3 Myths In Real Estate That Could Be Hurting Your Business

Real estate marketing in the digital world can be confusing at best. Most agents try everything and anything they read and or hear about to find their way through this social craze and online exploration we call the digital consumer. One thing is for sure. Myths seem to find their way into our business practice nearly every day. I am always surprised when agents tell me they heard this or they heard that about the online marketing world. You might be surprised yourself to learn the 3 biggest Myths I learned about this last year. these very Myths are misleading you down the wrong path and one filled with frustration. No worries. I am here to set you straight and get you on the path to success again.

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Whether you are new to digital marketing and just getting started or perhaps you are a seasoned pro, you may have tried a variety of organizational and marketing tasks hoping to arrive at the perfect system that helps put your digital tasks on autopilot to let you do what you do best: SELL! The Front Porch Report is an awesome “Do It For You” marketing system that takes the challenge of understanding the when, how and why out of your daily tasks, I strongly believe agents should empower assistance and or hire marketing platforms that do it for them. Stop wasting money (Which we all know time is money) on tasks below your “Pay Scale”

Myth #1: CRMs don’t work

We know that NAR states that 40-50% of real estate leads come from referrals from people you know or from repeat clients. I’ve implemented plenty of CRM (contact relationship management) systems in my day. I think it is absolutely mandatory you understand and use a digital CRM platform vs. the old system (email, sticky notes, excel spreadsheets, etc.). This is not to say that a handwritten note once in awhile almost always seals the relationship and takes it to another level.  Having said that, the system that you may have selected may not be the best or easiest system to use. It may not be the best for your industry, your mind type.

Fact #1

CRM systems DO WORK if they are well selected and implemented. Today’s CRMs are not the same as even a few years ago. The evolving nature of automated drip campaigns as really elevated the value of CRMS into a must-have in order to NOT let any your leads or referrals sources get lost in your digital ecosystem and automatically helps keep you top of mind while you’re out selling, selling, selling. There are many options to choose from and it’s imperative to find the right CRM for you, the way you work, what reports you want and what workflow processes match the way you manage your day-to-day business. After you pick the right one, to get the value out of the software you selected, you must COMMIT to using it and it alone for all your contact data and communication needs. This paradigm shift can take a good 30 days so make sure you give it the time it needs to be successful and you feel really comfortable with using your new software. Trust me when I tell you, you will not be disappointed.

Fact #2

In almost all CRM eFarming drip campaign newsletter providers I see the same thing. Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate! Yes you read right. Stop sending your client’s all real estate related material. The occasional market update is fine but everything you send them should not be real estate related. Why companies can’t figure this out is beyond me. Let’s take The Front Porch Report Daily Posts and Weekly Email as an example. We focus on three primary subjects, Home, Health and Wealth. These three topics are proven winners for engagement in the social world of marketing. This means more people will like your posts and click through to the stories if they involve their lifestyle. Nutrition, fitness, recipes, inspiration, travel, good eats, decor, design etc are all hot topics that create engagement with your consumer. Real Estate related stories are advertising. This advertising should be sprinkled in between the articles. When done right. Magic happens. Your sphere grows, and referrals happen.

Myth #2: I’ve tried Facebook and it doesn’t work

I love it when I hear this. There are so many questions I ask following hearing this response. like “what did you try?” and “why do you say it didn’t work?” The responses I hear are typically “I have a Facebook and I post on it but I never get leads from it.” Implementing HOW you can make it work for you takes time and knowledge. The sad part is that as SOON as you think you’ve mastered Facebook for business, it changes. Facebook is one of the fastest evolving advertising platforms around. That’s right, I said advertising. After tasting the sweet fruit of organic and free traffic / visibility / connectivity on Facebook, they have flipped the script and are making businesses pay for reach (not new news / not surprising).

Fact #1

Facebook is simply The single most powerful tool in advertising right now. You can find exactly who you want to target (age, income, homeowner/not), where you want to target them (location, The ability to target and reach your intended audience is beyond amazing and is a marketing professional’s dream come true. Most business owners who want to use Facebook use as a blow horn to say “HEY, COME BUY FROM ME!” You have to understand the nature of today’s performing marketing practices is all about creating compelling value and authentic relationships. Then, you have to understand the Facebook platform and why people are there. They are on Facebook to connect and engage. If you are hitting COLD traffic with COME BUY FROM ME type of messaging, then don’t be surprised when you aren’t getting any clicks / leads. Advertising has evolved and you have to evolve with it or be left behind.

