If you're one of the many REALTORS® thinking of getting started with social media for your business, you're not alone. Some background on Web 2.0, and what that's all about, might help -- so take five minutes for this YouTube video that gives a great overview...
There's a wealth of information to help you learn what it's all about, some of the differences and similarities of the various sites, and how you can use them effectively.
- To visit The Business of Social Networking Webinar, click here (give it a minute for buffering).
- For more information, see this page on www.kcrar.com and its links for advice on the types of content proven to work best in the social media world, especially for blogs.
- NAR has also posted a great deal of information on its Field Guide to Social Media. Go here for links, links and more links to some great stuff!
If you're already on Facebook or other types of social media, here are some pointers for how to get the most out of your profile and/or fan page:
CoachingClues: Best Facebook Practices from the 2009 Real Estate Connect Conference
by Bernice Ross, Ph.D. MCC
Owner, Teleclass4U.com, LLC and RealEstateCoach.com
Copyright © 2009
1. The 95-5 Rule
Regardless of which social media platform you use, your ultimate goal is to engage in conversations that lead to online friendships or that produce followers for your business. Some Barcamp participants said that they don't even mention their real estate business when they're on Twitter and Facebook. Others mention their business occasionally. Virtually everyone who is succeeding online agreed on this point, however: 90 to 95 percent of your posts should be contributing to the online conversation by helping others. Only 5 to 10 percent should be about what you are doing.
2. Use the right technology for the right purpose
Are you regularly posting business information to your profile page on Facebook? If so, you're missing a huge opportunity. Facebook prohibits users from have two different profiles on their site. The result is many Realtors® end up blending their real estate content with their personal content. Friends quickly grow weary of seeing posts about new listings and open houses. Conversely, posting pictures of your kids washing the dog may not be the right type of exposure for your real estate business.
3. Facebook Profile Pages vs. Facebook Fan Pages
Facebook recently began offering "fan pages." This allows Facebook users to keep their personal posts on their profile page while providing a different venue for their real estate business. Mike Mueller said that when he receives a friend request from someone with whom he does business, he suggests that they visit his fan page to view his real estate content. He keeps his personal profile for family and friends. Fan pages are "opt in." The person must register and agree to see the page. Another major advantage is that fan pages are SEO searchable. Posting content on your profile page does nothing to help you in the search engines. Posting content on your Facebook fan page builds your search engine ranking.
3. Use lists to organize data
Ricardo Bueno also refers his real estate leads to his fan page. "When I receive a friend request, I ask people to join my fan page. I then explain the types of posts that I make to my fan page as opposed to my personal profile. Most elect to join the fan page." Bueno is also an advocate of using lists. For example, he has separate lists for first time buyers, sellers, as well as personal lists. For Bueno, Facebook is both a business management and an organizational tool.
4. Hyperlocal fan pages
For real estate professionals, rather than creating a personal fan page, a better approach is to create a fan page around the niche(s) you serve. This trend is called "hyperlocalism." For example, you could host a fan page such as "We Love Wilshire High-rises." Make the lifestyle in this area come alive on your fan page with interviews, podcasts, photos, and videos. Invite the officers from the various homeowners' associations to post what is great about their particular high-rise. Ask for feedback about the new deli that just opened nearby. Your goal is to be the "go-to" expert for that niche. The activity on the fan page will give you credibility both on the search engines as well as with potential clients. You can also provide a separate link to a page on your website that lists current listings and sales for the niche you serve.
5. Don't fan yourself
This is one of the biggest mistakes that people who are new to social media make. Never send out a message like this: "Bernice Ross just became a fan of Bernice Ross. Maybe you would like to become fan too." This approach screams, "She doesn't get it!" When you create a fan page, think of it as being similar to a testimonial page. It's a place where others can share their enthusiasm for you and the services you provide. You wouldn't post a testimonial to yourself. When you "fan" yourself, it's essentially the same thing as writing your own testimonial.
6. Take advantage of the new Facebook Marketplace Posting
Listings on your profile will have your personal friends unfriending you. A number of agents are having success by posting their listings and open houses on Facebook's marketplace rather than on their profile or fan pages.
If you're new to Facebook and social networking, this may seem overwhelming. In truth, it's quite simple. Don't toot your own horn, focus on helping others, and specialize in a niche. Most of all, have fun!
If you're already into Social Media, maybe you have some pointers to share too. Use the comments section below to tell other KCRAR members what your experiences have been and where you thing this whole thing is going!
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Posted on Tue, July 21, 2009