Social Media 101: Understanding Social Media Marketing & Building a Personal Brand


This month, we hosted our first social media workshop! In this class, we focused on building an authentic personal brand and creating a social media strategy that prompts a two-sided conversation. Social media has changed the way we communicate with each other and people crave genuine connection not just in their personal networks but their business connections too. Social media is a great way to build trust in your community and to establish brand recognition. 



The benefits of using social media for your business are plentiful but here are just a few of the main ones to keep in mind:


  • Cuts Marketing Costs


Social Media is a powerful tool for brand awareness and relationship building which drives sales. Compare to traditional advertising, social media offers a cost friendly and more effective alternative to traditional marketing efforts.


  • Digital Exposure


Social media can be used to increase prospects and gain leads. It is an outlet for SEO (search engine optimization) and by tailoring social media strategies / sponsored posts you can direct marketing efforts to the correct audience.


  • Feedback Source

Your social community will allow you to build brand trust by giving your customers an outlet to feel heard. This opportunity will allow you to listen to your audience, respond to their needs, and increase your prospects by bettering your service.

Establishing a personal brand on social media is an investment that gives you the power with just a laptop and a cellphone to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. Our goal is to provide you with the value you need to surge your online presence and translate leads into sales.


Watch the Workshop

Looking for more value to apply to your social media strategy? Click here to download your own social media starter kit and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay posted on our next workshop date!





Understanding Social Media Marketing & Creating a Personal Brand


Defining your Message


Have you ever gone shopping with a particular product in mind that you needed? Let’s say you needed a red button-down shirt so you walk into a shop but it’s just chaos: the music is too loud, there are clothes scattered everywhere, no seem to be around except for the girl playing on her phone behind the counter—you feel like couldn’t find anything in this store if you tried.


What do you do in this kind of situation? You probably just leave because you’re not sure what they’re selling and there’s no one to explain it to you. So, if they don’t value your time by offering you an uncomplicated way to get to your product, why would you stay?



  • Confusing message
  • No Clear Path to Product
  • Customer Does Not Feel Valued



On the other hand, have you ever walked into a store and they are just like vultures. You feel like you’re being stalk and can’t touch something without a salesman jumping from the behind a  wall to force feed you a one-sided conversation. You feel like you’re being talked at and that makes you feel like you’re not being like a person they respect.


This scenario is very different in the first situation. A while they may be on opposites end spectrum, they both leave you feeling the same: like your time and business are not being valued.



  • Shopper stalker / pressure
  • One-sided conversation
  • Feels only valued for the sale



But have you ever walked by a Williams and Sonoma? There is an amazing scent is pulling you in and they are offering you free samples of an amazing treat. The lighting warm, the music is at a pleasant background level, the sales associates are wearing those aprons say how can help you and they ask you to open-ended questions with eye contact, they smile and nod and they space to shop where don’t feel rushed or pressure. All the products nice and organized and information readily available.


What’s wonderful is you know exactly what you’re getting, you know that Williams and Sonoma selling you a beautiful culinary experience that you can take home with you. They are giving you an incentive to imagine how much better your life would be if you incorporated their brand into your home and they know that by giving a pleasant experience that you will come back and that you will talk about to your family and friends.


So for me, personally, if it’s the holidays and someone mentions peppermint bark, I’m going to say, “you know who has the best peppermint bark? Williams and Sonoma.” And because I have received that value from that business, I am inclined to make the same purchase every holiday season and recommend it.



  • Pleasant, relaxed environment
  • Clear, concise message
  • Available knowledge
  • Incentive



In this workshop today we are going to be talking about how to create a balance in your online branding and bringing value to your social media platforms to create an overall “Williams and Sonoma” effect. Social media has really changed modern marketing. By harnessing the potential of social media, we can elevate your audience and customer base.


Benefits of Social Media



  • Cut Marketing Costs



Social media is a powerful tool for brand awareness and relationship building which drive sales. Compared to print advertising, social media offers a cost friendly and more effective alternative to traditional marketing efforts.



  • Digital Exposure



Social media can be used to increase prospects and gain leads. It is an outlet for SEO (search engine optimization) and by tailoring social media strategies/sponsored posts you can direct marketing efforts to the correct audience.



  • Feedback Source



Your social community will allow you to build brand trust by giving your customers an outlet to feel heard. This opportunity will allow you to listen to your audience, respond to their needs, and increase your prospects by bettering your service.


Social media has changed the way we interact with clients. Social media is just that, social. It’s about communication, connection, and building online relationships that can have a real-life impact.