Fact #2

Facebook is the single most important platform you should be using. Think of your Facebook feed as a place to Datamine. This means sit in front of your computer or on your phone and look for opportunity to engage. Each and every opportunity is a chance to build on your relationship and get their commitment to use your services when the time comes.  Take it to another level. Don’t just “Like”, “Comment” or “Share” this engagement. Reach out. Grab a note card from your desk and send them a handwritten note congratulating them on their accomplishment and or event that has just taken place. I call this “eBuffini” them. Birthdays, anniversary’s that’s the easy stuff. Look for job changes, accomplishments, send notes about how a post made you feel good. This is the magic formula to building referrals from social media.

Myth #3: The more websites the better

NAR states that on average 9-10% of real estate leads come from organic searches. I don’t think I’ve talked to an agent/broker that has less than 5 website domain addresses. Many have upwards of 10+ with roughly 5 emails addresses they are managing. They’ve left various firms and joined others or opened their own. There was a time when owning “YourTownHomeForsale” made sense. Not anymore. Where is the consumer looking for homes? ZILLOW with 80+ million visitors a month. We only sell 5 million homes a year and yet 80 million visitors monthly are searching. That’s a lot of dead leads…

Fact #1

More is not always better! Google is one really smart search engine. He’s getting smarter every year. Google dominates search with 66% of the search market and when Bing and Yahoo, they collectively make up 32% of the search market. You might be operating off of old SEO (search engine optimization) information when you think that more domains are better. Google releases 2+ algorithm updates a year. He knows which websites are trying to game the SEO system to reach higher organic (free) SERP (search engine results page) rankings and dings them for it. Google local is a whole other animal and there are professionals and software system specifically dedicated to helping users get found in the Google local pack in the top right corner. Submitting your business to Google as a REALTOR with RE/MAX Gold is a sure way to get noticed and indexed fast.

Fact #2

Your name as a domain website is probably the most important website you can own. And really the only one you need to own. Unless you are a SEO wiz and creating website landing pages sound fun to you. Stick with your name. You might be surprised how easy it is to get your name as a domain. Even if you have a very common name. jim Smith. Instead of trying to get jimsmith.com which will not be available. try Jim-Smtih-Real-Estate.com Use hyphens to seperate the words. This really helps when people are searching for you. Consumers no longer call phone numbers. they search fro you on Google. The Google the address. Finding you is your end result. Think of how you type in to find someone online. You don’t type in jimsmith, you type Jim Smith. You use spaces. Hyphens tell Google and other search engines “Space” This creates more accurate searches.  Try it and watch your business grow.

Hopefully these three tips will clear up some misguidance you have received over the last year. I still strongly recommend you work towards having this whole marketing stuff done for you. Front Porch report does it for you for $100/monthly. Try it today.

RE/MAX Launches Mobile Friendly Online Tools

Agents Receive Free Websites and Lead Management System

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December 02, 2015
DENVER – RE/MAX, a global franchisor of real estate brokerage services (NYSE: RMAX), has released new online tools to Affiliates that will provide an enhanced customer experience.  All U.S. agents and brokers will have access to a version of new responsive single page websites and a mobile-friendly lead management system is available in the company owned regions, all at no cost.

“These new tools reflect significant changes in online consumer behavior. Mobile usage of remax.com has more than doubled in just two years and it’s important for RE/MAX agents to be accessible to their clients,” said Tim Drouillard, Senior Vice President, Information Technology at RE/MAX, LLC.“Responsive websites and a customer relationship management system (CRM) that are both mobile friendly makes it easier for RE/MAX agents and their clients to get access to the information they need quickly.”

Single page websites created by Homes.com will provide agents and offices a fresh contemporary design with intuitive functionality. Sites will be pre-populated with agent information, but feature the ability to modify design elements and add personal information, including agent promotional videos, and reviews. Social broadcasting and social prospecting combined with social media platforms provide agents new tools to stay in touch with clients and ultimately build their businesses.

“Adapting to consumer interests, RE/MAX agents will be better equipped to provide a higher level of customer service in a very competitive real estate environment,” Drouillard added.

RE/MAX LeadStreet, the online lead management and CRM system, has also been upgraded to a mobile responsive design. Agents will now be able to interact with their listings, contacts, and leads through their mobile devices and gain the added benefit of consolidating their internet leads into a single online system.

LeadStreet will continue to provide agents with leads from remax.com and their single page websites with no referral fees. LeadStreet has supplied RE/MAX agents with over 15 million referral free leads since it was first launched in 2006.

