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Aug 14 2018

5 Instagram Post Ideas for Real Estate Agents

Instagram is a fantastic social media channel for real estate agents. It’s simple photo + story format make it very easy to operate and manage and the photo focus is perfect for showcasing houses. Using hashtags can easily get your content in front of more eyeballs. And the feed isn’t cluttered with fake news links and obnoxious ads like Facebook.

If you are new to Instagram, or if you just need some ideas to spice up your feed, here are 5 ideas to get you going.

  1. A Little Bit About Yourself (and your team!)

Like all social media, Instagram is a personal platform. What differentiates your feed from the feed of all other real estate agents? YOU! So don’t be afraid to post photos of the things that make you, you. Do you collect bird houses? Do you play in an adult soccer league? Going to your 15 year college reunion? Post it! You never know when someone will see it, relate to it, and decide that because of it, you are the one they want to sell your home! 3.

PROTIP: If you are part of a team, share photos of them too!

2. Places of Interest in the Community

Local restaurants. Your favorite walking spot. A popular park. A hidden gem in downtown. As you are out and about in your community, take pictures of various places of interest and post them with captions about why you love those spots and/or why your followers should go visit!

PROTIP: Ask local business if they’d like to partner with you by offering exclusive discounts to your followers. Start with something simple like 10% off lunch when someone shows the restaurant your Instagram post.

3. Home Decor Inspiration

You know how important staging is. Give your followers some tips and inspiration by posting photos of great interior design. Use your own work, but don’t be afraid to repost the work of others as well! Just be sure you give them credit.

PROTIP: Apps like RepostApp make reposting other people’s content, and giving them credit, really easy!

4. Testimonials

They are one of the most powerful marketing tools and you should be posting them EVERYWHERE! For Instagram, the photo would ideally be a photo of the people giving you the testimonial. But if you don’t have that, you can create a visual with one specific part of their testimonial. If the testimonial giver is also on Instagram, tag them so they can see the post and possible share it with their followers!

PROTIP: Using an online app like Canva to turn words into visuals.

5. Listings

You were worried I was going to go an entire post without talking about listings, weren’t you? Never fear! You absolutely should post your listings and open houses to Instagram. But don’t make it just another MLS listings (they can find that just about anywhere). Instead of posting a ton of pictures at once with a generic description, focus on unique aspects of the house. Does it come with a cool chandelier? Post that with some explanation. Does the backyard look like a resort? Write a post about that. Its better to do multiple posts focused on different  features than one post with a ton of pics.

PROTIP: Make sure you’re using those high quality professional photographs you paid for!

NEED HELP?

We can help you create a content calendar and create the actual posts. Give us a call at 949-587-5301 or email info@onestepservices.com

Jun 01 2018

25 Ideas For Summer Content Marketing

Looking for ideas of things to post to social media, put in your email newsletter, put on direct mail postcards or post to your blog? Look no further. Here are 25 Ideas to get you through the summer. And if you need help converting any of these into direct mail postcards, just let us know! 01

Community Info

  • Midterm Elections voter guide. No need to be divisive or state a specific political belief. Simply let people know when the elections are, share a voting guide or instruct them on how they can register to vote.
  • Schedule for concerts and movies in the park. Almost every city offers free summer concerts. Share the schedule for your city.
  • Kids activities. Parents will appreciate a handy resource that gives information on different camps, classes and activities to keep their kids busy this summer.
  • Small business promotion. Do you have a Sunday Brunch spot? Is there a store downtown you always go to for gifts? Promoting small business in your community benefits everyone. Talk to the business owners and they may be willing to offer your recipients and followers an exclusive discount.
  • 4th of July celebrations. Residents want to know when and where the parades, fireworks, and festivals are happening.
  • Current events update. Is there a new shopping center being built? Is road construction set to begin? Let the people know!
  • Beach Guide. Which is the best beach for kayaking? Bonfire? Where can people camp? Don’t assume this is just for coastal agents, in fact, those that do business in the Inland Empire may have more success with this as their recipients aren’t as familiar with beaches as coastal residents.
  • Summer Bucket List. Make a list of the must do things in your community and share with your audience.

Homeowner Info

  • Pool safety tips. So Cal families are in the pool all summer. They’ll appreciate a reminder on how to stay safe and prevent drownings.
  • Energy saving tips. Give homeowners some innovative ways to keep their electric bill as low as possible during the summer months.
  • Home security tips. Remind people of the best ways to secure their home before going on vacation.
  • Warm weather home improvements. People don’t think about it much, but summer is actually the perfect time to seal windows, repair roofs, clean gutters, etc. Give homeowners a guide of improvements best done in the summer.
  • Summer design trends. What paint colors are trendiest? What’s the best way to design a deck? Give your residents some summer makeover inspiration.

