Posts Tagged ‘social media marketing’
After reading a great – and true – blog post on “7 Reasons Your Blog Sucks (and What to Do About It)”, I had to comment and share my thoughts. Blogging about real estate can often be frustrating: trying to generate interesting, consistent, and good-quality content frequently can be a daunting task. What’s more, that in the real estate industry, readers aren’t exactly actively engaging with blogs or becoming loyal fans and followers.
That’s not to say that this isn’t possible. Usually the problem is either lame content and not being consistent with your content. Don’t forget, it takes more than the bare minimum of just throwing content once a week up on your blog: you are competing for your readers – and potential customers – online attention. And if we know anything about browsing the web, the online reader isn’t a patient one.
Here are some top mistakes that we see non-real estate SEO clients make every day, and some tips on how you can think about blogging differently to overcome them.
1.) No content strategy goals
You either don’t have a goal, or are all over the place. Take a minute to think about where you are trying to go with your blog and what statement you want to make. Are you writing to build a brand, build influence, or increase your leads? Your goals will shape your blogging strategy, and you need to make sure this message is conveyed accurately internally.
2.) Internal resources aren’t organized
Who writes your content and manages your social media profiles? My guess is, you’ve got one person for your company that you hope is blogging at least once a week. Identify who this person or team will be, whether its a requirement of all your agents to post once a day, or you and an intern writing once a week. If you don’t have a blog yet, start small and test-run a Sequoia real estate website with blog feature for 6 months to see how your business benefits. Create a solid team, and compile data to have a common ownership of the blog within your company.
3.) Real Estate niche is undefined
As with businesses in general, its so much better to have a specialized niche. The same applies to your blog: the less your posts are all over the place, the less targeted your message and your audience will be. Think about your target market and what they want – now how can you solve their problems? What are they concerned about?
4.) Not listening to your audience or clients
We tell clients that blogging is the best way to assert yourself as an expert in your field of real estate. But how can you position your company as an educator if you don’t know what your clients’ problems are? There are great “listening” tools like Google Alerts or Radian6 that you can employ to be on top of the latest news and issues of your market. From here, you can generate blog material in reaction to what you read.
5.) Your blog is boring
Here is where we have to be honest. Many real estate agents and brokers are not really writers, and the content your blog pushes out reflects that. It may be worth bringing in some fresh perspective with younger interns or agents that have expressed interest in writing to help stimulate interesting blog ideas to give you different angles to pursue.
Try and be the journalist that attracts your readers’ attention. Stories are everywhere, from interacting with clients to your kid’s dentist appointments. You can also tie in a recent news event or real estate market development: and the faster you are with these, the better. Have a defined, committed point of view – and finish it off with a great headline, like a “How-To” post or “Are You Paying Too Much To Sell Your Home?”
6.) Lack of authentic material
People don’t care about press releases. Sorry. They want to talk and leave comments for actual people, not droning company robots. Here’s where speaking about your personal experiences really comes into play – “I just met with this seller, and ran screaming from the house…” These are memorable, and make people connect to what you are writing about. And, clients prefer to work with “real” people.
7.) No publishing system
We emphasize constantly that consistent blogging is horribly important. However, there is a system that should be put into place. It starts by monitoring relevant and trending topics, aggregating the “noise” into relevant topics, creative writing and editing, and ends with measurement with Google Analytics. You need to have this process in a calendar to make sure you meet deadlines consistently, and over time you will become more efficient as blogging becomes part of you or your team’s routine.
8.) No “BOOM!” Ending
Remember in high school when your teacher told you to write a captivating conclusion that leaves the reader in reflection of what they just wrote? Don’t leave your readers hanging. Pull it all together, and throw some punch in there. Also don’t forget to continue the momentum with a strong call-to-action.
So go forth and make your blog the best it can be. Social media sites move quickly, and every reader that bounces of your blog is another opportunity lost. Don’t be overwhelmed by this list: tackle one issue at a time, and over the upcoming weeks your blog will be back on track.
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.
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.
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”.
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!
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.
