Twitter Strategies for Realtors: Hashtag Discussion Groups

Hashtag

Realtors are beginning to use Twitter strategies to create exposure for listings, open houses, REO sales, foreclosure news, and industry related developments Yet, one of the biggest mistakes that Realtors continue to make on Twitter is to “spam” the network with hard sell tweets about their products, services, listings, and information exclusively promotional in nature. This type of low signal high noise ratio in messaging leads to audience indifference, low priority, and a less than open level of communication between the Realtor and their intended target audience.

Twitter Hashtag Categories

Hashtags (#tag) allow Twitterers to create categories, groups, or subjects for tweets that their audience or other twitterers can use as well. With this in mind, Realtors could begin to create real time discussions with consumers, peers, and investors for a multitude of topical Real Estate information. Here are examples of subjects already being discussed on Twitter using hashtags:

  • #REO
  • #Foreclosure
  • #Realtors
  • #Realestate
  • #Listings

Twitter Hashtag Strategies: Hyper Localize

All of the above examples have current discussions but they all lack one thing: hyper local information. Brokers or groups of Realtors should combine efforts to create hashtags that would provide hyper local information for consumers in their area. Here are examples of hyper local hashtags that are not being utilized in the San Francisco Bay Area:

  • #SanRamonListings
  • #SanFranciscoListings
  • #CitynamesRealtor aka #OaklandRealtors; #SanFranciscoRealtors; #SanRafaelRealtors
  • #Countynamesrealestate aka #Marinrealestate; #SantaClararealestate; #ContraCostarealestate
  • #Neighborhoods aka #PacificHeights; #NorthBeach; #RussianHill

Hashtag Strategies: Brand and Create Your Group

Create online discussion groups with your hashtags. Choose the most important subjects to your consumer audience that will provide the most value. Brand your business cards, website-blog, business communications, flyers, and promotional materials with your Twitter hashtag group discussions. Don’t forget your Twitter address too.

Hashtag Benefits to Realtors

The benefits for Realtors in setting up hashtags for consumer research, localized information, and marketing include:

  • Targeted Lead Generation: creating a hyper local hashtag discussion can attract consumers, if promoted properly, interested in a specific location, type of dwelling, or lifestyle
  • Research: hashtags on specific real estate functions can produce research content, via links, that helps educate and inform the public and real estate community
  • Audience: build an audience for any subject that pertains to your business services or products
  • Conversion: there are no statistics available but it would be interesting to measure engagement through hashtags. Specifically, do consumers click through links a Realtor provides in a hashtag discussion more readily than those provided in the general twitter stream? Are consumers more comfortable clicking through to a Realtor website-blog while engaging in a hashtag discussion?
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Outbound Link Strategy: Drudgereport Success Changing Perception


Courtesy the drudgereport.com

Perception in the real world is often reality. In the online world of websites and blogs it is often the rule that people rely upon to much. The perception that a blogger who provides too many links in a post will lose his audience is simply a myth. The best case study supporting this statement is the famous and very popular drudgereport.com. The drudgereport is an aggregates news feeds and links to some of the best sources available. They then position small amounts of text (description) around the outbound links. Yet with all of these pathways that lead away from the site, people flock(Alexa ranking 728) to the drudgereport for their daily fix of news.

My deansguide article (9-19-08) “Drudge Report: Proof Outbound Link Strategy Keeps Readers Coming Back” and the concept behind the article may be worth another look. The premise that most experts support:

1. Do not send your readers away from your site by providing outbound links

2. Sending readers away from your site means they will not come back to your site

3. You will be converting your readers into somebody else’s readers by linking outbound

Reality

1. Outbound linking does not mean your readers will always leave on each visit

2. Readers that leave will come back because you have established your site as a place that provides value and answers

3. Other site’s content becomes your strength as you help people find quality information

4. Outbound links will bring readership back to your site from the sites you link to

5. Time spent on your site will actually increase as readers bounce back from the outbound links to find additional information

The article published at the Business and Finance page on Reuters.com and on deansguide

Independent Brokers Network Meeting: SEM vs SEO-Do You Have Money Or Time?

The IBNMarin, Independent Brokers Network meeting held Tuesday June 3, hosted guest speaker Steven Schneiderman the Online Sales Manager for the San Francisco Chronicle’s website SFgate.com. MC. for IBN, the indispensable Frank Sunshine, Sunshine Realty and Marketing, did another stellar job of bringing a speaker and topic of importance to attendees.

Steven’s speech was compelling as he explained Search Engine Marketing and search from a beginner’s perspective, explained and identified the value of a SEM campaign, and he provided a solid base for people to understand how Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com are the driving forces behind today’s online search marketplace.

While bringing forward some interesting and compelling reasons why a Realtor or broker would want to adopt a pay per click program, a case can be built for establishing an organic program utilizing a blog in conjunction with a pay per click campaign.

SFGate.com

1. SFgate.com: the website for the San Francisco Chronicle in fact acts more like a blog due to the fresh content placed on the site (writers’ articles) on an everyday basis

2. SFgate.com: is ranked by Alexa.com 836 most trafficked website in the world, ranked #229 in the US, 17% of it’s traffic is global with high rankings in Uk, Canada, India, and Germany

3. Pay per click: advertising campaigns on SFgate.com will provide any Realtor in the Bay Area or any Realtor looking to do business in the Bay Area from any location in the world another piece to a well rounded marketing campaign

SEM Positives

1. Only Guaranteed Method: to top of page placement if you are willing to spend the money
2. Pay: only when your ad is clicked
3. Tracking: ability to track your activity
4. Adjust: you can adjust your spending to drive “conversions” by choosing a higher priced placement or lower your costs by choosing a lower per click cost and placement
5. Proxy Technology: Steven’s terminology for how you can identify keyword popularity, keyword activity, measure your activity and set a strategy to convert clicks to sales

Why SEM vs Blogs For A Realtor?

1. Technology: the #1 hurdle to blogging is the technology learning curve and the time it takes to understand. Realtors who do not have the commitment fail at blogging
2. Writing: Realtors that do not write well will have a difficult time producing compelling content that would attract readers
3. Time: Realtors who do not make time to write 3-5 days per week will not blog effectively
4. Social Network: The #2 reason behind successful blogs is social networking within the blogosphere. If a Realtor is unwilling to spend time commenting on other Real estate blogs and building online relationships, they will fail to blog successfully
5. Commitment: Blogging is a commitment of time, energy, innovation, and pride. If a Realtor is unwilling to make the commitment they are harming their own reputation