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3 Steps to Using Facebook as a CRM

One of the first questions I get when presenting Facebook to business pros is “should I approve every “friend” request that I get on Facebook?”. I bring this up here in this post because I am now encouraging creating the largest friend base as possible to drive “Likes” to your business page. The key here is “friend” base management and organization.

Using Facebook as a CRM is both fun and effective- here is my recommendation on how to get started:

1) Review Facebook’s rules on creating lists.
2) Go through your entire friend base and tag them to lists.
3) Incorporate the “Limited Profile” list approach into your plan. These are the people that you would not have “friended” in the past but are collecting now to drive your business page. You can immediately drive those you invite to the Limited Profile list as well as accept requests and immediately tag them to Limited Profile.
I now have an organized list! I go to my categories (Ex: Prospects) and on a regular basis try to naturally build rapport through commenting on their posts. I am also keeping up with their life events and look for ways to transition the communication to a business conversation. An example of this would be the following:
A Real Estate agent sees that a past client just renovated their kitchen through reading one of their Facebook status posts. The real estate agent comments on the post with “Great choice! Here is an article detailing how you have increased the value of your home”. The real estate agent offers value with this action and everyone who has posted to the status before them get introduced.

Here is a post and video from Tech Savvy Agent (great blog for Real Estate Pros to follow!) detailing how to get your lists started.

Use Facebook as a CRM and see how your business benefits from this activity!

Revolutionize How You Stay in Front of Your Contacts

I have 2 training dates scheduled and plan to reinforce the “community” energy across NYC Real Estate professionals and be a go-to resource for them.

In preparing for the session I came upon a new way to view online and make it work for this community. I spent most of last year stepping through the basics of Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter, and how to build your “friend and follow” base. This year I am assuming that most pros are engaged on Facebook and experimenting with Twitter and now they are questioning how to leverage the tools and get a specific return on their time and investment.

My seminar “Keep your Finger on the Pulse of your Prospects with Social Media” centers on contact management through new tools and viewing Social Media from a spectator prospective. Those choosing to post on Social Media and share opinions on Twitter are offering us a license to (for lack of a better word) stalk them! You can see their personal and professional life events, hear what they have to say about a wide range of topics, and check in on how their day is going. Creating a system to regularly stay in front of your past clients’/new prospects’ posts will:

1) Offer you the opportunity to create a rapport, stay “top of mind”;

2) Give you an opening to naturally take an event and segue into a business conversation ex: a new baby can prompt a call about their plans to move to a larger space.

I will be posting details on how to set up a system to efficiently do what I just described so keep posted. Please share your insight!

5th Post- Shopping for Your Ideal Client on Twitter

Welcome to my 5th installment in the 30 days to Success series.What I am going to share today will sound so simple and many of you may already be doing this. I am bringing this approach to your attention because a friend at Social Brand It! turned me on to this method and I immediately started to connect with my ideal audience.

People expose their preferences with each product or service purchase that they make. A consumer who will pay for quality in NYC probably works out at Equinox, follows celeb chefs like Mario Batali, orders wine from Wine Library and reads The New Yorker. I looked around the room at The Mermaid Inn while dining on Friday evening with my friend Patti Levan and said to her “wow, the clientele here is a great demographic for your real estate business”.

No,  I’m not suggesting that you run around a the room of that “tony” restaurant and hand out your cards. Social Media has made this connection easy. Here are simple steps to connecting to your ideal client using Twitter:

1) Identify luxury brands, service providers and events in your area (if your business is local like real estate). Start following them.;

2) Stick to areas that you actually “tweet” about. I am an avid Foursquare user (where I post dining tips)  so following restaurants on Twitter and in turn the specific restaurant’s Followers works- my content will be of interest to them.

3) Twitter posts location when they have it for an individual so if local people are your target then stick to these people.

So next time you find yourself at a new venue filled with people of interest take note and check to see if the venue has a Twitter following. Your next client may be waiting for you here!

4th Post- Tips for Pruning Your Twitter Tree

It’s been 2 weeks since I started my “30 Days to Success” series and I have increased my Twitter “Follower” account by 25%! I did this by following tips in Posts 1, 2, and 3. I deem this “measurable” as successful in that those following me are REAL people within the verticals I have identified (Social Media experts, Real Estate Professionals and Entrepreneurs to name a few). My future posts will speak to where you ultimately want to get to which is to start conversations and promote click activity within your posts. For now, let’s focus on this valuable community building exercise.