Online Branding is an Investment


Like all investments, there is never a guarantee (or it may take a while to see results) but if you don’t play, you don’t win. And, there is always a smart investment and an unwise investment. By applying the information you learn in this course, you are actively choosing to make a smart investment of your time by using social media and increasing your chance of your investment paying off. So that’s just something to keep in mind when we are talking about building relationships (on and offline), creating content, and other things that are a time demand—we are making this effort so that we established brand recognition and trust in your community so that when a “facebook friend” starts looking for a home they transiting to not only a friend but a lead.


Building a Personal Brand with Social Media


Have you ever meet someone whose real-life persona doesn’t match up with their online persona? Like when someone online portrays themselves as bubbly and bright but in person (let’s say you meet them at a market event) they may come off as clipped and standoffish. While this person may be having a bad day, you may feel like something isn’t matching up. There is a lack of balance and credibility. There are two kinds of first impressions you make in today’s market:  online and in person.


Let’s play a game: pick a partner (that you don’t know) and get a piece of pen/paper. Now I want you to take a moment and write down three words that you feel accurately summarizes your personality and then I want you to write down three words that summarize your partner’s personality based off first impressions


Now, let’s compare. How similar were the adjectives your partner wrote to the ones you wrote about yourself? Did any differences surprise you?


“Self-promotion is not about you is how other people know you to be.” -Ann Bastianelli


This is a great approach to personal branding because it isn’t about you it is how others perceive you and how to leverage that to your advantage and translate it into a sale.


According to Forbes, there are 5 benefits of building a personal brand.


  • Personal brands connect faster
  • A personal brand can evolve and adapt more easily
  • Personal brands keep you flexible
  • Personal brand give you power
  • Personal brands don’t need anyone but you


What is so powerful about this is that you have the power with just a computer and a smartphone to brand yourself in your industry and promote yourself as an authority that people listen to. Your online brand is an investment in others so that one day that might invest in you.


So where do we start? Some tips to keep in mind when building your personal brand.


Know Your Audience



  • Start with we, not me
  • Know your demographic
  • Build audience profiles



Don’t start with me, start with we.


We all have a target audience, right? A demographic pool, if you will and like any other interest you may have—you’re going to do your research on that topic. You want to know what their dreams are, their fears, their likes and dislikes. You want to know what makes them tick so that ideally you are putting out content that resonates with them.


Do Your Research


Take a moment to look someone’s profile. The truth of it is that people put their interests and major events in their life because they want to share it and they want people to express interest.

So talking about a whole demographic might be a little intimidating so let’s break it down. If you look in your social media packet, you will find two pieces of paper: a personal profile and a client profile.


Flesh Them Out


Client Profile:


What is their name? Joe

Gender?  Male

Age? 62 y/o

Income?  $150k a year

Occupation? CPA

Community? Church

Hobbies/Interests? OU Football

Fears (general or real estate)? Noisy Neighbors

Dream home? Vibrant community


  • So we can fill a few of these out of potential clients we have. So we started we, now let’s do me and how we fit in with our demographic.




36 y/o

Real Estate Agent


Very active runner / running community

Loves OU football


What do we have in common?


  • Football
  • Church


So, if Mary were to be friends with Joe and posted a photo of her at the game with the caption: BOOMER, Joe might comment back SOONER.


The more detailed you get with your list and someone else’s—that more you can compare and contrast. You can create as many of these and be broad/detailed as you want. The point is to use this tool as a point of reference so that your clients don’t feel so one-dimensional.


The Human Element


It’s good to remember that behind a screen, is another person. People crave authenticity in their personal relationships and in their business connections. Treat your interactions on social media like you would if you were talking in real time.


Two-sided Conversation


People want to be heard and valued. People don’t want to be talked at, they want to be talked to. How this translates into social media is if all you do is advertise–just listing, listing, open house, listing. After a while, it becomes noise that people don’t want to engage with.


  • Make an emotional investment toward potential buyers


Really what it comes down to is that we are all complex humans we a deeper story to tell. There is so many of us who family, pets, and go through hardship. You’ll find that the more you give to these communities, the more you will benefit because you are creating connections that aren’t just interested in what you’re doing but interested in you are a human being.


