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20 August 2012

Your Getting Started Guide to Google+

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Getting started with Google+, Google’s social networking service may have you scratching your head. Even if you have set up your account, knowing how to use it both personally and professionally can be confounding.

While Google+ has seen slow growth, it is becoming increasingly important for real estate professionals to integrate this social network in to their overall marketing plan. With more than 150 million monthly active users, it might not offer the reach that its competitor Facebook does, but there are still many reasons to consider adding Google+ to your social media marketing strategy.

  • Your clients are already using Google to research real estate agents and find homes. These search results play an important role in getting found locally. Transition this power into Google Places and now Google+ with the ability to “Plus One” your website or blog (give a virtual thumbs up).
  • Google+ will improve your ranking on Google Search, playing an increasingly important role in your search engine optimization strategy.
  • Google+ allows you to speak directly to each marketing niche, tailoring your message specifically for first-time home buyers or luxury home buyers through “circles”

Let’s get you started with my top 3 ways to start using Google+ today!

  1.  Explore

There is a nifty explore button on the side of your Google+ dashboard. This is the best way to enter the waters because it showcases some of the best content out on Google+.

Get involved! Look through everything and comment on what you find unique, make sure to give them +1 (your show of approval), or share it to your profile. You could even take what you’ve found on Google+ and share to Facebook. The “Explore” button is a great way to immerse yourself in awesome content.your guide to google+ plus

  2.  Participate in Hangouts (or make your own!):

From personal experience, I’ve developed great online relationships using the hangout function. It is very similar to Skype, but it is much easier to access and set up and it’s FREE. I won’t go too much into detail about hangouts but they are definitely worth your time to explore on your own.

  3.  Make new friends, but keep the old

Check to see if your Facebook friends or interests are on Google+ and you might be surprised to see how many of them are actively using this social network. It might even offer a way to network with those you thought you might not otherwise reach. For example: I developed a strong relationship with Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate through Google+ and Google+ hangouts. I am sharing their content with the Realestate.com community and found that even though BHGRE had a massive Facebook audience, we were able to stand out on Google+ because there was much less noise and activity.

As a final statement, I understand that real estate professionals can feel frustrated and overwhelmed at the thought of yet one more social media network. Consider this:  Recent surveys state that 92{0a8e414e4f0423ce9f97e7209435b0fa449e6cffaf599cce0c556757c159a30c} of consumers trust “earned media,” or recommendations from an online “friend” over any other form of advertising.

If you aren’t building your presence online and creating relationships with your customers, rest assured that your competition is. Make sure you can meet consumers where they spend their time and encourage those essential referrals when the time comes.

 

Image Courtesy: AHMAD FAIZAL YAHYA / Shutterstock.com

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