Business planning: Where and how should you include social media?
During 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’ business 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 comprehensive online 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.
Watch my Complimentary Business Planning Webinar
During this fast-paced webinar you’ll see:
- Why your plan probably didn’t work for you—and what to do about it
- How to definitely find out what will work for YOU (not someone else’s plan!)
- How to anticipate market shifts (!)
- What to STOP doing in 2017
- What one thing will assure your business plan works
- Bonus: 10 Creative Marketing Ideas for your plan
- The strategic planning process created exclusively for real estate professionals by Carla Cross
- Review: Your best sources of business
Click here to see the webinar and grab the handouts.
Here’s to a great 2017 with your polished business plan!
Need a comprehensive business planning system that is designed specifically for seasoned agents? Most planning systems don’t cover the specific areas you need to address.
Check out Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.