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Generating Real Estate Leads Through Social Media

The question constantly being asked by agents within my brokerage is, “how do I use social media websites like Facebook and Twitter for real estate lead generation?”

At a recent Inman conference I had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Bill Tancer of HitWise (check out his book Click). During his talk Bill shared some interesting statistics:

  • Social media accounts for 3% of online business.
  • Of that 50% comes from Facebook (or 1.5%).

With so little opportunity coming from social media sites why are agents worried about using them? For one thing, it has been a successful traffic driver for other business models. So it’s natural for agents to jump in, not knowing how to apply it to the real estate industry.

Personally, I’m banking on social media becoming a big time search engine ranking factor. Google and Bing will certainly figure out how to use links passed by users within this space and apply it to their algorithms. Is it possible that we’re already seeing this integrated in organic search?

A recent post on my Hawaii real estate blog titled “Maui Condo Bargains Appeal To Buyers” received several retweets and a few social bookmarks. Did this help to drive the post to the first page of Google for the longtail keyword “Maui condo bargains”?

If the answer is yes, that means more reads for the blog post, and, if we’re lucky, it may even generate real estate leads for the author.

Here’s how it works…search engine spiders (robots Google sends across the web) are interested in fresh and newsworthy content to place in their search results. As people share your blog post through social media sites, the conversation around your topic grows. This “discussion” or “buzz” is heard by the robots who are excited to share what everybody is talking about on the front page of Google’s searches.

So how do you create a conversation around your posts? With interesting content. Blog about your intimate knowledge of your niche real estate market, and people will bookmark and share the content naturally.

Oh yeah, you might want to make it easier to share blog posts and help get that discussion started.

About Justin Britt

Justin Britt (justin@hawaiilife.com) is Head of Innovation and Co-Founder of a little Hawaii Real Estate company. Britt oversees user interface design, SEO, programming, public relations and social media for Hawaii's 6th largest and fastest growing real estate brokerage.

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