ROI Series: The Social Media Game of Quality vs Quantity

Introducing ROI Series. In these series, we will discuss Reflections. Opinions. Insights of all things marketing and business. We hope you find these reads helpful in your daily work-life balance.

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How often do you scroll through your social media followers, comparing this number to the number of people who follow you? Or worse, comparing your number to the followers of your peers / colleagues / friends / family? It’s so easy to get caught up in these numbers, but we are here to tell you (and at the same time hopefully relieve some social media angst) that those are not the numbers to be watching.

Do you get sucked into following any and everyone who follows you, as a thank-you gesture or an act of social media goodwill? It’s not necessary. To get results via social media, it is not always about quantity, but quality and consistency of your message that will help propel your message / goal / business forward.

Yes, there are many Instagram accounts that have tremendous followings (3,000+ followers), “Master Accounts” which have more than 100,000 followers, and a ton of other accounts that have anywhere from 5 to 500 followers. While exposure is great, it’s the quality of your followers that really matters. Are most of your followers friends, family, colleagues, clients, friends, and acquaintances? If your answer is mostly yes, then you are already ahead of the game. These people already know, like and trust you, and want to see and engage with your posts. Sure, it’d be great to have 10,000 followers, but how many of these people really engage with your posts and generate leads?

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Many clients who beef up their social media strategy or hire a company to take over their social media have high expectations of growing their followers immediately. While this is a worthy goal, a great social media manager will help you develop your message, style, and frequency of posts that will obtain the highest quality followers versus the highest quantity — and this does not happen overnight.

With the following suggestions, you can release the pressure valve on your frantic social media strategy to rapidly grow your follower base and instead focus your energy on creating strong, relevant posts. And then have fun watching your fans grow, organically.

STICK TO YOUR MESSAGE

These days, as you well know, everyone is bombarded with content 24/7, including, photos, vidoes, text, advertising, and more. Our suggestion: develop your message and stay on track. The more clear you are about what you’re trying to convey to your audience, the better your message will be received. Variety is important so that your posts don’t get boring, however, you can create variations in your content but still stay on track with your main message. Having a well-recognized message helps cement your mission into your followers’ brains — they don’t have to work overtime to understand your posts. They will appreciate this without even knowing they do — and they’ll want more!

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CONSISTENCY IS KEY

We can’t stress enough that gaining traction and exposure through social media is not about posting 20 times a day. Rather, focus on posting relevant, compelling and on-brand content, on a consistent basis. This may mean posting once a day, or once a week. Your posts should all look relatively the same, meaning have the same filter, or use the same photo template that is in accordance with your brand. Again, your followers may not understand why they like seeing your posts, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that they see them and engage. So remember, don’t get overwhelmed thinking you must post 10 perfectly witty posts a day. Contrary to popular social media belief, less can be more. Pick a posting schedule and stick to it; you can always adjust later. To be a successful social media marketer, and to create strong social content, focus on creating quality messages that align with your brand and voice.

KNOW YOUR FOLLOWERS

To optimize engagement on your social platforms, understand your followers. By using simple analytics tools like the free Instagram Business account, you will receive data and stats on your weekly impressions, posts with the most engagement and statistics about your followers. So, instead of playing the comparing game and hoping for any and all followers, focus on growing your core audience. Learning what your followers like and dislike and when they are viewing your content allows you to tailor your message (while staying on-brand), and you will be able to post more efficiently and effectively.

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Quick Tips For Boosting Your Social Media Strategy

  • Develop your unique identity and stay true to yourself/your message

  • Get to know your audience

  • Focus on gaining a quality audience and avoid noise (quality vs. quantity)

  • Figure out what time most people are checking social media so that your posts have the greatest chance of getting the most eyes

  • Be consistent, both with how often you’re posting and with your message/brand

  • Engage with others: Who’s day can you make by engaging with a positive comment on their post?

  • Consult with social media strategists (interview 3-4 individuals) and see what they offer and suggest

  • Think outside the box: If social media didn’t exist, how would you engage your target audience?

  • Rethink. Reset. Reinvent your relationship with social media

Managing and Utilizing Instagram Stories

It may seem like an arbitrary feature, but Instagram Stories are a highly useful tool for those looking to increase engagement and work their way into people’s feed. Instagram is constantly updating and adding new features to their Story section, so we’ll go over a few items that you should test and try out.

GO AHEAD. YOU CAN DO THIS.

First, take your photo or video. Then you’ll find all kinds of options for emojis, stickers, filters, and text to add to the media you’d like to share.

Step 1: Tap the camera icon in the top left corner of the Instagram app to open your Story.

Step 1: Tap the camera icon in the top left corner of the Instagram app to open your Story.

Step 2: Select an image from your gallery or take a new photo or video, then find the sticker options icon (circled in green in this image).

Step 2: Select an image from your gallery or take a new photo or video, then find the sticker options icon (circled in green in this image).

Step 3: Select a sticker option to add to your selected image or video.

Step 3: Select a sticker option to add to your selected image or video.

