Air Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014. 12:30pm ET
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People buy from people, and nobody knows this better than top-performing Realtors. Unfortunately, when it comes to social media marketing, most of the real estate industry is stuck in “advertising mode” not “relationship mode.”
Bill Gassett, a top-performing RE/MAX Realtor in Massachusetts, knows what he’s doing on social media. Bill has an extremely influential web footprint, including social media, blogs, and of course, the marketing sites for his listings. In this Google+ Business Spotlight, Bill shares with us how he manages his social media presence, and why focusing on the relationships and expertise land him in the top spots year after year.
Show notes and recap
The key takeaways from the discussion:
- Conversing with peers builds a semantic relevance around the keywords and topics you want to be known for in your business. In other words, Bill gets involved in many discussions on Google+ with people whose profiles are also centered in the real estate industry, which makes him more relevant to those keywords. Being in a business that serves a local market, this is fantastic because the peers aren’t competitors. Bill also started a keyword-relevant community called…wait for it…Real Estate.
- Bill hasn’t seen any direct results from Google+, in that nobody has called him to list their home and said, “I follow you on Google+.” However, his activity on Google+ and the semantic relationships he is building for his profile around the real estate industry, and his local market, put his content in front of potential buyers who turn to search. This is a very powerful point, especially for those business owners whose industries haven’t adopted Authorship yet. If you think about it, Bill is interacting mostly with other Realtors and people in his industry. It’s conceivable that those people would need a home at some point, maybe in his market, but he isn’t interacting directly with potential buyers or sellers (thanks to Jeffrey Johnson for bringing that question to the table).
- There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing and linking to other people’s content. In fact, when you do, you force yourself to put your unique spin on the same topic, and that makes you more authoritative. So whether it’s a blog post, a post on Google+, or a share of someone else’s Google+ post, widening your perspective to include others in the content you share builds a better resource for your audience. And while you wouldn’t share a direct competitor’s post (in Bill’s case, another local Realtor), content from a peer across the country is perfect.
So far, you haven’t heard one thing about marketing, which is the number one type of content that most Realtors create on social media. Not one mention of blasting their listings out to all the social networks, and hopefully you can understand why Bill doesn’t feel there is a need to do so. Yes, he posts his listings, and we should all remember to post our sales-related material at some point on social networks, but the overwhelming majority of content that he creates is supportive, contextual, authoritative content. That strategy builds trust, and makes the one or two listings he posts each month more effective.
Some other tips we hit on during the show
- Use Google+ and Pinterest together, especially if your website has “rich pins” set up to tell both Google and Pinterest what that web page is about.
- Think about how video content (Hangouts on Air, prerecorded) can be used to create that added personal touch between your audience and your business.
- Lift up others in your industry, it all comes back to you.
- LOCAL TIP: Create web pages about the communities you service that talk about the business landscape, shopping, real estate, etc. They position you as a local authority and search engines love them. Here is a link to Bill’s community page for Hopkinton.
Watch the full discussion, because we outline a number of strategies that apply to all businesses getting involved on Google+. Weave together the points we made on content creation, communities, the types of people you should connect with, the discussions you participate in, and the people whose content you share, and what we get is almost a “secret sauce” for Google+ strategy…
…that makes the phone ring!