Why Pinterest?

Pinterest IconI LOVE Pinterest. It is such a great resource for everything from recipes to home improvement to architecture to design to whatever you can imagine. Most of my friends are on Pinterest and if they’re not I invite them to be on Pinterest. But I’ve yet to meet a REALTOR on Pinterest from my office. There are REALTORS on there, but I believe it to be a mostly untapped social media marketing opportunity.

Although I hate to admit it, I don’t use it to it’s potential. Now, I have a Real Estate Board, but I use it more as a humorous/educational tool for myself, because sometimes I need a good laugh or a reminder as to why I am in the profession. I also have a Home Decor Board and a board devoted entirely to Atomic Decor (we have a lot of mid-century homes here) and of course one devoted toGarden Pinterest Gardening.  (I have a lot more boards which you can view here). The point I’m trying to make is that all these boards have to do with real estate: homes, home buying, home maintenance, suggestions for your home and garden. There is so much potential here that I have not tapped. I should be able to drive people to my website, my blog, my contact page, and my email.

My most popular pin was repinned almost 7,000 times. Could you imagine if that had been related to my business? As it was, it happened to be a recipe for fried rice. fried riceI did try (twice only) to post homes for sale. One was my sister’s house in another state and one was a beautiful home here. NO ONE repinned. I felt as though my pin had, well for lack of a better term, “cooties”. So, I need a different strategy and I’ll keep you posted on how that works out. But I will be starting a business Pinterest account and I have a few ideas already on Boards to create. Hopefully the following infographic will help you see the value in marketing on Pinterest. And I encourage you to dip your toes in the water. Contact me if you need an invite to join (just send me your email address. I will only use it to invite you not spam you.) E.
Check out this wonderful infographic from Prestige Marketing, Inc. Click here to be taken to their post.

Pinterest Marketing Infographic

Social Media Revolution

Weaving A Brand

Each time you post, tweet or make a comment on a blog, you are creating your personal brand. All these tiny pieces from around the web are woven together to create the impression that people make of you, they might see one tweet, your whole blog or your Facebook page but these should all match in tone and message.” Peg Fitzpatrick

 

5 Marketing Resources for REALTORS

I want to continue to emphasize the value of using various social media platforms as part of your marketing. The following are 5 different online marketing opportunities geared towards REALTORS that you can take advantage of AND the reasons WHY it is important to include them in your marketing campaigns. The article is written by Laura from Breezy Hill Marketing.

