece about something that really ticked you off last week.  And, that brings me to my next point…
4. Blog, blog and blog some more – If you haven’t already, start a blog and write on a weekly basis about something relevant to your industry.  As mentioned above, this is a great way to showcase your intelligence and industry know-how.  Make sure that all of your posts are grammatically correct and full of valuable information that positions you as the person in the know!  There are plenty of blogging sites out there: Wordpress, Tumblr and BlogSpot, just to name a few.  Take advantage and start writing now!
5. Arm Yourself with Info – Before you head off to a job interview or even prior to submitting an application, do your homework and arm yourself with plenty of background information on the company you’re applying to as well as the person with whom you will be interviewing.  You can search the company and its employees (especially the interviewer) on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn and if the business has a blog, read as many posts as you can to familiarize yourself with what they’re all about, their mission, etc. 
So much information, so little time!! That’s the value of social media.  They literally put the professional world at your fingertips and make it so easy for you to network to find that position you’ve dreamed of since graduation!