Happy 4th Of July – RE/MAX Branded Facebook Covers

It’s always a good idea to change out your Facebook cover. It brings attention to your profile and generates more likes and connections. A great time to do this is on Holidays. A couple days prior to the Holiday you should change out your cover. After the Holiday change it back or perhaps to a new one as well. 4th Of July, Independance Day is here and below are a few Timeline Covers you can use to change out your Facebook.  It’s simple to do. Instruction on How To Change Out Your Facebook Timeline Cover can be found here

Right Click To Save Image, Then Upload To Your Facebook Page

Right Click To Save Image, Then Upload To Your Facebook Page

Right Click To Save Image, Then Upload To Your Facebook Page

Right Click To Save Image, Then Upload To Your Facebook Page

Right Click To Save Image, Then Upload To Your Facebook Page

3 Myths In Real Estate That Could Be Hurting Your Business

Real estate marketing in the digital world can be confusing at best. Most agents try everything and anything they read and or hear about to find their way through this social craze and online exploration we call the digital consumer. One thing is for sure. Myths seem to find their way into our business practice nearly every day. I am always surprised when agents tell me they heard this or they heard that about the online marketing world. You might be surprised yourself to learn the 3 biggest Myths I learned about this last year. these very Myths are misleading you down the wrong path and one filled with frustration. No worries. I am here to set you straight and get you on the path to success again.

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Whether you are new to digital marketing and just getting started or perhaps you are a seasoned pro, you may have tried a variety of organizational and marketing tasks hoping to arrive at the perfect system that helps put your digital tasks on autopilot to let you do what you do best: SELL! The Front Porch Report is an awesome “Do It For You” marketing system that takes the challenge of understanding the when, how and why out of your daily tasks, I strongly believe agents should empower assistance and or hire marketing platforms that do it for them. Stop wasting money (Which we all know time is money) on tasks below your “Pay Scale”

Myth #1: CRMs don’t work

We know that NAR states that 40-50% of real estate leads come from referrals from people you know or from repeat clients. I’ve implemented plenty of CRM (contact relationship management) systems in my day. I think it is absolutely mandatory you understand and use a digital CRM platform vs. the old system (email, sticky notes, excel spreadsheets, etc.). This is not to say that a handwritten note once in awhile almost always seals the relationship and takes it to another level.  Having said that, the system that you may have selected may not be the best or easiest system to use. It may not be the best for your industry, your mind type.

Fact #1

CRM systems DO WORK if they are well selected and implemented. Today’s CRMs are not the same as even a few years ago. The evolving nature of automated drip campaigns as really elevated the value of CRMS into a must-have in order to NOT let any your leads or referrals sources get lost in your digital ecosystem and automatically helps keep you top of mind while you’re out selling, selling, selling. There are many options to choose from and it’s imperative to find the right CRM for you, the way you work, what reports you want and what workflow processes match the way you manage your day-to-day business. After you pick the right one, to get the value out of the software you selected, you must COMMIT to using it and it alone for all your contact data and communication needs. This paradigm shift can take a good 30 days so make sure you give it the time it needs to be successful and you feel really comfortable with using your new software. Trust me when I tell you, you will not be disappointed.

Fact #2

In almost all CRM eFarming drip campaign newsletter providers I see the same thing. Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate! Yes you read right. Stop sending your client’s all real estate related material. The occasional market update is fine but everything you send them should not be real estate related. Why companies can’t figure this out is beyond me. Let’s take The Front Porch Report Daily Posts and Weekly Email as an example. We focus on three primary subjects, Home, Health and Wealth. These three topics are proven winners for engagement in the social world of marketing. This means more people will like your posts and click through to the stories if they involve their lifestyle. Nutrition, fitness, recipes, inspiration, travel, good eats, decor, design etc are all hot topics that create engagement with your consumer. Real Estate related stories are advertising. This advertising should be sprinkled in between the articles. When done right. Magic happens. Your sphere grows, and referrals happen.

Myth #2: I’ve tried Facebook and it doesn’t work

I love it when I hear this. There are so many questions I ask following hearing this response. like “what did you try?” and “why do you say it didn’t work?” The responses I hear are typically “I have a Facebook and I post on it but I never get leads from it.” Implementing HOW you can make it work for you takes time and knowledge. The sad part is that as SOON as you think you’ve mastered Facebook for business, it changes. Facebook is one of the fastest evolving advertising platforms around. That’s right, I said advertising. After tasting the sweet fruit of organic and free traffic / visibility / connectivity on Facebook, they have flipped the script and are making businesses pay for reach (not new news / not surprising).

Fact #1

Facebook is simply The single most powerful tool in advertising right now. You can find exactly who you want to target (age, income, homeowner/not), where you want to target them (location, The ability to target and reach your intended audience is beyond amazing and is a marketing professional’s dream come true. Most business owners who want to use Facebook use as a blow horn to say “HEY, COME BUY FROM ME!” You have to understand the nature of today’s performing marketing practices is all about creating compelling value and authentic relationships. Then, you have to understand the Facebook platform and why people are there. They are on Facebook to connect and engage. If you are hitting COLD traffic with COME BUY FROM ME type of messaging, then don’t be surprised when you aren’t getting any clicks / leads. Advertising has evolved and you have to evolve with it or be left behind.

Fact #2

Facebook is the single most important platform you should be using. Think of your Facebook feed as a place to Datamine. This means sit in front of your computer or on your phone and look for opportunity to engage. Each and every opportunity is a chance to build on your relationship and get their commitment to use your services when the time comes.  Take it to another level. Don’t just “Like”, “Comment” or “Share” this engagement. Reach out. Grab a note card from your desk and send them a handwritten note congratulating them on their accomplishment and or event that has just taken place. I call this “eBuffini” them. Birthdays, anniversary’s that’s the easy stuff. Look for job changes, accomplishments, send notes about how a post made you feel good. This is the magic formula to building referrals from social media.

