Google+ is an outstanding tool for real estate agents. With Google+, agents can improve local search engine rankings, become more familiar with a target audience, and build relationships with industry influencers. But real estate agents can easily invite trouble by not using Google+ appropriately. To gain the most from Google+, real estate agents should never commit the follow Google+ gaffes:
Google+ is a place to create connections with your local community. But you don’t want to overshare. While a bit of personal information can make a real estate agent seem more personable, your Google+ page should not be solely filled with updates on your recent vacation, pictures of your kids’ events, or even the last sale you made. Share what your audience wants to hear, rather than what you want to boast about.
To keep your information on-target, be sure to use Google+ “Circles.” Create one Circle for all of your real estate connections. Use that Circle to monitor and share industry happenings. You can also create separate Circles for current clients, seller prospects and/or buyer prospects. If you have family or friends on Google+, create separate Circles for them. This will allow you to monitor and share personal updates in a separate sphere from your business.
#2: Treating Google+ like Facebook
Your Google+ page is not your Facebook page. Although Facebook has served both companies and professional individuals well, the atmosphere of the overall social media platform is very casual. While you want to be friendly to your professional contacts, you want to use Google+ as a more sophisticated tool to help grow your business.
First and foremost, make sure you know how to properly use Google+. Some new users try to do too much too fast. By taking time to learn the basics you will be able to have a better understanding of social networking site.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to experiment! This will help you better understand how to use Google+ to its fullest, especially in hangouts. Hangout with a friend or colleague before you launch a high-profile hangout with VIP guests. Before I hosted my first G+ Hangout, I “hung out” with my husband to get used to the technology. It was perfect preparation, and helped settle my nerves before my first live broadcast!
And finally: Be sure to ask questions! It’s okay to admit that you’re having problems with Google+. Fellow “Plussers” are very tech-savvy, and willing to help! A simple question tossed into the Google+ stream is likely to get a plethora of comments (in this case, 38):
#3: Going Overboard
Google+ has tons of features that make the platform a great sidekick for a real estate agent. However, plastering your page with too much information at once can become overwhelming and off-putting to potential home buyers.
Don’t fill your page with seemingly unplanned material. Single pictures, continuous one-line updates and irrelevant information can make you seem scatterbrained and unprofessional.
Post a healthy mix of helpful and professional information. Create a photo album of your newest listing. Share a local real estate statistic with a gorgeous photo. Post a link to a helpful blog post.
Real-life example: If you’re looking to gain “+1s”, shares and comments on your Google+ profile, always post with a photo. Case in point: I posted information in an embedded-link style post, and gained two “+1s” and one comment. I then posted the same information in a photo-style post and gained 9 “+1s” and 12 comments. Big difference.
Whatever you choose to post, make sure to include context. Don’t post a blank link and expect anything at all. Posting like this is a big no-no on Google+:
Help your followers understand why you’re sharing a particular post. Always provide a few simple facts along with your posts as background information:
Lure your potential readers with a tasty informational tidbit, and they’ll be more likely to check out your next Google+ post.
Don’t start posting to Google+ and then jump ship. Failing to maintain a current profile or page is nearly as detrimental as not having one at all. Regular monitoring and posting can strengthen your industry knowledge, and help solidify your place as a real estate authority in your area. Strive to post daily, and remember to keep the information relevant and professional.
If you’re struggling to identify relevant material, think about questions you are asked on a frequent basis. Find articles that answer those questions, or break down processes that are difficult to understand. Share your expert knowledge, and let people know that you are here to help. It is important to create trust on every social media platform, including Google+. Create a solid, trustworthy foundation and build on it every day.
#5: Ignoring the Rules
Failure to follow Google+ user rules is the biggest social faux pas you could possibly commit. Ignoring Google+ guidelines can strip your profile or page from the social media giant. Google also reserves the right to suspend or terminate your entire Google account.
Don’t forget that Google+ communities have their own unique rules. Community rules are set by the appointed “moderator,” and should be carefully reviewed.
Real-life example: I once posted in a “Google Authorship and Author Rank” community moderated by Google+ sage Mark Traphagen. My post discussed differences between Google and Facebook, which was a bit off-topic for the group. Mark issued a polite reminder:
Now he COULD have removed me from the community. And perhaps he would have, if I’d made a rude comment. But a little understanding and politeness go a long way on Google+.
So play fair. And yes, you can “play” on Google+! Google+ is a perfect social media tool for expanding your businesses and growing your brand. But it’s also a fun, lively, witty place to be.
Join us, won’t you?
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