One of my favorite sessions at Real Estate Connect SF earlier this month was a panel answering the question: "Is Facebook bigger than Google?"
What do you think? Facebook reports it has more than 500 million active users, and Google sites accounted for about 10.3 billion online searches in June — about 62.6 percent of all online searches that month, Internet research company comScore Inc. reported.
The panelists who spoke during this session were:
- Drew Burks, Broker, Web Real Estate Tools, @sdRealtors.
- Nicole Nicolay, Founder & CCO, Agent Evolution, @nik_nik.
- Dale Chumbley, Realtor with Prudential NW Properties, @DaleChumbley.
Burks spoke about recent changes in Facebook and its new Open Graph platform.
He emphasized that everyone should add Facebook’s "Like" plug-in to their blog (something I need to do ASAP!). It’s one of the easiest ways for people to share your info on Facebook. Also, "liking" a post or page helps to index you in the world of search. This stat was staggering:
"Facebook indexes 25 billion pieces of information a month!"
Drew’s shirt says it best: "Google Me." His shirt doubles as his business card. I love it!
Nicolay talked about Facebook ads and offered some advice:
Set your goals. What do you want to accomplish?
Establish your target criteria. There is a tremendous amount of targeting you can do when creating your ads — including demographic, gender, age, likes, interests, and so much more.
Have compelling content. She spoke a lot about the "nature of the network" — we aren’t likely to click on ads unless they are eye-catching, interesting, funny, or are very relevant to us.
Also, Nicolay said to make sure that the link on your ad is the your most productive link — whether that is a link back to your page or back to your website. Historically, the links that work best are links back to your Facebook page.
It’s easier for someone to "Like" a page and then get to know you and your brand before transacting with you.
Dale Chumbley, famous for his 365 Things to Do in Vancouver page (which now has over 11,000 fans), spoke about do’s and don’ts with Facebook pages.
One of the biggest opportunities agents have is that they know their communities and the ins and outs of neighborhoods better than anyone. On Chumbley’s page there is no mention of him as a real estate agent.
All of his content resides on his blog — so he will always "own" the content — in case anything happens to Facebook. He blogs everyday and links to his blog posts once daily. He said he started his blog 146 days ago and his Facebook page is now No. 4 on Google when someone searches for his county and No. 2 on Google when someone searches for his city.
He does caution about starting a "365" page — it’s a lot of work and a big commitment. But whether your community is large or small, any community could benefit from having a community page created from someone who knows it well — namely, a real estate agent.
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