Myth #3: The more websites the better

NAR states that on average 9-10% of real estate leads come from organic searches. I don’t think I’ve talked to an agent/broker that has less than 5 website domain addresses. Many have upwards of 10+ with roughly 5 emails addresses they are managing. They’ve left various firms and joined others or opened their own. There was a time when owning “YourTownHomeForsale” made sense. Not anymore. Where is the consumer looking for homes? ZILLOW with 80+ million visitors a month. We only sell 5 million homes a year and yet 80 million visitors monthly are searching. That’s a lot of dead leads…

Fact #1

More is not always better! Google is one really smart search engine. He’s getting smarter every year. Google dominates search with 66% of the search market and when Bing and Yahoo, they collectively make up 32% of the search market. You might be operating off of old SEO (search engine optimization) information when you think that more domains are better. Google releases 2+ algorithm updates a year. He knows which websites are trying to game the SEO system to reach higher organic (free) SERP (search engine results page) rankings and dings them for it. Google local is a whole other animal and there are professionals and software system specifically dedicated to helping users get found in the Google local pack in the top right corner. Submitting your business to Google as a REALTOR with RE/MAX Gold is a sure way to get noticed and indexed fast.

Fact #2

Your name as a domain website is probably the most important website you can own. And really the only one you need to own. Unless you are a SEO wiz and creating website landing pages sound fun to you. Stick with your name. You might be surprised how easy it is to get your name as a domain. Even if you have a very common name. jim Smith. Instead of trying to get jimsmith.com which will not be available. try Jim-Smtih-Real-Estate.com Use hyphens to seperate the words. This really helps when people are searching for you. Consumers no longer call phone numbers. they search fro you on Google. The Google the address. Finding you is your end result. Think of how you type in to find someone online. You don’t type in jimsmith, you type Jim Smith. You use spaces. Hyphens tell Google and other search engines “Space” This creates more accurate searches.  Try it and watch your business grow.

Hopefully these three tips will clear up some misguidance you have received over the last year. I still strongly recommend you work towards having this whole marketing stuff done for you. Front Porch report does it for you for $100/monthly. Try it today.

Advertising Real Estate On Instagram… A Must Do!

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The face of real estate advertising has changed drastically over the past few decades. The marketing mix now tilts digital, and real estate professionals must be ever-vigilant about coming up with relevant, innovative ways to reach potential clients.

Millennials – those individuals born between 1982 and 2004 – make up a large portion of the home buying population and their share is growing each year. These young adults represented 32% of the market as of 2015. At the same time, the median age of real estate agents is 57. The disconnect that is created by this age gap has caused a challenge for real estate professionals who are attempting to strengthen their target marketing to Millennials. Expanding your advertising campaign to Instagram can bridge that gap and significantly increase your business’s exposure to this increasingly important demographic.

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Instagram

This social media community was launched in 2010, and in the short span of its existence has garnered over 400 million users worldwide. The premise is simple – users can follow each other, and by doing so they can see photos and videos posted by those in their feed. If a user posts publicly rather than privately, you can see their content regardless of whether you’re a follower.

How can you, as a real estate professional – whether broker, agent, stager, or loan officer – leverage the power of this popular platform to get exposure for your business? Instagram recently made this infinitely easier. It used to be that advertising had to be purchased through personal interaction with an Instagram representative. This meant that only companies with enormous budgets could afford to market there. Fortunately, with Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram advertisers have many more options.

SIMPLE, ACCESSIBLE, TARGETED MARKETING

In November 2015 Instagram launched a public API (application program interface), which allows users to customize their experience – including purchasing ads. Now you can get your company name out there in front of a targeted audience through the use of hashtags and location-specific marketing.

Instagram offers the option of photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads (posts that allow users to flip through multiple photos). You can embed links to your website and enable users to download your mobile app. This option opens up a whole new world of possibilities – you can post your current listings (high quality collages have proven successful for a number of real estate firms), share your company’s story through visual moments (creating a personal connection with potential clients), and encourage users to click through to the valuable content on your website.

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Does it work? Ask Poshmark, the online portal for buying and selling gently used women’s fashions – they’ve seen an 85% increase in their campaign objective. Canadian firm Bench Accounting has experienced 12.5% increased click-through rates through their use of Instagram advertising. Even brands that are already prominent are seeing the benefits of reaching Millennials through Instagram – Philadelphia cream cheese alone has seen a 41% rise in sales. That’s a significant result no matter what business you’re in.

11 Ways to Promote Social Engagement on Your Facebook Page

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Have you noticed a drop in your Facebook engagement?

Wondering how you can better engage with your fans?

Making small changes to what and how you post can help your Facebook updates generate clicks, likes, and comments. In this article, you’ll discover 11 tips for boosting Facebook engagement.

#1: Pose a Question

One of the simplest and most effective ways to kickstart a dialogue with your Facebook fans is to ask them a question. Basically, you’re inviting a response. If fans can relate to the question and you find a way to leverage people’s interests or needs, they’ll find it hard not to answer.

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Here are some questions to ask:

  • Specific: What’s your favorite…?
  • Tips: How do you…?
  • Experiences: What’s your favorite moment from experience/memory…?
  • Edgy: Do you think…? (controversial question)
  • Direct: Why do you…?
  • Events: Who is going/Who attended…?
  • Timely: Today is…, so what are you…?

#2: Share Relevant Images

A picture can say a lot more than a text post. A visually striking image can bring the rapid thumb-scroller to a halt. Images have proven time and again to improve engagement, especially when they tell a story or connect with the audience on a personal or emotional level.

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According to BuzzSumo, Facebook posts with images see more than double the engagement of basic text posts.

Use relevant, colorful, and high-quality images. If you want to spice up your photos but don’t have Photoshop-level skills, try free tools like Canva and Adobe Spark.

#3: Crowdsource Feedback

People love giving feedback. When you ask for input the right way, your audience will jump on board and be quick to respond. The added benefit is you can uncover opportunities to improve your business and delight your customers.

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Imagine the potential boost to customer loyalty (and future engagement) if you make changes to your business based on the input you receive? Give this tactic a try. It’s a much more personal approach than surveys and you can respond to people directly to address their feedback.