Five Tips on Social Media for Real Estatebrownstone steps

  1. Facebook. A Facebook page for your business can help you promote your properties and your business at the same time. Here are easy things that you can do to promote your business through Facebook: 1) Share your listings using photos, videos, and information. People love to see beautiful pictures and information about houses for sale in their neighborhood. Natural curiosity helps drive the activity on listing posts. And, listings posted on Facebook generate click through to your web site. 2) Create events in Facebook for all of your open houses. Make sure your open houses get the exposure that you want through the event feature in Facebook. You can even send invitations to specific people who you think might be interested in your open house. You can share the event on your personal account causing further engagement for the open house, the listing and your personal brand. 3) Help your search results in Google by having a Facebook page…as previously mentioned in this article, social media content is now searchable so everytime you post information about real estate for sale on your Facebook page, you are also adding Google search juice to your web site…. Nice benefit, isn’t it?!
  2. Twitter. Twitter is the fastest growing social media network and offers Realtors an opportunity to engage locally, nationally and internationally. Twitter can be a great way to promote properties to a broader audience and offers you the ability to get links and traffic to your site.When using Twitter, make sure to spend time listening to what people in your community and in your niche are talking about and what they are re-tweeting. This will help to guide your own communication so that you can comfortably engage in the conversation. Add a hashtag to your tweets so that they come up in searches performed by others. You can use hashtags for specific areas or for your specific niche, real estate. Most communities now have local hash tags (#btv = Burlington, Vermont) and this helps to focus your tweets locally and helps you to follow conversations.
  3. Blog. One of the best ways to be found online is to provide Internet users with rich content. A real estate blog provides you with an opportunity to develop rich content about your specialty and to continuously post the content to social media sites. Some topics than can be used on a real estate blog are: 1) Describe your real estate listings in further detail with information that is not available in an MLS form. 2) Provide further details about the different neighborhoods that you serve with your real estate firm. 3) Provide insight and direction on ways that buyers and sellers can improve their real estate experience.
  4. Craigslist. This is a wildly underused vehicle for creating great traffic to your web site and your listings. Craigslist is a constantly trolled web site where visitors are looking for the new and the interesting and always for the great opportunity so play to their instinct for a sweet deal or unique offering. Many web site companies offer Realtors an auto post to Craigslist function. Caution Weary Traveller!! People on Craigslist are not looking for your glossy ad, if they were they’d be on Realtor.com…. so make sure your posts LOOK like the raw, unformatted post of the for sale by owners etc.
  5. Realtor.com, Zillow, & Trulia. Real estate junkies like me troll these web sites for the latest listing and the best pictures. We are seeking the new offering, the thing we missed, the best investment, a vacation or retirement home. Make sure that your presence on the sites is fresh, up to date, and linked to all of your other profiles on the web. Each one of the sites offers the ability to build out your profile with additional information and links. Encourage your buyers and sellers to write references for you on one of the social media sites. The rule of thumb is to pick a site for references and direct your reference traffic there. Since Realtor.com is driving the most traffic, I recommend having your clients provide references for you on the Realtor.com page.

You can read the article in its entirety HERE.

Webinar for Google+

Kim Garst is hosting a webinar tomorrow, February 6th, on building your brand with Google+. This is definitely worth your time and attention! See you there! 7PM EST
Google Plus Kim Garst webinar

Video How-To: Facebook Advertising

Building Your Brand on LinkedIn

I’ve never understood how LinkedIn can be useful for a real estate business. All my connections are in the real estate business. There are of course others that I know personally in other fields. So, I just couldn’t figure out why I would do anything more than complete my profile if it’s all just B2B. Well, it’s occurred to me that one of the reasons I have and post on my Facebook Page is to be a useful resource AND to remind everyone that I’m a Realtor. Because nothing is worse than someone you know forgetting you’re a Realtor. So, why should LinkedIn be any different? It also occurs to me while doing all of this research to help Realtors understand and use social media that social media should be part of your marketing not all of it. I’ll write more about that latter. Today, I want to focus on LinkedIn. Again, I went to DeDe Watson’s site to get you some helpful tips. The following article is from turnitsocial.com 7 Tips to Build Your Best Personal Brand on LinkedIn; August 31, 2012 By Katie Leimkuehler

LinkedIn image graphic coffee cupLinkedIn is no doubt the most credible of all social media networks making it essential to demonstrate your best personal brand online. Remember that before your business meeting, client presentation, or interview most people will have already scoped out your LinkedIn profile and you want it to highlight your extraordinary professional accomplishments, work-ethic and expert knowledge.

1. Write an Awesome Headline for Your Profile

How do you stand out? What is your best skill or asset you bring to your work? Put those words in your headline. Don’t just list your current company and position that will still show up below. You want to catch people’s attention, for example “Dynamite Social Media Expert Will Build Your Brand in One Month.” You can bet people will click on that LinkedIn profile.

2. Copy the Masters

If you’re wondering what your profile should look like find several people who have the jobs you want or work in the same field and mimic their profile. Notice the key words they use for their specialty skills, look at what applications they’re using and the number of recommendations they have. This will be a good point of reference for how you should design your profile.

3. Lead the Way as an Industry Expert

One of the goals of being on LinkedIn is to show that you’re an expert in your field.  This includes adding your blog, portfolio, and presentation applications to your profile; not just the links. This will show people the type of work you excel at and where you can help. Highlight your professional achievements and share press releases or articles written about you—it’s okay to brag. You’ve earned.

