Connect SF08 – Social Networking: the top sites

One of the best sessions of today’s RE Barcamp was held on the top social networking groups to leverage to build profile.

The key point here is profile in the context of SEO (search engine optimisation) – whilst everyone wants to seek a return on investment of time or cost vs. income the plain fact is that if your rankings on Google searches are high and are getting higher this is how you will be found and therefore secure a ROI on the investment you make in online marketing. Your ranking wants to naturally be on your own name, but more importantly the key words people will use in Google searches when looking to search property or an agent – those words that define subject matter expertise that you hold and what to be recognised for.

So the debate was to come up with a top 5 list of the social networking sites where people should focus their resources, especially now as there are new sites opening up every day and you could very well subscribe to 20 in the next 30 minutes if you were so inclined.

The collective wisdom of the group in someways was predictable and in someway surprising – in fact we only came up with 4 – better to focus on fewer, so here they are:

1. Facebook – universally recognised as the place to be, to establish a profile and demonstrate your community of contacts. It is so popular, far surpassing MySpace as the place to meet network and connect. It is not a teenagers site – it is an everybody’s site. To prove it – here’s me! – I am not an avid user, but I find it useful to keep in touch with people overseas and also for people to find me – that is a great value.

2. LinkedIn – this is the professional social networking site, whereas Facebook has a relaxed, light hearted perspective this is about credability and profile. Here you can establish the business connections that can demonstrate to your prospective clients that you have the experience, credibility and standing to be a professional. People browsing your profile can investigate the referrals you have and the career you have pursued. Again proving that I practice what I preach – my profile on LinkedIn.

3. Twitter – now this I must say, I have not quite got into. Twitter is a social network through which you can keep in touch with a group of people you define and the context is around immediacy and short SMS format – you can twitter from your mobile device or PC. The consensus is that it is a constantly moving view of what people are doing, unlike the other 2 Twitter is not about profiles and referrals as a fairly static view, Twitter is about you today and how you might share connections today. I can see the appeal, but am not a convert.

4. Flickr – now this one surprised me. I always thought of Flickr as a photo storage and showcase sight, but I was wrong, it is a community and for real estate I can now see why – why simply because without images real estate marketing is nothing.

The experience of realtors here is the fact that being a very powerful social networking site Flickr has excellent SEO capability so uploading photos of current listings as well as photos of your neighbourhood is a powerful way to influence that all important page ranking on Google. The key is to tag all photos you upload with the right keywords so you will be found (your photos will be found). The fact is more and more Google searches are done on image search after all we all know our brain interprets images far faster than words.

So the way to play this is to ensure you set up a Facebook profile as ever don’t set it up as a listings’ advertising page, but a page about you – share the photos you love and the ones you have which reflect the neighbourhood you work in and through that add listing photos and then link them to the listings on your site.

July 24 2008 03:12 am | Social Networking

One Response to “Connect SF08 – Social Networking: the top sites”

  1. John Pryor on 30 Jul 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    I assume the “top sights” was meant to be “the top sites”
    Cheers
    John

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