Today’s introduction of responsive websites and innovative LeadStreet enhancements are Phase One of a larger technology initiative being developed by RE/MAX, LLC. In Q1 2016, Phase Two will launch with a newly designed remax.com with improved mobile functionality. Remax.com was the most visited real estate franchise website in the first half of 2015, according to Experian Hitwise Marketing Services data.

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About the RE/MAX Network:
RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 100,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of nearly 100 countries. When measured by residential transaction sides, nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX.

RE/MAX, LLC, one of the world’s leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RMCO, LLC, which is controlled and managed by RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RMAX).

With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $150 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities.

For more information about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit www.remax.com.  For the latest news about RE/MAX, please visit  www.remax.com/newsroom.

How to Set up Facebook, Twitter and Every Other Major Social Media Profile

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Setting up social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook or any other social network can be a lot of work. And if you’re starting from scratch, it feels like a big impediment to overcome before using a new tool. We need to choose a photo or fill out a bio when all we want to do is start sharing content and engaging with friends.

Your social media profile is a window into your personality, your job, your interests—sure, but, if done correctly, it can be so much more than that. It can drive people to your website or other online assets; it can promote some of your best content; and it can lead to new clients and sales. When you reach out to a new contact or prospect, the first thing they’re going to do is look you up online. Your profile needs to be both impressive and discoverable.

With so much potential value in each social media profile, it’s worth investing the time and effort required to set them up properly. (Or, if you’ve neglected yours for an extended period of time, it can be just as important to give it a complete overhaul.) Here’s our complete guide on how to social media profiles.

Featured Social Media Platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn Profiles
  • LinkedIn Company Pages
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

General Rules

Bio/Description

Why is your bio so important? In addition to sharing basic information about yourself, adding your website and email address turns any social network bio into a potential source of referral traffic. Especially on company pages, the opportunity to describe your products and link out to an external website makes bios a powerful marketing and sales tool. Plus, including your Twitter handle or Google+ page in the personal information section of another social network is a simple form of cross-promotion that could help grow your social following across the board.

Social media bios should always be catered to the social network and the audienceof that particular profile. Your personal Facebook bio can be more fun and interesting than your LinkedIn bio, which should be very focused on professional skills and job history.

Though each profile bio will differ, your name or handle should be consistent across all networks. This allows people to find you more easily. If they see your Twitter handle, they can then enter that into Instagram and immediately find your personal or branded account. Online service know’em allows you to quickly check if a desired handle is available on almost every social network.

Finally, if you’re curious about which of your social networks need work, there’s any easy way to check: Google yourself.

Images

You should always strive to have photos fall within the dimensions recommendedfor a certain network. Why? A square is a square, right? Well, you never know when profile images will be reused elsewhere on a social network. Even though your giant headshot might look nice in the profile picture, it might look weird when appearing on a mobile device or in a home feed.

With profile images, simple is usually better. Don’t try and fit tons of information about your business or product into a cover photo. The cover photo’s job is to be eye-catching and reflect who you are, so focus on that. The profile picture should be of you, or of your logo, so people know who they’re following or talking to.

Finally, image consistency across social networks will help people connect with and trust you. If someone follows you on Twitter and seeks you out on Instagram, using the same profile photo will increase your chances of them finding the right account, and following you. Much like with account names, consistent imagery results in better discoverability and more immediate trust. It’s a very easy way to cross-promote your social accounts.

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Like the rest of your social media presence, your profiles should be regularly updated. Bios should be updated with the latest information or the latest content to ensure everything is accurate and fresh. Set yourself a reminder to check your profile information every couple of weeks, and don’t ignore it.

In the same vein, regularly changing cover photos keeps your profile interesting to existing followers and gives you an opportunity to re-engage people who weren’t impressed the first time. Meanwhile your static profile picture will help you maintain brand recognition and consistency across networks.

Facebook

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Your Facebook profile is one of the largest social media profiles on the web. Since Facebook is also the biggest social network on the planet, with 1.3 billion users, it’s important that people are able to quickly find you and connect.

Bio

Both your personal information or company information will fall under the “About” tab on your Facebook profile or page. For personal profiles, the About tab contains an overview on which you can update the following fields:

  • Job
  • Education
  • Location
  • Contact information
  • Website
  • And relationship status

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Each of these sections can be further expanded on in addition tabs within the About page. If you’re using your Facebook profile for public or professional purposes, we recommend keeping the relationship status out of your bio. People want to know where you work and how to contact you. That being said, you can change the reach of each piece of information in your bio by editing the audience setting so certain information can only be viewed by friends.

