Archive for the Blogs Category

The Basics: A Beginner’s Guide To Social-Media Strategy

Posted in Active Rain, Blogging, Blogs, Facebook, Free Training, Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2011 by The Ibis Network

Think of setting up social-media profiles the same way you would buying a phone. Sure, finding the phone that best fits your needs is important. But after that, you wouldn’t, for example, expect to get any calls without giving out the number. And you wouldn’t return the phone if it didn’t make calls for you. And you certainly wouldn’t expect that, when you did call someone, the phone would do the talking for you.

In other words, too many businesses sign up for a Facebook page or Twitter account and expect the wonders of the Internet to do the rest. Social-media is nothing more than a form of communication, no different than your telephone. And, like a telephone, having something to say is ultimately more important than the fact that you have a phone. Your content, ultimately, will determine whether your pages will be productive or passed over.

After that, here are a few other things to consider …

Where And How: Choosing where to concentrate your social-media efforts can be confusing. Ultimately, though, choosing an online community that fits your business needs is more important than signing up for the most popular site or the one with the most name recognition. In other words, the channel you use to broadcast your message isn’t as important as the message you broadcast. Once you’ve found a site to join, spend some time learning how its users interact. Learn “best practices” and abide by them. It is a community, after all. Don’t be the obnoxious new neighbor.

Plan With Perspective: Once you’ve registered and set up a profile, think about how you’ll use it and what to expect. An online profile is not an advertisement and you shouldn’t expect to promote your services and be able to sit back while tracking your success. It’s about communication. Shameless promotion is about as welcome online as a telemarketer’s phone call is during the dinner hour. Produce informative, educational, or entertaining content and chances are you’ll attract an audience.

Publish And Distribute: Now that you’ve got some profiles online, a plan for how you’d like to use them, and some content to share, it’s time to syndicate. Say you have a blog, a Facebook fan page, and a Twitter account but don’t have the time to log in to each every time you have something to post. Most of the major social-media sites now offer applications that interlink your network and automatically share your content. Which means, any time you post to your blog, your social-media sites will also be updated, increasing your chances of building an audience for your information across your social network.

More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, and here, here, and here.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

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Three Common Sense Steps To Reaching Your Audience and Building a Better Business Blog

Posted in Blogging, Blogs, Free Training, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2011 by The Ibis Network

If you’ve ever scoured the Internet for tips on how to make your business blog more effective, you’re well aware that the available information can range from the contradictory to the incomprehensible. In the end, you’re only trying to reach the right audience for your services and have little need for number-one rankings on all the major search engines, especially if they’re only delivering empty clicks and hits from half way around the world.

Here are some simple steps toward more effective blogging …

Keep a Schedule: You can find so-called experts that will advise you to post, at least, five times a day . You can find others who will advise that you should post no more than once or twice a week. Both of them are right … and wrong. Only you can determine how much time to invest in your business blog. But don’t become discouraged if you can’t generate enough content to post every 20 minutes. If you keep a consistent schedule, readers will know when to expect updates. If you only post once a week, people reading your blog will learn to expect your weekly post and return to your blog accordingly. Sporadic posting, on the other hand, will leave even interested readers confused about how often to check your site.

Don’t Get Personal: There’s a difference between a personal blog and a business blog. If you’re sending your blog out to clients and referral partners, chances are they’re going to be more interested in relevant information about your business, industry, and region than they will be about your daughter’s birthday party. Keep focused on your audience and write posts that will be interesting, entertaining, and informative.

Make It Easy To Find: There are plenty of sites that will tell you about the importance of keywords, tags, and search engine optimization. And all of those things can be an effective way of getting your site noticed. But an even easier, and more targeted, way of attracting readers to your blog is telling people about it. Put links to your blog on your website and in your email signature. Put the address anywhere you’d put your website’s, including business cards and marketing materials. Syndicating your content through social media sites is another good way of spreading the word and luring readers.

For more business blogging tips from The Ibis Network, click here, here, here, and here.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

Fact or Fiction: The Truth Behind Four Common Social-Media Myths

Posted in Active Rain, Blogging, Blogs, Facebook, Free Training, Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2011 by The Ibis Network

There are always those that are slow to adopt new technologies. There were likely a stubborn few who insisted that the horse-and-carriage was, in fact, a much more effective means of transportation than the early automobile. Then there are those that fundamentally misunderstand the medium, like those that thought television would be a passing fad. In other words, innovation can lead to myths, mistakes, and misconceptions.

Below, we tackle some common social-media myths in an effort to better understand the benefits and best practices of any online effort.

