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Fred Macias, Real Estate Pro in Huntington Beach, CA

To best leverage social media, what web site and blog site would my fellow Realtors recommend. I am looking for simple and elegant with ease of use.

Asked by Fred Macias, Huntington Beach, CA Wed Nov 2, 2011

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Hello Fred,
Good ideas in previous answers from other peers. Here are my few thoughts, I was on ActiveRain but dropped it due to it having more of a Realtor presence than consumer (up to you to decide that). Wordpress (WP) is, in my opinion, the platform to have your blog/web site on. I would get away from the free site they offer and have your own URL and a paid for WP site hosted with someone like Hostgator is very reasonable. Take a look at http://www.studiopress.com for different themes you can use for your site. Remember if you want something customized it can be done for a fee. More flexibility and you own the content, very important in any online site. If you have a Facebook presence use a page for business not your social profile, if you Tweet learn what hashtags are being used and set up a keyword search to follow the discussions. LinkedIn is a good site for professionals and the average user there has a higher net worth than on other social media sites, join groups there that may relate to what you want portray and appear like there (you can join up to 50 groups). To help follow all these use a site like http://www.hootsuite.com to see your different social conversations on one site and you can use it to schedule future posts. Lastly don't forget email, it still has relevance and is a good way to communicate with email campaigns, look into Mail Chimp for that (free up to 2,000 users).
Regardless if you are comfortable on all these (who can be and still have the time to sell a house) or not, find what you are comfortable on and start there, if Facebook then do it better than your competition, stay focused on being seen as the local expert by talking about local events, relevant topics and engage with other people's posts, not just “my new listing”. If you do write a blog post about something on your WP site then link to it on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube (2nd most searched site and owned by Google), LinkedIn and you can even email your database about it and place the link in the email (like for the upcoming daylight savings time change).
There is no easy way but if you have a bit of a budget you can hire a virtual assistant to handle the online social media tasks or if you have a teenager they might help for a small fee or experience and food.
I wish I could say these strategies are simple and elegant with an ease of use but really they are not. What I shared is what I hope to implement (still a work in progress) takes time and effort so focus on one social outlet, good luck and you are ahead of many others of our peers.
Feel free to give me a call or email if you have any questions and I can try to give some other ideas and suggestions that may help with you online journey.
Brian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
http://www.trulia.com/
http://www.activerain.com/
http://www.wordpress.org/ (not .com) for personal website blogging/article writing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
My web and blog site are self-hosted Wordpress products. I can drive traffic there through FB business pages, twitter and AR. Blogging consistently on my own domain brings me the most ROI.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 15, 2011
The key to a productive online presence appears to be cross-connecting everywhere you place content. After a couple years and a few hundred blogs, I've found that posting on Trulia is the best direct connection with consumers, ActiveRain connects best with other agents, and WordPress helps the most with Google placement. I also post most of my blogs on Blogger and RealTown. I just recently began putting videos on YouTube, which are then posted on Trulia, AR, WP, Bloger, RealTown and my Facebook business page. I've just started using Twitter also, which I haven't really figured out yet. I budget less than one hour per day to do all this, since my best social networking still comes from getting out and pressing the flesh in person. Go figure...
The most important tool in a productive online arsenal is Google Analytics, which tells you where your primary web site traffic is coming from. It's just like asking people who call you, "where did you hear about me?" I've learned that Facebook and LinkedIn aren't directing any traffic my way, but Trulia, AR and WP are.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 15, 2011
Wordpress--if you plan to actually do some blogging regularly. Hook it up to Diverse Solutions IDX and you should get good traffic.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 14, 2011
There are as many answers to this as there are social media sites Fred! Right now, agents are getting the most leverage from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 14, 2011
2 other social media websites with a good volume of questions being asked by homebuyers & homeowners:

http://www.zillow.com/advice/
http://www.city-data.com/forum/real-estate/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Those are the same three I would recommend.
You may find it helpful to read this recent AR posting.
http://activerain.com/blogsview/2581241/i-worked-so-much-i-w…

Know what you want your blog to do.
Best of success.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Hello, I am currently using Wordpress for both blogging and as a website. Most agents don't realize but you can add an IDX page as well, so you get the best of both worlds and all at $0.00 cost! What is better than that!? If you would like to create a custom ULR link, purchase one at Godaddy.com and have the ULR forwarded/directed to your Wordpress Blog Site. Check out my current blog site that I just put together in the last few days at: http://vincentcervera.wordpress.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Great answer Shane - I was going to recommend the same 3 sites.

Answering "advice" questions on Trulia daily or weekly will help - depending on how active you want to be.

Best SEO come from activerain and wordpress.

As far as social media, you can spread the word about a great blog you wrote via twitter or facebook.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
I pretty much agree with Shane. Only caveat: ActiveRain is great for Realtors. However, consumer usage is probably less. And unless you pay, your ActiveRain posts will only be visible to other professionals there, not consumers.

And remember synergy. Link/interconnect all your activities. Don't think of the 2 or 3 sites each standing alone.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
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