For Company Pages your about section offers the opportunity to include the following information:

  • Location
  • Products
  • Founding date
  • Release date
  • And contact information

Take the time to fill out these sections with care, as customers and prospects will turn to them frequently. You also have the opportunity to write a lengthy “About” description of your company. Use this space to show visitors who you are, what you do and why they should care.

Follow Facebook’s directions on how to update your bio info.

Images 

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  • Facebook profile picture: 180×180 pixels
  • Facebook cover photo: 851×315 pixels 

Your Facebook profile picture is the square photo on the left side of your profile. It’s the same photo that shows up on other people’s walls or homepages when you post. For that reason, your profile picture should be a headshot. If you’re creating a business page your profile image should be your logo. The image you choose for your profile picture should be square and should also be clear in small and large sizes.

Your Facebook cover photo is the large image that appears behind your profile picture. The larger size of this image offers opportunities for your to make an impression, sell your business or get creative.

Learn how to add or update your profile or cover photo here.

As Facebook image sizes will change with redesigns, you can stay up to date with their recommended image sizes here.

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Facebook photos you’ve added or have been tagged in will also figure prominently on your profile. Make sure you keep a close eye on photos you’re being tagged in so you can untag anything you don’t want others seeing on your page. To avoid this process you can also turn on Timeline review, which allows you to approve tags before they appear on your profile. 

Interest categories, from sports to music, can also appear on your profile if you so choose. If you’re using a profile for professional purposes, you may want to avoid these sections unless they are industry-relevant or they offer relevant insight to connections.

Twitter

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Whether it’s a personal or branded account, Twitter profiles are exactly the same for everyone. This should be an advantage, since you don’t need to learn different processes if you’re building a profile for you or your business. That isn’t to say these profiles don’t require effort. Just like the network’s approach to social media as a whole, Twitter profiles are a test in brevity. Have a look: 

Bio

Your Twitter bio is very minimal in comparison to networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. There are only five fields you can update:

  • name
  • bio
  • location
  • website
  • and theme color

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Each of these sections should be filled out but, with so little opportunity for customization, special attention should be paid to the bio field. In true Twitter fashion, your bio is limited to 160 characters, so you can’t go into much detail. Instead, focus on sharing insight into what you’ll be talking about on Twitter. This saves visitors the trouble of scrolling through your Tweets to see what they can expect from you. Your Twitter account is most likely about Real Estate, so you might want to state in your bio “Tweets about home improvements, home buying, market statistics, home values, how to sell a home in 21 days etc..” No gimmicks, but a strong incentive to follow for people who are after that information. 

To guide new followers effectively, your bio could cross-promote other relevant branded accounts as well. A agent might include in their bio,for example, “For immediate loan approval @lenderjoe.”

The bio writing process will be a test of your editing skills. If you’re having trouble, ask yourself ‘does this really need to be in here?’ for each section and work to trim the fat. Take your time and do it right. And if you’re stuck, look to the accounts of other industry leaders for inspiration.

Follow Twitter’s steps to update your bio information here.

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Suggested Twitter image dimensions
  • Twitter profile photo: 400×400 pixels
  • Twitter header image: 1,500×500 pixels

Your Twitter profile photo is the smaller, square image that appears on the top-left side your profile. Your photo should be clear and recognizable whether small or large, since the same photo you choose for your profile image will be used within other people’s streams, and in Twitter’s “Who to Follow” section on the right side of your feed.

Just like on Facebook, your Twitter header image is the much larger, rectangular photo that appears behind your profile photo and across the top of your profile page. This large photo is a great asset. It’s the first thing most people will notice when they visit your profile, and should therefore serve the purpose of piquing their interest right from the get-go.

Learn how to add or update your Twitter profile or header image here

Twitter profile image sizes may change with a redesign, so stay up to date on recommended image sizes here. 

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Earlier this year Twitter added the ability to pin a Tweet to your profile. This Tweet is one of the first things someone who lands on your profile will see. It’s is also an amazing opportunity to promote your content to new contacts. Choose a Tweet that promotes a strong piece of content you or your brand has created, and includes an image or video. Discover how to pin a Tweet here.

Google+

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Bio

Google+ offers several choices to customize what information appears in your profile bio. Make sure you go through every part to see what you want made public and what is better off private. g+PROFILE

The bio section of your Google+ profile can really be split into two parts. First, there is a small section under your profile picture containing some info about you. On personal profiles your work, school and location will appear in that position, while on business pages your website will appear there. While you may not want your school or workplace to appear on your profile, you should always have your website in that position if you run a business page. Users are drawn to your profile picture, so having your website right there is a great way to point followers back to your other online properties. 

