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5 Drawbacks to Twitter and Why They Don’t Matter

TwitterSome people love Twitter, others hate it. Ultimately, no matter your opinion, it’s a great marketing resource and a perfect platform for possible customers. Today, we’re going to cover 5 apparent drawbacks to Twitter and talk about why they really don’t matter.

1. “There are so many tweets out there, it’s way too easy for yours to get buried with the pack.” 
Well, I’m here to tell you that yes, while this is possible, it’s very easy to avoid. Tweets are just like any other form of marketing. There will always be those who ignore the tweets and advertisements, but the sheer nature of Twitter requires that people follow you in order to see your tweets directly. This means that they have some sort of interest in hearing what you have to say. Embrace this, make your tweets interesting and you won’t be ignored.

2. “You only have 140 characters to market yourself or your company, there’s no way that’s enough.” The most effective advertisements are those that catch someone’s eye and have a lasting affect. It’s easiest to catch someone’s eye with a short ad rather than a long one. No one wants to read 600 characters, but 140 isn’t asking much.

3. “Spam is so prevalent on Twitter, there’s no way to distinguish the actual promotions from the fake.” The only way that one is exposed to spam on Twitter is if someone they follow tweets or retweets it. If it’s coming directly from the source, like the account of a credible company, the promotions are always taken seriously. Twitter has a great monitoring service.

4. “You have to be following someone in order for them to send a direct message, that limits outreach.” Yes, while this is true, it’s also a huge marketing advantage. This requires that people ask questions directly to your public posts, providing you with the opportunity to respond where everyone can see it. This way, you’re answering someone’s question and putting your company in a good light for its outreach.

5. “Relationships on Twitter are just that, they don’t actually help business.” No matter the nature of a relationship – on Twitter, on Instagram, by text/email – it is still a relationship. Relationships are connections, connections bring business, and business is revenue. Be nice and helpful on all platforms, especially Twitter where anyone can see it.

Signing off for now, your friends at Flywheel Marketing.

How Can I Be Sure My Approach Is Unique?

real estate soldAs a real estate agent in the 21st century, the only way to guarantee success is to change with the times while maintaining your true persona. Many realtors don’t fully grasp how to represent themselves on social media and subsequently lose clients because of their skewed online presence. The ability to be unique is something that is so often under appreciated. However, the simple concept of social media – connecting with clients and coworkers in an untraditional setting – gives everyone, especially people who need to come off as extremely personable for the successful execution of their job (realtors), the ability to assume the unique role that might just be the extra accessory in closing the deal. Today, we’ll cover 5 things that you, as a realtor or an aspiring realtor, should keep in mind when developing your social media presence and diversifying your approach.

1. When posting, don’t be afraid to use an informal voice. Coming off as an omniscient prick only gets you so far (irony at its finest). Lose the big words and dumb it down a little bit to stuff that the common person, and client, actually understands.

2. If you have an opinion on something, share it (there are exceptions). Now I’m talking about sharing your opinion on the product and/or subject of the blog. There’s a time and a place for everything, but it’s neither the time nor place to cover your views on immigration legislature while posting on the account from which you share to clients. If you love an aspect of the house, then say it exactly as you would in person. There’s no reason for your own individuality and unique voice to be lost in transition from word of mouth to word of text. Be your own, relatable self.

3. Don’t copy what other realtors are doing, but don’t be afraid to use their good ideas. There may be something that a realtor posts – a way he/she words something, a social media contest they’re doing, etc. – that sparks your interest. Let it. Take notes, and do something similar, just not exactly the same.

4. Talk to your peers, and possibly a younger generation if that applies. Two brains are always better than one, and if you’re social media illiterate, it’s a safe bet to ask a younger generation how/what to do.

5. Stop trying so hard to be different. Everyone’s trying to be different. Just be you, using your own voice, posting informational and well-researched bits for your own clientele. Everyone is unique, but they don’t realize it until they’ve tried so long and so hard to be someone that they aren’t. If you think it’s a good post, then post it. If you think the joke’s funny, then say it. Just do you, and the results will come!

Singing off for now, your friends at Flywheel Marketing!

15 Ways Real Estate Agents Should Use Social Media

real estate agent social mediaThe real estate market is changing, and with the right tools, you can stay ahead of the curve. Social media – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. – are platform gifts from God (more like from technological wizards with more intelligence for their own good but that’s beside the point), and are to be used in every step of promotion, planning, and preparation. Instagram, specifically, is essentially a home show at a prospective buyer’s fingertips when used correctly. Today, we’re going to cover 15 ways that you, as a real estate agent, should be using social media.

1. To show a behind-the-scenes point of view of the house. People love to see what goes on outside of the public eye, including the work that you’ve put into the houses, the hidden gems within the houses, etc. The more positively presented information flowing through the mind of a potential buyer, the more likely they are to supply you with your next commission.

2. To advertise open houses. This can be utilized on any social media outlet. The idea is solely that more people see the advertisement, a simple social media marketing tool. Who knows who will show up at that house because of what they saw on social media.

3. To reach a target market. This is usually the most effective when the target market is younger generations because they’re typically the ones most active on social media.