After talks of website analytics being offered since December 2009, Twitter is finally jumping on the Analytics train. Twitter, one of the top social media sites in real estate marketing, recently announced at a company conference earlier this week that the popular social media site plans to offer up free, real-time analytics in the fourth quarter. There will be a phased roll out of the analytics dashboard to show users valuable information (specifically those using Twitter for their real estate business) on how their tweets are being spread, and who is of significant influence in their network.
Fortunately, following the Google Analytics example, Twitter will not be charging for its analytics feature, which was a concern as the company’s execs had alluded to the feature’s potential revenue as a possible business model in the past. Ross Hoffman of Twitter’s development team commented that Twitter would also incorporate the technology it’s using to measure tweet “Resonance” for search results and other similar features.
When the idea was first broached in December, the announcement of the Website Analytics feature was in reference to use of commercial Twitter accounts, which you would have to pay for, that contain premium features like multiple Twitter authors and an Analytics Dashboard – similar to LinkedIn’s premium accounts. However, this notion was also born out of the idea that Twitter would one day be a paid service, and as of yet there doesn’t seem to be any indication that there will be a Twitter business model.
Since that late 2009, Twitter has also matured significantly. It has been steadily competing with third party developers, and the company has consistently grown by purchasing and launching new software, such as mobile products. As for the Analytics offering, the Twitter App lists 151 applications to better understand the Twitter component of your real estate internet marketing campaign. This is great news for those of us in real estate marketing to help manage and understand Twitter presences.
Source Article: Twitter Analytics
Website “content” has shifted from being not as important as the website design to now front and center for digital marketing. So what does having a “Content Strategy” mean for your website and how can you use it?
Engage Through Conversation
Brands now seem to be attracted to the latest format or platform (“There’s an app for that”, anyone?) whereas a few years ago brands wanted nothing more than to have something of theirs go “viral”. But content shouldn’t be overlooked: great content creates conversations, conversations help you engage with people, and in this Social Media World, engaging with people is the only hope for brands to survive.
So while forming a “Content Strategy” can be difficult due to differences and individual factors, here’s a more streamlined 10-step process for you to check out.
Setting principles for your personal brand is a pretty basic branding idea: having these established will allow for discussion to take place centered around your authenticity, humility, and transparency. Now’s also the time to define your “client-engagement” policy. Set some principles. Doing so allow the brand to have a healthy and robust discussion around authenticity, transparency, and humility, as well as an opportunity to define the engagement policy. You need to be aware that brands cannot control when conversations end, so brands must make a continual investment in this ongoing endeavor.
2. Business Objectives
So…why are you doing this? State your objectives and link them to metrics where you can set targets and define a budget.
3. Brand Purpose
Here you delve a bit more into what your brand stands for within its “substance”. Focus on the topics that are important to you, and identify your position on certain subjects. What is your point of view? What’s your story? What’s your purpose? And most importantly, why should people care about you and your brand?
The best brands often identify an “ideal”, which can be an interesting direction to go into: for example, Fanta believes the world would be better if we grew up less and played more. How can you apply this thinking to your real estate brand? What would you like to see? This is a great way to give your brand a purpose and give you something to anchor your future content to – and remember to continuously back up your brand ideal with evidence!
4. Content Value (Social Currency)
This “social currency” determines what value that your content delivers directly to people. The direct value of content can be broken down into four types:
- Entertainment value. Currently, advertising has taken a huge focus on this type of content value “currency”. People like to be entertained, and ideas that can be parodied spurs much conversation.
- Knowledge value. Business to business knowledge provides much content value within select industries.
- Monetary value. Actual monetary value can be applied through PR via promotions and competitions.
- Utility value. Phone apps and the latest in real estate website features fall into this category, and with the increase in intuitive real estate websites, apps may be a viable option to look into.
So who will produce all this great content for you? If you are a brokerage, you may have more choices than you may realize.
- Your Agents can be an effective choice for content creation. The US online shoe retailer Zappos.com encourages all staff to use Twitter and adds a competitive element: a leaderboard that ranks Zappos staff according to their Twitter following.