It’s very important to clean out the base of people that you are following for many reasons. One practical reason is ridding yourself of spam posters, repeaters and those just trying to sell to you.  Secondly, Twitter introduces limits to your account once you are following 2,000 people or more. From the Twitter Help Center: “When you hit this limit, we’ll tell you by showing an error message in your browser. You’ll need to wait until you have more followers in order to follow more users—basically, you can’t follow 10,000 people if only 100 people follow you.” I recently attended a seminar where the expert shared that this ratio is 10%. If you are Following 2100 people then you must have at least 1,890 Followers.

I have started to spend at least 30 minutes a week on “Pruning” the group of people that I follow on Twitter. I have checked out applications like Friend or Follow and the manage friends function at Social Oomph (this site is a paid application that is super rich in features but one that may be too much for many at the beginning stages of network building). I recently stumbled on Echofon and downloaded the Pro mobile version (one $4.99 charge for both my iPhone and iPad) and I am very pleased with the user interface and functionality.

I plan to jump onto Echofon for my iPad (they have a free Mac version where you can do the same) as much as I can to do the following:

1) Go to the “Users” tab where Echofon neatly displays thumbnails of all of the people following you in alphabetical order;

2) Click on each thumbnail and browse their stats. The Echofon window tells me everything I need to know so to make the right decision about the person I am viewing.  I choose to unfollow those who fall into these categories:

a. They do not follow me (where they are not a celebrity I like to stalk or a news feed that provides daily content)

b. They have not tweeted in weeks (they are not active therefore not connected to me)

c. Their tweets are spam-like, repetitive or just uninteresting

d. They do not fall into any of my “List” categories (more on lists in future posts)

3) For those who I choose to continue following I categorize by placing them in a list that I have already created in Twitter. I urge you to get in the habit of immediately placing new people you follow in a list so to make your content browsing and community pruning activities as efficient as possible.

I am now at a ratio of 932 Followers to 1193 people that I follow. I plan to take this 28% differential down to 12% over the next week using the above approach. The auto-unfriend capability that some apps provided in the past is gone due to Twitter penalizing this type of activity.The above may seem too manual to engage in but well worth your time and effort.

Please share your process for achieving a healthy Following/ Follower ratio so we can all benefit from the Twitter platform!

3rd Post- Staying Engaged on Twitter

Here we are at the 3rd Post in the 30 Days to Success series. If you have followed the 1st Post and 2nd Post recommendations for getting a qualified base of Friends and Followers  then you are well on your way to mastering Twitter.  This post is all about supporting you through these beginning days and ensuring that you keep the moment and avoid the pitfalls that most people face early on.

Mashable’s post “How to: Help new users stayed engaged on Twitter” is a “spot on” piece which identifies the problems which force newbies to stall or even give up on Twitter.  I highly recommend that you read this article and push on through so you can soar using this amazing Social Media medium.

Here are the reasons people disengage with my recommendations noted:

1) People only follow those that they know

In the beginning of my Twitter engagement I used the Twitter tool that reviews your Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn and results is a list of people that I knew who were already on Twitter. I immediately began to follow them. Many within this group were not active and posts were lifeless. My turning point: I happened upon active Twitter people like @hungrydomaine and I began to follow who they followed and would strike up conversations with them. This resulted in my breathing life into a once listless Twitter stream!

2) They only follow celebrities

Reading Lindsay Lohan’s ramblings and watching conversations fly between Ashton and Demi are fun activities. After a while you feel like a voyeur and a feeling of unworthiness and frustration begins to surface after mentions or conversations you start with them go unanswered. I started an Entertainment list and fed my desire for celebrity banter while parsing this activity from the base of people that I  focused on interacting with.

3) They are not having conversations

I must say that starting conversation was a very intimidating thing for me. The “@” and “#” symbols took getting used to. In time I would answer questions from people I knew or request recommendations with great success. Jump in and join the conversation!

4) They don’t think they are interesting

I remember the days when I felt like “who really cares about what I have to say”. My perspective changed to one of sharing and I got in the groove of tweeting.   Sites like PopURLs offer great articles to share and the location based application FourSquare has literally put me on the map in NYC and is a great mobile tweet interface. The key is to start sharing and to get mobile with Twitter. Install your favorite client (more on this in future posts)- mine is Hootsuite for the iPhone.

Have patience, persevere and start having fun. There is no wrong way. Please share your Twitter turning point with us!

2nd Post- Start by Casting a Wide Net with Twitter

Welcome to Day 2 of the “30 days to Success”.  My previous post centered on how to get started on Twitter. I want to stop here and explain why I chose to focus on Twitter for my first series of “Success” posts.

Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter presents the opportunity to attract followers from any geography with several degrees of separation from your sphere. Getting your Twitter engine up and running is the first level in the Social Media marketing funnel offering the most opportunity to gather a significantly sized community.

The great news is that there are methods and tools that if used properly and consistently will result in REAL people, with the attributes you dictate, following you! In the previous post I introduced Twellow– the Twitter Yellow Pages. Here is one more tip for connecting with your ideal client through Twitter via Twellow. Identify 10 “Gurus”, people who have the set of followers that you would like to attract. Type their name in the Twellow text search bar. For instance, if you are a Real Estate professional you would have Barbara Corcoran on your Guru list, if you are a network marketing or coaching pro then Tony Robbins is your man. Start with a list of 10 Gurus then see everyone that is following them. Choose to follow the individuals that you connect to best.

Another “hunting for Followers” technique is to jump onto Twitter Search. Type in keywords that your ideal client would most likely have within the body of their tweets. Here are the search results using “NY Real Estate” as a keyword. Start following people who have quality posts and are active tweeters.

I recommend that you go on this hunting expedition for new Followers at least once a week (35% of the people that you choose to Follow will return the favor and follow you back). I will tell you what to do about the 65% of the people that choose not to follow you in my next post.

The method that I outlined is THE best way I have found to naturally build your Twitter base. It’s quality over quantity that we are after. Please try this method and share your results. If you have any other process that results in highly qualified contacts- please share!

1st Post- Twellow Your Way to Valuable Followers

Welcome to the 1st post of my “30 Days to Success” series. Just in case you missed it, I posted mid week here about test driving tools and services directed at building a qualified contact list in the most efficient manner.

My friend Denise Winters is an amazing photographer and has been a great Social Media buddy for me over the past few weeks. We made a commitment to absorb as much as possible and check in with each other to share content and progress. One tool that she raved about was Twellow which is a site that can be best described as the “Yellow Pages of Twitter”.  I jumped right in and spent Tuesday night checking it out.

As you can see in the chart embedded in this post, the people choosing to follow me on Twitter increased at a much higher rate after I set up my profile on Twellow (on 6/16). The new Followers were not spammers- they were real people. This higher level of contact is achieved because I was chosen as a result of being in a category they follow. I also gained new Followers as a result of people returning my Follow favor.

This is what I did to get myself going on Twellow:

1) I created an account and then set up my profile.

2) I reviewed the all categories page and started to associate myself with ones that described my interests.

3) I looked at the advanced search tips and searched on categories such as “New York & Real Estate” to see individuals with these keywords in their Twitter profiles/ categorized as such. I started following the large players/ interesting real people within these sub sets.

4) I looked at the Followers tab and drilled down into categories within a profile by clicking on the “more info” button to the right of his thumbnail. For instance, Barack Obama is categorized under Executive and I can see everyone else in this group ranked by community size. They are probably people that I would like to follow.

5) Twellow offers a Suggested Users tab and I was so pleased with their selections for me. I followed many of the people that Twellow suggested to me.

By “Following” you gain “Followers” in that most people return the favor.

Please take a test drive and comment here to tell me about your success and other methods you use to drive qualified Twitter “Followers”!

1st Day of the Rest of My Life

If you are like me, then you are reeling from the noise that is being thrown at all of us from Social Media coaches and advertisements of tools that promise to transform your business. Your bookshelf (or Kindle) is stacked with books that you are meaning to get to. The guilt is racking up and you beat yourself up for not having an organized contact list that is growing at great rates. The race is on and you feel like you are way in the back with the 10 minute+/mile runners. Whew! Can you feel my pain?

I have always approached my life from a problem solving place and my commitment is to share and make this world a better place for us all (and life experienced with a bulging wallet is much more enjoyable ;-) ). From this day forward I commit to doing something that will bear measurable business results. You will experience my approach, the tool(s) that I used to drive results and how doing this impacted my goal.

What is my goal? Simply put, my goal is to build a valuable contact list and community that grows daily and to do this in the most efficient manner. Across every vertical and in all businesses the most important element is your contact base. How you organize them, what you say to them, and how you stay in front of them drives dollars. In today’s online environment this means managing the line of sending content of value without turning people off. You want them to buy from you and refer others to you. In the world of Facebook and Twitter “refer” means “Like-ing” your posts, re-Tweeting and engaging.  The more they do this, the more Facebook fans, Twitter followers and email list subscribers you receive. A portion of them will want to buy something from you.

Are you in? If so, please subscribe to this blog so to automatically receive my posts in your inbox. “Like” me, re-Tweet me and share the love. Good things come to those who give and I want your days to be filled with miracles!