 
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THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

A more recent addition to the Story stickers is the “countdown.” By adding a countdown clock (that updates in real time!) your followers can turn on reminders and share your countdown to their own Story. Fun ideas for countdowns might be for a product launch, open house, new listing, vacation, birthday, work-related event you’re excited about, the start of summer, etc.

Qs

Another easy sticker option that boosts engagement is the “questions” sticker. This is a more open-ended poll option where you can ask a question and your viewers can answer it; or you can open the floor to your viewers to ask you questions and then you can share your answers. We’ve seen many different uses for this sticker (like caption contests!) and it seems to lead to loads of engagement.


YAY OR NAY?

One of our favorite items to add to an Instagram Story is a “poll.” This is another sticker option that goes over an image and includes a single question and two answers (that you can edit). Once it’s posted to your story, viewers can choose their answer from the ones you’ve supplied. The Instagram algorithm loves to see engaged viewers, so getting your followers to click an answer shows that people are interested in your content.

PASS THE SLIDERS

A more open-ended sticker option for encouraging engagement is the “slider” sticker. This is most frequently accompanied with a question in the title of the slider. You can even change the emoji people use to answer with.

HAVE FUN WITH IT

Whatever items you use in your story, the ultimate goal is to get your viewers to engage by clicking, voting, writing an answer, sending a response, etc. Engagement can also be achieved by adding hashtags, mentioning other users and profiles, and tagging your location. This may feel like it’s creating a busy image but we encourage you to get creative and test the different colors, backgrounds, and extra shapes. Most importantly, have fun!

 

Feel free contact us to help you navigate these features. We would be delighted to assist and answer any questions.

Top 4 Social Media Tools for the Modern Real Estate Agent

HOW DO I LOOK?

As a real estate agent, connecting with your clients is key to your business’s success. Attracting qualified real estate leads through social media is possible when utilizing your social media correctly.

You never know when a potential client may be doing their homework by scrolling through your Instagram or viewing your Facebook reviews. You want to look your best by looking organized, utilizing newest social media trends and close with an invitation to learn more (call to action).

Maintaining your social media profile doesn’t have to be daunting, which is why we curated a list of the most useful social media tools for the modern real estate agent. The following apps are not additional social media outlets, but valuable enhancements to help boost and streamline your current social media process.

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BIT.LY

Sharing relevant information with your followers keeps them up-to-date on real estate trends, your listings, innovative trends or local happenings. A great way to do this is by sharing a website link in your post. It is free tool used to shorten website URLs before sharing them. And not only does Bit.ly reformat URLS into a condensed link, but it can track the amount of times your link was clicked on. Great for traffic reporting and you can create these links quickly on your phone. More than 300 Million BitLy links are created monthly by its users. Here’s a free guide to “37 Ways How Brands Use BitLy”:

Before: https://www.gdisain.com/blog/2019/3/26/top-4-social-media-tools-for-the-modern-real-estate-agent

After: bit.ly/2HSVbpW

 
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FEEDLY

Never miss an important story! If you are spending a significant time locating articles worthy of sharing, this next tool will come in handy. Feedly is a content aggregator that helps you organize and share what matters most to you and your clients. Feedly for mobile and desktop are free for up to 100 sources and up to 3 feeds.

Gathering information on niche and broad publications, blogs, social media posts, RSS feeds, YouTube channels and everything that matter to you, Feedly is a one-stop shop for content and will save you the time and hassle of searching multiple sites for relevant topics.

 
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LINKTREE

With your newfound access to a multitude of articles, the next step is finding a way to share them all.

Insert LinkTree —the FREE tool to optimize your Instagram traffic and send followers to multiple destinations (links) from your Instagram bio link. Easy to use and colors can be customized.

This app aims to “let your content live longer than the feed” by allowing one link where you can house all the content you would like to share. The app also keeps statistics on the clicked links, letting you know what your followers are interested in.

 
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STORIESADS

Instagram Stories has quickly changed online advertising with reports expecting it to surpass traditional feed sharing. With 400 million people use Instagram Stories every day, it’s time to starting using your Stories!

Creating stunning Instagram Stories ads for your open house events or new listings, all made easy though StoriesAds. Their user-friendly program walks you through step-by-step creation on adding color, font, and graphics to your images to bring them to life.

For more on how to use your Instagram Stories, visit our blog.
Feel free contact us to help you navigate these platforms. We would be delighted to assist and answer any questions.

Everything You Need to Know about Instagram TV (IGTV)

WHAT IS IT?

IGTV is the best of several social worlds in one; it has the video sharing capabilities of YouTube with the social aspect and ease of Instagram. Videos posted to the platform are saved to a feed and don’t disappear like Instagram Stories. Those with IGTV accounts can see the number of likes, comments, and views on their uploaded videos, much like Instagram Stories. When users tap into the IGTV tab in Instagram (it’s a separate app from the regular Instagram app but is also integrated) they can expect to see a video pop up and start to play immediately, like a traditional television, and from there can browse videos that are suggested or posted by accounts they already follow. This longer, vertical IGTV video integration allows for users to get in front of a broader audience and is meant to be a simple and intuitive extension of the Instagram app.

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WHY DOES IT EXIST?

