This week, I read through a cool little e-pamphlet called The New Age of Real Estate Communication: A Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Communicating with Social Media. Written by Lindsay Listanski, manager of social media for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, the piece is actually categorized as a “white paper.” I personally found it to be far too engaging for that yawn-inducing word, but no matter. This compendium is fun to read and full of interesting facts and helpful hints to incorporate in your online media strategy. Best of all: It’s free! Download it or read it online here.
Listanski does a great job busting some common social media misconceptions. I picked out my favorites from her piece to share here, so that you can use her advice to turn an online networking wrong into a right.
People don’t want to talk business in the social media environment.
Wrong! Listanski cites a recent study that found “80 percent of social media users prefer to connect with brands through Facebook” (emphasis mine).
You need as many friends and followers as possible.
Similar to advice that we’ve given over at the magazine: “Remember, quality over quantity. People often have the misconception they need 1,000 friends or their efforts are wasted. The key is ensuring that your audience, regardless of the number, is highly engaged.”
Social media is just for young people.
Surprisingly enough, Listanski notes it’s almost the opposite. “Although it is natural for younger digital natives to embrace social media, they are not really the group that needs it because they are connected at all times. It is for people who have been out of college for years, who are working and do not have time to connect all day in person or on the phone who can receive the biggest benefit social media offers.” Continue reading »
Walking up to the ballroom that promised a fast-paced, leadership-oriented session exploring “Online Tools and Apps to Increase Productivity and Awesomeness” at the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. earlier this month, I was a bit skeptical. As a somewhat savvy user of technology, it seems like every time I sign myself up for a session promising information about the latest tech tools, I end up sitting down to a lecture on Dropbox and Twitter.
But I just hadn’t met my new “nerdy best friend” yet. Beth Ziesenis, who markets herself with the self-deprecating four-letter n-word, was presenting the tech tool forum I was about to enjoy. She wrote the book, Upgrade to Free: The Best Free & Low-Cost Online Tools and Apps (TSTC Publishing, 2011), and plans to follow it up with another book soon.
Turns out my early skepticism was unwarranted. I only had significant experience with one of the items Ziesenis described in her presentation, and there were a few I had never heard of at all. I even decided to act on a few of her recommendations. Here are some of my favorite takeaways from Ziesenis’ lively talk.
Generate some buzz
Ever see someone post a funny image with their name or catchphrase in it and wonder how they did it? Well, unless they’re a graphic designer, they probably used a generator. Basically, these generators take your custom text or image and plug it into a meme, art scheme, or element of popular culture. For example, it took me mere seconds to create and download the Weekly Book Scan bling image embedded on the right hand side of this blog entry. There are so many free options in this genre that Ziesenis couldn’t choose a favorite. But she keeps a running tally of the good ones on a Pinterest board (meta, huh?). Continue reading »
The following excerpt is from the book “Social Media 101 : Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online” (Wiley 2010) by Chris Brogan. The book gives insight on effective use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, and how to utilize them to grow your business.
Social Media Starter Moves for Real Estate
Disclaimer right up front: I’m not in the real estate biz, so I’ll write this from the perspective of what I’ve observed and what might be useful. Some real real estate pro can come and fix this on his or her own blog, and it’ll likely be better. Why would I ever let a simple thing like inexperience get in the way of sharing my opinion?
SHOW ME THE HOUSE The first and most obvious thing I think the real estate world can (and should) be doing is buying video cameras and shooting their own walk-throughs. You don’t have to be a pro. You do have to know how not to make something look horrible, but that comes with trial and error.
PICK UP A VIDEO CAMERA If you don’t yet own a video camera, here are a few thoughts: Most still cameras have a video feature, and that’s nearly good enough. The Flip camera is the easiest and often the least expensive video camera to use. Kodak’s new Zi8 (and related) models have more flexibility than the Flip, but are a bit more complicated as a trade-off. Continue reading »
By Erica Christoffer, Contributing Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
- By next year, Generation Y will outnumber Baby Bombers. And 96 percent of Gen Y has joined a social network.
- If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest in the world.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and has 100 million videos.
- Approximately 25 percent of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.
Erik Qualman uncovered these startling statistics and more, which he lays out in his new book Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business (Wiley, 2009). Social media has created a fundamental shift in how people communicate, Qualman says. One only needs to look as far as Qualman’s Socialnomics YouTube video that went viral just weeks after its release, topping out at nearly 1 million views. He believes that soon people will not have to search for news, products, and services — but rather news, products, and services will find them via social media. Thus, in order to be successful in business today and in the future, the social interaction with potential clients must be embraced.
What was your first social media experience and what were your thoughts at that time?
QUALMAN: I joined MySpace, like a lot of people, in 2005. An 18-year-old introduced it to me and it was like she was addicted to crack. She’d always have to check her MySpace to see if she had more friends or to see in anyone commented. It was obvious to me that it was something big, especially for someone to be so ingratiated with it. I hopped on and it made sense to me right away. It wasn’t a surprise once Facebook opened up their platform to go beyond just college students that Facebook became so popular. Then the world was turned on its head when they opened up their application program interface to allow anybody to write applications for Facebook. That decision was so far reaching that it actually caused Apple, which has typically been a very closed environment, to open up and allow others the ability to code applications for the iPhone. That was really the game changer. Continue reading »
By Shane Singh, Editorial Intern, REALTOR® Magazine
In The Whuffie Factor (Crown Business, 2009), author Tara Hunt explains how businesses can harness the power of social capital to their benefit, whether it is in the form of Facebook profiles, wikis, or tweets.
Hunt says businesses should use the Web to connect with their customers and create consumer loyalty. That’s just a preview of the advice she’ll dispense during her presentation, “Whuffie for Real Estate Professionals: How Social Capital Sells,” at the 2009 REALTORS Conference & Expo in November. Until then, here are some of her tips on how to capitalize on Twitter’s growing popularity by turning 140-characters into a business tool: Continue reading »
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
The micro blogging site Twitter has generated plenty of buzz lately and all from the simple question: “What are you doing now?” Those who use the site have 140 characters or less to respond to the question. Members “follow” other members, and vice-versa, to stay up-to-date on what everyone is doing. Many real estate pros have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, using it as a way to connect with clients. In the book Twitter Power (Wiley, 2009), authors Joel Comm and Ken Burge show how individuals and organizations can use it as a marketing tool and how such short “tweets” can even land new business. BUY THE BOOK
FROM THE BOOK: 5 WAYS TO USE TWITTER FOR BUSINESS
When you use Twitter for business reasons, you want to “blend in” and make sure your messages don’t come across as blatant sales pitches, or you could face a backlash from followers, the authors write. Your goal for using Twitter should be to make your business stand out and turn your customers into a community.
“Your Twitter timeline is not a sales page,” Comm and Burge write. “Gripping headlines and hard call-to-actions on Twitter are more likely to drive people away than drive them to buy. Your Tweets need to be subtle. They have to build interest and trust. Only then will your followers feel that doing what you want them to do will be worth their while. ”
Here are five tips from the book on using Twitter for business.
1. Make yourself personable. You want your messages, or “tweets,” to be written in a laid-back tone that creates the impression that you’re chatting with others. “Businesses that tweet like a corporate executive addressing a board meeting will … scream that they have no idea what they’re doing—or who they’re talking to,” the authors write. Continue reading »