Social Juice: Week 17

There is plenty to celebrate today…it’s Friday, a long weekend is here and the U.S. is celebrating its 235th year as a free nation on Monday.  Plus, you’re reading about the latest cool tech developments that could help increase your real estate savvy in today’s Social Juice.  Does it get better than all this?  I think not.

This week, I am going to talk about an impending change in Facebook ad presentation, the release of Google’s social platform-Google + , and the virtual business card.  Go ahead-pour some more ketchup and mustard on that hot dog and read on!

Facebook Ads Game Changer

The benefits of Facebook advertising have long been preached to realtors.  Facebook trails only to Google and Yahoo as the largest ad-selling company in the country.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Facebook ads are found on the right hand side of your screen on facebook and change depending on what you search and what page you may be visiting (much like Google’s paid search).   A sample facebook ad is to the right.

facebook ad

facebook ad

Using this format, you can promote your facebook page to get more “likes,” you can create an ad to point people towards your website or you can promote a listing.

As they are laid out currently, facebook ads are visible once when scrolling down your page.  Here is where the big change is.  Facebook is rumored to be altering the positioning of its ads so they are static.  In other words, when you scroll down facebook, the ads stay with you to the bottom of the page.

What does this mean for you as a real estate agent?  Facebook ads are wonderful as is because you can very narrowly target your ad demographic, arguably more efficiently than on Google or Yahoo.  Static ads mean more opportunities for viewers to click and convert…which means more opportunities for leads and sales!

I will keep an eye out to see when Facebook decides to move forward with this beneficial change!  If you have any questions about facebook advertising, visit the “Resources” tab (which I talked about in last week’s post) on your Page admin.

Google +

Google finally took the plunge….their persistent engineers created the search giant’s first social network- Google +.  I almost decided not to write about Google+ for the sheer frustration it caused me by nearly choking my facebook and twitter feeds… but then my inner reporter told me I had a duty to perform!

While I could write volumes about Google + , compare it to the some of the other social juggernauts out there and forecast its overall success, I want to simply highlight some of the network’s major functionality below:

  • You may have already noticed a few changes in the Google homepage layout.  The staple gray strip at the top of the page has now turned black and comes with many new ways for you to access your Google + profile, checking out it’s notifications (which are very similar to facebook’s red notifications at the top of its homepage) and sharing content.
  • Google Sparks:  Google’s content suggestion search engine.  Find articles and topics that you can share with your friends across the Google + network.
  • Circles+: This deviates a bit from Facebook’s Lists that you can create, but the basic concept is still the same.  Using circles, you can drag & drop people into different social circles – “friends,” “family,” “coworkers,” etc.
  • Photos and Multimedia: manage all your photos and share them with friends.  You can implement privacy settings and even edit photos (something facebook doesn’t offer beyond just the cropping feature).  Google + also offers an interesting feature called “Hangouts.”  This video chat feature allows a friend to start a hangout, thereby starting a video chatroom.  His or her friends will then be notified and can also join in to chat.  I could see this as a cool way to chat with clients about a new listing or a more interactive way to point them to information about a listing they are interested in purchasing.
  • Mobile:  Google will be launching a mobile app for its Android devices in the near future.  No surprise there.

All in all, I think Google+ does have some core similarities to twitter and facebook-it looks to be an information source and a place for friends to connect based on what’s important to them.  However, it does have some interesting added functionality-such as the Hangouts as part of the video chat-which can make it easier for realtors to reach out and connect with their sphere.
If you are looking to sign up, I will say it may be a little tough right now.  Google is “field testing” the network and has invited a limited number of users to sign up.  If you can catch a hold of one of your buddies who received an invite, give the network a shot.  Otherwise, try requesting an account here.

Your Business Card, Virtually

Personal Landing Pages, or Virtual Business Cards (VBC), are all the rage right now.  This is a great way to not only help your SOI find ways to connect with you online, but for you to drive traffic to your website, blog and social networks.  By including a link to your virtual business card in an email, a reader can click on it, go straight to your facebook, twitter etc pages or your blog to learn more about you and your services.

Virtual Business Card

Virtual Business Card

How do you set one up?  There are several services out there to help you get started, one of them being Dooid.  I encourage you to check out their site and create a VBC as soon as you can.  Take your business cards from boring and flat to virtual and interactive in just a few minutes!

Anyone already using VBCs?  What is your experience like with them so far?

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