#4: Include a Call to Action

The standing rule for any kind of marketing is that if you want your audience to do something, you have to tell them to do it. Use a call to action in every post, whether it’s to prompt a comment, share, opt in, like, RSVP, or any other action.

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Always tell your audience what you want them to do to encourage engagement.

#5: Boost Your Best Posts

If you have a Open House or a New Listing, post it to your Facebook page and boost that post. You don’t need to throw hundreds of dollars at it; give it a modest boost of $25 – $50 and target the people in the city you do business in and who like your page and their friends.

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You won’t necessarily see thousands of shares, but a boosted post can help get your best content in front of your target audience and spark some engagement. The more people engage, the greater the organic reach to their networks. This tactic can be especially effective with Open Houses and sharing the results with the owners. Often this method is far less expensive than advertising in the newspaper.

#6: Share Industry News and Hot Topics

Even your most loyal fans are interested in more than just your business. Sharing big news from your industry will show your fans that you’re not focused solely on promoting your business; you want to keep them informed about current topics. They’ll appreciate and respond to that.

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Curate industry news from a trusted source and ask your fans what they think. Ask people to contribute their thoughts and share the post. I often share resources from other marketing sources in order to ensure our agents have every opportunity to thrive! Sharing news, articles of interest from other trusted sources to your sphere makes you more credible and likable!

#7: Adjust Your Post Frequency

If your Facebook engagement is slipping, it might have something to do with your post frequency. Posting too little (say a few times a week) won’t help you establish relevance with Facebook’s algorithm and you’ll be fighting for space in your audience’s feed.

On the other hand, posting too often can hurt you, too. Facebook tries to show users the most interesting and relevant content from everyone they follow. If you’re posting a half-dozen times each day over a short period, expect a lot of your content to be missed.

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To find a sweet spot, try posting a few times each day at the times your fans are most likely to engage. Check out Facebook Insights for specific audience data you can use to target your fans.

#8: Give People a Giggle

We all love a good laugh in our news feed. Lighten the mood for your fans and show them that you have some personality. Don’t overthink it; just do something to give your fans a chuckle. Keep their interests in mind and make sure the humor is relevant to your audience.

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obviously make sure no one knows the people or who’s home you are giggling over. We work in one of the best industries for finding things to laugh at. A great source for Bad MLS Photos etc is this awesome Facebook Group “Really Bad MLS Photos” https://www.facebook.com/groups/146553387152 Join the group and prepare for a laugh.

#9: Respond to Everyone

If you receive comments from your fans but fail to respond or acknowledge them, they’ll notice and stop engaging with you. It only takes a few minutes throughout the day to monitor your social activity and make a few quick or witty responses to fans who comment.

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Consistent responses make fans feel valued and they’ll be more likely to engage with future posts from your page.

#10: Make an Emotional Connection

If you want to elicit a big response from your fans, publish a post that appeals to your audience on an emotional level. Share content and tell stories that pull at people’s interests, emotions, fears, and even their dislikes. Brand loyalty doesn’t come from a product; it comes from a customer’s joy at experiencing a shared sentiment or finding a solution that works.

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Emotion drives loyalty and engagement. It’s why millions of people couldn’t help but share the “Thank You, Mama” P&G commercials, making them the most shared Olympics ad at the time.

#11: Provide Value

Anytime you share or post content to your Facebook page, ask yourself what kind of value you’re providing to your fans. The best way to get their attention is to make sure there’s a takeaway or something in it for them. At the very least, give them a good chuckle. At best,teach people how to do something, inspire them to take action, and add value to their life.

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This exhaustive list of ideas should help you fill your calendar with a good mix of content types that are likely to promote engagement among your Facebook followers. Keep your Facebook posts short for maximum effect. The ideal character count is about 50 or fewer.

Also keep in mind that if you want engagement, you need to post and respond to your fans every day. While Front Porch Report is an awesome tool to automate the lifestyle articles for your social network.  Go for the human connection and provide value, and you’ll see your engagement rise.

Was this helpful? If so, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

 

25 killer Pinterest real estate board suggestions to target buyers and sellers

bill-best-photo-002-1-jpgThis guest post was written by Bill Gassett, a Realtor with Re/Max Executive Realty who has been helping people move in and out of the MetroWest Massachusetts area for the past 26 years. Connect with him on Google Plus.

 

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If you are just getting your feet wet with Pinterest for your real estate business, you may not know just how good the site can be as a marketing tool! You might also not realize that you need to have a variety of boards posted that are about a lot more than just the homes you have for sale. Using Pinterest for real estate well entails having a variety of useful boards.

A common mistake that is prevalent among many real estate agents is the natural instinct just to share real estate listings, which to most people is really boring. Have no fear — here are 25 ideas for real estate boards that you can create to bring your Pinterest strategy to the next level and drive tons of traffic in the process back to your blog or website.

Before getting into the creative ideas, here’s a quick recap on ways to make your Pinterest pins reach their full potential:

  • Only pin interesting and high-quality images or videos. Blurry or boring pictures/videos have about a zero percent chance of getting repinned. Some of the best photos for pinning are of the long and skinny variety. They just stand out better in a sea full of pictures. There are times you will see a photo that has been pinned that is too small. You want to avoid this at all costs, as it will generate little activity.
  • Apply for rich pins. Rich pins look much better than a standard pin. When you are on Pinterest the difference between a rich pin and non-rich pin is night and day. The rich pin will have a bold title and an enhanced Web link. You can get rich pins by following a few steps. First you need to mark up your site with Web coding known as schema. There are numerous plug-ins you can add to your site that will do this for you. Once you have done that, you apply for rich pins at Pinterest. Once approved, your pins will look beautiful.
  • Keep descriptions short and sweet. People are on Pinterest to look at pictures, not read a novel. Make your descriptions keyword-rich but still short. You can even ask a question to get emotions involved and encourage comments (example: Can you picture yourself in this home?).
  • Add your website to the description. Adding your website to the description will provide a link to your website on every person’s board who repins your article. While the link is “no followed,” it is still a link and makes it easier for the reader to have something easy to click to get to your site.
  • Make hashtags your friend. They aren’t just for Twitter anymore. Pick two or three keywords or phrases that people would search to find your pins, add a hashtag to the front of them, and add them to your pin (example: #realestate #Boston homes, #dream home, #home inspiration, #home improvement, etc.).

