Last week I took the opportunity to reconnect with my friends in the real estate tech industry, listen and learn from my hero, author and entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuck, and pick up a variety of interesting informational tidbits in the social media, marketing tech and sales arenas at the Inman Real Estate Connect Conference in San Francisco. My favorite take aways were the new tools and ideas I learned about in digital marketing.
7 Tools and Ideas for Digital Marketing
Using Instagram For Business
It’s all about the hashtags. Consider “tactical hashtag usage” when using Instagram, meaning use 10-15-25 hashtags on your photos so people can find your content. You would never do that on FB and you don’t have room on Twitter, but it works for IG. Here is a great example of using hashtags in an interesting, creative manner while keeping an eye on marketing and discovery by my friend Joy Wu. For Realtors, Ann Jones in Tacoma has a great page to see how she uses IG for RE. Seek and discover using hashtags, too! (The platform is growing with more 40-50 old women using Instagram. Gary said this age range is posting more selfies which he called “Cougar Selfies”.)
Instagram rolls out Stories. One of the big social networks everyone was talking about at the conference was SnapChat. I have seen my daughter use it and it’s funny with its variety of filters and such, but I was happy when Instagram basically rolled out the functionality of SnapChat on Instagram by creating Instagram Stories. Same concept..use video and photos to bring your fans and followers into your life for 24 hours. Here is how to download and use it. (If you are going to use digital marketing, you have to want to be on the channel and not think it’s just for teenagers!)
Using LinkedIn More Effectively
Find a service provider or list yourself. Linkedin just rolled out a new “service” called LinkedIn ProFinder that works like 99Designs and Fiverr where a person in need of a service (accounting, writing, marketing, law, etc) can connect with a service provider and accept bids for a project. As the largest social network for professionals, this would be THE place to find a solution for your service needs AND for free lancers to find opportunities. (Someone even suggested using it for finding a real estate professional)
Using Pulse for blogging on LinkedIn. Write about your thoughts/experience/expertise on the EASY blogging platform on Linkedin (called Pulse) to give people a feeling for who you are in your industry AND it gets Google SEO, as well. Pulse isn’t getting the priority it deserves. “Yes, there is something to be said for having an active Facebook page, but where are you going to get more valuable readers? A platform that is mostly used for uploading selfies, or one that is made to stimulate discussion on your industry’s hot topics?” Here is an example of how I took what I wrote here on this blog and shared it for exposure on LinkedIn.
Gary Vaynerchuck said that Facebook is better than direct mail and is a grossly underpriced ad opportunity. The analytics Facebook utilizes is quite amazing and their expertise in helping you market to your potential clients is a digital marketing and advertising bonanza. I used Facebook ads for the first time this year to promote the Big Island Chocolate Festival and it helped me sell out the event and save hundreds of dollars in traditional advertising. $10-50 gives you exceptional reach.
Facebook Live was touted as an interactive tool for Realtors to do real time open houses. My Realtor friend Lance Owens uses it and enjoys connecting with people who care about finding homes. Imagine that. Once you shoot a real time video on Facebook, you can go back in and edit it and it remains on your Facebook feed for others to discover long after your walk through is over.
Numerous speakers during the conference touted video as one of the key tools in the arsenal of any business. YouTube is becoming a search behemoth and people would rather watch a video than read content. (I should have recorded myself doing this blog post, dammit.) A new free tool that Youtube rolled out recently is the YouTube Director Suite. Here they show you how a small business can create a free video ad using your iPhone. You can also use more professional tools, but this is a pretty easy way to get started. Make sure you have your own YouTube channel, as well. They are easy to set up and give you great SEO thanks to Google owning the platform!
Social is the infrastructure of word of mouth. -Gary V
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section (as they say on YouTube!)