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Promoting Your Listings Through Social Networks

March 08 2011

facebook homepage

Guest Contributor Top Producer says:

We had a question on our Facebook pageFacebook page today about promoting real estate listings through social media

"I had read somewhere before that it's not nice to join a social network to advertise your listings, etc. Well, Top Producer answered me and advised to join Facebook on Top Producer to get more information on how you guys are promoting your listings through this social network. Comments?"

Great question.

While we don’t have the “definitive” answer, there are some best practices around social media that will help all of us in real estate generate more business.

It all starts with the philosophy behind social media.

 

The key to social media is realizing that it is built around relationships. The purpose behind the social media movement is to encourage dialogue between people. The people you find in these online communities are not looking for one-way communication; they want to engage with others.

If you look at traditional real estate marketing, it’s generally one-way communication: “read about my service”, “visit my website”, “view my listings”.

Social media is different: people expect to take part in the conversation. This creates opportunity for all of us, and that’s where the benefit lies. There’s no doubt about it, social media takes more of our time. You’ve got to commit to consistently contributing to many, concurrent conversations.

But the upside is, as you converse with people, you cultivate meaningful relationships. And that’s where the business comes from.

So, where to start?

Well, since this question came from Facebook, I’ll answer how to use Facebook to generate more business.


Here are the steps I’d recommended (of course, these can be done in any order, and you don’t need to do every one):

facebook

1. Encourage Friends

Encourage past clients and new clients to 'friend' you or 'add' you to their networks. Include links to your profile in your marketing materials, including print ads, business cards, bus benches.

2. Create Groups

Facebook Groups are powerful because they foster active discussion on a specific topic. They can be about virtually anything. For example, you could create a “Seattle neighborhood” group, and offer newcomers to the neighborhood “on the ground” information about the many amenities. Demonstrate your specific knowledge to become the de facto expert in the group. Groups can require registration or approval to join.


3. Create a Page

Fan Pages are similar to groups, with one distinction: fan pages are visible to unregistered people. That mean anyone can see and “Fan” a page. Similarly to Groups, a fan page is a powerful way of starting a conversation between likeminded people.

4. Shares

You could use Facebook to market properties to a select group or share properties with your friends . Facebook lets you add external links to your Shares, so you could add a link to a property from your own site. The sharing power of Facebook really come through here, as something you share gets broadcast across your entire network. One note of caution however: I recommend using Facebook sparingly to share listings, as your network might tire if all they ever see is advertising. In this case, I suggest an “80/20” rule: if you focus about 80% of your time on being an active participant (by commenting, providing general or specific information), and 20% on marketing your listings, you’ll go along way to establishing yourself in the social media environment as a go-to person.

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