OK, now that that’s covered, let’s get onto the Pinterest real estate board ideas:

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Boards to attract buyers

  1. Home Decorating and Inspiration. Put together a board with a collection of rooms designed by famous designers.
  2. My Dream Home. Almost everyone on Pinterest has a “Dream Home” board, and your job is to find pictures that your followers will want to add to theirs. Think massive walk-in closets, stunning built-in pools, and homes with curb appeal to leave anyone drooling.
  3. Best Kid Room Ideas. A simple concept to find and an even easier one to gain you some repins.
  4. Outdoor Living. Photos of lush waterfalls, stellar decks, and anything that would make a potential buyer jealous.
  5. Style-themed boards. Make one with contemporary decor, another with traditional, and another with country living.

Boards to attract sellers

  1. Capitalizing on Small Spaces. Ideas for people to make the most of their space, like multipurpose furniture ideas, and tips and tricks to using color.
  2. DIY Weekend or Home Improvement Projects. Like adding a built-in bookshelf to the office or tips for repainting a bedroom.
  3. Organizing Inspiration. Pinterest fans love creative organization ideas, so why not make a board about it?
  4. Repurposing Ideas. Another popular theme on Pinterest: People love to make new things from old things and then brag about it.
  5. Tips for Staging. Pin images that show the ideal way to stage a home for sale.
  6. Community Boards. Most real estate agents have a territory they cover that includes at least a few cities or towns. Promote everything about the real estate communities you cover. Start first by having city or town pages on your website that have interesting and unique photos that people will want to pin. Now take this concept and create a board for each of the towns you provide real estate services for and highlight all the best landmarks including schools, parks, restaurants, lakes and others that would be interesting to visitors. Remember, you want to get the point across that you are the local real estate market expert!

Expanding Your Client Base through Social Media

Great article from Claire Wiese, Social Media Marketing Manager at HSA Home Warranty

Social-Media-Marketing-StrategyToday’s buyer will search online at some point during the buying process. When they do, it’s crucial that your business and contact information show up at the top of the search results. Many people think that this can cost thousands of dollars, but you can do a lot of the work yourself through social media. Here are a few tips to get you started on the major social networks.

Facebook
Setting up a Facebook page for your business is an excellent way to reach out to clients and their friends and family. To keep them interested, be sure to feature lifestyle content, in addition to your listings. Show your expertise by posting photos and information about the neighborhood schools, new cafes and upcoming events. Ask questions, run local promotions, do all you can to engage readers and build a connection. By reaching out and sharing your knowledge about the community, you can become the go-to real estate professional in the area.

Twitter
Twitter lets you communicate quickly and keeps you connected. Just like Facebook, your listings should not take up your whole feed. Tweet links to helpful articles about securing a mortgage or renovation tips. Offer incentives for visiting your open houses, encourage others to post pictures, make comments and share your tweets. Use hashtags so your tweets will be found by more than your followers, and make every word count. Remember, you’ve only got 140 characters to engage readers.

YouTube
YouTube videos are a smart way to promote yourself and the properties you represent. Social-Media-GraphicHave someone with a steady hand shoot short videos of you showcasing your listings and the neighborhood sites that appeal to potential buyers. Be sure to identify yourself in each video with your name and contact information.

Pinterest
As the most visual of the social media sites, Pinterest lets you set up colorful boards with images of the neighborhood, decorating trends, renovation tips, your personal interests and listings. Your clients can engage by saving pins to their own boards, or liking and commenting on the images. With Pinterest, you can draw clients in by using visuals to paint a more complete picture of what you can offer them along with your listings.

How To Effectively Use Social Media Grow your Sphere and Build Referrals

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From time to time I get asked about all the various platforms agents can conduct business on and build their sphere. Social Media has quickly become “A Must Use” in real estate if agents are to remain successful and wish to grow their business. The challenge is where to start? which platforms should you use? How often should you post, share, comment, like, wink, send, receive, upload, pass, create, play, email etc… The list is endless when it comes to the many different ways you can engage. The key word here is “Engage”!

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Remember, as I have said in previous MEC events. Using Social Media as a way to mine for engagement is the key to success. Finding ways on social platforms to engage is how you should be using social media at all times. It’s important you balance work and play. Sharing your personal information is far more engaging than sharing your work related stuff. Your sphere is more excited about the day your having with friends, sharing food, playing a game, visiting a city etc.,  than they are about your new listing. Go with the 75/25 Rule. 75% of everything you post should be about you, your life, the things you enjoy, your hobbies, special interests, etc. Mix in inspiring quotes, funny posts, a cat or two and BAM! You are going to find people liking your posts over and over. (I am kidding about the alltwitter-social-media-signpost cat or two part). 25% should be about your business. Do not post things like “Just listed, 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in the Roaring Springs subdivision, if you know of someone interested in buying call me” This is boring and will illicit ZERO engagement. Instead post things like ” New listing, Roaring Springs, you have to see this kitchen.. Simply amazing. (Then attach a spectacular photo of the kitchen and link it to the homes single page website). Now you have a strong call to action that will not only find a buyer, but get you noticed since more people are interested in seeing this “Amazing Kitchen” than just buyers looking for homes. Those in your sphere that are not in the market will still click the link and want to see what it is you are so excited about. This drives traffic and when you print your analytical report for the home owners you look like a ROCK STAR!