Real Estate Info

  • Testimonials. Share testimonials from past clients.
  • Market update. Share information about the specific neighborhood you specialize in. The more specific the better.
  • Home Valuation. Invite owners to your website to find out how much their home is worth
  • Recent solds. Share photos, prices and days on the market for your recent solds.
  • Seller mistakes. Share the most common mistakes sellers make and how to avoid them.
  • Why use an agent? Educate your audience on the benefit of using a real estate agent as opposed to selling themselves.
  • Downsizing. After the kids graduate, many people start thinking about downsizing. Let them know that you’d love to help them get into a better home.
May 14 2018

Make Social Media Content Creation Easier with Themed Hashtags

By far, the most helpful thing I’ve done in social media marketing is give certain days of the week a theme. Every Monday is a motivational quote, every Tuesday is sharing a helpful marketing tip, etc. Giving days a theme makes it so much easier to come up with content. At the beginning of each month, I create my themed posts all at once and schedule them through Hootsuite. I schedule 2-3 posts a week, leaving “freestyle days” when I can post organic content.

Another benefit of themed days is that I use hashtags that are popular on social media and, therefore, increase my visibility. #MotivationalMonday and #TipTuesday are frequently searched hashtags so using them opens up my post to more people than just my followers. Lastly, when I consistently post on themed days gives your followers something to look forward to. I recently started a new themed post called #WhatsItWednesday and I notice that a lot of the same followers are commenting and liking those particular posts. They seem to make it a point to check One Step’s Instagram on that day and engage with the post.

Below are some themes and hashtag ideas. The internet and I love alliteration, so all of the themes start with the same letter as its corresponding day of the week. That’s not a hard and fast rule, you can give each day whatever theme you want. Just keep it consistent!   

Monday:

#MondayMotivation – Share an inspirational quote or story

#MakeoverMonday – Share a makeover story! Could be the way you made over a house, a wardrobe, a room, a recipe, your face. Get creative!

#ManCrushMonday (#MCM) – This isn’t just used for romantic or physical attraction. Take advantage of this hashtag to highlight a male coworker, client, partner or community member who is doing something outstanding.

Tuesday:

#TipTuesday – Share your expertise with a short tip for your followers related to your industry.

#TransformationTuesday– This one is particularly popular with health and exercise businesses showing body transformations, as well as real estate agents and interior designers showing home transformations.

#TuneTuesday Share your favorite playlists or song with your followers. Even if you aren’t in the music industry, everyone loves a good song recommendation!

Wednesday:

#WomanCrushWednesday (#WCW) – Again, this doesn’t have to be a romantic or sexual thing. Highlight a lady coworker, partner, vendor, client or community member who is doing rad things in your industry.

#WhatsItWednesday – Take a picture of something obscure, or take an obscure picture of something mundane, and have your followers guess what it is. Don’t forget to post the answer!

#WorkItWednesday – A great opportunity to show how your business operates day to day.

Thursday:

#ThankfulThursday One of our partner companies does this. Every Thursday someone in the company holds up a white board sign with their thankfulness written out. It’s a great way to spread positivity and introduce your followers to people in your company.

#ThrowbackThursday – This was one of the original day of the week hashtags! Post a picture of your company in its beginning, or a childhood photo of an employee, or anything else that’s a blast from the past.

#ThoughtfulThursday – Share an inspiring quote, random thought or helpful tip.

Friday:

#FollowFriday – Highlight some of your favorite social accounts by tagging them in a post! Who knows, they may return the favor next week and you can help each other grow in followers.

#FunFriday – The perfect time share photos of everyone at the company potluck, team building activity or getting an after hours drink. Keep it light hearted and let your followers see a more fun, personable side of your business.

#FreebieFriday – Everyone loves free stuff! Share a free digital download or merchandise, or give a special discount. Or just offer some free advice!

Jul 13 2017

Successes and failures of our first Twitter contest

I just ran @OneStepServices first Twitter contest and thought I’d share my thoughts and findings while they are fresh in my mind.