4. To show short video tours. This one may only work on Instagram or Facebook because videos aren’t necessarily received that well on Twitter. This tip is relatively self-explanatory; the only way that someone will buy the house is if they like what they see.

5. To come off as relatable, and trustworthy. Buyers want to feel reassured that they’re buying from a trustworthy seller. This can be best achieved by the captions attached to your posts; present yourself in a way that appeals to buyers.

6. To show what they’re getting, no embellishing. A picture is worth 1000 words, and no amount of words can convey a house and its style better than a picture or video.

7. To develop external relationships. Have you ever bought something from a friend, and knew it would be in good shape because you trusted that person? That same goal applies with taking your business to social media. Develop that outside-of-work connection by providing the customers with a slice of your true self.

8. To engage with customers. A potential buyer may not feel comfortable calling you, but the informality of a Direct Message appeals to almost everyone. Engage with your followers/friends, and be consistent in your responses!

9. Use Google Analytics. The appeal and effectiveness of your posts can now statistically be measured with Google Analytics. Twitter also has something similar with measuring the capacity of your tweets – research these options.

10. To develop a desired persona. Who do you want to be as a realtor? Social media is the absolute best way to establish your reputation and reach all audiences.

5 social media behaviors to avoid:

1. Posting too frequently, or too infrequently.
2. Using a business account for personal posts; your kids are cute, but advertising them on a real estate account might give people the wrong impression.
3. Only using one social media outlet. Mix it up.
4. Responding negatively or rudely to questions (remember, you’re trying to brand yourself).
5. Embellishing the truth. Give it to the buyer straight, no one likes a liar, and you’ll have to deal with the repercussions anyway.

Signing off for now, your friends at Flywheel Marketing.

10 Ways Fitness Instructors Should Use Social Media

fitness-instruction-social-mediaYoga? Spinning? Zumba? Whatever you teach, utilizing social media WILL take your classes and class sizes to the next level. Whether you’re a free-agent moonlighting for the YMCA or a contracted instructor at a local gym or community center, your pay is based on the number of bodies you put into your classes. Sure, once they come to your class, they can’t believe they’ve been living without your class and will keep coming back. However, how do you get them there in the first place? How do you get those first-timers to walk into your classes so that you can hook ‘em and keep ‘em coming back?

Without a doubt your best form of free advertising, apart from word-of-mouth, is Facebook. This is most likely the easiest one as well – get your current students to “like” your Facebook page. Constantly promote your classes. Yoga? Promote your lavender essential oil foot rub during savasana. Zumba? Promote your new Pharrell routine. Spinning? Promote your students’ reviews of your class, or upcoming pricing specials you’re running. Or, promote a “bring a friend get a class free.”

Another popular tip with fitness instructors on social media is to post pics of your classes on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. – to show, even though you’re working them to the bone, they’re having fun while doing it! Once people see the happy smiling people, they’ll want to be a part of it.

Below are 10 ways fitness instructors should use social media:

Facebook – as mentioned above, use this as a free “word-of-mouth” tool. Free! Just invite people to like your page, and promote away!

Twitter – get as many followers as you can! Even with social media ADD, everyone reads 140 characters.

LinkedIn – set up your profile and start networking with other instructors, students, and like-minded fitness fanatics.

Pinterest – who doesn’t love Pinterest? Most of us spend hours weekly on this app. Start your boards NOW and see the “followers” start pouring in.

Google Plus – set up your profile and get the word out about your classes!

Instagram – start snapping those fun photos of your classes! Post them as often as you can. Encourage your students to do the same!

Meet Up – create some fun like-minded fitness groups; rope in those introverts who might not otherwise come to your class

Blogging Platforms: Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress – start a blog! Blog about your weight loss, how you overcame depression, how you get up and keep doing it every morning. Offer fitness tips and encourage followers to comment and ask questions.

MySpace – woah, blast from the past, yes but still an awesome way for artists; musicians, instructors, etc. to get a following and get their name out there!

YouTube – post videos of your awesome classes! There’s definitely somebody out there who has never been to a yoga class, has heard about yours and wants to come. If they see a Youtube video of your easy-flowing, gentle ways that might just be the push they need to show up! Or maybe there’s a guy who doesn’t want to show up to a Zumba class and be the only guy. Let that guy see he won’t be – through Youtube!

LinkedIn: The One Thing You Should Know Before Outsourcing It

linkedin-coffeeIn the television comedy Arrested Development, father George of the always-off-kilter Bluth family is under house arrest for white-collar crimes and cannot be present to partake in the dysfunctionally wacky family interactions. Typically Bluth-ian, the family hires a ‘surrogate’ for him to participate. This surrogate, a stone-faced man wearing a video camera on his ball cap and an earpiece to George’s microphone, represents George and repeats everything the father says to the group in the living room of a Bluth Construction model home.

Hilarity ensues when others get on George’s microphone or when George himself says something that should have been expressed off-mic. The surrogate faithfully (and woodenly) reports George’s unintended expressions and the family reacts as if George is speaking. For all they know, this surrogate IS him, even when what the surrogate says is nonsensical and out of character.

