Attention Realtors: Adapt Your Business via the Power of Technology

Attention Realtors: Adapt Your Business via the Power of Technology

Realtors everywhere are wondering how to continue business as usual when the climate is anything but normal. How can people buy houses if they’re in isolation? How can I best serve my clients right now? These are great questions that can be answered with technology. Specifically, through leveraging social media.

Social media has long been aiding in realtors’ marketing plans. Right now, more homebuyers/sellers are spending time on social media and the internet in general. This is the best place to communicate, connect, and engage with your clients.

Let’s start with one of the main tasks of being a realtor: showing your clients new listings through open houses and tours.

You can still provide these services through technology. Consider filming a tour of the listing and then posting it to your Instagram feed. It’s best to film it as a story so it can be watched later. File the story in a highlights reel for current listings. Your clients can see every aspect of the home from the safety of their current dwelling.

If your client is trying to sell their home, guide them on filming a tour. Take their video and edit it. Then, send it to your network of realtors. Collaboration with other agents has never been so important. Make sure you’re connected to other realtors on social media so you can see their new listings quickly and send their videos to your clients.

Should you still focus on database building right now?

Absolutely! Email was important before Covid-19 and it’s still important now. People are spending more time on their laptops and computers, many working from home, so they have more access to their email than usual. Take advantage of this by creating email campaigns that cater to your clients’ needs. One campaign could be for buyers and another for sellers. Give them tips that pertain to their goals in the current climate.

Remember, not addressing the current climate can make you seem tone-deaf and insensitive. Don’t avoid talking about the situation, be authentic and real about it.    

How can you continue building your reputation?

Again, through social media marketing. Your profiles are still great places to build authority and credibility in the industry. Plus, now is the perfect time to get authentic with your audience. Show your community that you’re also being affected and that we’re all in this together. You could do this by filming a live video on Instagram or Facebook. Share how you’ve been coping with the situation and any tips you can give others.

If you can come through with effective tips and real solutions to their problems, your reputation will grow. Consider all the different ways you can be of service to your clients right now.

Can you really sell houses online?

Totally. The reasons people want to sell their homes or buy new ones haven’t changed. The process of doing the selling and buying has. Being adaptable and proactive as a realtor is key in a time like this. Use technology and social media to your advantage and support your network of realtors. If you need some guidance when it comes to social media marketing during this pandemic, we can help. Contact us today to get started! 

Navigating Your Business in Uncertain Times

Navigating Your Business in Uncertain Times

Businesses everywhere have been impacted by the coronavirus and many owners are anxious about taking next steps. If you’re in this situation, you’re not alone. And, there are plenty of things you can do to stay busy and keep moving your business forward. 

Communication is Key

With so many people practicing social distancing, face-to-face communication is uncommon. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain regular communication with customers, clients, employees, and your community.

You just need to find new ways to communicate. For your customers, consider sending out email newsletters or getting more active on social media. For your team, join a real-time communication platform, like Slack, to support each other.

We may be physically distancing ourselves from our communities, but online communication has never been easier.

Get Your Team on the Same Page

If you’ve sent everyone home to work remotely, you’ve taken a noble first step. Managing your team remotely is the next challenge.

Platforms like Slack and Asana are great for keeping everyone on the same page. Slack allows for real-time conversations between the whole group or select individuals.

Make your expectations for your team clear from the start. If you want everyone to be available on Slack from 9 to 5, say so. Ask your team for their input on how to ensure everyone is productive and focused. Remember, for many people, this is their first time working from home. It may take some time to adjust to working in a new environment.

Adapt to Appropriate Technology

If you sell tangible products but had to close your storefront’s doors, you can still keep your virtual doors open. This is an amazing excuse to explore e-commerce channels and get your business online.

Where would your products sell best online? Through Facebook, Instagram, or Shopify? Can you offer fast delivery or curbside pickup?

If your business is service based, how can you provide your services without physical contact? Zoom and Skype are great tools for online consultations and meetings with clients.

Strengthen Your Online Presence

As mentioned above, communication with your community is super important right now. Be a strong and supportive source for your customers and followers. Now is the perfect time to double down on your online strategies.

Start by brainstorming new content ideas. Putting out fresh and relevant content is crucial to your online presence. Keep it authentic, on-brand, and timely. Some examples are:

  • Resources for the elderly community
  • If you’re working from home, show how you’re using your time
  • Shoutout different #HealthcareHeroes in your community
  • Cooking recipes, music playlists, cute pets

Another idea is to start a virtual book club. Look for ways to unite your online community and spur engagement.