The Contest

The contest was super simple. Every time someone retweeted us, they’d be entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card. I planned ahead and made sure I could just email the gift card, since I didn’t want to deal with actually purchasing and mailing one. The contest lasted one hour, from 12-1pm. I used #RTtoWin

During that hour, I was on Twitter the entire time. I was retweeting others, posting lots of original tweets, liking tweets. No real strategy here, just spent an hour being engaged in the community.

The Results

I only had 1 person retweet within the allotted hour. I did, however, get 15 new followers. This took our overall following up to 500 which was exciting for me. Many of those followers were other marketing companies, which is good for networking, not so good for making money. But two were potential clients. I made sure to follow those two back and add them to lists to make it easier to stay engaged with them.

Our impressions also increased significantly. The day before, our tweets were getting about 465 impressions. During the contest, they were getting 1,359 impressions. That’s an almost 300% increase. Not too shabby.

The Conclusion

I think simply engaging in the community for an hour straight was more effective than the contest itself. While I don’t think it would be worth it to do this every day, I definitely see value in doing it once or twice a week.

I’ve gotten pretty good at using effective hashtags that get the attention of our target audience. I will continue to use those AND increase the use of photos. Readers, I didn’t use a single photo until 45 minutes into the contest. HUGE FAIL! I should have been tweeting photos from the beginning.

What I’ll do better next time

I think I need to give the contest a little more time. Perhaps a 12-5pm time frame. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try the morning. But I definitely don’t think an hour was enough. I also think I need to promote the contest ahead of time and create a unique hashtag to pique the interest of our followers.

I’m about to read an article from my favorite social media marketing gurus, Social Media Examiner, about how to effectively run a Twitter contest. I’m sure they will give me some more ideas of ways to improve next time. I plan on holding another contest next week so stay tuned!

Jun 06 2017

Tip Tuesday: What NOT to post to your business social media profiles

Our lives are lived online. We post the mundane details and the life changing events. But, there is such a thing as oversharing, particularly on your business page. Posting certain things could jeopardize the safety of you and your family, unnecessarily upset a lot of followers, or detract from your main brand message. Here are a couple tips on what you should keep off your business social pages.

  • Personal details. Things like where your kids go to school, where you live, the fact that you eat at the same breakfast spot every Thursday, should all be kept OFF of your business page. You don’t know who is monitoring your activity and may want to use that information to harm you and your family.
  • Vacation details. Don’t post when you are going on vacation or where. If necessary, Avoid posting pictures until after you are back. Believe it or not, there are people who track when people go on vacation so they can rob them.
  • Strong political or religious views. Occasionally something may come up in the news that is political or religious in nature but also directly related to your business or industry. In that instance, it may be good to comment in a moderate, rational manner to open up a discussion amongst your followers. But most of the time, your opinions about religion and politics are better left offline. No need to frustrate or annoy customers over something not even related to your business.
  • Your net worth. Most people are not posting a specific number of their net worth. But all those pictures of your new car, new jewelry, kitchen remodel, vacations, etc speak volumes about what you’re worth. Again, robbery and identity theft are big concerns here. You don’t want to make yourself a target.

BONUS TIP

  • Watch what others are posting about you on Facebook. This only applies to your personal FB profile, but you can set up filters so that nothing gets posted to your timeline without your consent. And on any social media channel, if someone posts to their profile something about you that makes you feel uncomfortable, ask them to take it down.

Have you ever posted something to your business profile that you later regretted? Let us learn from your mistakes, share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Mar 16 2017

Instagram, Baby Moccs and a Mom Marketer’s Weakness

I’ve never been particularly fond of moccasins, and I’ve always thought baby shoes were a waste of money. But I’m currently obsessed with Freshly Picked baby moccasins. This, dear reader, is a story about storytelling and how one shoe company has used it to to build an incredibly successful business.

I was introduced to Freshly Picked at a friend’s baby shower, when my son was two and my daughter was simply a twinkle in my eye. While I wasn’t super impressed with the look of moccasins, the idea of soft soled shoes appealed to me. I quickly followed them on Instagram while I munched on cake. When I got home, I looked at the website and saw that the cost averaged $60. Sixty bucks for baby shoes? No thanks.

But I never unfollowed them. I watched as they released new designs and I started to actually like the look of the shoes. I saw pictures of chunky legged babies and energetic toddlers living fantastic lives, so it seemed, because of the moccs. I read testimonials from other moms claiming these were the best shoes ever. And now, as we approach my daughter’s first birthday, I am saving up to give her a pair of Freshly Picked moccs. I’ve caught the bug, and I’m not even sorry about it.

