Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Social Made Simple Increases Effectiveness of Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Agents

I regularly talk with real estate agents about the importance of social media. Many are eager to get started but have three major road blocks standing in their way.

  1. They do not know where to obtain articles and other content to post.

  2. They do not have time to be active on social media everyday.

  3. They do not know how to determine whether or not their marketing efforts are effective.

I've been searching for tools that would help real estate agents better manage their time and effort spent on social media, as well as increase their effectiveness and ROI. After testing a few different tools, the one I'm most impressed with is Social Made Simple. Social Made Simple is an online tool that helps real estate agents, as well as other small business owners, overcome the most common road blocks and create engaging, effective campaigns with minimal time investment.

Easily find content to share with your followers.

In my opinion, the content generator is the coolest feature of Social Made Simple. When you set up your account, you'll be asked to identify which industry you are working in (they have one specifically for real estate.) From then on you are provided with a long list of online articles relevant to your industry. With a few simple button clicks you can find an article, add your own commentary and post it to all your social networks. Of course, if you find an article somewhere else that you want to share you can easily paste the link into the dashboard and publish that as well.

Schedule posts to save time.

Most real estate agents don't have time to log into their social sites every day and make a post. Social Made Simple allows agents to schedule a weeks worth (or more) of posts at one time. You can schedule different posts to your different social media sites, or you can save even more time and schedule the same posts to all your sites. Instead of logging in every day, you can log in 1-2 times a week and get everything done at once.

Determine effectiveness with a weekly report card.

Many real estate agents are afraid that they will spend time on social media marketing and see no results in terms of engagement, brand awareness or lead generation. Social Made Simple has a variety of easy to understand analytics that tell you the effectiveness of your social media presence.

The weekly report card gives you a letter grade based on how many posts you did, how much engagement each post got, and how your posts measure up to others in the industry. This gives you a quick, overall view of how your doing and then you can drill down and see more specific analytics.

The Pitfalls

Of course, every product has it's faults. I found Social Made Simple's Twitter interface to be slightly frustrating. You can view your Twitterfeed within the Social Made Simple platform and see who has started following you. You can't, however, view anyone's profiles. You can retweet in real time, but you cannot easily schedule retweets which is a feature other tools offer. I often schedule my tweets with this tool, but then sign into my actual Twitter account to engage with followers.

Lastly, Social Made Simple is limited in the industries it provides articles for. This is not a problem for real estate agents, but if you work in another industry not found on the dashboard, you may not find this tool to be worth the money.

Here are some additional facts you should know before getting started with Social Made Simple:

  • Social Made Simple allows you to post to your Facebook profile, Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ pages and your blog.

  • This service costs $19/month or $178/year. However they offer a free 30 day trial for new customers which I highly recommend using before committing to pay.

  • If you have no time or interest in managing your own social media, I suggest looking into Social's Concierge Service. With this service, social media experts will optomize your accounts, give one-on-one coaching and post content for you.

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