During November and December, I’m writing about business planning, to inspire you to get your business plan done for next year. Managers, see Management in a Minute for managers’ businsss planning tips.

How have you integrated social media into your business plan? Where does it go?  In your marketing part of your plan. That’s logical. But, what do you want social media to do for you? Sell houses? Get calls to you? Increase your image? Before we can answer that, we have to define types of marketing and how to measure its success.

Does Social Media Work?

One of the biggest questions agents ask is, “Does social media work?” Well, that depends on what you expect it to do for you. To make any of your marketing effective, you must first decide what your objectives are for that marketing. Then, you can set up appropriate measurement tools.

The Two Types and Objectives of Marketing

Merchandise: That means advertising a product or a service to ‘get the phone to ring’, or to get a specific, immediate response. An example of merchandise advertising would be placing a home ad in the newspaper—or placing a home ad on Facebook.

Institutional: That means advertising that increases your image, cements your uniqueness in the mind of the consumer, and/or establishes you as the agent of choice. These are not placements that make the phone ring, or get an immediate response. Instead, this kind of marketing  is more subtle. It is also more difficult to measure, but, it can be measured. How? By establishing a baseline of consumer perceptions about the product or service, and then measuring the consumer perception after the campaign. (Best to hire a professional marketing service to do this, because it requires expertise).

What do You Expect from your Social Media Efforts?

If you’re placing homes on Facebook, you probably expect to get inquiries on those homes. Are you getting  them? Do you have a method to measure results? Or, if you’re not expecting an immediate response, why are you putting the home there? To show your Facebook friends you are successful? You decide.

If you’re blogging, what to you expect to get from blogging? If you’re establishing yourself as a neighborhood expert or expert in certain types of homes, you should be able to see more acceptance and trust from the consumer after you consistently and frequently add to your blog.

Don’t Give Up!

Frequency and consistency are the by-words of marketers. Yet, advertising executives always complain that their clients expect results too quickly and change their campaigns way too soon. Just think. How many times did you have to hear that pop tune until you started recognizing it? How long until you could hum it? Probably anywhere from 8-20 times!

In my business planning system, I show you how to create a marketing plan. Put your social media into that plan, be clear about your objectives, and set up consistent and frequent efforts to your best target markets. Now, you’re using social media as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Want to see more on business planning? Check out my online program Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. All the instructional webinars and documents are online, and very easy to complete and implement. This is a program created exclusively for real estate owners and managers. And, when you purchase the manager’s package, you also get access to all the agent’s planning videos and documents.

Complimentary Business Planning Webinars

I’ve recorded 2 webinars for you to help you get inspired to plan for next year–and to give you information on what I believe are the biggest success strategies for the coming year. One webinar is for agents and one is for leadership.

Click here to view them.