Make sure you’re optimizing your engagement online. That means responding to all comments and encouraging positive conversations. Perhaps you can post polls or questions in your Instagram Storied to get new discussions started. This is an amazing opportunity to learn more about your audience and new ways to provide value.

Remember, This Too Shall Pass

The uncertainty is affecting everyone right now, not in the least small and medium-sized businesses. Remember that we’re all in this together. Remind your team, customers, and community that they’re not alone. This too shall pass.

How are you preparing your business for when it passes? If you need help getting your business online and creating a strong online presence, we can help. Give us a call at 416-938-1240 or send us a message today.

The Evolution of Marketing for Lawyers and Law Firms

The Evolution of Marketing for Lawyers and Law Firms

This article first appeared in The Lawyer’s Daily.

(January 28, 2020, 11:24 AM EST) — Legal marketing has gone through a major shift and notable evolution over the years. There was once a time where the law society prevented lawyers and firms from marketing themselves and in some cases even forbade many forms of marketing and soliciting business via means of advertising strategy. Lawyers were not allowed to advertise on TV, billboards, buses, via Yellow Pages, radio, etc.

There was reasoning behind these restrictions: protection of the legal industry and profession as a whole and preventing the power of advertising persuasion and influence.

Law firms and lawyers today must adhere to and obey the Rules of Professional Conduct  by the Law Society of Ontario. Chapter 4 addresses marketing of professional services. Section 4.2-1 states that: “A lawyer may market legal services only if the marketing a) is demonstrably true, accurate and verifiable; b) is neither misleading, confusing or deceptive, nor likely to mislead, confuse or deceive; and c) is in the best interests of the public and is consistent with a high standard of professionalism.”

In today’s world, marketing strategy is now not just the norm, but a necessary practice embedded in most successful firms’ business development plans. Traditional marketing now co-exists with inperson networking and digital marketing — and most large national firms today implement a holistic strategy comprised of various marketing, technology and business development tactics. This has been pegged as innovation.

Today we see all sorts of legal marketing happening in mainstream media, magazines, e-newsletters, direct mailouts, but also online on blogs, social media, websites, YouTube, podcasts and more. In fact, marketing has now become an essential element of a law firm and lawyer’s practice.

In the late ’90s and early 2000s, the Internet era started rolling and businesses started to use the power of the world wide web to market their business. Law firms started to create their own websites. Over the next decade, out came paid digital advertising practices, search engine optimization tactics and social campaigns. Lawyers and law firms were slow to the race, however; by the time we reached 2012-2013, we started to see law firms beginning to adopt.

As a marketing and business development co-ordinator at a mid-size Toronto boutique litigation firm, part of my role in 2014 was conducting a competitor analysis and online audit of digital best practices among other firms. Launching the firm blog, getting the firm’s lawyers using LinkedIn and debuting a solid social media strategy fell within the scope of my work and by 2015, the firm was utilizing the power of online marketing to raise awareness of the firm and its lawyers.

Modern day legal marketing

We still see billboards, we still hear radio ads, we still advertise in magazines and newspapers.Traditional marketing and advertising still exists and there are definitely ways of getting exposure inall traditional media opportunities, whether earned or paid.

Today, however, law firms and lawyers are utilizing online marketing strategy to gain exposure, target a market and raise their profile. The power of the Internet cannot be ignored and while at the end of the day, word-of-mouth and in-person networking are crucial, in today’s world, reputation is not enough on its own to build business, attract clients and grow.

Legal discussions and engagements are happening on platforms like Twitter in real time, a platform

largely attended by lawyers. It is becoming more and more important to be part of the conversation

as a means to understand the landscape and be part of this online community.

Technology is ever-advancing and each month there are new strategies, platforms, tactics and best practices to consider: from Facebook to LinkedIn to YouTube and now platforms like TikTok, innovation and modernization is necessary to evolve, adapt and reach new audiences.

With change comes opportunity, innovation and the ability to reach clients like never before and

establish authority, leadership and credibility.

Digital marketing’s competitive advantage

There is no doubt that business development tactics like taking a client for lunch, attending networking events, staying in touch with contacts and referral sources are important practices. These practices should be maintained.

Traditional media also still has significant value and weight. Exposure via traditional marketing is a

valuable tool for brand exposure and profile.