It’s Not For Business: Social-media marketing is good for any business, despite those that say it only works for some. After all, in any business endeavor, getting word out about your services is the name of the game. Social media is yet another platform to do just that. Keeping in touch with clients, announcing new products or services, educating, communicating, and engaging your customer base are made easier with a smart strategy and some effort.

It’s For Kids: Last year, social networking was named the top emerging channel for lead generation. In addition to being an effective way of branding your business and syndicating your message, social media has been found to help build and maintain businesses by improving their relationships with their clients, customers, partners, and prospects.

It’s Automatic: For as many people that will tell you social media won’t work for your business, there are those that will tell you that it’s easy, automatic, and requires little more than setting up the pages and reaping the rewards. But having a successful networking strategy, whether online or off, means work. In order to build and keep traffic coming to your profiles and pages, you’ve got to maintain your presence and offer something of value. That means, responding to comments, offering interesting content, keeping your pages fresh, and, most of all, participating.

It’s About The Numbers: Having the most Facebook fans in your region certainly can give the impression of success. But having 20,000 fans outside of your target audience only means your business isn’t doing as well as your Facebook page. Don’t get discouraged. Having five fans that bring you consistent business is better than having a million that don’t.

More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, and here, and here.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

The Basics: 41 Social-Media Terms To Learn For Realtors And Mortgage Professionals

Posted in Active Rain, Blogging, Blogs, Facebook, Free Training, Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2011 by The Ibis Network

An update of The Ibis Network’s previous list of social-media terms … New terms in bold.

The Internet is an incredible resource for real-estate and mortgage professionals but keeping up with an always-evolving online world can be a challenge. Sometimes the lingo alone can stand between successfully implementing a social-media strategy and being overwhelmed by widgets, avatars, and hashtags.

Active Rain – The largest social network for real-estate professionals. Launched in 2006, Active Rain has nearly 200,000 members.

Aggregator – A web-based tool or desktop application that collects syndicated content from across the Internet.

API (Application Programming Interface) – A computer system or application that allows programs and websites to communicate and exchange data.

App – An application performing a specific task able to be accessed by your computer or phone.

Archives – An index page that organizes past entries and older posts by date.

Avatar – The image, picture, or username a person uses to identify themselves on social-networking sites.

Badge – A linked image displayed on a blog that promotes a person’s profiles or participation on other social-media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter.

Blog – A regularly updated website or “web log” that allows a company or individual to post content and interact with readers through commentary, subscriptions, widgets, and syndicated RSS feeds.

Blogosphere – A term used to describe the totality of blogs on the Internet.

Blogroll – A list of sites, typically found in the sidebar of a blog, showing the sites that particular blogger recommends.

Content – Content on any website, including text, pictures, video, and audio materials.

Dashboard – The administrative area on blogs and social-media sites that allows you to edit your information, manage comments, monitor traffic, upload files, etc.

Domain Name – The identifying name or address of an Internet site.

Facebook – The largest social-networking site for individuals and businesses. Facebook has more than 500 million users.

Feeds (RSS Feed) – A program used by a website that allows the user to syndicate their content and provide subscribers with new blog posts and articles without requiring them to visit the site.

Forums – Online forums allow members of social-media sites to interact with other members by posting messages or questions on particular topics.

Geotagging – Adding location-based data to media such as photos and video to help users find businesses and services by region.

Groups – Communities within social-media sites that allow users interested in particular topics or activities to share information, posts, and messages with other members.

Hashtag – Used on Twitter, a hashtag is a keyword or phrase preceded by a “#” that helps organize posts, making them easier to find in Twitter searches.

Hits – A measurement defined as any request for a file from a web server.

Hyperlink – A navigational reference that embeds a link to a document or page on the Internet.

LinkedIn – A business-oriented social-media site for professional networking. Launched in 2002, LinkedIn now has more than 70 million registered users.

Links – Highlighted text that, when clicked, takes readers to another page containing related content or source materials.

Metadata – Information, including titles, tags, and captions, used to describe a media item or blog post in order to make it more easily found by search engines and aggregators.

Micro-Blogging – A form of blogging that limits the amount of characters or words per post, such as Twitter.

Permalinks – The permanent address or URL of a blog post or web page. A permalink is what is used when linking to another story within an email message or post.

Profiles and Pages – The pages on social-networking sites where a person or business displays their contact information, pictures, posts, and files.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The process of improving and increasing traffic to a website from search engines.

Sidebar – A column or columns along either or both sides of a blog’s main content area that includes widgets, contact and biographical information, links to previous posts and favorite sites, archives, badges, subscription information, RSS feeds, and more.

Social Media – Websites that provide communities with common interests a means to communicate and engage with one another online.

Subscribing – Signing up for a site’s feed, which automatically sends you new content from that site.

Syndication – The process of sharing and distributing content online.

