Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

RE Bar Camp Chicago Recap

Thanks to the folks who made the RE Bar Camp in Chicago possible. Tony, Todd, and others, thank you!

BL attends Chicago Bar CampI have to say that the day was one of the most discussion oriented Bar Camps I have  experienced. Most sessions weren’t lead by any one person. Often, there were people in the session who knew more about the topic and answered a lot of questions, but really, a conversation ensued.

There was no PowerPoint, no white boards, no presentations of almost any type. This certainly made for a different kind of Bar Camp.

The sessions on SEO and Facebook were, in my opinion, certainly lively – but here’s my biggest takeaway, and one that I think a lot of realtors need to realize:

Many Real Estate professionals, especially those over 40 (not to be ageist here…), look at Social Media and the web as a new thing they HAVE to do. Someone at the conference said that they need to start “checking” Facebook 2 or 3 times per day. I think this is a misconception.

Reality has changed. The way we compose a relationship has changed. How we communicate has changed and will continue to evolve. You don’t check Facebook a few times every day, you’re constantly on Facebook. Your phone gives you alerts, and you get emails. Twitter will text you if you want. That’s how it’s been since the beginning. Social Media is a big part of how we relate to one another now.

If the realtors who were at the conference make social media a part of their lives, then they won’t see it as a new marketing medium or a new way to find clients, they’ll see it as a new space for connecting and communicating…with family, friends, clients, corporations, candidates, you name it.

Social media is not a new marketing tool for realtors. Social media is a new part of life. Make it part of yours…

Looking for a good place to start? Check out the last presentation from our LogicClassroom series, Marketing Your Business on Facebook | Logic Classroom May 2011, hosted by our resident marketing expert Angela Davis. And be sure to sign up for the next one on Tuesday, June 14th!

The team and I at Boston Logic are looking forward to another memorable and educational RE Bar Camp in our home town in a few weeks – hope to see you all there!

When Is the Best Time to Publish a Blog Post?

We all know that publishing content on a  regular basis is an important aspect of your online marketing campaign. Boston Logic recommends that our real estate SEO clients blog at least once per week, and that those new sites try to blog twice per week to generate content faster so Search Engines crawl your blog sooner – when a site has 100 posts, that’s the magic number when the search engines start to pay attention.

Boston Logic real estate SEOSo you’ve been blogging once  a week since your site has launched. Things are going good. But when is the optimal time or day of the week for your blog post to be published? When will it be most likely to capture the most readers? Be more likely to be shared on Facebook or Twitter? Unfortunately, there are just as many answers as there are businesses. Each business has a different customers: so how do you go about finding out what works best for you?

1) Experiment. As David Friedman mentioned in his “What is an Online Marketer?” article, it’s all about tracking, making educated changes, and then measuring for success. If you have Google Analytics installed in your website, (which you should!) tracking is easy.

If you blog 0nce per week, take the next few weeks to conduct an experiment: try publishing on each weekday to see which generates the most interest or traffic. For example, blog next Monday. Then write a blog the next week on Tuesday. Keep going until you have a full week days’ worth of posting so you can measure your results. You’ll always have variables such as high-traffic topics, but it’s a good place to start.

Finding the day your blog is most trafficked is a good start – a more advanced experiment, and ideal for those who blog every day, would be to find out what time of day would be best for you to be blogging. If you’ve found the best week day already in the previous experiment, start the process over again by blogging once during each time of day and measuring the results.

2) Tips and Data. Experimenting to find out what’s best for your personal blog is the best way for you to get the most accurate results. However, there have been studies conducted to help point you in the right direction when it comes to days and times to blog. Thanks to our good friends at Hubspot,  we have some great findings to help point you in the right direction:

  • The best time of day to get shared on Facebook: 9am

  • The best day of the week to get shared on Facebook: Saturday

  • The best time to get your blog read: Morning

Also, take a look at this great image Hubspot created. Based on this data, we can see that most blog post views activity (people reading your blog) seems to take place in the late morning every day – Hubspot reported in a “When Do You Read Blogs?” survey that 80% of people who read blogs answered in the mornings. This also seems to be true for links to your blog and blogger comments.

Another interesting visual is that the most heavy commenting activity seems to take place on the weekend, and a bit on Mondays.

real estate SEO

Click to enlarge

If you take these tips as a starting point and then experiment to find out what works best for you, you will be able to improve your own real estate online marketing presence. Don’t have time to worry about blogging or real estate SEO for your website? Contact Boston Logic today to find out what we can do for you!

Create Facebook Pages for Your Real Estate Business

Leveraging social media is an important part of any real estate marketing campaign. Facebook is the most popular of all social media networks, and utilizing its features and applications will help you reach potential leads and get them to visit your real estate website.