Finding Ways To Engage: What you should be spending most of your time on Social Media doing is looking for ways to build relationships and get referrals.  You do this by scanning your wall for reasons to reach out to your sphere. Let’s say Janice is in your sphere and you sold her and John a house three years ago. It’s Saturday and Janice just posted a picture of her daughter Alyssa kicking in a field goal for her soccer team. Janice is excited and posts the picture to Facebook with the description “Woot, woot, Alyssa’s first field goal for her soccer team… Go Alyssa” You see this post and like most in Social-Media-EngagementJanice’s sphere you like it, you might even be savvy enough to comment on the post.  However, the real ROCK STAR Agent goes one step further. You pull out a note card, you write a hand written message that reads “Congrats on your first field goal Alyssa, we at RE/MAX are all super proud of your accomplishments” The  you mail it to Janice and Alyssa. Now who do you think Janice cares more, those who liked an commented or the one person who just took time to recognize a special moment in her life? This is what I talk about all the time. You have to spend time finding ways to connect, not just like, share or comment but a reason to send a note, pop by, Buffini them!

Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s talk Best Practices. Below is a one sheet you can use as a reference tool for setting up any social media platform as well as a mini guide an how to best use the particular social platform for success. If you have suggestion bring them on. Leave them in the comments box below and happy mining…

Social One Sheets. Right Click and save or print.

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youtube

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Instagram

Here’s a special one-sheet on Best Practices when it comes to posting.

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Custom Branded RE/MAX Memorial day Timeline Covers

Here are four custom branded Timeline Covers to be used over Memorial Day weekend. This is a great way to brand yourself and stay fresh to your sphere. Changing out your Timeline cover from time to time reminds your sphere who you are. It also celebrates an occasion and or event. I hope you enjoy these and have a great holiday weekend.

To use: Simply right click on image, then save to your device. Then upload to your Facebook Page you wish to change.  Enjoy!

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Need help on changing the cover out? Watch this video to see how easy it is.

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How to Set up Facebook, Twitter and Every Other Major Social Media Profile

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Setting up social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook or any other social network can be a lot of work. And if you’re starting from scratch, it feels like a big impediment to overcome before using a new tool. We need to choose a photo or fill out a bio when all we want to do is start sharing content and engaging with friends.

Your social media profile is a window into your personality, your job, your interests—sure, but, if done correctly, it can be so much more than that. It can drive people to your website or other online assets; it can promote some of your best content; and it can lead to new clients and sales. When you reach out to a new contact or prospect, the first thing they’re going to do is look you up online. Your profile needs to be both impressive and discoverable.

With so much potential value in each social media profile, it’s worth investing the time and effort required to set them up properly. (Or, if you’ve neglected yours for an extended period of time, it can be just as important to give it a complete overhaul.) Here’s our complete guide on how to social media profiles.

Featured Social Media Platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn Profiles
  • LinkedIn Company Pages
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

General Rules

Bio/Description

Why is your bio so important? In addition to sharing basic information about yourself, adding your website and email address turns any social network bio into a potential source of referral traffic. Especially on company pages, the opportunity to describe your products and link out to an external website makes bios a powerful marketing and sales tool. Plus, including your Twitter handle or Google+ page in the personal information section of another social network is a simple form of cross-promotion that could help grow your social following across the board.

Social media bios should always be catered to the social network and the audienceof that particular profile. Your personal Facebook bio can be more fun and interesting than your LinkedIn bio, which should be very focused on professional skills and job history.

Though each profile bio will differ, your name or handle should be consistent across all networks. This allows people to find you more easily. If they see your Twitter handle, they can then enter that into Instagram and immediately find your personal or branded account. Online service know’em allows you to quickly check if a desired handle is available on almost every social network.

Finally, if you’re curious about which of your social networks need work, there’s any easy way to check: Google yourself.

Images

You should always strive to have photos fall within the dimensions recommendedfor a certain network. Why? A square is a square, right? Well, you never know when profile images will be reused elsewhere on a social network. Even though your giant headshot might look nice in the profile picture, it might look weird when appearing on a mobile device or in a home feed.

With profile images, simple is usually better. Don’t try and fit tons of information about your business or product into a cover photo. The cover photo’s job is to be eye-catching and reflect who you are, so focus on that. The profile picture should be of you, or of your logo, so people know who they’re following or talking to.

Finally, image consistency across social networks will help people connect with and trust you. If someone follows you on Twitter and seeks you out on Instagram, using the same profile photo will increase your chances of them finding the right account, and following you. Much like with account names, consistent imagery results in better discoverability and more immediate trust. It’s a very easy way to cross-promote your social accounts.

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Like the rest of your social media presence, your profiles should be regularly updated. Bios should be updated with the latest information or the latest content to ensure everything is accurate and fresh. Set yourself a reminder to check your profile information every couple of weeks, and don’t ignore it.

In the same vein, regularly changing cover photos keeps your profile interesting to existing followers and gives you an opportunity to re-engage people who weren’t impressed the first time. Meanwhile your static profile picture will help you maintain brand recognition and consistency across networks.

Facebook

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Your Facebook profile is one of the largest social media profiles on the web. Since Facebook is also the biggest social network on the planet, with 1.3 billion users, it’s important that people are able to quickly find you and connect.

Bio

Both your personal information or company information will fall under the “About” tab on your Facebook profile or page. For personal profiles, the About tab contains an overview on which you can update the following fields:

  • Job
  • Education
  • Location
  • Contact information
  • Website
  • And relationship status

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Each of these sections can be further expanded on in addition tabs within the About page. If you’re using your Facebook profile for public or professional purposes, we recommend keeping the relationship status out of your bio. People want to know where you work and how to contact you. That being said, you can change the reach of each piece of information in your bio by editing the audience setting so certain information can only be viewed by friends.

For Company Pages your about section offers the opportunity to include the following information:

  • Location
  • Products
  • Founding date
  • Release date
  • And contact information

Take the time to fill out these sections with care, as customers and prospects will turn to them frequently. You also have the opportunity to write a lengthy “About” description of your company. Use this space to show visitors who you are, what you do and why they should care.

Follow Facebook’s directions on how to update your bio info.

Images 

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  • Facebook profile picture: 180×180 pixels
  • Facebook cover photo: 851×315 pixels 

Your Facebook profile picture is the square photo on the left side of your profile. It’s the same photo that shows up on other people’s walls or homepages when you post. For that reason, your profile picture should be a headshot. If you’re creating a business page your profile image should be your logo. The image you choose for your profile picture should be square and should also be clear in small and large sizes.

