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The impact of social media on business continues to rise within the real estate industry. It’s an incredible opportunity to build your brand and, at the same time, generate and close more business. There are tons of social media outlets that can be utilized, but here are four core channels that you can leverage to get maximum results.

1. Facebook is a great way to make yourself 3-D. Make sure you have a specific page for your business that reflects your brand and marketing message. Include special offerings or “clickable areas” on the page to drive visitors to specific sections in your site.

• Make your page URL easy to remember. Something short like www.Facebook.com/LindaHallTeam can be advertised easily on your marketing materials, too.

• Create a niche/very targeted page to showcase unique services. If you work the REO market, have foreclosures available in your market; or, if you work with distressed sellers, create a separate business page, like http://www.facebook.com/knoxvilleshortsales. This becomes a resource for site visitors to learn about the local market and it will be searchable in Facebook as well as within search engines.

• Run targeted ads. You can post ads and do pay-per-click advertising for specific offerings to drive traffic and leads.

• Track the results and activity in the backend of your account to measure your efforts.

2. Twitter allows you to post short messages about what’s happening or a specific topic. Leverage Twitter by creating a Twitter page specific to the niche market you service. Twitter users follow experts who share the information they are “hunting” for and this will encourage more people to follow you because they want to get the scoop from a credible source.

3. LinkedIn has replaced the “old way of sending your résumé.” With Linked-In, people are interviewing you online and you may not even realize it. Before someone contacts you, they are researching you online to see if you are the person they want to do business with. For example, if you work the REO business, banks and management folks may be evaluating you to decide whether they want you to list their properties, so be sure your information is up-to-date and relevant.

• Look for groups you can join that are specific to your niche so you can collaborate, post information and refer business back and forth. This is a great way to build a network with others who share your mindset and industry experience.

4. YouTube offers a powerful way to deliver your message through visuals, sound and emotion. When you create a YouTube channel, make sure it is branded for your business with an easy to remember address, like http://www.youtube.com/ProStepMarketing. Make it easy for others to re-post your videos and virally spread your message. If you are really looking to carve out more of your niche, create a consumer-centric channel like “Cape Coral Foreclosures” and post videos about foreclosure listings in the market as well as market conditions.

• Don’t forget to include social media share features on the videos posted on your existing site so that anyone visiting your site can pass along your knowledge.

Leverage the traffic you are getting on your site through Facebook and include your Facebook feed on your website.

Tricia Andreassen is CEO/founder of Pro Step Marketing. She is a leading industry Web-strategy expert, a nationally recognized speaker with Broker Agent Speakers Bureau and one of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine’s monthly columnists.

For more information, please visit www.ProStepMarketing.com.

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