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

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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 Marketing Tips for Realtors

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.

Social Media Success – Getting Started

from turnitsocial.com October 30, 2012 By Sherri-Lee Pressman

So you have read and followed my advice from my first post 4 Steps to Social Media Success BEFORE you start on Social Media:

1) Know what you want to accomplish
2) How much time can you spend on your social media
3) Narrow down the networks you will participate in
4) Plan your content

wordpress, coffee, cup And now you are ready to get going with the next steps.
I know you are eager to get moving and to start seeing results, but don’t jump over these steps they are very important to reaching that success you so want and deserve. They are the foundation to everything in the future and believe me, it’s easier to do it right the first time than to have to go back and fix it later.

Am I suggesting you will never change these things once you have set them up? Not at all… in fact I recommend you review the previous 4 steps regularly as a way to evaluate the success of what you are doing and to review the upcoming steps often as well.

As your goals grow and change, as the social media world changes and as your business changes, you need to review these items regularly. That’s not the same as skipping steps now to get going and having to go back later to do them because skipping them shorted you on some success. So invest in yourself and go through the steps now!

So what do you do next?

1) Know and follow the rules of the networks you are joining: Most of these social networks are free so it’s their sandbox and you are getting to promote your business for free… the rules are there to make it fair for everyone so take the time to follow those rules so you aren’t penalized for breaking them. This could mean losing access to your accounts to having them shut down completely. It would be a shame to lose all your hard work because of a rule being overlooked.

2) Fill out your account info completely: This is a great opportunity to tell people who you are and what you do and it’s where people will make a judgement about you and your business. So take the time, fill it out completely and then review it at least quarterly to ensure all your details stay accurate.

3) Find the right people to follow to build your network: Use the search option on the network you using, try a variety of terms. Find a leader in your industry and follow them, then follow the people following them as well, these people are looking for your info, you just need to connect. Add your numbers, be selective about who you connect to, send a hello to them, start the conversation and connect.

4) Listen: Spend time on your social networks listening to other people’s conversations, contribute when you have something useful to say (not just “me too”). Use the search field to find conversations relevant to your industry to participate in.

5) Give before you receive: Start sharing and responding to other people’s posts. People notice this and usually then make an effort to do the same back for you. We all want people to engage with us, be the first to go and engage with them. It will be noticed.

6) Add value, be the go-to resource for information in your field to the people in your niche: Find useful information that the people in your niche need to hear and be the one to share it. Don’t worry about being the one to create the content; sharing content is a powerful way to position yourself as the go-to expert.

7) Ask for the action you want: When you post a thoughtful, useful or just fun item and you want people to engage with… don’t be shy to ask for what you want, sometimes people need to be guided. They are sitting at home nodding their head in agreement, but the thumbs up or retweet is the virtual head nod… ask them to do it!

These steps are the basics of any successful social media campaign on any channel. They will guide your interaction with the goal of growing your network, engaging with people in a caring way and building relationships. Don’t short change yourself or your business by not doing these steps; the results won’t be the same without them.

I’d love to hear how you are doing on your social journey!

About Author

Sherri-Lee Pressman is Your Social Media Minder, helping business owners use Facebook and Twitter to grow their businesses. She is a Social Media strategist, educator, speaker and coach. She lives near Vancouver BC, Canada with her two kids, one crazy cat and an even crazier puppy. You can visit Sherri’s site here.

Developing Role of Social Media

Social Media and Real Estate Infographic

The Developing Role of Social Media in the Modern Business World
from Forbes.com by Jessica Bosari, Contributor

Social media, although a relatively recent phenomenon, is becoming an increasingly important part of any business’s marketing and client base development platform. The perception of social media marketing has shifted quickly—no longer viewed as a trendy or passing fad, having a flexible and well-managed presence in each of the “big three” (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+) has become a must for any business seeking to secure a place in both the traditional and digital marketplace. What could once be accomplished by a traditional website now needs to be supplemented by a robust and responsive utilization of the tools social media offers. Navigating this strange, new world can be quite confusing at first, so here are some tips for those looking to bring their business up to speed. READ FULL ARTICLE.