Tag Cloud – A visual representation of the most popular tags on a blog or website. More popular tags are usually shown in larger type while less popular tags appear smaller.

Tags – Keywords associated with a blog post or other content making them more easily found through searches.

Threads – Messages or posts under a single forum topic or the comments and trackbacks of a particular blog post.

Trulia – A real-estate search engine and networking site that allows professionals to create business profiles and allows consumers to find listings, blogs, and real-estate information.

Twitter – A micro-blogging site where members post “tweets” or messages of 140 characters or less.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – A URL is the technical term for a website’s address.

Wall – The shared portion, or discussion board, displayed on a social-media profile.

Webinar – A web-based seminar, presentation, lecture, or workshop transmitted over the web.

Widget – An application offered on social-media sites and blogs that performs a specific function allowing users to customize their profiles or blog.

Source materials here, here, here, here, here, and here. Original glossary here.

Please check back with www.theibisnetwork.wordpress.com for future updates and additions to this glossary.

Josh Millar / The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

To learn more about the Ibis Network’s Professional Networking Suite for Realtors and Mortgage Professionals which features these valuable marketing tools:

* Your own Real-Estate or Mortgage blog updated daily with original content
* Monthly e-newsletter ready to send to your contact list
* Social Media set-up on the 8 major networking sites
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your business website

Visit: http://www.theibisnetwork.com/networkingsuite.html

Social-Media Marketing: Promoting Your Online Efforts Offline

Posted in Blogging, Blogs, Facebook, Free Training, Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2010 by The Ibis Network

To prevent your social-media profiles, posts, and online efforts from retreating into the forgotten corners of Internet obscurity, you’ll have to give them a push into the real world. Sure you can garner some search-engine attention for having consistent content and a presence on all the major networking sites, but, unless you’re delivering your information to the people most able to take advantage of it, you may have fans and followers in Finland but you won’t have clients in your own community.

Here are a few ideas for getting your business blog and online info into the right hands …

Email-Ready Newsletters: Okay, sending out a monthly email-ready newsletter isn’t exactly something you can do offline. But, if you’re already keeping a business blog, you’ve got content you can use to build a newsletter and your address book is likely filled with past clients, referral partners, and other local contacts to send it to. Compile your best posts and include your blog’s address with your other contact information, then hit send and repeat regularly.

Business Cards: Identify a few of your more successful social-media sites and incorporate them into your business card. You don’t want to go overboard with Facebook, Twitter, email, and blog addresses but adding an address or two to your business card is a great way to turn real-world contacts into part of your online community.

Everywhere else: Creativity is key when looking to garner attention online or anywhere else. Try this list of 39 offline places to promote your online efforts and think of some interesting ways to incorporate your Internet activity on fax sheets, letterhead, envelopes, ads, and more.

More social-media tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Josh Millar / The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

To learn more about the Ibis Network’s Professional Networking Suite for Realtors and Mortgage Professionals which features these valuable marketing tools:

* Your own Real-Estate or Mortgage blog updated daily with original content
* Monthly e-newsletter ready to send to your contact list
* Social Media set-up on the 8 major networking sites
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your business website

Visit: http://www.theibisnetwork.com/networkingsuite.html

The Benefits of Blogging for Mortgage Professionals

Posted in Blogging, Blogs, Free Training, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2010 by The Ibis Network

These days, people seek information online before making even the smallest decision. Which means, having a presence on the Internet is vital to building a business in the age of Google, Twitter, and Facebook. And a great way to build that presence is to establish your brand through blogging. Need convincing? Here are some things to consider …

Blogs Generate More Traffic: To establish your business online, you need to show up in search-engine results. And to show up in search-engine results, you need regularly updated content. Search-engines such as Google, Yahoo! And Bing respond to frequent updates. In other words, if you’re blogging, you’re more visible to potential clients and referral partners. You’re also providing an ongoing source for useful, relevant information in your industry that will only increase your chances of setting yourself apart from the field.

Your Blog Is Your Brand: Setting up a blog and updating it regularly is an excellent way of showing potential clients that you’re more knowledgeable, credible, and committed than the competition. A traditional website isn’t updated often, or ever. Which means, that anyone viewing your business website won’t find much more than a short bio, contact information, and some testimonials. A blog offers you the ability to further brand yourself and make an impression while offering them pertinent news, industry info, and chance to build trust in your services.

Your Blog Will Cost Nothing But Time: In comparison to the cost of traditional advertising, a blog will cost you next to nothing. It will, however, require some patience. The most successful blogs have an average age of nearly 34 months. That means, you have to make a commitment to keeping your blog updated with fresh material and you have to keep at it. You can’t write three short blog posts and then get frustrated that the money hasn’t rolled in. Frequent content and time are a winning combination when it comes to creating better search-engine rankings and building a reputation in your community.