Instagram’s IGTV is a direct answer to users’ demand for longer videos. The platform was first released in June of 2018 and is integrated with Instagram but is also a separate application. The IGTV app can host videos up to 10 minutes in length (and keeps them on your profile). More recently, IGTV began allowing larger accounts and verified accounts the ability to post videos up to 60 minutes long, though they need to be uploaded from a computer. These videos must be uploaded from the IGTV app, or website, but can be viewed by your audience through the Instagram app in the top right corner next to your direct messages icon, or often in the “Explore” tab of your Instagram account.

As of early March 2019, Instagram has started rolling out clips of IGTV posts in the regular Instagram feed, with the ability to click through to view the full length video. The integration allows for the opportunity to use paid promotion on your IGTV videos as well as sharing a notification about your IGTV uploads directly to your Instagram Story, where viewers can “swipe up” and be directed to the full IGTV video. (This “swipe up” feature is typically reserved for users with over 10,000 followers but anyone can use it for IGTV video-to-story sharing.) Currently, IGTV is the only option for uploading one, continuous clip longer than 60 seconds.

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WHO DOES THIS BENEFIT?

Marketers seeking the widespread reach of Instagram with younger generations can utilize IGTV to get their commercials, behind-the-scenes videos, product launch announcements, company updates, directly in front of clients. Video is one of the fastest growing mediums for personal and business use. IGTV for business is still a newer concept, so getting creative with how you use it can really make you stand out. IGTV is a perfect answer to hosting and promoting longer edits of real estate videos, music videos, baking how-to’s, behind-the-scenes office tours, photoshoot sneak peeks, and more.

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TECH SPECS

Requirements for IGTV video are as follows: must be portrait orientation, 9:16 ratio, and 1080 pixels wide x 1920 pixels tall. (These are the same pixel dimensions as Instagram Stories.) Videos must be MP4 file format. Find more requirements and information on the IGTV help page or feel free contact us to help you navigate this new platform.

Why We Choose, Like and Commit To Squarespace Website Platform

Whether you are in a business startup phase or the “need to up upgrade the look” stage of your website, the Squarespace platform is the right fit for any type or size of business, in any stage. I speak from lengthy experience of working within the Squarespace platform on a daily basis to help my clients reach their business goals.

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WHY SQUARESPACE? 

Designers love it. Clients love it. The more I use Squarespace, the more I realize that the benefits for both designers and clients are very much aligned. Each template is highly flexible, from design elements to functionality - explore the Feature Index HERE and the Marketing Tools HERE. I recommend the platform to all of my clients not only because I love working with Squarespace templates, but because Squarespace is user-friendly enough that my clients feel comfortable navigating the site on their own--client control and flexibility is imperative.

AFFORDABILITY + FLEXIBILITY

I also think Squarespace makes sense from a financial perspective: you get a ton of functionality for the price and hosting costs are extremely reasonable, too. A basic "Personal" website account is $16/month, "Business" is $18/month, and e-commerce shopping cart accounts start at $26/month. About 70% of my clients use the basic website account because it offers all of the necessary features to showcase a modern look and contains easy-to-use strategic functionality. Plus, Squarespace offers the option to stop and start your monthly hosting service at any time.

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WHY USE A DESIGNER?

Though Sqaurespace is user-friendly enough to DIY, I highly recommend hiring a designer who knows the ins and outs of the platform so you can focus on what you do best--growing your business! A designer will be able to match you with specific tools and features and look after your project scope interview. Squarespace offers various video tutorials, which are helpful for anyone interested in building a website themselves, but this takes time. So, think about your business and website goals and assess how much time you have to dedicate to your website--you may find that the cost of a designer is well worth it to allow you extra time and brain space to dedicate to working on your business.

ANALYTICS + SEO

One of my favorite Squarespace features is the Analytics tool. It is included in every site and allows users to track website traffic by number or visits, page popularity, and view website visitors by geography. Additionally, Squarespace offers built-in SEO with options for maximizing search performance, as well as tracking your site's performance via its own analytics dashboard. They encourage and educate you on how to be more visible! Read more HERE

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WEBSITE REDESIGN 

Already have a Squarespace website but need a facelift? Request an overview or proposal from a website designer and if you agree with the scope of work and like their design aesthetic, a designer can easily update the template, look or content. A new or updated website doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg--Squarespace is so designer-friendly that it won't take a good designer long to revamp your website (this depends on client feedback, of course).

In many cases, clients come to me because they've seen a website design they love and want to use aspects or inspiration from that site and incorporate it into their own. I love working with clients at this stage. Finding just the right template within Squarespace allows designers to cater to your vision and business goals on a collaborative level--it’s one of my favorite aspects of being a designer. The creativity should be original to you, your identity, and your brand so it stands out, but a designer can help guide your ideas into effective marketing and design.

 
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IN A NUTSHELL

Squarespace is a user-friendly, self-contained website platform that combines smartly-designed templates with modern features. Using Squarespace (and the right designer!), your website vision can easily become a reality. Feel free to browse our portfolio and contact us at gerda@gdisain.com for a complimentary website consultation.