Second, every profile has an About tab containing much more information about you or your brand. This tab can contain simple details like your job and education history as well as contact information. However, there are 3 sections worth focusing your attention on: 

  • People: This section shows how many people you’ve circled, and how many people have you in circles. People are more likely to follow you if they know you will probably follow them back. They’re also more likely to follow you if they see that lots of others do, since it adds credibility. As a result, you may want to keep this information private until these numbers are impressive to profile viewers.

PEOPLE

  • Links: Google+ has done us a favour by including cross-promotional opportunities from the get-go. Use this section to point to other social network profiles, all of your websites as well as blogs you’ve contributed to. The value of this section can’t be understated.

LINKS

  • Story: This section is where you have lots of flexibility to get creative. It is comprised of three different categories. Tagline is where you should offer people a quick sell of yourself. Who you are, what you do and why they should follow. Make sure it includes keywords you want associated with you in search. Introduction is where you can delve into a little more detail. If you’ve lured them in with your tagline, this section will be the next information they’re after. The Introduction could also include a call to action, like “Add us to your circles today!” The third section of your story is “bragging rights.” This is a section for awards and accomplishments. If you don’t have anything relevant, don’t force it.

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Follow Google’s instructions on how to edit your Google+ profile bio here. 

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Suggested Google+ image dimensions
  • Google+ profile picture: 120×120 pixels minimum
  • Google+ cover photo: 1080×608 pixels

Your Google+ profile picture, unlike Facebook and Twitter, will appear as a circle rather than a square. That being said, you still upload that picture as a square; you just need to be aware of what will be cut off when Google crops that photo.

Learn how to add or update your profile or cover photos, and stay up to date on Google+ recommended profile image sizes here.

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Google+ also offers a variety of options to customize what information publically appears on your profile. You get to chose if photos, YouTube or other videos, +1s and reviews by you can be seen by profile visitors. When it comes to photos and videos you’ve produced, you likely want your audience to see them. They show off your content marketing efforts and offer a bigger picture of who you are and what you do. Public +1s and reviews may not be the best fit for professional profiles however. Consider each field carefully before deciding which to make public. 

LinkedIn

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LinkedIn’s personal and business pages are so different that each one needs its own section. We’ve broken them down separately below.

LinkedIn Personal Profile

Bio 

On LinkedIn, your bio is at the core of effectively using the social network. LinkedIn is a professional social network where you list your experience and expertise in order to attract potential employers, clients or connections. Being that your profile is so essential for this purpose, LinkedIn has made their profiles very substantive. In fact, there are no fewer than 21 sections to your LinkedIn profile. While almost all of these should be filled out, we’ve ranked them roughly in their order of importance and added a line about each one:

  • Name – First and last
  • Headline – Will default to your current job title, but you can customize for more punch and to include key terms for search
  • Summary – LinkedIn describes it as info “about your mission, accomplishments, and goals.”
  • Contact Info – Email, phone, IM, address, Twitter handle and websites.
  • Experience – Professional positions and experience, both jobs and volunteer work.
  • Recommendations – Professional recommendations displayed on your profile are a major asset while on the job hunt.
  • Skills & Endorsements – The skills you list should represent your real strengths, since your contacts will ideally be endorsing you for them. Spend time to make this section very representative of you and your abilities.
  • Industry – Choose from their drop-down menu
  • Location – Important to let people know where you work
  • Education – Where you went to school and what you studied
  • Certifications – Do you have a specific certification that would benefit your job?
  • Publications – Specifically relevant for marketers, writers and researchers
  • Projects – Have you worked on a noteworthy project that would impress connections or employers?
  • Languages – Being bilingual or trilingual can be a major career asset. Share your language skills.
  • Volunteer Experience & Causes – Organizations you support, causes you care about, and the types of volunteer opportunities you’re looking for.
  • Additional Information – If it isn’t professional, keep it out of this section. Your marital status isn’t particularly relevant on LinkedIn.
  • Honors & Awards – Keep these to large, noteworthy awards. Not your ‘most improved softball player’ trophy.
  • Organizations – Be careful of noting political organizations. They could influence hiring.
  • Courses – Only fill this out if your school courses are very relevant to your desired field.
  • Patents – Not very relevant for most of us, but a select few can benefit from this section
  • Test Scores – Generally, skip this. Unless you got a perfect score on the bar exam.

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As a general rule, your LinkedIn profile should be strictly professional. Avoid the humorous or quirky in favor of the straightforward. LinkedIn also favors profiles that are 100% complete, so put in the effort to check off all the boxes in the creation of your profile.