You can read about all the benefits of marketing your real estate business on Facebook in this Sequoia Blog Post on Facebook Marketing. While this post is still informative with relevant data, Boston Logic knows that Facebook never stops updating its user interface – and you no doubt have noticed the recent Facebook visual upgrades for your user profile.

Thus, the steps in which you create your own Facebook Page – for a brokerage or individual real estate agent – has changed. Follow the steps below to create your own Facebook Page: it’s easy, we promise!

1.      From your ‘Home’ Page of your Personal Profile, select the ‘Ads and Pages’ menu below your thumbnail photo.

Real estate internet marketing with Facebook

2. From the ‘Pages You Admin’ screen, click the ‘+Create Page’ button at the top right corner of the page.

3. For most real estate agencies or real estate agents, you will select the “Local Business or Place of Interest” section.

real estate online marketing with facebook

4.       Once you click this item, a form will pop up to prompt you to complete important information regarding your business.

Select ‘Real Estate’ from the drop-down menu, and fill out the relevant business information, like address and phone number. Check the box stating you have read the Facebook terms, then click “Get Started”.

Real estate online marketing with facebook fan pages5.       And you’re done!

Once you’ve created a page, Facebook provides you with helpful steps to help enhance your Page. You can begin by filling out your Information Tab, suggesting your friends and family become Fans by ‘Liking’ your Page (click the ‘Suggest to Friends’ link below your Fan Page Profile Image), and uploading Photos!

Good Luck!

Looking for a new real estate website? Contact us for more info on our real estate web design, or to discuss our further real estate SEO services.

Ten Things You Need to Know About SEO

  1. Over 70% of online consumers start their search for products, services, and information by typing in what they need on a search engine. You probably can’t afford not introducing your company and yourself to this process (AND an enormous new audience!)
  2. Most internet users don’t bother clicking past the first couple search results pages (many don’t even bother reading past the first one!) so it’s clear why a good position on the first page is paramount to your success.
  3. Unlike paying for a banner advertisement or a sponsored listing on a search page, you can’t buy a good position in the search engines. What you can do is invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to target visitors, provide publicity, exposure and revenue.
  4. While you cannot actually buy the keywords that will optimize your website, it helps to imagine that you are in fact paying for them. This will help you narrow down your list until you have the ones that will most effectively drive traffic to your site and provide the most return on investment.–  For example, “BC apartments” might have a TON of global searches that aren’t relevant to a Boston
    broker because they could be searches for apartments in British Colombia rather that Boston College.
  5. When choosing a keyword, you must understand that the more popular the keyword is, the more competitive it will be to achieve a high ranking for it. Typically, very general keywords tend to be more competitive.  For instance, “Apartments” is extremely hard to rank for, but “South End Apartments” is much easier to achieve a high ranking for.  Take advantage of the free Google Keywords Tool to determine a keyword’s difficulty rating in Local and Global Search Volumes.  If you are a local company, place your focus on ranking high in your Local Search Volume and don’t worry about how you rank globally.
  6. Don’t be afraid to use specific keywords. With the advent of Google Instant, online consumers are naturally becoming more intelligent searchers.  The search results morph in real time for each letter typed into the Google search box, so often consumers end up typing in very specific search terms.  Search results now will appear and change almost instantly as the keyword phrase in the search box is edited.  This will start getting rid of the need to scroll through pages of results; rather consumers will just refine their search and focus on Long Tail Keywords.
  7. After you determine how competitive a keyword is, you have to figure out how much traffic it will drive to your site. Luckily, there is no need to hire a psychic to predict the success of each keyword.There are two ways to predict the traffic from a keyword:
    1. Use industry standard keyword research tools such as Overture or WordTracker. These won’t be 100% accurate, but they offer a basic estimation of traffic flow.
    2. Set up a Google Adwords (pay-per-click) campaign that ties into web analytics. While Pay-Per-Click advertising is not the same as SEO because it is paid for, you can use Adwords to see the exact keywords that were typed in the search engine by a visitor.  To start out, make sure to check the setting “broad match” so that you allow a variety of keywords to prompt your advertisement.  While you have to pay for this service (you can rank for the first paid advertisement slot within 24 hours) it will help you learn about the keywords that will benefit your website.
  8. After you pick your keywords, it is important to make sure you aren’t just shoving keywords into your site without good content. Even if your site is easily found by search engine robots, you must have unique, correct, specific, and appealing content in order to entice online consumers to actually stay on your site.  Updating your content often is also important; if you regularly update your website, you are giving consumers more reason to return. One of the best ways to ensure new content is to blog.  We recommend blogging at least twice a week to keep a constant stream of content flowing.  Search engine robots will also visit your site more often as it is updated, leading to a quicker index in the future.

