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Getting to the Heart of Social Strategies

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By Erica Campbell Byrum, Director of Social Media, Homes.com and ForRent.com

social_media_strategySearch engines and social media sites handle billions of queries each day, and many of those are people who are looking to buy or sell a home, entering related terms in an attempt to find the agent and property that matches their needs.

When Homes.com examined some of the most important social marketing strategies to incorporate into real estate professionals’ 2014 to-do list, the one that topped the list dealt with social signals running the show. We feel as though this merits further exploration and explanation, so let’s dive in.

Show Your Love on Social Networks
Search engine gurus report that Google’s algorithms are getting increasingly sweet on signals from social networks more so than traditional avenues like backlinks and other technical cues (although both are still important), because users are actively curating and engaging with the content on social networks (Search Engine Watch).

That means that social accounts with the most love in the form of followers, fans and engagement including likes, comments, shares, +1’s, re-tweets, re-pins and others, will play a much stronger role in search engine rankings. And despite traditional relationships, you should no longer dedicate your love to just one site; the Content Marketing Institute released a study last year that revealed the most successful marketers are active on an average of seven networks including the likes of Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

SEO Loves Relevant Content
Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, says content marketing is changing the face of advertising, which is why providing content is more important to a company’s brand than promoting its products. This can also be applied to real estate, as agents must engage with people and give them things to read and photos to see—and not just concentrate on their listings. The formula for success is simple: strong content = more social engagement, and as mentioned, experts are now saying this combo triggers higher page rankings.

Consumer activity on social networks continues to increase and content that they’re engaging with correlates with good rankings (Search Metrics). For a real estate agent, it is critical that they utilize their social media sites for posting and sharing local information on a regular basis to attract new clients and maintain relationships.

Get Sweet on Google+
For real estate pros looking to increase their rankings, they must get on board with Google+, as its impact has overtaken other social media sites as the most valuable in Google search engines. A recent report from Internet analytics firm, GlobalWebIndex, shows that the number of active Google+ users is close to 400 million, second only to Facebook in terms of users, and those are people real estate agents want to reach.

According to a study released by Moz that surveyed 120 SEO professionals about different aspects of search engine ranking factors, Google+ was named by many as playing an increasingly significant role in obtaining a solid SEO ranking.

Google+ is considered by many to be an SEO goldmine due to the fact that the first link added to any Google+ page post is a DoFollow link, which passes link equity on to your real estate website that you share. That increases your web page’s rankings as well.

Once you’ve set up a Google+ account, it’s important to establish authorship of your Google content. Authorship tags each piece of content you create and lets Google know you created it, further enhancing your keyword rankings.

After establishing your Google+ page and profile and correctly setting up authorship, you’re ready to start posting content. This is the quickest and easiest way to build a solid following.

Homes.com is always here for you, looking for ways to help you better improve your business. For those in the real estate industry looking to bolster their social media marketing efforts, turn to Homes.com’s new social media marketing tool, Homes.com Social, designed to help you engage with more prospects, protect your online reputation, control the conversation and drive leads.

Stay tuned for more social strategies by visiting the Homes.com blog for pros and register here to attend the next Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar featuring Gary Vaynerchuk, “How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social Media World,” at 2 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 19.

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