For more business blogging tips from The Ibis Network, click here, here and here.

Josh Millar / The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

To learn more about the Ibis Network’s Professional Networking Suite for Realtors and Mortgage Professionals which features these valuable marketing tools:

* Your own Real-Estate or Mortgage blog updated daily with original content
* Monthly e-newsletter ready to send to your contact list
* Social Media set-up on the 8 major networking sites
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your business website

Visit: http://www.theibisnetwork.com/networkingsuite.html

 

If you’d like a free Real-Estate blog designed for you… no strings attached – click here: https://theibisnetwork.wordpress.com/want-your-own-real-estate-blog-for-free/

If you’d like a free Mortgage blog designed for you… no strings attached – click here: https://theibisnetwork.wordpress.com/want-your-own-mortgage-blog-for-free/

The Basics: 23 Social-Media Terms To Learn For Realtors And Mortgage Professionals

Posted in Active Rain, Blogging, Blogs, Facebook, Free Training, Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2010 by The Ibis Network

The Internet is an incredible resource for real-estate and mortgage professionals but keeping up with an always-evolving online world can be a challenge. Sometimes the lingo alone can stand between successfully implementing a social-media strategy and being overwhelmed by widgets, avatars, and hashtags.

Here are some basic terms to familiarize yourself with …

Active Rain – The largest social network for real-estate professionals. Launched in 2006, Active Rain has nearly 200,000 members.

Avatar – The image, picture, or username a person uses to identify themselves on social-networking sites.

Badge – A linked image displayed on a blog that promotes a person’s profiles or participation on other social-media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter.

Blog – A regularly updated website or “web log” that allows a company or individual to post content and interact with readers through commentary, subscriptions, widgets, and syndicated RSS feeds.

Content – Content on any website, including text, pictures, video, and audio materials.

Dashboard – The administrative area on blogs and social-media sites that allows you to edit your information, manage comments, monitor traffic, upload files, etc.

Facebook – The largest social-networking site for individuals and businesses. Facebook has more than 500 million users.

Feeds (RSS Feed) – A program used by a website that allows the user to syndicate their content and provide subscribers with new blog posts and articles without requiring them to visit the site.

Forums – Online forums allow members of social-media sites to interact with other members by posting messages or questions on particular topics.

Groups – Communities within social-media sites that allow users interested in particular topics or activities to share information, posts, and messages with other members.

Hashtag – Used on Twitter, a hashtag is a keyword or phrase preceded by a “#” that helps organize posts, making them easier to find in Twitter searches.

Hyperlink – A navigational reference that embeds a link to a document or page on the Internet.

LinkedIn – A business-oriented social-media site for professional networking. Launched in 2002, LinkedIn now has more than 70 million registered users.

Micro-Blogging – A form of blogging that limits the amount of characters or words per post, such as Twitter.

Profiles and Pages – The pages on social-networking sites where a person or business displays their contact information, pictures, posts, and files.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The process of improving and increasing traffic to a website from search engines.

Sidebar – A column or columns along either or both sides of a blog’s main content area that includes widgets, contact and biographical information, links to previous posts and favorite sites, archives, badges, subscription information, RSS feeds, and more.

Social Media – Websites that provide communities with common interests to communicate and engage with one another online.

Subscribing – Signing up for a site’s feed, which automatically sends you new content from that site.

Threads – Messages or posts under a single forum topic or the comments and trackbacks of a particular blog post.

Trulia – A real-estate search engine and networking site that allows professionals to create business profiles and allows consumers to find listings, blogs, and real-estate information.

Twitter – A micro-blogging site where members post “tweets” or messages of 140 characters or less.

Widget – An application offered on social-media sites and blogs that performs a specific function allowing users to customize their profiles or blog.

Source materials here, here, here, and here.

Please check back with www.theibisnetwork.wordpress.com for future updates and additions to this glossary.

Josh Millar / The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

To learn more about the Ibis Network’s Professional Networking Suite for Realtors and Mortgage Professionals which features these valuable marketing tools:

* Your own Real-Estate or Mortgage blog updated daily with original content
* Monthly e-newsletter ready to send to your contact list
* Social Media set-up on the 8 major networking sites
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your business website

Visit: http://www.theibisnetwork.com/networkingsuite.html

 

If you’d like a free Real-Estate blog designed for you… no strings attached – click here: https://theibisnetwork.wordpress.com/want-your-own-real-estate-blog-for-free/

If you’d like a free Mortgage blog designed for you… no strings attached – click here: https://theibisnetwork.wordpress.com/want-your-own-mortgage-blog-for-free/

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