Between social networking sites such as Facebook (where 76% of REALTORS® have a profile) and blogging, there's an enormous opportunity for agents to increase business using the Internet. An agent's online reputation extends beyond Facebook and blogging, though - while only 3% of consumers find their agent online, 40% check out agents' reputations using the net. Do the risks of an Online World outweigh the benefits?
Click here for a checklist for creating a blog policy for your office. The document includes a mock social media policy, too, and an article from realtor.org on managing your online ratings. (NOTE: Where the sample policies refer to the "Association," please note that "Association" and your office are interchangeable for these purposes.)
Social Media is one part of what's often called Web 2.0. If you've heard that term many times and don't quite get it, you're not alone! Here's a YouTube video to help sort it out...
REALTORS® who are using Social Media in inventive ways are finding remarkable success. Blogging is especially successful for those who devote the hours it takes every day to keep a blog fresh with great content. And that's the key -- good content, posted frequently, will bring visitors back to your blog AND drive you to the top results in Google searches. Some successful REALTOR® bloggers have substituted blogging for traditional marketing methods.
Bloggers consistently advise that "hard sell" is not the way to go. They say the effective way to connect with consumers via a blog is to use it to build community, offer helpful information, and thereby position yourself as a confident expert. It pays off when a blog reader feels he already knows and trusts the blogger before they've even met! For more about effective content and tone, check this article and this one for a list of 27 things you can do to enhance your blog.
Here are some great examples of successful REALTOR® blogs
But if blogging seems too demanding, or if you just can't see yourself writing and researching for hours every day, maybe Facebook or Twitter would be a good jumping-off places. Facebook has become much more than "social" media as businesses of all sizes have adopted it. And Twitter, a "micro-blogging platform," exploded in 2008 and is widely known as a big contributor to Obama's revolutionary campaign. For some quick info on what this is all about, watch the videos on KCRAR Now Showing .
The best advice regarding the way to start using Social Media is to just do it. Maybe the info above will help you get started today. For additional pointers on how to use social media, check realtor.org.