I’ll admit it. I’m hooked on Facebook. I somehow missed out the whole MySpace craze but Facebook has me hook, line and sinker. Each application and social game on FB has its own resident population or clique. I have made friends with people from all over the world and through the ease and immediacy of this social networking phenomina, know what is happening in their lives on an almost daily or weekly basis.
I have been thinking lately about real estate marketing through social media – should I be marketing my listings in the places where my target markets are these days. Believe me, that’s rarely in the classified sections of your local newspapers or in the Dom Post anymore.
Now, industry social networks like ActiveRain are great for connecting with your peers; but let’s face it, Consumers aren’t hanging out there. If you’re looking for buyers and sellers, in this day and age you need to be a little more creative.
The news that Facebook may launch Local Classifieds got me thinking on how you can take this idea and use social networks like Facebook to really power your business.
Here’s some suggestions:
1. Encourage past clients and new clients to ‘friend’ you or ‘add’ you to their networks. Include links to your profile in your marketing materials, business cards etc. Build out a brand new online “sphere”.
2. Creating Groups – This is the most obvious way to use the site. Create a “Homebuyers” group for example and help first time buyers with their questions. Leverage your expertise to become the expert in the group.
3. Creating a unique Group is also a great way to keep in touch with business networking contacts you meet – maybe it’s at a Property Investors club based on the recent property investment seminar you attended . You can engage in post meeting discussions, share information in a neutral open forum that doesn’t demand the intimacy of an email or telephone contact.
4. Shares – You could use Facebook to market properties to a select group or share properties with your friends . A handy bookmarklet lets you add external links to your Shares. You could add a link to a property from your own site.
Think about it, you could have an exclusive Group of buyers in your market and you could share great listings with them before they hit the mass market.
5. If you’re a blogger, add your RSS feed to your profile. Facebook lets you add a Blog feed to your Notes. You could find new readers and even drive traffic back to your blog by sharing your posts with your network.
I think that maximizing your exposure on social networks like Facebook is going to be increasingly important to small businesses – especially in industries that are already so network-dependent like real estate. Unfortunately, due to the fleeting nature of these sites, the trick is going to be to stay on top of where everyone is. The real danger is arriving too late and finding your audience has already moved on.
September 18 2009 02:28 pm | Webmania