4. Get Recommendations

One of the best and most valuable ways to build up your profile is through recommendations. Whoever recommends you is giving you their personal endorsement. This is huge for your brand development. If you have more than 10 recommendations people will take notice and chances are they’ll want to work with someone so highly recommended.

5. Participate in Group Discussions

It’s important not to just join groups of interest, but to actively engage in them. Start off by introducing yourself to your fellow members. Give some background on yourself, what you do and what you hope to learn by joining the group. Next ask a question. What is a trend you’ve noticed in your office or company? What changes are taking place? Make sure the question is not something you could discover by Googling it. Ask a question that will get a discussion stirring and then comment on current conversations. If you’re vocal about your opinion people will regularly seek you out for it and it will build your credibility in the professional world.

6. Share Your Knowledge

The moment someone sees you as a resource your value on LinkedIn spikes. By posting great content articles in your status update or engaging with others by commenting on their posts you are strengthening your credibility. People will want your advice or knowledge if you constantly share good information.

7. Earn Recognition for Your Expertise

The best way to become an expert is to show you’re an expert. Answer questions posted by other people in the Ask a Question area and you will earn a profile badge that highlights your expertise. It will also show all of the questions and your answers. It’s best to answer questions in variety of different areas so people can see the extent of knowledge. Answering these questions will help build up your authority and again demonstrate that you’re an expert.

Twitter Best Practices

It’s important to understand how using social media can promote your business and part of that is understanding how best to use the different social media outlets. If it isn’t something you can commit to then you need to determine if you can delegate it to your personal assistant or if hiring a social media “butler” would work better. It isn’t enough to just sign-up; you must also make the time commitment to use your chosen social outlet. You can contact me with any interests you may have in my social media business services. The following article, by Craig H. Collins, honestly spells out what you need to do to make Twitter work for your business.

Twitter Best Practices

from craighcollins.com by Craig H. Collins on August 29, 2011

Learning how to leverage social media sites like Twitter is simple – but not always easy to become effective. While that may initially sound like a contradiction, the evidence is clear; many small business owners establish a Twitter account and send out sporadic tweets but fail to garner the loyalty of clients or gather new converts. The results are predictable – wasted time and effort that leaves everyone feeling frustrated. In fact, it may cause more harm than good in the loss of goodwill and reputation.

Simple Doesn’t = Easy

The simplicity of establishing a new account and getting involved in social media sites like Twitter are partially to blame; simple doesn’t always mean easy. Yes, the technical considerations are indeed quite simple but it isn’t easy to establish meaningful content that connects with clients. It’s even more difficult to create original information that gets retweeted. Building a thriving online presence is hard work!

Best Practices

Today we are going to cover some of the best practices in taking your Twitter activity to the next level. Some might sound like common sense but research shows the vast majority of users fail to implement these standards on a regular basis.

1. Real Time Messages – Twitter operates in real time so make that work for your small business. Understand the need for immediate response in real-time. Don’t neglect the value of spontaneous tweets that relate to the world around you and your business routine.

2. Tweet the Horn – Bragging about others is good business! Send out a virtual congratulations whenever possible to other business owners, service persons or just to recognize that special somebody.

3. Pause – Sooner or later someone will tweet a negative about you or your business. Take time to carefully consider your response prior to posting…whenever possible, put a friendly and helpful spin on the response without wasting time on negatives.

4. Spontaneous – Register for automated alerts when others Tweet about you or your company then make a practice of dropping in and responding in real-time. Whether it is a simple “thank you for thinking about us” or a more meaningful gesture like a small gift certificate, it makes a great impression!

5. Remain Positive – It can be tough to remain positive in a world filled with negative news but unless you have solutions to problems like politics, economics or religion it is best to avoid those things which you cannot change. People are searching for solutions and reasons to remain upbeat – make it part of your corporate and personal philosophy to be the solution – not part of the problem.

