Welcome to the final installment of the How to Become a Neighborhood Expert series. In my first article, Part 1 of How to Become a Chicago Neighborhood Expert, we talked about setting up a blog as your online “hub,” and starting to create content to share on your blog and other social media sites.
In Part 2, we talked about sharing your great neighborhood content to Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare with your mobile devices. So in Part 3, we’ll talk about how all these sites can help you with your SEO, meaning you’ll get more love from Google, as well as other mobile apps you can use to really stand out as the local neighborhood expert!
The SEO Benefits of becoming a Chicago Neighborhood Expert
SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) refers to work done in helping you rank in search engines like Google or Bing when someone does a search for your name or any phrase you’d like to be found for. SEO can be very difficult for Realtors, especially in a big city like Chicago. A much easier way to rank higher is, once again, to focus on your neighborhood. If someone is doing a search for homes in your neighborhood, you know they’ve already done some work on deciding where they’d like to live, which means they are more likely to be receptive to your unique and engaging content.
Keywords and inbound links are the two largest ways to help you rank higher for the neighborhood terms you’d like. By using those frequently in the content on your site and your social media profiles such as your Facebook Neighborhood Page, YouTube channel, Twitter account and your blog will start to rank well for your specific keywords.
By linking from one to another (for example, posting links to new blog content on Facebook and Twitter, or adding a link to your YouTube video on your blog, Facebook and Twitter) you’re sharing your content widely along with benefiting from additional inbound links to all your social profiles. Lastly, always make sure you have your blog & website URL’s in the profile information for any social media site you’re on.
This makes sure your potential clients are lead back to your “hub” no matter where they happened to find your content. When they come across the amazing amount of unique and engaging neighborhood content you’re sharing, they can’t help but see you as an expert!
Other mobile apps you can use to stand out as a Neighborhood Expert
Instagram: simply put, Instagram is a photo sharing site. Digging a little deeper, Instagram is a social site – photo sharing, reinvented. Snap a picture, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, and then post to Instagram from your mobile device. You can even share to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr too.
Instagram is a great tool for real estate professionals because:
- With the large variety of filters they offer, it makes it extremely easy to create interesting photos right from your device. This is a great way to add personality to the content you’re sharing
- It’s a social site, so it’s very easy to send your photos to Facebook and Twitter. As you connect with more members of Instagram, you have increased visibility and the ability to get in front of more and more eyeballs. Instagram has 100,000,000 million users at the time of this article
- You can even edit photos to create professional-looking listing photos from your phone, which helps you really stand out over your competition at a listing presentation
Dropbox: Dropbox is an online storage site that offers loads of benefits for on-the-go Realtors®. Some features of Dropbox include the ability to sync files between multiple computers (and mobile devices), so you always have the most up-to-date version of the file you’re working on, automatic backup of files on your computer, and file sharing. You can even take photos and videos and sync them to Dropbox, which is a great way to consolidate all your Neighborhood Expert content into one easy to find location.
Ways you can use Dropbox in your business are:
- Create a public folder with documents that are helpful to residents of the neighborhood, that you can quickly share in social media, or by email when you make a new local connection
- Quickly and easily send important documents to clients, even when you’re out of the office
- Create special folders for clients so they can easily access and sync their documents, without any privacy concerns
- Take photos and videos of new listings, and easily share them with interested buyers
- Sync frequently used office documents (property brochures, contracts, disclosures, buyer/seller guides) so you always have the most recent updated version
Evernote: Evernote is a service that helps you remember everything. Sounds simple, but it can actually dramatically increase your productivity. Ever been on the road and had to leave yourself a voicemail to remember something? Wish you could save a web page or blog post you are reading for later, or keep client notes or property info organized in one spot? Just wish you could have your to-do list or grocery list easily available from anywhere? Evernote lets you do all that and more.
A few great ways to use Evernote in your real estate business:
- Save ideas for your local Neighborhood content (blog posts, videos & social networking updates) in Evernote – clip from the web, record a voice note, or paste links. Save any kind of content!
- Clip good articles for sharing on the web so you always have an informative tweet or Facebook update at your fingertips
- Clip links for your listing from around the web, and save to a Notebook to make it easy to keep your seller updated on how you’re marketing their property
Zite: Zite is a personalized online magazine, and a great way to consolidate and share content as a Neighborhood Expert that is valuable to those in your community. With so much information available online today, it’s increasingly difficult and time-consuming to find the right content we are looking for. That’s where Zite comes in. Zite evaluates millions of new stories every day, looking at the type of article, its key attributes and how it is shared across the web. Zite uses this information to match stories to your personal interests and then delivers them automatically to your mobile device.
This is an easy way to:
- Keep on top of local neighborhood news to share with your network
- Stay up-to-date with your local hobbies and interests, to share as a “personal” side to your social media
- Share your custom magazine with your social networks, and place on your blog. You could even do your own video recap of some of the hottest news and events, to put on YouTube.
Flipboard: Similar to Zite, Flipboard is a social magazine – a fast, beautiful way to flip through the news, photos and updates from your friends to what you are sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Flickr. See your social media in a magazine layout that is easy to scan and fun to read. Add news you care about, sources that inspire you and social networks you love and Flipboard becomes your personal magazine. No more bouncing around to get caught up.
Then share the magazine directly with your social networks, or use it to find, share and create other content for your Fan Pages, YouTube, blog and Twitter.
Prezi: Create a presentation on prezi.com and then show it on your iPad. Drag to pan and pinch to zoom in or out of topics, just like you do in any map app. This lets you freely explore your prezi as your meeting or conversation develops – you can even carry a full listing presentation right on the tablet in your pocket.
How Realtors can use this:
- The most obvious use is for listing presentations – create and carry professional-looking listing presentations with you when you’re out
- Carry a Neighborhood Tour presentation with you that you can use when showing properties – help your clients learn more about the area where they’re considering moving
Now it’s your turn! Will you take your local expertise, share it with your network on social sites, and watch your business grow as you become the go-to Neighborhood Expert?
Rich Rogala is the Digital Strategist and Business Development Coach for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Chicago Region as well as a Digital Storyteller | Business Artist | Father | Sports Guy | Hot Dog & Sandwich Connoisseur |Music Lover | Husband | Fantasy Football Champ |