Are you missing a country?

Bill Gates calls the Internet the greatest marketing tool since radio, telephone or television. He’s right. Consider these statistics: It took 37 years for radio to reach 50 million listeners. It took 34 years for the telephone to have 50 million customers. It took television 13 years to reach 50 million viewers. How long did it take the Internet to reach 50 million subscribers? Only four years.

Facebook alone went from zero to more than 500 million users in six years. If it were a country, this would make it the third largest in the world. What that shouts to you is that, if you don’t have a Facebook page, get one NOW. Otherwise, you’re saying that you have decided not to communicate with this segment of the population. That’s a major mistake, considering that 91% of all home-buying decisions are influenced by women, and women comprise more than half of Facebook’s audience.

The number of women using social networking sites is greatly increasing each year. Research from SheSpeaks.com shows that nearly 90% of American women use popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Here are some ways you can tap this lucrative market:

• Create and sustain a coordinated campaign using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, etc.
• Establish a blog with your own URL. Your blog will be the cornerstone from which all your marketing will be based. To establish common ground with potential buyers, brand it and your social media sites with your picture and info that reflects you (hobbies, pets, accomplishments, awards, community involvements).
• Keep your blog interesting, informative and current. Post something new regularly.
• E-mail prospects to keep your name in front of them.
• E-mail previous buyers to find out how they’re doing in their new home. Stay in contact. Ask for referrals.
• Pull leads from your company’s Web site. Respond to all e-mails within five minutes if possible. Also, don’t forget to monitor your company’s online reputation by Googling the name or signing up for alerts. Respond to all who have posted a comment, whether they are happy or unhappy with your company.

Two final thoughts. (1) Use speed when following leads. I’ve never met a really high-achieving salesperson who hasn’t had a strong degree of urgency. (2) Because of the explosion of social media, make it a habit to live your life as though your mother is watching. She very well may be.

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