Stewards Log: 14:00:21:05:2010
A “How-we-did” (as oppose to How-To) guide to getting socially professional.
The unthinkable has happened, REALTORS® are getting social. Ok I know they have always been a social crowd at parties, open houses, on the street, in the office, at a restaurant, well everywhere they go really. Now they are getting social online.
This month I had the privilege of sitting in a strategy session with some social media experts to help a real estate team come up with a social strategy for their business.
To be honest this was a meeting I had been delaying for some time, we knew the group needed to get into social media but to be frank, technical aptitude was not one of their strong suits. Not a single member of the organization had a social media account in their personal life, so where were we to start in translating it into their professional lives?
How could we take this group from social media not-existants to online professionals.
Along came our social media expert, I will call him Rob. Rob knew our group through his wife and Rob knew social media, and knew it well. As we sat down and Rob started explaining what social media was to the members of our group, in an infectious way that people get when they are talking about something they love, I knew they were sold. Before the meeting they may have been considering it, still asking themselves “Why go Social Media?“, now they were convinced.
This is where the story of Social Strategy begins.
Rob, I have referred to as a social media expert, and I would like to stop (briefly) and explain why I consider him and expert and oppose to enthusiast.
Once everyone was suitably excited by the ideas that spawn from any social media discussion, Rob flipped the page and asked if anyone had given any thought as to how they planned to roll out the social media platform…instead of offering them the buffet, he gave them a menu. This was what really set Rob up as an expert in my mind.
Rather than recount the rest of the conversations, I would like to share a sample of our social strategy (slightly modified).
Phase One – Open the Book
So to ease the group into the social media world we suggested everyone get themselves a Facebook account. (They did and they are loving it)
Rob is creating the Business Page for the team with content provided from the team members.
Once created the Facebook accounts link directly to our CMS (how cool is that).
Facebook +CMS (Topproducer)
Phase Two – Toss out the trash
This will be the greatest challenge as we will be renovating all the business communication systems at align with social media. This is a long-term phase that will see most old communication tools and formats replaced with newer, tweetier versions.
The hard part will be moving the mindset of the group from a Web 1.0 to 2.0 mentality as the current communication systems cater to the “we send – you read” structure.
Phase Two.Two – In with the new
The key component of replacing the communication systems will be introducing the whole team to Blogging (Keep an eye out for a WordPress Ottawa Real Estate Blog, coming soon-ish). Each member will learn how to author blog posts and moderate their posts comments to help create a whole person feel for who they are and how they do business.
Facebook + CMS + Blog (automatically tied together, thank the app gods)
Phase 3 – Review and Relaunch
As any good strategy does, there are review periods built-in to ensure we are on the right track. In phase 3 we are going to look at the shift and ask ourselves;
How is the team adapting to Social Media?
What has our clients feedback been so far?
Are we having more meaningful interactions with our clients?
What have been our greatest learning experiences?
and then ARE WE READY FOR MORE?
Facebook + CMS + Blog + Twitter + LinkedIn
Phase Four – Above and Beyond (I loved that show)
See you at our next strategy session.
What do you think the next (phase 4) social media options for a growing and evolving real estate team should be?