5 Simple Steps To Build an Online Community For Your REI Business

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-run-to-success-image4742387The Internet reaches over 300 Million Americans nearly every day. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are now the #1 online activity. But what value do these online tools provide for business? It is no longer the information age, it is now the trust age. Keep reading to find out how you can cultivate community by getting people to know you, like you and trust you. The way the world does business is changing… are you keeping up?

Recently I wrote a blog post about how it’s unnecessary to dump a bunch of money into expensive SEO campaigns for your REI business. The same idea holds true for social media marketing. Many firms pay lots of money for social media, thinking that their prayers will be answered with fancy marketing campaigns. In our constantly plugged-in, digitally socialized culture, marketing with social media is no longer about how much traffic you get to which particular social network. More and more, selling your product or service online comes down to what kind of connection you make with your customers – no matter the industry. You can have the best design and the most expensive social media contract in the world. If your audience doesn’t find your genuinely valuable, your e-Commerce ship will be sunk.

I hear you. But there’s so many social networks. Which one should I use?

It really doesn’t matter all that much which social network you decide to use: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, LinkedIn, or YouTube. Cases could be made for all of them holding value on their own, or in conjunction together with a marketing campaign. But which one should you use? That’s ultimately up to you. They’re all free for normal accounts, so you really have nothing to lose by trying them out. Make profiles on some and figure out where you feel the most comfortable making online connections. That’s the most important thing you can do… I’ll explain why that is, and how you can start making connections online RIGHT NOW!

What is New Media Marketing?

“New media” represents channels of communication delivered digitally, such as the Internet, instant messaging, text messaging, e-mail and social networking.

New media is revolutionary because it provides us with methods to share our message and connect with the people who need or care about our services/ products right now. In this “what have you done for me lately?” economy, social media allows us to empower people to advocate for you through compelling content.

FACT: Only 16% of traditional TV ad campaigns generated a positive return in 2012.

FACT: Radio ad agencies estimate 1% of an average AM/FM audience will respond to any given commercial.

Social media is a great start with new media because it’s both relatively easy and highly cost effective. Marketing with social media using these recommendations will only cost you your time to start. This investment can have some big returns, as long as you focus on these best practices outlined in this blog post.

The BIG Secret to Making Money using Social Media

I’m going to let you in on a little insider’s secret: you DON’T make money using social media!

That’s right. Twitter doesn’t cut you a check for having 10,000 followers, and Facebook doesn’t reward you with a Christmas bonus if your business page gets a large number of “likes”.

So… how do you make money using social media?

You make money the same way you always have. You make money when people who know you, like you and trust you – choose to do business with you. By being the best at what you do – and I know my REI students are – providing a high level of value to existing customers and being helpful to new ones, you establish yourself as a trusted expert in your field. In much the same way you’ve developed trusting personal and professional relationships in “real- life” – social media allows you to do the same thing on a larger scale, not confined by geographic boundaries.

Are you ready to get on the list for the Mentorship Program?

 How To Cultivate Online Community for your REI Business in 5 Simple Steps

  1. Be helpful- answer questions and offer advice, or recommend someone who can. “I don’t know, but maybe if you contact (so-and-so) they might have the answer you need.” This increases the likelihood that people will think to have others ask you questions about real estate – another lead generating weapon for your arsenal.
  2. Be present- be active, participate and contribute – no one goes into an empty restaurant!
  3. Be social- engage with as many people as possible. Your message should always be about providing value, not making offers or spamming.
  4. Share the love- “make it about them”… talk about your community. Talk about what worked with some clients, but what didn’t with others. Ask them about their pains and concerns. What keeps them up at night? Ask them questions about how their real estate investing project are going.
  5. Pay it forward- build equity contributing to your community before asking for anything in return.

The Internet was considered “The Information Superhighway” and we were living in the “Information Age”. Now that everyone is absolutely inundated with information of all kinds – available anytime – the mere presence of information is no longer novel. As a society, we’ve realized it’s the quality and authority of information that really matters. Say goodbye to the “Information Age”. Welcome to the “Trust Age”. The Internet? The new “Social Speedway” for building trusting, meaningful relationships.

Stay tuned to FranklinCruz.com for an ongoing series on Social Media Marketing. Next up, we will talk about streamlining your social media marketing messaging for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in under 3 hours a week – freeing you up to do what you do best.

Franklin A. Cruz