Internet technology and marketing

June 16, 2011

Technology and REALTORS

Filed under: facebook, QR, real estate, social media, twitter — Tags: , , , — webcubic @ 11:23 pm

Approximately one half of NAR members said they used social media sites last year.  In 2009, only one third did. Further, in 2010 89% of buyers used the Internet to search for homes versus 45% visiting open houses and 36% used print ads.  The Internet is being used by real estate professionals.

The most often mentioned social media tool is the blog.  One successful real estate professional said his approach has been to focus on the town where he lived and farmed.  He was soon obtaining 300 page views per day.  On occasion he had 8,000 page views.  His first lead came almost a year later. One buyer that used this realtor said that it was the content of the blog that appealed to him. 

Real estate professionals said they optimize their websites and blogs for simple keyword phrases – like “Seal Beach real estate”.   

Other social media sites that are widely used are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (so far, no surprises), and Criagslist.  Google AdWords is used. Real estate portals are favored, too – Trulia, Zillow, and Redfin.

What other technologies are available to real estate professionals?  Quick response (QR) codes on “for sale” signs.  Individual websites for listed properties.  With the objective being to broaden the number of possible buyers, the Internet makes sense.

What have you used?

Here are some of our observations.  Social media is an effective tool.  We favor Facebook as the tool that most users are using today.  FB will provide a blog like forum by using a “like” page.  Use this to expand your reach.  Give visitors a reason to return.  Remember that the “like” page is a business page and is expected to be that by visitors.  If you want to discuss movies, restaurants, etc, then use the “friends” pages. 

As far as how rapidly you will get results, be patient.  There is the negative real estate market to deal with and that buyers need time to get comfortable with you.  They will link to your website for more capabilities – property searches. 

Be sure to provide links to Facebook and other social media sites from your website.

April 6, 2011

Yelp’s Check-in

Filed under: android, social media, yelp — Tags: , , — webcubic @ 11:13 pm

We installed a YELP app on our new Android phone.  We were already familiar with Yelp because we had been a user for a number of years. The Yelp app would allow us write our reviews from our smart phone.

We noticed a “check in” feature.  After walking in a restaurant we did a “check in”.  Then anyone who was “following” me knew where I ate. Truth be told, there was only one person “following” me.  Someone else explained to me that he had checked in more often than anyone to a particular restaurant and was now the “duke” of the restaurant. 

 So then the “check in” feautre was just a game.  Silly.  Why would anyone play this game?  Just to be the silly “duke” of a restaurant?  It would require returning to the restaurant and spend more money.

Then we learned that some establishments award discounts or other rewards to people who “check in” to their establishments.  Now people had a real incentive to return to those businesses – primarily restaurants at this time.  If they go often enough, they become the “duke” or “duchess”.  Or get a discount. Or a free appetizer. Or a free drink.

If you are a business owner who depends upon repeat business, could the “check in” feature of Yelp create a real incentive for your business?  Absolutely!

Here are some ways to implement this.

– for every several “check ins” to a car wash you can earn a free wash.

– for each “check in” to a restaurant, you get a free drink with your meal.

– after several “check ins” at a coffee shop or hair salon or massage parlor, you get something free or an upgrade service.  Better yet, you become a frequent shopper and are entitled to discounts. 

For every establishment that has a variation of a rewards card – YELP’s “check in” feature can do the same thing.  Because those establishments can be found on Yelp, it is more readily found.  Especially inviting would be an immediate reward for the first “check in”.  Alternatively, you could combine the “check in” with a written review.

What kind of business do you have?  What reward can you offer as an incentive to visit your establishment?  Even if you are not a “repeat business” establishment, that initial discount or free service is a powerful incentive.

If you are an enterprise reaching out to new customers and improving your repeat business, investigate the Yelp “check in” feature.

February 21, 2011

Basic SEO for Facebook

Since Facebook fan pages are indexed by Google, then it only makes sense to optimize the content of the fan pages.  That means you should have your important keywords appear that relate to your business.  Some would say “keyword rich” content. 

When optimizing websites, the emphasis is not necessarily on the company name but rather on the company activities. When optimizing for Facebook, be sure to include the company name.   When searching for Facebook content, company name is often used.