Digital marketing is a whole different ball game when it comes to analytics and target marketing. A magazine and newspaper have distribution numbers, readership demographics and circulation rates; social media analytics disclose reach, click-through rates, cost per click results, cost per acquisition; website analytics provide time spent on page, page views, bounce rates and consumer behavior data. Taking things a step further, social media and digital media buys allow users to target their market by demographic: geographic location, age range, interests, occupation, job roles and more.

The digital revolution is a powerful marketing tool

Stay tuned for part two of this article, which will touch on the power of analytics, target marketing and tips to optimize digital marketing strategy for your legal business and practice.

Marly Broudie is the founder and CEO of SocialEyes Communications Inc., a digital marketing agency

based in Toronto. Broudie started her career as a paralegal and then worked at a litigation firm in

business development and marketing, where she honed her skills in social media, marketing, content

creation and Internet marketing.

The End of a Year… The End of a Decade

The End of a Year… The End of a Decade

It’s December 31, 2019. Today’s date marks the last day of the year, but also the last day of the decade. Every year on December 31, I sit down and think about what I have accomplished over the past year, but also what I wish for and what goals I wish to achieve for the following year. It is a day to reflect, a day to plan and a day to set objectives.

What’s changed over the last decade? Holy crap – a lot! Went from living in my parent’s home to moving out and moving in with my boyfriend (now husband), travelling Europe a few times, getting married, having 2 children, leaving my 9-5 job in the legal industry and launching a business.

2019 was a great year and I am proud of the goals and accomplishments this year: 

1.) We grew our team from 4 full time staff to 7 – and I am so proud of us. We grew into a larger office space this year and we have really built a strong, talented, dedicated team and I can say with utmost confidence that we are building and growing every single day. Learning new skill sets, brainstorming together, collaborating and driving all of our careers forward, together. There is nothing quite like taking a step back and just watching our team work together and thrive together. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!

2.) SocialEyes went through a rebrand – 2019 marked the year of a brand refresh for SocialEyes. New colours, new fonts, a new logo, a brand new website, new printed collateral and a brand guide that we live by and adhere to. On February 19, 2019, we launched our new and improved website www.socialeyescommunications.com , we got new brochures and folders printed, new business cards, created new templates for our own social media footprint and honed our skills at brand building… we now offer Brand Guidelines as part of our service offerings because we got (really darn!) good at it especially during this process going through it for our own company! 

3.) Article Contribution Opportunities – In 2018, I set a goal that I would seek out 1 or 2 article contribution opportunities. I really enjoy writing, story-telling and felt that I finally was at a point where I had valuable information and insights to share. The following articles were written by me and published:

Lexpert Magazine – Social Media Changes Legal Profession

Women of Influence – Meet a Role Model 

JeffBullas.Com – How to Build a Business and Raise a Family as a Young Woman

Canadian Small Business Women – 2 Babies and a Business

Canadian Small Business Women – 5 Elements of a Successful Brand

Canadian Small Business Women – Optimizing Your Business in 2019

4.) Threw my very first charity event – This is a big one! Since 2011 (the year in which my sister passed away), I set a goal that I would one day throw a charity event in support of Sick Kids Hospital… 2019 was the year. This was totally and completely outside of my comfort zone…. I had never ever thrown an event and didn’t know a THING about event planning. I set it as a goal in December of 2018… and on November 20, 2019, the SociaLux Gala occurred. Sunny Kiani (my beautiful friend and talented owner of Lux Events Co.) put her best foot forward to throw this event with me and was ALL in from the moment I brought it up to her back in February. With 203 attendees, the night was magical and meaningful…. we raised $32,134 for Sick Kid’s Hospital. THANK YOU AGAIN TO ALL OF OUR INCREDIBLE SPONSORS, DONORS, VENDORS AND ALL ATTENDEES!

WOO 2019 has been fantastic!

It is now time to reflect on these accomplishments, and set objectives for 2020. I want to be able to grow even more (collectively as a team, but also personally), spend more time conducting research, developing skill sets, BUT also taking more time for myself. 2020 is going to be the year for self-reflection and self-growth. Taking more time for ME, getting more comfortable in saying “I can’t get to that right now” while simultaneously staying tenacious, determined and dedicated. 

I encourage everyone to take an hour today or tomorrow (the first day of the year) and set your goals for the next 365 days. It helps to put things into perspective!

Social Media Marketing Ideas for the Holidays

Social Media Marketing Ideas for the Holidays

The holiday season is lucrative for almost every type of business. Consumers are shopping till they drop, and manufacturers are doubling their inventories to prepare for it. The social media marketing you’ve done all year has led you to this season. But, what now? How do you leverage your social marketing efforts and capitalize on all those wish lists? Here are three ideas to make the most of your social media marketing during the holidays.