Follow LinkedIn’s instructions on how to update any of your profile sections here.

Gain insight on how to be found on LinkedIn.

Images

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uggested LinkedIn profile image dimensions
  • LinkedIn profile photo: 200×200 pixels minimum
  • LinkedIn custom background: 1400×425

LinkedIn profile photos should be square headshots. This is a standard that exists for a reason. You can also choose a custom background photo for your profile. Since it is LinkedIn, we recommend choosing a photo with some professional context, or something that speaks to your career.

Extras 

Last year LinkedIn made its publishing platform open to all users, a move that turned the social network into a veritable blogging platform. When you publish a post on LinkedIn, it will appear high up on your profile. This important real estate is a major incentive to start writing posts for your LinkedIn audience. It’s an easy way to extend your reach and impress profile visitors. Think of it like your own mini thought leadership program.

LinkedIn Company Page

Bio

LinkedIn Company Pages require a much smaller set of information than LinkedIn profiles.

  • Company name
  • Company size
  • Type
  • Website
  • Main industry
  • Operating status
  • Year founded
  • And location

These fields are all either self-explanatory or are chosen from a dropdown menu. This leaves only three sections that require effort to fill out.

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First, your company description should describe who you are and what you do, and appeal to both prospects and prospective hires. Include links to your website and careers page in this section. 

Next is your company specialties. In this section list key terms that someone who uses your product or service might search for. There are several slots open, so you can get very specific with these specialties. 

Finally, there is a featured groups section which is meant for LinkedIn groups that you participate actively in or are an administrator for. LinkedIn groups are a great way to make connections on the social network, so we recommend actively participating in them. If you see a void on a particular topic, starting a group is a great way for your company to be perceived as an authority or leader on that subject.

Follow LinkedIn’s instructions on how to edit your LinkedIn Company Page. 

Images

Your LinkedIn Business Page has three main images you should take time to optimize.

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Suggested LinkedIn Company Page image dimensions
  • LinkedIn standard logo: 100×60 pixels
  • LinkedIn banner image: 646×220
  • LinkedIn square logo: 50×50 

The first is your standard logo, the small icon that appears in a box on the top right of your page. This image will be reused in LinkedIn’s “Companies You Want to Follow” section, which is a great reason to make this image stand out. Make it clear and appealing, since it will be the first impression many LinkedIn users have of your brand. 

Next is your banner image. This appears on your business page under your logo and is the LinkedIn equivalent of a cover image. It’s a bigger, landscape image and should be used to capture people’s attention, while telling your company’s story.

Finally, your business page will need a square logo. It will be used when you post updates and when users search for you, so make it clickable.

Extras

LinkedIn is now an incredibly important part of hiring for many businesses. With that in mind, the social network offers an opportunity to highlight career opportunities on a separate tab within your Company Page. While not immediately visible, this tab would appear on your profile and is worth completing. 

 

Instagram

Bio

Instagram is likely the simplest social network you will deal with when it comes to your bio. Aside from your username and real name, the only information that appears on your public profile is your website and a short (maximum 150 characters) bio. For your bio, since you’re limited in terms of length, keep things straightforward, but not serious. Say who you are and what you will be sharing photos of, but don’t make it dry.

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For business accounts, (Real Estate) always include any branded hashtags you use. (#RealEstate, #Homes, #BuyAHouse, etc)This allows people to browse the hashtag and see what kind of content you produce and promote before they follow you. 

Follow Instagram’s instructions on how to edit your Instagram bio.

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Suggested Instagram image dimensions
  • Instagram profile picture: 180×180 

Instagram is unique in the sense that you’ll likely be setting up your profile on mobile first, with only secondary considerations about the web version. Most people use Instagram on mobile, but you can’t ignore the fact that some people will view your profile on their desktop browser. As a result, with Instagram it’s always a good idea touse higher resolution images with greater resolution than required for mobile. 

Your Instagram profile picture will be cropped into a circle on the app, so make sure you choose an image that will look good in that shape. Though the profile picture will be 110 pixels in diameter on the mobile app, it is recommended that you choose a larger square image since it will appear larger on the web.

Learn how to change your Instagram profile photo.

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It’s worth noting that your Instagram profile will showcase your latest Instagram photos. As a result, every photo you take will potentially take a prominent place on your profile and be the first thing a visitor sees. This is a big reason to take time and share only the best photos, especially if the profile is a professional or branded one. You may be tempted to share a mediocre or low-quality photo because it was taken in a specific context, or features people you want to recognize. However, visitors to your profile won’t understand the context. All they’ll see is a bad photo, and they almost surely won’t follow you.

