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Where the Real Money is Made with Social Media

We all need to make money from the activities we spend our time on. Social media is no different. Every so often, there is talk about social media being a waste of time and the ROI not being there since most agents can’t directly attribute transactions back to clients they received from social media. But, make no mistake about it — there are agents and brokers making money from social media. But not in the way that you think.

You want to know how agents and brokers are really making money from social media?

It’s not from the engagement. It’s not from the connections they gain.

It’s from SEO.

Most of those making money with social media are doing it by floating their SEO efforts (which means more traffic/conversions). I obviously don’t have access to the hard numbers, but I know someone like Jay Thompson is making money from the SEO juice his site, PhoenixRealEstateGuy, has gained as a result of his social media activity over the past 5+ years. How does that happen? A number of ways. For starters, posts like this link to his site constantly because he’s one of the most well known real estate brokers in the country in the social media world. Secondly, he’s met LOTS of people via social media. And anyone that knows search engine optimization knows the way to win is to know LOTS of other individuals who own websites (and can link back to you). Well, Jay knows a ton of them. Anytime I think of or hear “Phoenix”? I — and thousands across the country and world — think of Jay. That’s worth it’s weight in gold when it comes to SEO. Why? Because anytime a conversation about Phoenix comes up, there is a good chance I’m going to link to Jay. Oh yea — and all those conference mentions he gets? They don’t hurt either.

You likely already know getting a site to rank well is hard work if you’re going after even a somewhat competitive keyword. But to succeed on the web, we all know you have to spend time or money on it. You should already know the cost of neglecting SEO. It goes without saying that SEO is certainly a long way from dead. It’s just shifted away from strictly links, links, links as Facebook Likes, Tweets, and Google +1’s are transforming into the more common voting mechanisms of the web. It’s hard to measure precisely, but I think it’s fair to say anyone with a strong social media presence knows their social media efforts are massively helping their own SEO efforts.

Don’t get me wrong. Yes, certainly use social media to increase engagement with your current sphere and find new contacts to increase your sphere of influence, but the real money is made by leveraging your social media to improve your own SEO.

What do you think? Agree or disagree?

**Photo via MarkVitorillo

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • You’re right, engaging with others on social media sites does help with SEO for ones main website.  Posting interesting content on ones site encourages readers to retweet or post the links on their FB wall, which in turn sends more traffic to these sites.  And it may also raise awareness of ones brand which helps validate the sites importance.

  • I couldn’t agree more. For the last year, I have been really trying to build up our Vacation Rental Facebook page. I have attended webinars, conferences, and even twitter chats on engaging with fans.  This past week I happened to check our Google position with one of our keywords, and the FB page was second in the organic search, even above our company’s webpage, which was fourth.  The results are a 30% increase in revenue from the same period last year.  The value is definitely in the SEO! 

    • Wow – awesome to hear such a big increase.

  • First, thanks for the kind words Drew! 

    I agree with you completely, and this is a way many are not looking at social media and SEO. (although I wouldn’t discount completely those connections, they are still important too.)

    Just two short years ago, I could write a particular type of blog post and know before it was published that it would get 10 – 20 people linking to it.

    Today, I’ll be lucky to get two people linking to a post like that.

    But, that same post will garner a bunch of Likes and Retweets and discussion on various social platforms. I don’t think there is any question Google is looking at those things as ranking signals… and will likely add more weight to them in the future.

  • What a great read! I appreciate that you taking the time to write this article , it has valuable information.

  • Sure, algorithms are changing and are now (allegedly) placing more weight on SM metrics, but to agents who are analytical in measuring their ROI on any effort, it is hard to convince that SM efforts will pay equal/greater dividends than other platforms, regardless of their SEO weight. For me, I’ve tried Twitter/FB and have gotten some business out of it, but can’t say that it is comparable to direct SEO efforts.

  • Facebook alone is one of our top referring website sources for our company site. And out of the tens of thousands of visits we had last year with our photo contest website, over 20% was from Facebook. Given the right context SM can drive measurable traffic – for sure.

  • And that is in addition to the SEO benefit of SM….which I agree will be impacted even more as Google alters its algorithms to favor Google +. you know it will.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely! and it does take a lot of work, and dedication. Creating good content is the key. Finding the time to do it, even more key. 🙂 

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