Surely, a company hasn’t turned me into a believer simply through their Instagram feed? They have. Honestly, it’s the only interaction I have had with them. Here’s how they did it:

Powerful visual storytelling

They’ve dubbed their shoes “memory keepers.” After a while, the baby’s footprint will appear at the bottom of the shoe. Their instagram feed is full of mom’s sharing old pairs of moccs that they hang onto because they love the footprint. It reminds them of park days, birthdays, first steps, first vacations, games of tag with siblings. Other FP posts show pictures of these events, smiling babies on a swing, sleeping newborns, big kids walking off to kindergarten. Scrolling through their feed is like looking at photo albums of a million happy, healthy, mocc wearing babies. Who doesn’t want that story for their kids? And while I know my kids can be perfectly happy without these shoes, cute shoes certainly don’t hurt.

Focused messaging

About 90% of Freshly Picked posts are about their moccasins. Whether it’s introducing a new design or showcasing a babe wearing their shoes, it’s mocc talk most of the time. When they do sway from the messaging, they still remain in the same sphere of family and baby products. This is important because it builds brand consistency, reinforces the message, and reduces risk of conflict or offense. As the old adage goes, do one thing and do it well. They do moccs and they don’t pretend to do anything else.   

Lots of engagement

I think they average one contest a week. And generally they are the same…in order to enter, you have to like their post and tag a friend. My friend and I tagged each other in every contest for a  year before one of us won (she did, not me. Sad day) And we could tag multiple friends for multiple entries, so I introduced a few friends to the brand through tagging. Those are simple actions for followers with a big impact for the brand. They have 724,000 followers. If even just 10% of those followers tagged one friend every contest, that’s exposure to 72,400 new followers every contest.

Freshly Picked not only encourages engagement from their followers, they do their part to engage as well. They respond to comments and questions on their posts, they like comments, and they repost photos of their customers sporting the moccs.

Through this engagement, they have created a community. While their Instagram feed is definitely a place where they introduce new product, advertise sales and encourage people to buy, it doesn’t FEEL like one big advertisement. It feels like a community, like a series of small stories. That’s why I keep following.

As someone who works in marketing, I like to consider myself immune to the “tricks of the trade.” But the truth is, the tricks work. Which is why baby girl will be getting a pair of ridiculously priced moccs on her first birthday. Sometimes, you just  gotta give into the emotional marketing, even if you know better.

Freshly Picked Baby Moccasins freshlypicked • Instagram photos and videos

Oct 04 2016

Tip Tuesdays: Simple Ways to Engage Your Audience

marketing tipsEngagement refers to interactions between your clients (or potential clients) and your business. When a client talks to an employee, likes a social media post, signs up for an email newsletter, participates in a contest, buys a product, or leaves a review, she is engaging with your brand.

Engagement is vital for brand survival. People who are just learning about your brand will simply be observers for a while, which is good, but eventually you need them to engage. That’s when sales happen and when referrals are made. Below are some simple ways to engage your audience through different marketing channels:

  1. Engage in person. Ask questions to get to know your audience. If you’re a real estate agent, skip a mailing and instead walk your postcards, knock on doors, and talk to your neighbors. If you own a store, talk to customers as they come in and browse.
  2. Engage through mail. Host a contest that requires action, like mailing in an entry form or submitting a coloring page. Many people jump at the chance to win something. Not only do you get engagement, you get additional information about people that you can use to improve marketing.
  3. Engage online. Ask people to comment on or share the content you post. You’d be surprised how many people will engage simply because they are asked. You can also ask questions on social media to get to know your audience better.
  4. Engage through email. Send an email to your social list with a survey about their experience working with you. This will give you valuable feedback as to what you are doing right and what you can improve on. Make sure you thank your audience for taking the survey (not for giving you good marks) with a discount or something similar and keep them updated on changes that you make based on their recommendations.
Mar 29 2016

Download Your Free Direct Mail Marketing Calendar

Our Second Quarter Marketing Calendar is now available for real estate professionals. These calendars take the guess work out of direct mail marketing and give you a strategic, week by week plan that includes content ideas and guidelines of when to order and when to mail. We understand the importance of integrating direct mail with digital marketing as well, and have including blog topics and social media post ideas, many of which are correlated with your direct mail content.

These calendars are 100% free. Download today and get started.

Download our 2nd Quarter Monthly Marketing Calendar

What will you find in our marketing calendars?