More People Going Online to Start Home Search

When I came across this News Release from the NAR I felt compelled (to say the least) to share this with you. Part of my mission with this site is to help REALTORS understand the VALUE in establishing an online presence. The more interconnected your online presence is, the more findable and accessible you will become to online buyers and sellers, and the more likely you are going to be the one they will reach out to. This will build your business!

Joint NAR/Google Study Shows More People Use Internet to Research Homes for Sale

WASHINGTON (January 7, 2013) – Real estate-related searches on Google.com have grown 253 percent over the past four years, according to a joint study from the National Association of Realtors® and Google.

“These results parallel the trends shown in NAR’s economic research reports,” said NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif. “As home sales and prices continue to trend up, more people are regaining confidence to invest in their future through homeownership.”

The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate is a joint report from NAR and Google that examines the connection between consumer Internet use and online home search and shopping patterns. The study leverages NAR’s custom research and Google’s proprietary and third-party research. Google collaborated with Compete in 2011 and 2012 to survey and analyze the behaviors of people in the market for new and existing homes. That research focused on people who had completed an online “conversion”– taking the next step of contacting an agent or requesting additional information from a real estate brand’s website.

According to the analysis, buyers used specific online tools at different points during their home search process. Buyers tend to rely on search engines and general websites when they begin their search, use maps more in the middle of the process, and engage mobile applications most toward the end of their search. READ FULL ARTICLE

5 Social Media Tips for REALTORS

Realtor blue logo I was doing some research about social media and real estate marketing. As you know these are two forces I love. I came across this wonderful article from blog.hootsuite.com by Katie Lance. She is the CEO/Owner of Katie Lance Consulting and Chief Strategist at Inman News. I hope you find her write up to be as valuable as I do. I have come across a number of Realtors who just don’t see the value or desire to make the time commitment to social media marketing. This wonderful, concise article spells out the “Who, What, When, Where, Why and How” of social media for real estate professionals. Make the time and a plan to incorporate social media marketing into your business! You’ll ask yourself, “why didn’t I do this sooner?!”

5 Social Media Management Tips for the Real Estate Industry

1. Be Consistent

The key to being successful in social media is consistently posting content. You can’t Tweet or post to Facebook once in a blue moon and expect results. You need to be there everyday—just like you are with your phone calls, email and the rest of your marketing strategy. One of the best parts of using a tool like HootSuite is the ability to schedule your messages. You can spend just 15 minutes a day and schedule 3-5 new posts to “drip” out during the day. This is like drip marketing, but for social media.

2. Have a Content Strategy

You have to have a content strategy to be successful in the long haul with social. Ask yourself, ‘what type of content would be most relevant for my brand, for my audience and where am I going to get that content?’ Next, create a content grid or editorial calendar where you can map out topics you plan to post about over the next 30-60 days. Curate content by using Google Alerts or by creating specific lists on Twitter for specific types of content you’d like to re-tweet or re-post.

3. Never Forget: Real Estate is Local

When you are planning your content strategy make sure to include things that only locals know—like the best place to get a slice of pizza or the best place to get a cup of coffee. Buying or selling a home is so much more than the home—it’s the local parks, the school districts and so much more. Your audience and potential clients love that hyperlocal information—and as a real estate pro that is one area that will really set you apart.

4. Dip Your Toe Into More Than One Stream

Understand the conversation doesn’t just happen on your Facebook page or Twitter stream. Conversations about real estate are happening in Facebook groups, in personal chatter on social platforms, and throughout Twitter. It isn’t enough to just post to your social channels—be aware of conversations happening in your social circles about real estate and jump in. The conversations are there whether you are there or not—wouldn’t it be better if you were there? You can add several “Streams” in your HootSuite dashboard to listen in on the topics of your choice.

5. Find a Way to Measure the Success of Your Efforts

Do you know which Facebook posts or Tweets get the highest number of clicks or engagement? Do you know how much of your web traffic is coming from social networks? Do you know where your audience is? Make sure you are checking your HootSuite Analytics once a week to gauge your success. Also make sure you integrate your Facebook Insights and Google Analytics into your HootSuite account so you can really see the big picture.