Let’s Get Social: Social Media is the New Word of Mouth
As real estate agents, team leaders, or brokers it is extremely important to network and grow your sphere of influence on a daily basis. Real Estate 101, right! Your personal network is your business network and vice versa. As you are building these relationships; whether they are your friends, neighbors, local restaurant owners or anyone else in whom you share a common interest, it is not only natural but necessary (these days) to have a social media strategy in place as a way to engage people “aka social influencers” regularly.
Establishing these relationships and building your social community (whether through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube or LinkedIn) will help you produce results. As you begin to share your local knowledge, you will soon become the go-to real estate expert in your neighborhood or city. Then anytime anyone mentions real estate – you are the go-to guy (or gal). Social media is the new word of mouth; therefore, it shouldn’t be a wasted opportunity.
It is no secret either that search engines give value to many “social signals” when testing and crawling a website. While many social media sites are “no follow” pages, correlations between having both sharable content and an engaged community has been shown to help boost a site in search. The more a site is shared, the higher the traffic may be, the more search engines will ultimately see value in what you provide – and reward your site.
With that said, Google can give and Google can taketh away. So think outside of just SEO (search engine optimization) and embrace social media for all the right reasons… because it makes sense for your business! At the end of the day if you are providing unique/valuable/sharable content across your social media platforms then your brand will benefit long term.
Okay, are you ready to get started? Facebook is the big fish in the social media world, so I thought best to provide you with the steps to creating your Facebook Business Page first. This will be just one area to begin building your social presence.
Setting up a Facebook Business Page:
- To create a Page go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
- Choose “Local Business or Place”
- Complete your basic information. Make sure that this information is consistent with what you list within your other local business citations. This will allow all of your listings to remain consistent and correct across all platforms.
- Next you will be prompted to upload your Profile Photo. Many people use their brand logo or a self-image! Once you are in the system you will be prompted to add a cover photo. This space will cover 851×315 so you have room to get creative! Maybe add your phone number, quote you live by… you name it!
- Take advantage of your About Section. This is a touch point for your new followers. In a couple of sentences describe your business (mentioning that you work in real estate), what makes you different and don’t forget to include your site’s URL! This is an area where you can also put links to your other social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc.)
- Tell your friends and sphere of influence about your newly created Page through your Personal Page. Let them help you spread the word!
- Once you have 25 people like your new page, it’s time to Secure a vanity URL by visiting http://www.facebook.com/username. When choosing it’s a recommend best practice that your URL be either your company name or team name! This will be the URL that you share with your friends, as well as link to on your website. Making sure your social media platforms are linked to your site will help Google evaluate your social engagement as well.
- Once your Page is built you can see Insights for you page. This will help you analyze the engagement of your page. At this point you will be able to see which posts are the most popular, plus overall user experience. Are people interested in your videos, photo sharing, featured listings, open houses or information about your town!
- After you are all set up, you will of course have the option to toggle back and forth between your personal page and business page at any time. From the top of the page, simply click Edit Page, and then select Use Facebook as [Your Page Name].
Once you are all set up, the fun begins… It is time to begin building your PRESENCE! Consistently start communicating with your fans. Share with them market updates, awards, listings and open houses, but balanced with some local information centered around things to do, community events, new restaurants and more! Is a new neighborhood being developed, let people know all about it. Get creative! People are more apt to “Like” your page if you are sharing information about where they live! If you can be the resource for the town, then why would people not follow you? Doing this will make you a trusted source for your local community.
Haven’t had information overload yet and ready to set up Twitter or Google+? Check back with us soon as we are always sharing our inbound marketing best practices. Also, we would love to hear what has worked for you. Let us know!