There are three things required to make social media work as an effective marketing tool:

Develop a clear strategy before engaging in social media; define what your objectives are, who your audience is, what they’re interested in and what actions you want them to take.

Create content that is interesting and relevant to your prospective buying group. Publish this regularly through your company’s blog, then use your key social sites – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc., to drive traffic to your blog and website.

Don’t ignore other media outlets. Social media is most effective when used as an integral part of an overall marketing strategy and marketing mix.

What are the most useful social sites and where should I start?

  • Company Website or Blog
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+ (great for SEO, or search engine optimization)

Then, when you’re comfortable with those, add:

  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Vine
  • Foursquare

What’s an example of a good social media campaign?
Hold a contest, such as: Where will our next community be?
Promote it on all website, offline advertising, and social sites; Entrants go to Facebook page to submit answers – requires name and email; Entrants get information on other communities, plans, etc.; Prize: $500 gift card.

How to get started with a social media program:

  • Create an in-house team to manage your social media
  • Make sure you that everyone on the team promotes a singular message
  • Larger companies should outsource social media management

Why should I invest in a social media program?

  • It’s where the buyers are online.
  • It’s easy for prospects and buyers to learn about you in an informal way.
  • People share things they like with their friends and contacts.
  • It’s where they go to get quick answers … and they expect you to be there.
  • Social Media is branding – third-party validation

Source: NAHBNow, the blog of the National Association of Home Builders, excerpted from Social Media 3.0: It’s Easier Than You Think by Carol L. Morgan, CAPS, CSP, MIRM. To read more about the book, visit