Consider sticking to a certain style of image, keeping to a specific set of filters or one style of cropping. Doing so will give your Instagram feed a specific brand, making it more recognizable to followers and more consistent to new profile visitors.

YouTube

How-to-create-the-perfect-YouTube-channel-600x250

In 2014 YouTube became known as the second largest search engine on the planet. With 6 billion hours of video viewed every month and 100 hours of video uploaded every minute, it’s certainly a force to be reckoned with. All the evidence suggests that video is becoming the medium of choice for those seeking both entertainment and information on the web, with statistics and studies consistently pointing towards higher click through rates, engagement and sales leads as a result of video marketing drives.

Hosting videos on your website is all very well and good, but leveraging YouTube is essential if you really want to get your content noticed. Creating a YouTube channel is an essential part of this process as it allows you to put all your content in one place, so people can browse it. Think of it as a website within a website. In that sense, the same rules apply when it comes to getting people to stay and browse your content.

Below are my tips on optimising your videos for YouTube, as well as Google’s search engine, and how to go about creating the perfect YouTube channel.

Video SEO

It’s important to remember that YouTube is a search engine just like Google, and as such, your channel and the content that sits on it should be fully optimised to make it as discoverable as it can be. What’s more, Google’s integration with YouTube means that well- optimised video content is far more likely to show up in the search results pages of Google, as well as on YouTube searches. Beyond the address of the property and beyond videos of properties for sale are hundreds of other ideas and opportunities for videos. Homes values, neighborhood, events, market statistics, how-to’s etc. Be the expert guide in all things real estate. Find stories to tell and share the stuff your posting as articles should be turned into videos.  For those of you brave enough to tackle this media below are some pointers.

Here are a few quick pointers to get you starting to think about optimisation:

  • Be sure to conduct thorough keyword research before you begin this process. Tools like Google’s keyword planner tool are as useful to the process of video SEO as they are to website SEO. The process is essentially the same.
  • Always use your keywords in your video’s title, as this won’t only help users work out what your videos are about, but will help YouTube’s algorithm rank them properly as well.
  • Write a clear and detailed video description and use your keywords throughout, but avoid keyword stuffing (aim to get the keyword in about 3 to 4 times and at least once in the first 25 words).
  • Use words and phrases that accurately describe the video, but which are also popular Google search terms. These include terms like ‘how-to’, ‘review’ and ‘setting up’, which tend to well in search results pages.
  • Make sure you use your chosen keyword in the filename when uploading your video.

This is only a very brief introduction to YouTube SEO, but it will get you thinking in the right way. For more comprehensive information on YouTube SEO tactics, I’ve found Brian Dean’s in-depth guide on Search Engine Watch to be one of the best out there (it also contains a fantastic infographic on YouTube ranking factors).

Channel structure

The beauty of YouTube is that anyone can put together a do-it-yourself video marketing campaign by creating a channel, and then hosting all their videos on it under individual sections. One of the first mistakes people make on this front, though, is in failing to give their channel any structure at all. Many people simply don’t appreciate the huge importance channel structure can have to viewer retention and ultimately how you project your brand.

Below are some DOs and DON’Ts of YouTube channel structuring:

  • When users come to your channel, you want them to be able to find the best content you have, and easily. Don’t, therefore, feel like you have to put every piece of video content you’ve ever created on your channel. Chances are, a lot of it won’t be of interest to your average YouTube user. If it’s low quality or outdated, then leave it out. Your channel needs to showcase the best about your business.
  • Don’t mix your consumer content with your corporate content. This is another classic mistake and presupposes that people can tell the difference. You have to think of your audience at all times, and make sure that your videos are grouped together thematically in a logical manner. If you have homes for sale videos that follow through each room and showcase the home, don’t mix them with the market update videos. Keep separate categories for each grouping of videos
  • Don’t order your content by popularity. Your YouTube channel is a marketing tool, and as such, you need to use it to push the kind of content that is currently most relevant to your business. That hugely popular video you made three years ago might have got a lot of views, but it doesn’t make it relevant today (as tempting as it is to show it off).
  • Don’t order your channel by recent content either. Your latest in-depth video might be relevant to people visiting your website but that does not make it relevant to the kind of people visiting your YouTube channel. Learn to tell the difference and give people what they want.
  • Keep it up to date. This might seem like one of the oldest gripes out there, but people really do pick up on this kind of thing. If your content is old and your channel isn’t updated regularly, then people won’t want to come back to it. If you are constantly creating and uploading new and exciting content, then people will be more likely to come back to see what’s new.

