The game has changed, but there’s still a lot to be said for a good name.
Technology has revolutionized the way real estate is done; this can both be your biggest challenge and your greatest asset. For a short while SEO alone offered a refuge for the small but determined individual, but with the recent changes to Google’s search algorithms the stability of those methods has come into question. While a firm foundation in solid search engine optimization is still the best place to start, in this increasingly competitive market you need a little more to get ahead.
Enter social media.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about Facebook, Twitter, and some of the other big boys of the social world online. You are likely already using at least one of these type of networks for personal use. And you’ve heard of others using these systems to increase their real world interactions and to create more business – you may even have business account setup – but aren’t really sure what they’re supposed to be doing to help.
Here are some things to consider when evaluating your social networking strategy:
It’s called social networking for a reason. It works most effectively when all of the elements are interconnected and working together. It’s a fact, over 80% of all potential home buyers look online before they even think to start working with a REALTOR® and social media can help you improve your chances of being the one they choose.
More and more people these days will search and skip right past the first few results to see what returns show up from social networks. Many are even simply skipping a search engine altogether and searching directly ON the social networks in question.
The question is: what will come up when they search for YOU? Is what they find best serving your goals? If you’re not sure you may need to more closely examine how you are presenting yourself online.
You see, what shows up in those social results is just as important (maybe even more so) than the fact they show up at all. There is nothing more embarrassing or sad than clicking a link to a blog or twitter profile only to see “Last Updated, March 9, 2010”; the only thing close is to visit a profile and see nothing but the bare bones information or “coming soon” promise.
So the first best tip would be: if you’re going to have a profile on a social network USE IT. Make sure it is up to date – or if you don’t intend on updating it frequently make sure the content and information you put there will stand the test of time.
The last best tip would be: USE the social profiles you have. (sounds similar to the first tip doesn’t it?!) Social media, like your website itself, is just a tool and like any tool it can’t help you if you don’t use it. A $5,000 titanium alloy hammer will sit in the box and never drive a single nail if it is not used; the same thing applies to social media.
Social media can help you increase your digital footprint and gain more exposure for your website, listings, and services, but you need to make sure all your profiles are connected and presenting a consistent message.
Even in this technology driven industry word of mouth is still one of the most powerful ways to gain referrals and new clients. Social media is the digital form of word of mouth. If you are providing great content and maintaining interaction levels with your follower base you may soon be amazed at the fact that they are the ones driving the success of your efforts online as much as yourself.
By leveraging these networks and nurturing your audience you can in essence custom tailor the face you present to the world online. Isn’t it best then to make sure you’re wearing your best winning smile?
Have questions about using social media? Too busy to blog? Too tired to Tweet? We can help you understand social network marketing and even offer a number of social media management services for today’s progressive real estate professionals. Contact us to find out more!