Your Facebook cover photo is the large image that appears behind your profile picture. The larger size of this image offers opportunities for your to make an impression, sell your business or get creative.

Learn how to add or update your profile or cover photo here.

As Facebook image sizes will change with redesigns, you can stay up to date with their recommended image sizes here.

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Facebook photos you’ve added or have been tagged in will also figure prominently on your profile. Make sure you keep a close eye on photos you’re being tagged in so you can untag anything you don’t want others seeing on your page. To avoid this process you can also turn on Timeline review, which allows you to approve tags before they appear on your profile. 

Interest categories, from sports to music, can also appear on your profile if you so choose. If you’re using a profile for professional purposes, you may want to avoid these sections unless they are industry-relevant or they offer relevant insight to connections.

Twitter

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Whether it’s a personal or branded account, Twitter profiles are exactly the same for everyone. This should be an advantage, since you don’t need to learn different processes if you’re building a profile for you or your business. That isn’t to say these profiles don’t require effort. Just like the network’s approach to social media as a whole, Twitter profiles are a test in brevity. Have a look: 

Bio

Your Twitter bio is very minimal in comparison to networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. There are only five fields you can update:

  • name
  • bio
  • location
  • website
  • and theme color

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Each of these sections should be filled out but, with so little opportunity for customization, special attention should be paid to the bio field. In true Twitter fashion, your bio is limited to 160 characters, so you can’t go into much detail. Instead, focus on sharing insight into what you’ll be talking about on Twitter. This saves visitors the trouble of scrolling through your Tweets to see what they can expect from you. Your Twitter account is most likely about Real Estate, so you might want to state in your bio “Tweets about home improvements, home buying, market statistics, home values, how to sell a home in 21 days etc..” No gimmicks, but a strong incentive to follow for people who are after that information. 

To guide new followers effectively, your bio could cross-promote other relevant branded accounts as well. A agent might include in their bio,for example, “For immediate loan approval @lenderjoe.”

The bio writing process will be a test of your editing skills. If you’re having trouble, ask yourself ‘does this really need to be in here?’ for each section and work to trim the fat. Take your time and do it right. And if you’re stuck, look to the accounts of other industry leaders for inspiration.

Follow Twitter’s steps to update your bio information here.

Images

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Suggested Twitter image dimensions
  • Twitter profile photo: 400×400 pixels
  • Twitter header image: 1,500×500 pixels

Your Twitter profile photo is the smaller, square image that appears on the top-left side your profile. Your photo should be clear and recognizable whether small or large, since the same photo you choose for your profile image will be used within other people’s streams, and in Twitter’s “Who to Follow” section on the right side of your feed.

Just like on Facebook, your Twitter header image is the much larger, rectangular photo that appears behind your profile photo and across the top of your profile page. This large photo is a great asset. It’s the first thing most people will notice when they visit your profile, and should therefore serve the purpose of piquing their interest right from the get-go.

Learn how to add or update your Twitter profile or header image here

Twitter profile image sizes may change with a redesign, so stay up to date on recommended image sizes here. 

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Earlier this year Twitter added the ability to pin a Tweet to your profile. This Tweet is one of the first things someone who lands on your profile will see. It’s is also an amazing opportunity to promote your content to new contacts. Choose a Tweet that promotes a strong piece of content you or your brand has created, and includes an image or video. Discover how to pin a Tweet here.

Google+

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Bio

Google+ offers several choices to customize what information appears in your profile bio. Make sure you go through every part to see what you want made public and what is better off private. g+PROFILE

The bio section of your Google+ profile can really be split into two parts. First, there is a small section under your profile picture containing some info about you. On personal profiles your work, school and location will appear in that position, while on business pages your website will appear there. While you may not want your school or workplace to appear on your profile, you should always have your website in that position if you run a business page. Users are drawn to your profile picture, so having your website right there is a great way to point followers back to your other online properties. 

Second, every profile has an About tab containing much more information about you or your brand. This tab can contain simple details like your job and education history as well as contact information. However, there are 3 sections worth focusing your attention on: 

  • People: This section shows how many people you’ve circled, and how many people have you in circles. People are more likely to follow you if they know you will probably follow them back. They’re also more likely to follow you if they see that lots of others do, since it adds credibility. As a result, you may want to keep this information private until these numbers are impressive to profile viewers.

PEOPLE

  • Links: Google+ has done us a favour by including cross-promotional opportunities from the get-go. Use this section to point to other social network profiles, all of your websites as well as blogs you’ve contributed to. The value of this section can’t be understated.

LINKS

  • Story: This section is where you have lots of flexibility to get creative. It is comprised of three different categories. Tagline is where you should offer people a quick sell of yourself. Who you are, what you do and why they should follow. Make sure it includes keywords you want associated with you in search. Introduction is where you can delve into a little more detail. If you’ve lured them in with your tagline, this section will be the next information they’re after. The Introduction could also include a call to action, like “Add us to your circles today!” The third section of your story is “bragging rights.” This is a section for awards and accomplishments. If you don’t have anything relevant, don’t force it.

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Follow Google’s instructions on how to edit your Google+ profile bio here. 

Images

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Suggested Google+ image dimensions
  • Google+ profile picture: 120×120 pixels minimum
  • Google+ cover photo: 1080×608 pixels

Your Google+ profile picture, unlike Facebook and Twitter, will appear as a circle rather than a square. That being said, you still upload that picture as a square; you just need to be aware of what will be cut off when Google crops that photo.

Learn how to add or update your profile or cover photos, and stay up to date on Google+ recommended profile image sizes here.

Extras

Google+ also offers a variety of options to customize what information publically appears on your profile. You get to chose if photos, YouTube or other videos, +1s and reviews by you can be seen by profile visitors. When it comes to photos and videos you’ve produced, you likely want your audience to see them. They show off your content marketing efforts and offer a bigger picture of who you are and what you do. Public +1s and reviews may not be the best fit for professional profiles however. Consider each field carefully before deciding which to make public. 

LinkedIn

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LinkedIn’s personal and business pages are so different that each one needs its own section. We’ve broken them down separately below.