To be continued …

February 18, 2011

A bigger reason to have a Facebook FAN page

There are a lot of reasons that Facebook FAN pages are important to have.  In fact we enumerated many of them in an earlier post. Those reasons focused on building trust and credibility – and the need to engage people.  Facebook FAN pages can do that.

But here’s an even more important reason.

Google reported that Twitter and Facebook impact rankings.  Fan pages are indexed and therefore are another source of traffic.  Bing admitted that these social sites also impact their rankings.

Here’s what this means.  When you do a search via Google, you should find your website among the higher ranked results.  You’ve optimized your website to do that.  But, in addition, what if you could find your Facebook fan page there, too.  You can!  That’s what it means when we say that “fan pages are indexed”.  So you need to place keywords in your Facebook fan pages.

We can show you how. Even better, return and we’ll give you a couple of tips on how to do this.

February 3, 2011

Facebook fan page

Filed under: facebook, social media — Tags: , — webcubic @ 12:24 am

An online presence will be enhanced by using a Facebook fan page.  Such pages can facilitate communication between the company and Internet visitors.  So it only makes good sense to use Facebook’s fan pages.

The Internet visitor has an opportunity to “like” the page.

Once that happens, you can offer them benefits that builds loyalty to your product and encourage the “fans” to invite their friends to join your page which helps to increase your popularity and online presence.

Try it.

January 9, 2011

Searching at social network sites

Filed under: facebook, google, social media, twitter, youtube — Tags: , , — webcubic @ 11:44 pm

We’ve been saying for a few years that habits had changed about searching the Internet.  Traditionally search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc) had been used.  As social media sites became more popular, users started their searches from those sites.  Our recommendations to our customers was to make sure they were present on the better social media sites so they could be found there.

We focused on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

More recent trends indicate that this happening and some experts suggest that the browser will eventually go away but clearly not in the near future.  Since browsers represent a advertising revenue, the logical conclusion is that social network sites also represents advertising revenue. 

For an advertiser, search via social network sites has interesting advantages.  These sites have some profile information that can be used for more targeted advertising.  More about that another time.

January 4, 2011

Facebook and MySpace going in opposite directions

Filed under: facebook, social media — Tags: , — webcubic @ 11:26 pm

Facebook Valuation

With the recent infusion of funding from Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Digital Sky Technologies, Facebook has a valuation of $50 billion.  A company board member said that Facebook would consider going public in 2012.  Analysts project the company’s vaslue to be comparable to Google, Inc.

MySpace

MySpace, unlike Facebook, has experienced problems recently.  The company is expected to 50% of its workforce (currently 1,100) in mid-January.  In October a company executive said that the site’s losses were not “acceptable or sustainable”.

January 1, 2011

Etsy

Filed under: social media — Tags: — webcubic @ 10:52 pm

We haven’t heard very much about Etsy but 6.9 million vendors in 150 countries have.  Etsy is one of the largest online retailers that host and manages the sales of members’ products – mostly handmade and vintage goods.  It has been around for 5 years and it is privartely held.

Etsy stands out because of its outstanding reviews. Both top sellers and lower-volume sellers boast 100% positive ratings by customers.  The company and sellers strive to “keep the customer happy”.

Whether you want to sell your crafts online or if you looking to make a purchase, check out Etsy.

November 14, 2010

Is Google going social?

Filed under: facebook, google, social media — Tags: , , , — webcubic @ 9:26 pm

According to Google the answer is “no”.  We read a report that the company said it had no plans to develop a social networking platform, but rather would focus on creating social applications.

November 2, 2010

Facebook business fan page

Filed under: facebook, social media — Tags: , — webcubic @ 9:45 pm

Facebook has had a business pages for some time — it may have been close to an original feature. More and more Facebook users are looking at these pages and becoming fans of these businesses. They do that by simply clicking on the LIKE button at the top of the business page.

Why do people do this?

Fans are looking for coupons, discounts, news, and samples.  In addition, people like to tell others what companies they like.

The question for businesses is : do you have a business FAN page on Facebook? If the answer is NO, then you need to set one up.  While you’re at it, be sure to build a Welcome page. This is a custom landing page for your fan page.  You define how it looks and it is a good place to display coupons, discounts, news, and samples.

If you don’t know how to do it, give us a call.

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