- Industry Peers by simply sign-posting people to relevant, interesting stuff: this goes for websites for both brokers and real estate agents.
- User-generated content (UGC), crowdsourcing, and co-creation is pretty self-explanatory and can also be a viable option.
Whats the distribution strategy for your content?
- Brand media: your real estate website, email, and events (i.e., open houses?)
- Earned media: influencer networks, communities, or the media
- Paid media: I think we can guess how to get this.
It’s important to control the balance of these spaces, and experiential and social spaces work really well together. Another aspect of consideration is the question of social destination: not a lot of brands can pull this off. If you don’t have enough support, it may be difficult to get this going – and you’ll be spending on generating useless traffic. It may be more beneficial to your brand to get involved with communities that already exist, so do your research!
Formats that are appropriate to use include pictures, blog posts, videos, presentations, tweets, or Facebook. You can also repurpose your content into different formats: if you have an upcoming open house, use the same topic in a series of blog posts, announcement on your Facebook, Tweet it, and maybe make a video out of the Open House itself to throw up on YouTube. Make sure that your content is in a format for people to easily share!
Conversations aren’t campaigns: they can’t be turned off. You should have a consistent content schedule (i.e., blog 2x per week) and keep it rolling. Take into account ad hoc and reactive content to what is going on around you to your pre-planning. Setting up a schedule will also ensure a constant stream of content. Be creative: experiment with different content and build on peaks of interest with similar material.
9. Social Agents
You’ll need someone to manage your brand outposts. Someone needs to be responsible for managing your brand outposts and managing your conversations. They should also be able to build relationships, redirect questions and suggestions, and ultimately be responsible for your social brand. This “person” can be a team of real estate agents for your brokerage, an intern, all agents, on an outsourced real estate SEO company.
10. Active Listening
It’s not enough to simply produce content, you need to be an active listener with your brand to gauge the reaction to your content. Track the conversations that you start, which ones you want to join, and create a metric to track your progress in regards to your objectives, targets, and budgets.
Questions, thoughts or strong feelings? Feel free to comment with your feedback!
The argument that a digital identity is just as powerful as your true persona has some merit when it comes to social media. So how can you leverage social media for your real estate marketing campaign, and get more hits to your website?
Here are a few tips to help you navigate, protect, and capitalize on social media:
Don’t accept every person who friend-requests you. It is with it to do some digging around and try to identify the person if you don’t immediately recognize them. While your online networks are not always exclusive, they should still be monitored regularly. Facebook also has an option to create lists to help you further organize your growing number of “friends”, and you can even publish certain content to certain audiences. (To learn how to do this, check out our previous LogicClassroom slides on Leveraging Facebook for Your Business.)
Additionally, Facebook is becoming more than just a social network — it can be a search engine too. According to some recent statistics, it is the #2 most visited site after Google, and some days even surpasses Google in total searches. By creating special interest pages on this social network, you can increase hits to your business’ profile or Web site. For example, Williams King created a “365 Road Warrior Marketing and Technology Tips” page, which now has more than 200 fans.
Which Social Media Site is Right For Me?
Well, take a look at your personality and what your strengths are. Are you a great writer? You should write engaging real estate blogs and witty tweets. Enjoy being photographed (and don’t we all)? Maybe you could give YouTube a try.
Now You’ve Got a Presence. How Do You Protect It?
(Click here for some resources on Social Media Liabilities by NAR.)
Consider how you’ll monitor your social media sites. Who gets access to them? How will you handle negative postings? It gets tricky when deciding whether to delete these comments or address them online. What will you do?
Sometimes a personal phone call to the party to discuss why they are upset can really help smooth things over . It can even motivate them to post something positive about your follow-up outreach.
Ready to Take the Plunge?
After all this data and through the online buzz about social media, and you still don’t think you need an online presence, you may want to reconsider. Social media will be one of the primary search tools for the next generation of real estate buyers and sellers. And if you want to get started and don’t know how, you can always ask a younger agent for some help, or contact us on how you can get started on some real estate SEO help and services offered. We’ll be happy to give you some guidance!
Source Article: The Right Way to Get Started in Social Media