Social media marketing is changing, I think for the better. Yes, there are many choices, and they seem to change, and come and go as quickly as my teenager’s whims and preferences, but nonetheless, it’s a place we need to be as real estate business owners.

Here is some news, Facebook might be on the way out. As Facebook continues to find ways to monetize the platform, create more noise in between our conversations, change an algorithm to force marketers to communicate in ways that goes against their values, what’s left is a social platform that seems to “patch” things the way Microsoft “updates” it’s operating system to fix the things that are foundationally wrong. This is a growing trend that we must pay attention to because it’s the consumer who is tuning out, not the marketers that are leaving. Meanwhile:

Google+ is quietly growing an infrastructure that can’t be ignored 

Google understands that social communication is a lifestyle lived digitally. It touches us not just in business, but in personal relationships, human behavior and how, who, and when, we like to make our decisions online. So what does this mean for us in real estate? You have a better way to find and reach the customers and clients that are looking for you: through search, through web ownership, through community, and through lifestyle. 

1. Google+ Communities

One of the most exciting features to Google+ is Communities. Launched in December, it allows people to join community based on a shared interest. Not just a shared platform. Slightly similar to Facebook’s Groups, Communities has a robust list of features: Group Hang-outs, shared Google Drive docs, searchable index of topics of conversations. Why is this different than Facebook? Google+ encourages you to reach out and actually find new people to add to your “Circles”, not just invite the ones you know. The public communities and content are aslo indexed on Google Search, another great reason be there, not so on Facebook.

Getting started Tips: 

1. Start a Community based on your consumer’s SHARED interest, NOT your business. Start it with someone else in your community and get the conversations rolling. Don’t make it all about real estate. YOU are not all about real estate. Be resourceful and share. Join communities that interest you.

2. Attend, find and host your own online hang-out and events, to broaden your community. Is there something your broker is sponsoring for the community? Start an event. Community garage sale? Let people know. New shopping center coming? Do you know the great handymen, decorators, school principals, and best restaurants? Share with your community, it’s all centrally located.

3. If you find content on the web that might interest your Community, +1 it, and you can choose where to share it on Google+…Circles, Public or Community.

2. Claim your business

Google+ Local allows local businesses to list their details, as well as a place to collect customer reviews. Of course this information is indexed and searchable on the web. If you are not listed on it, you should be.  Combine this with a Google+ Business Page that connects to your Google Analytics, and keep track of your social ROI . Yeah, Facebook doesn’t do that either.

3. Claim authorship of your content

As bloggers, marketers, and content creators, your content is the king of your online digital strategy. It is above and beyond your most valuable commodity. It’s the reason why Trulia and Zillow want you on THEIR platforms, not your own. Google allows you to claim what is rightfully yours with Google Authorship.  In a few steps you can use your Google+ profile to claim the content that you post on your blog. The benefit of this is huge for search engine optimization, and for Google to understand who you are, and what you are writing about. Most of all, if your content is stolen, you have a remedy.

4. Google workflow & mobile integration

Who doesn’t love a good user experience? Something that’s easy to find, use and even fun. Easily accessible from your Gmail dashboard, and on it’s mobile app, using Google+.

It’s never too late to try something new, and in this case now is a great time! While I love Facebook and would never abandon it, don’t be afraid to discover and chart new territory for your business. What community could you start today?

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