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Maine Real Estate News & Notes

Using Facebook for Business and Personal

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Facebook is a popular online social networking site that boasts simply stagering numbers.  Today, there are over 175 million active users, with 18 million updating thier status at least once a day. Surprsingly, the fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older.

If you're not comfortable or familiar with social media, in prevously newsletters we have tried to provide an overview of what it is and how it works. 

Today, we take a closer look at Facebook and how it can help you in business. In our marketing efforts for real estate we have focued extensively on all forms of social media and the results have been good for us and our clients.  In many ways think of social media as a new take on the networking event, except with less pressure to make small talk and no cheese and crackers.

Create Your Profile

Facebook is about personal relationships and creating "friends" is the primary road to success.  While people may want to be friends with you, chances are they aren't looking to be friends with your company. Did you ever have a heart-to-heart with Nike, or have dinner with Microsoft?

NL-FacebookThe starting point is to create your personal profile, using your real name. Continue from there by uploading a photo, enter your education, business and contact information.  Join a local network and give it a test drive.

The more complete your profile, the more easily you can connect with other people. If you're concerned about privacy, Facebook offers highly customizable privacy settings that control who can see different elements of your profile. This way you can share photos of your kids with friends and family, but not with your boss or customers.

Next you can upload your contact database to see which of your contacts are already on Facebook, and ask to "friend" any of them you wish. This gives you a good starting point on Facebook, rather than starting cold.

Create Your Company Page

Once you have a personal profile, you can create a page for your business. Pages can be populated with company information, photos, video, upcoming events, discussion forums and links back to your Web site.

You can also add additional applications to increase the functionality of your page, such as an RSS feed from your blog or embedded videos from YouTube. Pages are made publicly available so search engines can find and index them, which is an added benefit.

People on Facebook can become "fans" of your company, which is a great way for you to stay in touch with them and share information and advice. Think of gaining Facebook "friends" or business "fans" in the same way you think of increasing your email subscriber base: they build your network. If you're wondering why you need a Facebook page since you already have a Web site (and maybe a blog), it's about being where your customers are...location, location, location.

Join and Create Groups

Another way to network on Facebook is through the use of groups. Groups, unlike pages, are only visible to Facebook members. Groups can be formed around anything from sustainable business practices to political affiliations to love of a particular video game or breed of dog.

Chances are your prospects already participate in these groups; if not, create a new group and invite some friends and fans to get started. An avid sailor might create a "Island Exploration" group or a business coach might create a "Personal Power" group.

Once nice benefit of groups is that you can "bulk invite" people to join (who are connected to you on Facebook), and they can then "bulk invite" their friends as well. This means your group can go viral quickly, and so groups are great ways of promoting a movement.

Don't Be "That Guy"

The key to building social networks is to participate in a helpful and collegial manner. Anyone jumping into social media as a way to make a quick sale will be sorely disappointed, and may irrevocably damage their reputation. Social media is about creating relationships - you need to focus on building rapport, reaching out to connect with others, adding value, sharing information - relative to your niche and marketplace. Coming on strong and being the "answer guy" won't get the job done!

Conclusion

Facebook is a powerful networking tool that can connect you with your prospects and customers in new and engaging ways. There are conversations, events, and networking opportunities that are only happening there; if you're not on Facebook, you're missing these opportunities.

    
    
  

Understanding the Market

Getting accurate information about the latest market trends is critial to making a good decision about Maine real estate.  Access the latest sales statistics on our site.  Follow the link below:

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