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.

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.

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.

September 26, 2010

Businesses continue to adopt social media

Filed under: facebook, social media, twitter, youtube — Tags: , , , — webcubic @ 9:21 pm

Take time to read the post on WebWire at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=123831

The article makes the point that social may be a business owners dream.  However there are downsides including investment of time and learning the “rules” for each social media site.

It takes about five minutes to read the article.  It’ll be worth your time.

September 22, 2010

Assorted

Filed under: internet technology, social media, twitter — Tags: , , — webcubic @ 11:12 pm

iPOD

The iPod provided the individual consumer an opportunity to carry their entire music library.  Apple upgraded its expanded iPod line recently but did not upgrade the basic iPod.  All that it still has is a large capacity drive.  There are fears that evenutally the iPod Classic will be discontinued.

Online message boards express those fears.  Some have suggested stockpiling Classics so they will have a backup.

Twitter attacked by hackers

Hackers created havoc for Twitter users by redirecting them to port websites.  Hackers used the onmouseover command to do their deeds.  Twitter reported that it patched the flaw in four hours.

June 19, 2010

Facebook grows

Facebook, Inc reported revenue of over $700 million for 2009.  Projections were to have $500 million in revenue.  Facebook’s growth – including over 500 million users – have contributed to the troubles that MySpace is experiencing.

Why is Facebook growing? 

As the largest social media site, it offers a great opportunity for advertisers to display their wares.  As companies realize the potential benefits of Facebook and other social media sites, they will invest.  In addition many companies have created their own business fan pages.  Starbucks has almost 8 million fans.  Chili’s (the restaurant chain) has almost 400,000.  American Eagle Outfitters has 1.2 million.

It is very appealing to be seen by up to 500 million users.  That’s the power of Facebook.  Once they can see traditional online advertising, they can link directly to the companies’ websites. 

Part of our entire Internet promotion campaign involves using social media sites.  We never consider MySpace, but we always invite our customers to consider Facebook.  There are other sites that offer significant value – Twitter and YouTube just to name a couple.

Visitors to website who come from Facebook are further along in the sales cycle than those that visit a website from a Google search. 

You should speak with a knowledge source like WebCubic.  They can help companies formulate a sound approach for a success Internet promotion campaign.

December 6, 2009

Brief: how does social media differ from traditional marketing?

Filed under: facebook, social media, twitter — Tags: , , , , — webcubic @ 8:29 pm

There are more similarities than there are differences.

Marketing is marketing, and whether you do it in the traditional manner or you use social media, the objectives are the same.  You are trying to increase your audience’s awareness of your product and you are trying to increase your business.

Social media has advantages.  It emphasizes social interaction.  Not only are you doing the marketing thing, but you are personalizing your message to the individual by the possible interactions with them.  You are establishing a relationship with members of your audience before doing business with with. This brings a humanizing element into marketing.

Social media tools that are currently being actively used with good results include (in no particular order) Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Yelp, and blogs.  If you are currently not using these, then you need to do so.

December 3, 2009

What’s Square?

Filed under: internet technology, social media, twitter — Tags: , , — webcubic @ 7:38 pm

There are a lot of things that are square, however we’re speaking about a particular square.

Square is the start-up founded by Jack Dorsey who is well-known as the founder of Twitter.  Square has developed a way for someone with a cellphone to become a merchant and accept credit card payments.

Square is a small platic device that attaches to a gadget via the headphone jack.  Buyers swipe credit cards through the device which transmits the payment to an applicatin running on a connected device.

The payment system is secured and all transaction data is safely encrypted.

October 20, 2009

Yelp

Filed under: facebook, social media, twitter — Tags: , , , — webcubic @ 7:49 am

Yelp is a popular website where individuals can review and rate places, events, and products.  The mostly likely uses are to review restaurants, hotels, and retail stores. Before going to a restaurant or to check out what others say about it before you go, you can check it out on Yelp.

NOTE: the five most popular categories are restaurants, shopping, food, automotive, beauty and spas.

Yelp is used for and will continue to be for many other things.  There are already reviews for home services, real estate, health and medical, and pets.  This list will continue to grow in months to come.

As a business owner or manager, you need to have a presence in Yelp.  You can “claim” your business so that you can provide more information to the visitor.  Yelp is popular enough that many businesses (especially restaurants) already have recognizable “Yelp” stickers in their establishments.

As a Yelp user, you can post your honest reviews about your experience with a business or event.  While you’re at it, you can set up your profile on Yelp to send your reviews directly to Facebook or to Twitter.  This is a great way to post one time and maintain an active presence on multiple social media sites.

 Do you Yelp?

October 13, 2009

Twitter or Facebook

Filed under: facebook, google, search engine optimization, social media, twitter — webcubic @ 2:45 pm

Past surveys show that more people prefer to use Facebook than Twitter.  The reasons vary but primarily it is because (1) the conversation thread is retained, and (2) there are more activities available than simply entering 160 character messages. Advantage Facebook.

However understand that Twitter should not be ignored.  Other surveys show that Twitter users engage with products more often than Facebook users.  Advantage Twitter.

There’s an additional reason to keep Twitter in mind.  A posting from www.lastclicknews.com reported that there are discussions between Google and Twitter a feed that would show posts from the social networking giant.  The report mentioned that Microsoft may be holding similar discussions with Twitter.

The simple summary is that posts from the social networking site would be displayed on search queries.

There are advantages to both Twitter and Facebook.  You should use whichever one better suits your needs both personally and for business.  Here at WebCubic, we use both.

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