3 Simple Ways to Reach Out:


  • share their content to our personal page


  • connect them with someone they would like to know


  • find them helpful or interesting resources that pertain to them (not just in real estate)


Create Relationships Outside of Real Estate


This is a step I don’t see many people talking about but it is integral for the success of your business and local marketing efforts. The long-term goal of your social media is to create lifelong relationships that position you to be a household name in your community when it comes to real estate. But just like a bank account, you can’t withdraw anything without putting funds in first. Now one of the ways we do this is through content creation and meaningful networking building relationships outside of your industry to create genuine connections




Starting a relationship with someone just to get a sale out of them may work short-term but in most cases may not lead to repeated sales or recommendations because most of our decisions as humans are based on how we feel so if we are sold something by someone who made us feel pressured, shortchanged, or that their interest only lasted as long as the sale—we are likely to project that same emotion on the product we purchased. So take advantage of community events, expos, workshops, and other networking events that will help you get connected and also build content.


  • Once you’ve made an effort to know your demographic more, you can begin working on your brand


Ask Yourself



  • What do you specialize in (in and out of real estate)?
  • Do you have a niche?
  • What sets you apart in the real estate market?



These are questions will be unique to everyone but it’s something that you have to answer. Maybe you are a real estate agent that has a wonderful knack for interior design. So, while you are using your social media to share your real estate listings; you can share interior design tips, you can ask your customers what design trends they like, you look for photos of your friends and find opportunities to talk about interior design, “I love that couch in your picture. What inspired you to choose that piece of furniture for your home?” It doesn’t have to be interior design.  Maybe you have great lifestyle advice to share or maybe you’re a handyman and could give some tips for fixing a leaking sink or saving money on your electric bill by fixing your insulation. Whatever it is, start thinking about what is that makes you unique that you can offer people. Then start thinking about how you will use that to create content and build a conversation.


  • Mary is an interior designer who loves sports. She specializes in single-family suburban homes.


As we talked about before; the most effective conversations are two-sided. Now that we are starting to get an idea about what we can offer on our side of the conversation and also what might interest potential connections, we are creating a two-sided dialogue. What’s wonderful is that we can strengthen these connections through the content we create. Some things to keep in mind with content creation:


Maintaining Consistency with Authenticity


Even though we are tailoring your social media experience to be accessible to your ideal buyers, your social media presence should be consistent about who you authentically are. like what we were talking about before: if you are soft-spoken, kind, with a quirky sense of humor but online you convey yourself as brass and outspoken. There may be a problem with how you are perceived. When writing online, try to stay true to what would you say organically in person. Don’t force yourself to pretend you like something that you don’t.  


Know What You’re Selling


People want to know what you’re about and they want to know quickly. So, if you see a Facebook page that is talking about their family, their church, their Avon side business, and their real estate, it isn’t going to hold your attention.


  • Have a Facebook page/Instagram dedicated to just your Business


Quickly answer:


  • Who you are
  • What you’re selling
  • Why people need your product



Create Value through Content


I’m sure you all are familiar with 80/20 as it applies to real estate but it is also a great strategy for your social media and one we like to use at Nested Tours. The 80/20 rule is a classic but an effective technique for social media strategy. The simple premise of it is that 80% of your content is non-promotional and only 20% is promotion/advertising. 80/20  can be applied to a mass content production or a limited amount. It is flexible to your personal needs!


We know where that 20% is coming from–it’s your listings, open houses, and other promotions. What about the other 80%? A great tool you can use is a content calendar, which is provided in your social media tool kit. If you want to pull that out, we are going to brainstorm some ideas that we can use for content.


What’s great about the content calendar is that if you are stuck or feeling a creative lull, you can refer to your calendar and can say, “oh, I wrote that on Tuesdays I will share a motivational quote”. This scheduling structure is a way to help keep your content fresh and exciting.


Let’s Get the Gears Rolling


So, hypothetically, let’s say that your neighborhood is opening a brand-new dog park. You could take a picture of your dog at the park and talk about how you think it is a great addition to the neighborhood and an awesome way to meet fellow dog lovers. Then, you could take your post one step further by adding a question or call to action at the end. Like, “tag someone who should take their dog here” or  “what is your favorite summer activity to do with your dog?”


So this kind of post may be great for Mondays in which we do community highlights


Content Calendar:


Monday – Community Feature

Tuesday – Real Estate Tips

Wednesday – Local News

Thursday – Motivational Quote

Friday – Current Design Trends

Saturday – Open House

Sunday – Current Listing


The purpose of this to build engagement and community around your social media. Other ways to build engagement is to share other people’s content, send them a message thanking them for following you, and take time to comment on another person’s post. Don’t be afraid of genuine interest in others and your community. Most of the time, the love comes right back around. Have fun posting to your page and create a virtual atmosphere that you would apart of yourself. Social media is not only a great way to connect with others but to exercise your creativity and have fun with your business.