Maine Real Estate | Using Social Media For Real Estate
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Maine Real Estate News and Notes

The Basics of Social Media for Real Estate


You may have heard of social media – and may have used it on occasion. Even if you haven’t, you are sure to have heard of its examples: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, just to name a few. The growth of social media is the latest and most complex phase of the Internet and because of this we have leveraged its power in our real estate business to the benefit of our clients.

However, since the social media options can sometimes be so overwhelming that brain freeze can quickly occur, we thought it might be helpful to a basic primer on how it works.

The Philosophy Behind Social Media

The first thing that you need to understand about the social media movement is that it is built around relationships. Social media sites exist to foster conversation between people. The people who use these sites want to engage with others, not just experience one-way communication.

NL-SocialMediaThe majority of traditional real estate marketing is one-way. Social media sites are different in that there is an expectation that people who visit will “take part” in the conversation.  It allows for the cultivation of relationships with people.  Rather than marketing you can converse and build trust in a more meaningful way. Traditional Internet marketing takes your hand and says, “dance with me!” while social media sites offer a hand and ask, “shall we dance?”

The Current Social Media Alternatives

Blogging: Blogs allow the author to indulge in their own personal piece of the Internet.  A blog gives you a way to share your insights and expertise with people as often as you would like. At the most basic level, a blog gives people a way to meet you before they ever meet you face-to-face. A blog also offers excellent SEO advantages for your primary website.

LinkedIn: Consider this your business suit. While LinkedIn is not very conversational in its orientation, having a profile there has become expected. LinkedIn lends a degree of professional credibility. It is also the site that requires the least amount of upkeep. The basic purpose of LinkedIn is to start a profile and link yourself to other professionals, thereby increasing your overall network by degrees.

Facebook: One of the fastest growing social media sites available, consider it business casual. It started as a site just for college students but is now open to everyone.  It allows more of a 360 degree view of you, combining both professional and personal sides. It is considerably more conversational. On of the best ways to consistenly use Facebook is to establish yourself as an expert in your community and build relationships with people you already know and also with potential clients.

Twitter:  This is the cocktail hour. Think of after hours social networking events and you've got Twitter. It's the most informal of the three and allows for the greatest degree of conversation. Twitter is essentially a micro-blogging platform. While many people use it just to publish status updates (telling people what they are doing at any given moment), the site has possibilities far beyond that. The most valuable feature is the ability to follow the tweets of others. Additionally, a lot of news breaks on Twitter, since it can be disseminated instantaneously.

Video: Clearly YouTube is the most popular video sharing website on the Internet, yet there are some additional choices that you might want to consider.  Vimeo, Viddler and Metacafe all offer video hosting, blogs and forums.  On each site a not only can someone upload a video, but create a "channel" as well. The better the designed channel the more exposure is available.  Video can now be posted in high quality and high definition, which improves their usefulness considerably.

Social Media Made Easy

This short video, prepared by CommonCraft, provides an excellent overview of how Social Media works.

What the Future Holds for Social Media

People want to be acknowledged, heard, recognized and valued. Social media in business provides that to consumers. But there will be a day when people all around the world look up from their smart phones, their laptops and their Twitter and realize it’s been weeks since they’ve spoken to another human being, live and in person. And on that day, there will be a select group of social networks that will survive the backlash - those whose online community has a vibrant carry-over offline.  That is our goal in using these tools for our real estate busines, and they might help you as well in yours.





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