  1. Get Personal

The holidays are a competitive time for businesses, especially B2C. Every one of your competitors is paying the inflated cost for social media ads and Google ads. To stand out, take a different route: get personal with your audience.

Today’s consumers want to buy from brands that they can relate to, identify with, and trust. That means showing the human side of your brand. We already know how amazing video content performs on social media. So, consider doing a daily Facebook live where you interview one of your team members and ask them about their favourite product from your brand. Talk about the causes your business supports. Get real about how your products or services can change consumers’ lives. There’s no better time to show your brand’s authenticity.

2. Make Holiday Content

Get in the festive spirit with consumers and start celebrating the season on your social media pages. That doesn’t just mean adding red and green to your brand colours (although that can be a fun idea). Consider your business goal for the holiday season and then create content to help achieve it.

Let’s say you want to collect user-generated content that you can use for the following year. Hold a holiday-themed giveaway for each of the 12 days of Christmas. For people to enter, they must send you a selfie of them with one of your products. Or, perhaps your goal is to follow up with those customers who showed interest but didn’t buy throughout the year. Focus your ad budget for December on retargeting those users with holiday reminders of the products they showed interest in.

3. Stay Consistent

It’s easy to get overwhelmed during the holiday season with increased orders and dwindling time. You might start putting social media on the backburner and neglect new messages in your social inboxes. However, there’s never been a more crucial time to be consistent with your social media marketing. Even if you don’t use a social post scheduler during the year, consider it for the holidays. You can pre-write a ton of posts and schedule them to go out every day of the week (or whenever your target audience is most likely to see them).

On Facebook, don’t let your engagement fall to the wayside. You can create Facebook Messenger drip campaigns that ensure every person who reaches out to your brand gets a response. Mobile Monkey published a super helpful article on how to set up your first drip campaign on Messenger.

Our final tip is to work with a reputable social media marketing agency to boost your leads and sales, especially during the holidays. Contact us today to learn more.

Why Companies are Putting Their Marketing Budgets into Social Media

Why Companies are Putting Their Marketing Budgets into Social Media

Remember when traditional marketing was the only way to promote your business? Business owners would buy newspaper ads, billboards, bus stop ads, and drop flyers at every doorstep. Snail-mail promotional flyers were considered high-tech. While some might sigh, longing for the good ole’ days, others are flourishing in the new age of marketing. Today, we have amazing online tools, like social media, to promote our businesses to the exact people we want to. Here are some of the other reasons why brands keep moving their marketing budgets out of traditional marketing and into social media. 

Targeting to the Extreme

How do you target with a bus stop ad? If your target customer is middle-aged men, how can you ensure that demographic sees it the most? You can’t. Targeting in traditional marketing only works if you’re targeting a specific neighbourhood or city. Any further specifications aren’t possible.

Social media and digital marketing have changed the targeting game. You can set the parameters of your Facebook ad to only show up on the feeds of men of a certain age with a certain profession and certain income level. You can even set your ad to target people with specific interests or buying histories. That’s incredible for your return on investment. The money you spend on social ads gets utilized as efficiently as possible.

Analytics are Everything

When you buy a paper ad in a magazine, how can you tell how many people read it? Can you calculate how long most people stayed looking at the ad before flipping the page? No! With social media ads, you can determine both of those metrics. You can count how many people saw your ad, clicked it, shared it, or engaged with it. Then, you can see how many of the people that clicked your ad purchased your goods or services. This is crucial for knowing which ads work for your audience and which get less engagement.  

Reporting for Future Planning

Since your analytics are constantly and automatically being tracked, you can create reports weekly, monthly, and yearly. These reports are amazing for showing which marketing campaigns have been successful and why. You can see the promising trends in your content. For example, you might notice in your monthly report that your Instagram posts that included a person’s face in the image got higher engagement. Or, that Facebook posts that were written in the first person received more comments. By reviewing this month’s social media report, you can plan an even more successful content calendar for next month.

Sure, you can create reports for your traditional marketing campaigns. Before the internet, brands would pump out paper ads for a month and then hopefully see an increase in sales. But, there was no feedback on which specific ads caused the influx or why. Traditional marketing reports are far broader than social reports based on analytics.

It’s no surprise that more businesses are transferring their marketing budgets from traditional marketing to social media marketing. If you’re curious about making the change, contact us.