We hope you’re taking advantage of every opportunity to expand your contacts through social networks. It’s the key to maximizing the growth of your real estate business. We’ve written at length about specific marketing techniques with specific media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Now let’s update all of that with some tips on how to streamline your social media process and use it to maximum advantage. Here are six quick tips.
- Do it once – There are several software apps that let you post your status updates to be broadcasted at a date and time that you specify. This means you can go online just once or twice a week and update real estate trends, statistics, new listings and more in five or ten minutes. This lets your network of followers know that they can count on you to consistently provide good quality information, but it won’t take you away from valuable selling time. Gremln.com—note there’s no i–(formerly called twaitter) and hootsuite.com are two of the most widely used. Their basic one-user plans are free, although you can pay more for more users or levels of service. You can also upload a single video to numerous portals you subscribe to at oneload.com.
- Use one-click alerts – If you have a blog (and if you don’t, we can help), you can push alerts to a long list of search engines every time you post. Another free service, called Ping-O-Matic, notifies the larger community—from search engines and blogging platforms to aggregators and social networks—of the newest, freshest content on the Internet. Using this service improves the speed at which search engines find and index your content.
- Think hyperlocal – A lot of Realtors believe that social media is strictly about promoting their listings. That’s a very shortsighted view. You should use it to tell what you know and talk about where you work. Position yourself as an expert in your market by writing blogs and producing videos on interesting information about hometown happenings, places of interest, new businesses—even the weather (Go Hyperlocal). Social network postings need to be 80 percent about valuable information and only 20 percent about self-promotion like your deals and achievements. Share your knowledge with people in your network, especially those in your immediate marketplace.
- Get personal – Real estate is your number one passion, of course. But don’t be afraid to share your passions outside of real estate. If you’re a quilter, let people know. Do you like to ballroom dance? Write a blog or produce a video with tips and ideas to help others who may be interested. We know one Realtor who shared her passion for pottery with her network of potential buyers. She sold a home to one of them and is now giving pottery lessons to the buyer’s granddaughter. And she’s created a life-long bond.
- Be consistent – Frequent updates tell search engines that your site is active, authoritative and current. This means you’ll get higher search-engine rankings. Using popular search keywords in blog posts also can boost your results. But never, never, never be guilty of keyword “stuffing.” Stuffing means that you repeat the same phrase over and over again (“short sale expert,” for example). If Google or Yahoo catch you “stuffing,” you’ll be penalized by dropping to the bottom of the list. Provide valuable information that serves your audience and let search engine optimization take care of itself.
- Share the wealth – Retweeting other people’s posts and forwarding article links is a great way to add value, but you should always take an extra minute to add a personalized comment. You can also compile local market stats and mine the local news media for relevant ideas to share with team members, clients and industry colleagues.
Social media can add an important dimension to your marketing, but don’t waste countless hours using it in ways that will not be profitable to your business. Have a plan, personalize your communication, show your expertise, and organize and pre-post your material. If you do these six simple things, you’ll find social media is a cost-effective, efficient, and even fun way to connect with your universe.