YouTube attracts a phenomenal amount of visitors every day, but it also hosts a phenomenal amount of content. With very low click rates (less than 1%) from video to websites, it’s better to see YouTube as a final destination and not a driver of traffic to your business. That is why it’s not good enough just to create excellent videos and host them on YouTube. Optimising each video for maximum discoverability in conjunction with creating a well- structured and easily navigable YouTube channel is essential if you want to project your brand effectively and to as many relevant people as possible.

 

If you have a Social Outlet we didn’t feature here and what some insights on it. Shoot us a text, email or leave it in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Social Links and Icons to your RE/MAX Website

social-iconsToday I am going to show you how to add the social links and icons to your RE/MAX Website. You will need to login to your www.remax.net leadStreet account.  Follow the steps below and please feel free to leave a comment or if needed ask a question.

If you don’t have your social networks up and running and wish to have this feature. We have a solution. http://www.letsgetsocial.salesaspects.com Simply click here and check out what you get for $97.00 a year.  If you sign up we will create all the social networks for you and connect them all to your website.

Step 1: Login to LeadStreet and select “My Leads”Website_Social_1Step 2: Click on “Site Builder” ButtonWebsite_Social_2Step 3: Click on the “Design” ButtonWebsite_Social_3Step 4: Click on the “Elements” ButtonWebsite_Social_4Step 5: Click on “Info Display” ButtonWebsite_Social_5Step 6: Scroll to bottom to “Social Network Icon Links” Here you will find the space for you to input your social media links.Website_Social_6Step 7: Start by going to your Facebook Business Page. Copy the URL at top of page.Website_Social_7Step 8: No Paste the copied URL link into your Facebook space.Website_Social_8Step 9: Go to your Twitter page and copy the URL. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Twitter page, you can leave this space blank and it will not display the icon. You can input the website URL of other social links it has space for. Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.Website_Social_9Step 10: Again paste your Twitter URL link and or all other link URL’s. Website_Social_10Step 11: Once completed you now can click on “View Live Website” and see the finished product.Website_Social_11Step 12: The final look Website_Social_12Make sure you test your links to ensure they work and correctly link your audience to the social sites you have designated. As always, you are welcome to email and or message me with questions and please leave a comment below.

Click here to get started

Click here to get started

If you don’t have your social networks up and running and wish to have this feature. We have a solution. http://www.letsgetsocial.salesaspects.com Simply click here and check out what you get for $97.00 a year.  If you sign up we will create all the social networks for you and connect them all to your website.

7 Steps to build your RE/MAX Community Page

Below are instructions on how to build a unique community page you can use on your website, as a stand alone webpage and to email to your database. It’s a great way to connect with the consumer and share local community information.

Click on image to visit live community site page

Click on image to visit live community site page

 

Step 1:  Login to your Mainstreet accout at www.remax.net. Click on “My Leads”

Step 1

Step 1

 

 

Step 2: Click on “Site Builder” on the Top Level navigation Links

Step 2

Step 2

 

 

 

Step 3:  Now click on “Search” Link in Second Level Navigation

Step 3

Step 3

 

Step 4: Scroll to bottom of page and click on “Create a SEO Community Page”

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Step 4

 

Step 5: Here you will need to fill out each field. Start with the name of your community page. In this example “Fairfield Community” is used. Make this as specific as you can. IN the Custom URL field you will need to use the same name but with no spaces in between words. Then select “Community – User Specific Content Coming soon” Link in the Page Builder Content Box.  Make sure you choose the correct Zip Code for the community you are creating. In the Meta, Description and Keyword boxes, you will need to fill these out with information that will be contained in your page. Finally scroll down and click “Update”.

Step 5

Step 5

 

Step 6: Your page has been built and now it’s time to see it in action. Once your page has updated from the clicking of the “Update” button you will need to click on the “Search” link in the Second Level Navigation line above and scroll to the bottom where is says “Create a SEO Community Page” and look for your page. Click the “Manage” button for options.

Step 6

Step 6

 

Step 7: From this page you have a few options. You can Preview, Edit and Delete the page from here. What you want is the unique URL (Domain Name) This is the link you will use to market this site. Go ahead and cut and paste the link into your browser.

Step 7

Step 7

 

There are many ways you can use this site to promote yourself and business. Post it throughout social media, host it as a stand alone website page. You can buy a custom domain from GoDaddy.com and mask the original URL by forwarding one that is very easy to use.  This is another reason why RE/MAX Agent continue to lead the industry in sales and customer satisfaction. Better Tools & Resources translates into more business for you.  Enjoy and feel free to comment below.