LinkedIn Personal Profile

Bio 

On LinkedIn, your bio is at the core of effectively using the social network. LinkedIn is a professional social network where you list your experience and expertise in order to attract potential employers, clients or connections. Being that your profile is so essential for this purpose, LinkedIn has made their profiles very substantive. In fact, there are no fewer than 21 sections to your LinkedIn profile. While almost all of these should be filled out, we’ve ranked them roughly in their order of importance and added a line about each one:

  • Name – First and last
  • Headline – Will default to your current job title, but you can customize for more punch and to include key terms for search
  • Summary – LinkedIn describes it as info “about your mission, accomplishments, and goals.”
  • Contact Info – Email, phone, IM, address, Twitter handle and websites.
  • Experience – Professional positions and experience, both jobs and volunteer work.
  • Recommendations – Professional recommendations displayed on your profile are a major asset while on the job hunt.
  • Skills & Endorsements – The skills you list should represent your real strengths, since your contacts will ideally be endorsing you for them. Spend time to make this section very representative of you and your abilities.
  • Industry – Choose from their drop-down menu
  • Location – Important to let people know where you work
  • Education – Where you went to school and what you studied
  • Certifications – Do you have a specific certification that would benefit your job?
  • Publications – Specifically relevant for marketers, writers and researchers
  • Projects – Have you worked on a noteworthy project that would impress connections or employers?
  • Languages – Being bilingual or trilingual can be a major career asset. Share your language skills.
  • Volunteer Experience & Causes – Organizations you support, causes you care about, and the types of volunteer opportunities you’re looking for.
  • Additional Information – If it isn’t professional, keep it out of this section. Your marital status isn’t particularly relevant on LinkedIn.
  • Honors & Awards – Keep these to large, noteworthy awards. Not your ‘most improved softball player’ trophy.
  • Organizations – Be careful of noting political organizations. They could influence hiring.
  • Courses – Only fill this out if your school courses are very relevant to your desired field.
  • Patents – Not very relevant for most of us, but a select few can benefit from this section
  • Test Scores – Generally, skip this. Unless you got a perfect score on the bar exam.

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As a general rule, your LinkedIn profile should be strictly professional. Avoid the humorous or quirky in favor of the straightforward. LinkedIn also favors profiles that are 100% complete, so put in the effort to check off all the boxes in the creation of your profile.

Follow LinkedIn’s instructions on how to update any of your profile sections here.

Gain insight on how to be found on LinkedIn.

Images

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uggested LinkedIn profile image dimensions
  • LinkedIn profile photo: 200×200 pixels minimum
  • LinkedIn custom background: 1400×425

LinkedIn profile photos should be square headshots. This is a standard that exists for a reason. You can also choose a custom background photo for your profile. Since it is LinkedIn, we recommend choosing a photo with some professional context, or something that speaks to your career.

Extras 

Last year LinkedIn made its publishing platform open to all users, a move that turned the social network into a veritable blogging platform. When you publish a post on LinkedIn, it will appear high up on your profile. This important real estate is a major incentive to start writing posts for your LinkedIn audience. It’s an easy way to extend your reach and impress profile visitors. Think of it like your own mini thought leadership program.

LinkedIn Company Page

Bio

LinkedIn Company Pages require a much smaller set of information than LinkedIn profiles.

  • Company name
  • Company size
  • Type
  • Website
  • Main industry
  • Operating status
  • Year founded
  • And location

These fields are all either self-explanatory or are chosen from a dropdown menu. This leaves only three sections that require effort to fill out.

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First, your company description should describe who you are and what you do, and appeal to both prospects and prospective hires. Include links to your website and careers page in this section. 

Next is your company specialties. In this section list key terms that someone who uses your product or service might search for. There are several slots open, so you can get very specific with these specialties. 

Finally, there is a featured groups section which is meant for LinkedIn groups that you participate actively in or are an administrator for. LinkedIn groups are a great way to make connections on the social network, so we recommend actively participating in them. If you see a void on a particular topic, starting a group is a great way for your company to be perceived as an authority or leader on that subject.

Follow LinkedIn’s instructions on how to edit your LinkedIn Company Page. 

Images

Your LinkedIn Business Page has three main images you should take time to optimize.

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Suggested LinkedIn Company Page image dimensions
  • LinkedIn standard logo: 100×60 pixels
  • LinkedIn banner image: 646×220
  • LinkedIn square logo: 50×50 

The first is your standard logo, the small icon that appears in a box on the top right of your page. This image will be reused in LinkedIn’s “Companies You Want to Follow” section, which is a great reason to make this image stand out. Make it clear and appealing, since it will be the first impression many LinkedIn users have of your brand. 

Next is your banner image. This appears on your business page under your logo and is the LinkedIn equivalent of a cover image. It’s a bigger, landscape image and should be used to capture people’s attention, while telling your company’s story.

Finally, your business page will need a square logo. It will be used when you post updates and when users search for you, so make it clickable.

Extras

LinkedIn is now an incredibly important part of hiring for many businesses. With that in mind, the social network offers an opportunity to highlight career opportunities on a separate tab within your Company Page. While not immediately visible, this tab would appear on your profile and is worth completing. 

 

Instagram

Bio

Instagram is likely the simplest social network you will deal with when it comes to your bio. Aside from your username and real name, the only information that appears on your public profile is your website and a short (maximum 150 characters) bio. For your bio, since you’re limited in terms of length, keep things straightforward, but not serious. Say who you are and what you will be sharing photos of, but don’t make it dry.

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For business accounts, (Real Estate) always include any branded hashtags you use. (#RealEstate, #Homes, #BuyAHouse, etc)This allows people to browse the hashtag and see what kind of content you produce and promote before they follow you. 

Follow Instagram’s instructions on how to edit your Instagram bio.

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Suggested Instagram image dimensions
  • Instagram profile picture: 180×180 

Instagram is unique in the sense that you’ll likely be setting up your profile on mobile first, with only secondary considerations about the web version. Most people use Instagram on mobile, but you can’t ignore the fact that some people will view your profile on their desktop browser. As a result, with Instagram it’s always a good idea touse higher resolution images with greater resolution than required for mobile. 

