Is social media working for you? Really?

You tweet. Check in. Post friendly news Facebook. Hoping to engage friends. Family. Clients.

It’s fun. It feels good. It enables you, or your brand, to be social.

I’m stoked about all this stuff. Grateful that you are going at it with such passion.


Is it working?

When was the last time you tweeted with your garbage man? Or became a fan of the sanitation department for which he works? Never? Why not? The services they provide play a major role in caretaking our entire civilization. What these people do is really important.

What about your insurance agent? Do you follow their check-ins? What about the local emergency medical facility? Or your accountant?

In the grand scheme of things, it might be safe to say that in the real world – the one filled with average men and women living their lives – service providers reside mostly someplace far outside their view.

I’ve often asked why people would want to “Like” a real estate brokerage? What is there to friend? Or follow?

And what is it the brokerage can really do through these channels that creates real engagement?

Why do I ask this? Because somewhere along the way…

This social media shit has got pay off!

If I owned a real estate brokerage, or any organization managing social media assets tied to my brand, this would be the question written on the white board at every meeting:

Is it working?

After all, social media for business doesn’t stop at how many friends or followers you have – it’s how many of them engage. Click through. Inquire. Buy. Sell.

I know Bob once got a referral from Betty through Twitter. I spoke to Jim who connected with John, his old classmate, on Facebook at the exact time John was ready to sell his house. I know Coach Bruce got 10 new agent clients by screaming affirmations into his iPhone and posting it on YouTube.

I get it. It’s cool when this stuff actually produces results. But as business people we have to ask – what was the cost to acquire that client? Social Media in not free. It takes time. What else could you be doing with it?

I’ve met many brokers who have vested what I believe is too much into their social media programs. Many have hired social media marketers who spend their days micro blasting fluff out into the universe.

It is working?

You need tools

I’m not talking about using free apps like Klout to measure your influence – something we all know is fleeting.

I’ve put together a list of serious business apps below. Solutions that really measure, monitor and capture your digital impressions to help you answer the “Is it working?” question.

Some of these are not cheap. Do not discount them. They may save you many wasted marketing dollars.

Heartbeat – A real-time, social media monitoring and measuring solution that creates snapshots of online conversations about your brand.

Radian6 – A popular solution that allows you to view relevant conversations about you in real-time.

Lithium – This solution aggregates and analyzes content from blogs, news, photo and video sharing sites, forums and Twitter. A feature called Quotes tracks specific mentions of your name and company. It monitors 150 million public sites and sources and ties to Google analytics, WebTrends and Omniture.

Social Flow – An analytics tool that optimizes your broadcasts during time periods when your audience is most receptive.

Collective Intellect – This is a hot company with a collection of sizzling solutions built around real-time text mining and analytics.

Social Mention – Searches, analyzes and aggregates user-generated content from many sources and merges the results into a single stream of easy to read data.

Beevolve – Need a cheaper solution to the killer tools above? I thought so. This solution does what many of those above do. Broad coverage of your SM assets, real-time monitoring, sentiment analysis, and more.

Last call

Spring 2011 is here. Every second you’re paying someone to sit with their head down, tapping your brand’s message into the ether has got to count.

You know have tools that allow you know if it truly is.