  • All of the content ready postcards we are offering for the quarter
  • Direct mail marketing ideas for every week
  • Blog ideas for every week, many of which integrate with your direct mail marketing campaign
  • Social media post ideas for every week

How should you use the calendar?

  • Find the upcoming Monday on the calendar
  • Look at what piece is recommended for that week
  • Call or email One Step Services and place your order. Schedule the mailing for the following Friday.
  • We’ll send you proofs of your piece and, once it’s approved, print it out for you. We can then mail it, or return it to you so you can walk and drop.
  • Look at the blog and social media ideas for that week. Write them out, and schedule them to publish on the recommended date.

Need more help?

Let us create a mailing schedule for you. We’ll send you a reminder email when its time to place a mailing order, and that email can offer suggestions based on your predetermined preferences. Simply respond to that email saying “yes, place my order!” and we’ll take are of the rest. We also have social media services available where we can create and post to your social channels for you. Email us for more information and a price quote.

Jan 22 2016

Free First Quarter Marketing Calendars Are Now Available

Our First Quarter Marketing Calendar is now available for real estate professionals and small business owners. These calendars take the guess work out of direct mail marketing and give you a strategic, week by week plan that includes content ideas and guidelines of when to order and when to mail. We understand the importance of integrating direct mail with digital marketing as well, and have including blog topics and social media post ideas, many of which are correlated with your direct mail content.

These calendars are 100% free. Download today and get started.

Download our First Quarter Real Estate Marketing Calendar

Download our First Quarter Small Business Marketing Calendar

What will you find in our marketing calendars?

  • All of the content ready postcards we are offering for the quarter
  • Direct mail marketing ideas for every week
  • Blog ideas for every week, many of which integrate with your direct mail marketing campaign
  • Social media post ideas for every week

How should you use the calendar?

  • Find the upcoming Monday on the calendar
  • Look at what piece is recommended for that week
  • Call or email One Step Services and place your order. Schedule the mailing for the following Friday.
  • We’ll send you proofs of your piece and, once it’s approved, print it out for you. We can then mail it, or return it to you so you can walk and drop.
  • Look at the blog and social media ideas for that week. Write them out, and schedule them to publish on the recommended date.

Need more help?

Let us create a mailing schedule for you. We’ll send you a reminder email when its time to place a mailing order, and that email can offer suggestions based on your predetermined preferences. Simply respond to that email saying “yes, place my order!” and we’ll take are of the rest. We also have social media services available where we can create and post to your social channels for you. Email us for more information and a price quote.

Mar 26 2015

Easy Ways To Convert Digital Marketing Into Direct Mail Marketing

digital and direct mail marketingAre you looking to add direct mail marketing to your current marketing strategy? You should!

According to the Direct Marketing Association, 79% of direct mail recipients act on a mail piece immediately. According to a USPS survey, 64% of people value the marketing mail they receive. At One Step Services, we have several clients who consider direct mail an important lead generation tool.

Adding direct mail to your marketing strategy doesn’t have to be difficult or increase your workload. One Step Services can easily convert the content you are using for digital marketing into direct mail marketing pieces.

Tweets about community news
A great compliment to tweets about community news and events would be a community events calendar which could be placed on a postcard, a flyer, or even a large door hanger. Another great piece would be a community newsletter that bears your brand and has helpful information about real estate and the community.

Articles shared on Facebook
While it’s not effective to simply paste an article on a postcard and send it out, you can use an article for postcard content. Summarize the article in 3-5 bullet points or create an Infograph. Include a strong call to action and encourage recipients to contact you with further questions.

YouTube Videos
If you have created a video for a listing, include the URL on the Just Listed postcard and the property flyer. If you’ve created an instrauctional video, create a door hanger with a strong call to action and a URL to the video.

Yelp Reviews
turn those reviews into a postcard. People appreciate recommendations from trusted community members for restaurants, shops, servicemen and other local businesses.

Follow Me
You can use direct mail to get more followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or any other site. Compile a list of your most popular tweets, put them on a postcard and say something like “Want to stay up to date on the latest real estate news? Follow me on Twitter!” To encourage people to follow you on Instagram, you can create a collage of your most popular Instagram photos and pair it with a strong call to action.

Direct mail marketing and digital marketing are powerful tools in their won right. When used together, real estate agents and small business owners see unparalleled success in lead generation, increased sales and more loyal customers.

Don’t have time to do it all? No problem. Call One Step Services and we’ll do it for you! 9494-587-5301.

Good Cause Marketing