Your Instagram profile picture will be cropped into a circle on the app, so make sure you choose an image that will look good in that shape. Though the profile picture will be 110 pixels in diameter on the mobile app, it is recommended that you choose a larger square image since it will appear larger on the web.

Learn how to change your Instagram profile photo.

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It’s worth noting that your Instagram profile will showcase your latest Instagram photos. As a result, every photo you take will potentially take a prominent place on your profile and be the first thing a visitor sees. This is a big reason to take time and share only the best photos, especially if the profile is a professional or branded one. You may be tempted to share a mediocre or low-quality photo because it was taken in a specific context, or features people you want to recognize. However, visitors to your profile won’t understand the context. All they’ll see is a bad photo, and they almost surely won’t follow you.

Consider sticking to a certain style of image, keeping to a specific set of filters or one style of cropping. Doing so will give your Instagram feed a specific brand, making it more recognizable to followers and more consistent to new profile visitors.

YouTube

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In 2014 YouTube became known as the second largest search engine on the planet. With 6 billion hours of video viewed every month and 100 hours of video uploaded every minute, it’s certainly a force to be reckoned with. All the evidence suggests that video is becoming the medium of choice for those seeking both entertainment and information on the web, with statistics and studies consistently pointing towards higher click through rates, engagement and sales leads as a result of video marketing drives.

Hosting videos on your website is all very well and good, but leveraging YouTube is essential if you really want to get your content noticed. Creating a YouTube channel is an essential part of this process as it allows you to put all your content in one place, so people can browse it. Think of it as a website within a website. In that sense, the same rules apply when it comes to getting people to stay and browse your content.

Below are my tips on optimising your videos for YouTube, as well as Google’s search engine, and how to go about creating the perfect YouTube channel.

Video SEO

It’s important to remember that YouTube is a search engine just like Google, and as such, your channel and the content that sits on it should be fully optimised to make it as discoverable as it can be. What’s more, Google’s integration with YouTube means that well- optimised video content is far more likely to show up in the search results pages of Google, as well as on YouTube searches. Beyond the address of the property and beyond videos of properties for sale are hundreds of other ideas and opportunities for videos. Homes values, neighborhood, events, market statistics, how-to’s etc. Be the expert guide in all things real estate. Find stories to tell and share the stuff your posting as articles should be turned into videos.  For those of you brave enough to tackle this media below are some pointers.

Here are a few quick pointers to get you starting to think about optimisation:

  • Be sure to conduct thorough keyword research before you begin this process. Tools like Google’s keyword planner tool are as useful to the process of video SEO as they are to website SEO. The process is essentially the same.
  • Always use your keywords in your video’s title, as this won’t only help users work out what your videos are about, but will help YouTube’s algorithm rank them properly as well.
  • Write a clear and detailed video description and use your keywords throughout, but avoid keyword stuffing (aim to get the keyword in about 3 to 4 times and at least once in the first 25 words).
  • Use words and phrases that accurately describe the video, but which are also popular Google search terms. These include terms like ‘how-to’, ‘review’ and ‘setting up’, which tend to well in search results pages.
  • Make sure you use your chosen keyword in the filename when uploading your video.

This is only a very brief introduction to YouTube SEO, but it will get you thinking in the right way. For more comprehensive information on YouTube SEO tactics, I’ve found Brian Dean’s in-depth guide on Search Engine Watch to be one of the best out there (it also contains a fantastic infographic on YouTube ranking factors).

Channel structure

The beauty of YouTube is that anyone can put together a do-it-yourself video marketing campaign by creating a channel, and then hosting all their videos on it under individual sections. One of the first mistakes people make on this front, though, is in failing to give their channel any structure at all. Many people simply don’t appreciate the huge importance channel structure can have to viewer retention and ultimately how you project your brand.

Below are some DOs and DON’Ts of YouTube channel structuring:

  • When users come to your channel, you want them to be able to find the best content you have, and easily. Don’t, therefore, feel like you have to put every piece of video content you’ve ever created on your channel. Chances are, a lot of it won’t be of interest to your average YouTube user. If it’s low quality or outdated, then leave it out. Your channel needs to showcase the best about your business.
  • Don’t mix your consumer content with your corporate content. This is another classic mistake and presupposes that people can tell the difference. You have to think of your audience at all times, and make sure that your videos are grouped together thematically in a logical manner. If you have homes for sale videos that follow through each room and showcase the home, don’t mix them with the market update videos. Keep separate categories for each grouping of videos
  • Don’t order your content by popularity. Your YouTube channel is a marketing tool, and as such, you need to use it to push the kind of content that is currently most relevant to your business. That hugely popular video you made three years ago might have got a lot of views, but it doesn’t make it relevant today (as tempting as it is to show it off).
  • Don’t order your channel by recent content either. Your latest in-depth video might be relevant to people visiting your website but that does not make it relevant to the kind of people visiting your YouTube channel. Learn to tell the difference and give people what they want.
  • Keep it up to date. This might seem like one of the oldest gripes out there, but people really do pick up on this kind of thing. If your content is old and your channel isn’t updated regularly, then people won’t want to come back to it. If you are constantly creating and uploading new and exciting content, then people will be more likely to come back to see what’s new.

YouTube attracts a phenomenal amount of visitors every day, but it also hosts a phenomenal amount of content. With very low click rates (less than 1%) from video to websites, it’s better to see YouTube as a final destination and not a driver of traffic to your business. That is why it’s not good enough just to create excellent videos and host them on YouTube. Optimising each video for maximum discoverability in conjunction with creating a well- structured and easily navigable YouTube channel is essential if you want to project your brand effectively and to as many relevant people as possible.

 

If you have a Social Outlet we didn’t feature here and what some insights on it. Shoot us a text, email or leave it in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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These custom RE/MAX Gold Fall Back Facebook Timeline Covers will make a huge impression on your business. Simply right click and save to your computer. Then upload to your personal and business page to promote the holiday and yourself.

RMXG-Fall-Back-11-2015 RMXG-Fall-Back-2015