  9. One of the hardest parts of SEO is acquiring incoming links. The only way you can make sure that other people link your website is to have good content. This is something that is sort of out of your hands, but by networking and blogging, you can often acquire incoming links.  It is important to create social media accounts on popular websites and add links to your website on your profiles.  Good websites to make accounts on are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It is also helpful to add your website to directories like Yelp, Google Places, Yp.com and industry-specific directories like Angieslist.com. You should also register your website’s blog on blog directories like Blogcatalogue.com.
  10. Do not try to fool the search engines. While it may seem appealing and easy just to stuff your website full of keywords to up your traffic, it is the easiest way to get your website penalized or even banned from search engines completely. Search engines need their results to reflect accurately on content, not on link farms, alt text spamming, cloaking or keyword stuffing.

Helpful Links

http://www.roi-seo.com/seo-choose-keywords.html

http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Choose-the-Right-Keywords-For-SEO&id=4254547

http://www.content4reprint.com/internet/webmasters/why-use-seo-search-engine-optimization.htm

Facebook has the Hot Potato- Foursquare’s Out!

Facebook Announces ‘Facebook Places’ and purchase of Hot Potato!

Facebook recently announced a new geolocation feature for its users, Facebook Places.  You may be familiar with other geolocation services, such as the start-ups Foursquare, Gowalla, or Hot Potato.  Hot Potato was recently acquired by Facebook, which has brought all eight Hot Potato employees on-board, presumably to expand and develop Facebook Places.

hot-potato-logoIn a statement released to Mashable.com, Facebook announced, “We’re excited to confirm that we recently acquired Hot Potato, a service that helps people socialize around live events and share what they’re doing with friends.  We’ve admired for some time how Hot Potato is tackling this space and look forward to working with them to bring Hot Potato innovations to Facebook.”

Will Facebook Places eliminate these other small geo-location services?  Only time will tell.  Foursquare and Gowalla offer fun game-like features with their services, and often work with business to offer discounts for users.  Facebook Places doesn’t offer any of these features yet.  One thing’s for certain, though- Facebook serves over 500 million users compared with Foursquare’s 3 million users, and Gowalla has even less.  Also worth noting is the strong relationship between Facebook and Yelp.  I can only imagine there will be more integration with Yelp and Facebook Places in the future.

But how does Facebook Places work?  How will this new feature be implemented and effect user privacy?  How can Business Owners capitalize on Facebook Places?

Facebook Places Basics:

Facebook Places is currently only available to some users in the united States and on the Facebook iPhone app.  Places will be available to other smart phones that support HTML 5 geolocation, such as the Droid, in the near future.

Facebook Places on the iPhone

Facebook Places on the iPhone

Places works by allowing Facebook users to ‘check in’ to the various locations they visit, such as restaurants and bars, your local library, a friend’s home, etc. by logging into Facebook Places from their phone application or via touch.facebook.com.

Upon checking in, Facebook will announce to your friends that you have arrived at this destination.  You can also ‘tag’ your friends that are with you, much like you would tag someone in a photo, and find out who else is currently ‘checked in’.  If you tag a friend that is not using Places, it’s just like mentioning their name in a status update.

If you tag someone who is already signed up for and using Facebook Places, it will mention it in their Newsfeed and add them to the ‘checked-in’ list as if they checked-in themselves.  The first time you are tagged, Facebook will send you a notice and give you the option of allowing your friends to check you into places or not.  You are always notified of when someone checks you into a location, and you can always selectively delete check-ins, much like you can delete a comment on your wall or a status update.

Privacy Concerns with Facebook Places:

Facebook learned a lot (the hard way) when it changed the structure of its Privacy Settings, automatically setting all users’ accounts to share EVERYTHING with EVERYONE as the default setting.  This time around they have made the automatic sharing settings much more conservative, with the default setting only sharing your location with the people on your Friends list.  However, what if you still want more privacy?  Maybe your boss is on your Friends list, or you have an ex you’re trying to avoid.

Don’t go deleting your Facebook profile yet!  You can customize, or even completely disable the Places feature!  Facebook has even made a helpful demo video for you to show exactly how to customize your privacy settings.

Facebook Places for Business:

Right now, Facebook Places is in it’s Beta version, so there’s not too much information about how business will be able to interact with it and use it to promote their business, although when Mark Zuckerberg announce Facebook Places he hinted that there is more to come.  If Places follows in the footsteps of Foursquare, business could start offering promotions to customers that check in a certain number of times, etc.

yelp-logoIn the meantime, if you’re a Business Owner, you should probably log into touch.facebook.com, add your business address, and check in!  There still aren’t a lot of businesses listed, and new users will be eager to test the software out and visit new places they find.  You should also make sure you have a business listing on Yelp, too.  Your clients/ customers can and will add your business to these listing services sooner or later, if they haven’t done so already.  It’s in your best interest to be an active member of these online market places.  By adding your business to Facebook Places, you are making your business easier for the 500+ million Facebook users- for FREE!

If you want to learn more about Facebook Places, visit the Facebook Blog.

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