The problems George has in sending a surrogate to be him are the same ones you might experience if you outsource too much of your LinkedIn profile to anyone. The takeaway here? Never give someone else ‘carte blanche’ with your LinkedIn.

At Flywheel Marketing, we do manage LinkedIn pages … and we do it very carefully. Any marketer should admit to you that LinkedIn is a bit tricky to outsource. Read on for specifics.

There are definite limitations to what someone else – your ‘surrogate’ – can do as you on LinkedIn. LinkedIn corporate pages allow us to post on your page and we make comments to people who respond to those comments on your page. That is it. We can’t join groups, connect with other people, connect with other businesses, or make any comments on any other pages other than your own corporate page. As you can imagine, there are lots of marketers frustrated with this because none of the other social networks have this limitation.

The only real way to use LinkedIn effectively for sales is with personal pages. It bears repeating that outsourcing personal pages is a bit tricky because … well … personal pages are personal. When communicating and connecting through a personal page, people are expecting that to be you personally.  A marketing company you hire cannot know who you just met at a conference, who your old co-worker is, or if that high school sweetheart is trying to connect with you, not for old-time’s sake but for a sizzling business partnership. And if any marketing company tries to do that, the results would often be nonsensical and out of character for your professional persona, just like the ‘surrogate’ in Arrested Development.

Of course we can bolster and maintain your professional presence on LinkedIn. We can and we do. We can post content on your corporate pages and respond to any comments that are made. When used as an “about us” page, this outsourcing of your LinkedIn is great for branding.  When it comes to posting content on your personal page, we can do that but we at Flywheel Marketing would want to work with you very closely so that connections and conversations with other individuals truly reflect you.

Email us at hello@flywheelmarketing.com, Tweet us or post on our facebook. Put us to work.

How to Effectively Use a QR Code

qr-code-graveYears ago, the QR codes – those ubiquitous black-and-white-checkered boxes  – were hailed by marketers as the Next Thing, uniting print media with an online presence.

And now? According to a 2013 moon comScore report, the number of people who have scanned a QR code has dribbled to a plateau since 2012. As the number of smartphone users continues to rise, the number of consumers scanning QR codes remains the same.

Why is a QR code scan such a struggle, if all that’s required is pulling out a phone and performing a cheap MLB jerseys quick scan? Well, QR codes require a bit of tech savvy. At first, phones common in the US required an additional app and rare was the consumer who wanted to go to that extra trouble. Newer mobile devices now feature a preloaded version of a QR code reader (Apple’s is in Passbook, not the camera itself), but this still requires an extra step for the consumer to learn it. Consumers find the path of least resistance and simple skip scanning a QR code altogether.

For consumers who figured out how to scan QR codes, their early experiences with the online information were sometimes less than optimal. The links offered no instant reward or added value to them, only a stagnant website. Once disappointed by the mobile experience behind a QR code, a consumer may never scan one again.

Weighing the decision to use a QR code:
Each audience is unique so just because QR codes do not work for some does not mean they do not work for you. If QR codes have been a part of your marketing strategy, trying running an A/B test or two in the campaign for your next event. For example, include a QR code on half of the programs. On the other half, include a shortened, easy-to-remember URL. Be sure to link both to the same page on your website. Put separate UTM tracking codes on the QR code link and shortened URL so you can compare how many people visit from each *ACHS* and let the metrics decide.

How to use a QR code… and use it well:

QR codes are most effective when these things are fantastisk present…
There must be added value so great, that the user actually thinks A about and the opportunity cost of not scanning the code. Patrons and passers-by can scan the QR codes, taking them to the online menu, allowing them to make reservations, or order their groceries online. Could your QR code allow attendees to register for the event right on the spot?

The placement of the QR code is perfect: enough foot traffic to get noticed, but not so busy that people won’t want to stop and scan. Looking through the lens of the QR code scanning experience, where is the optimal place for your event’s posters?

If placement is an issue, the QR code must be transportable. Mountain Dew used QR code campaigns on drink cups, spicing up the incentive to scan with free music downloads cheap MLB jerseys and netting more than 200,000 downloads. What motive could you give your audience to scan? What freebies could they get?

The QR code offers rewards for friends too. A successful Scandinavian Airlines ad campaign required two smartphones (side-by-side) to scan the QR code to receive a price break on tickets. This campaign boosted revenue and got more people to fly together. Could your event promote paired registration rewards?

Creating your QR code:
If you do not have a QR code and want to create one, know that they are easy to create with very little time required. Click here for one of many websites to create your own.

Alternatives to QR codes:
QR codes might work for you now but they won’t outlast your company. Like all technologies, there is cheap MLB jerseys always something else coming around the corner. Here are a few emerging replacements for QR codes in the next 5 years:

• URLs. They can be short, memorable, and easy to type into a mobile browser. And they are available now.

• Near-field communication (NFC). This chip is embedded in print marketing pieces and transmits to any phones with NFC capabilities.

• Image-recognition applications. You take a snapshot of to-die-for shoes your friend is wearing and your phone is redirected to a site which sells those shoes online.

• Augmented reality. When viewed with an app or Responds tablet, a print promotional poster turns into a video. No further action is required of the consumer.