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In my last post I wrote about what is happening with your posts.  We will continue with things that you can do to leverage your posts with these changes.

Why is organic reach declining?

There are two main reasons.

The first is quite obvious: the amount of content created and shared is increasing daily. With the introduction to the glorious smartphone, sharing a photo or video with customers from across the globe is only a few  swipes away. While a couple of years ago you had the ability to see 1,500 posts every time you log on, with the increase of activity on Facebook you now have the potential to see over 15,000 new posts. So now there is far more information to absorb and far less time to absorb it.

As a result, the competition on news feeds- the place of Facebook where family members and customers are aloud to see your content- have drastically increased and now it’s becoming harder and harder for people to gain exposure. Along with increase of content there has also been an increase of likes. Since April, the number of pages likes by a typical Facebook user has increased by 50%. With each new page liked the competitions within the news feeds has also increased.

The second reason why organic reach has been decreasing has to do with how the news feed works. Recently Facebook has decided to sort through all the “potential posts” and show only those that are most relevant to you. Of the 15,000 potential posts that are available Facebook cuts that number to showing around 300.  In order to decide what stories to show, Facebook ranks all the posts from least important to most important depending on several thousands factors specific to each person.

Why not show everything?

Every time a user logs onto Facebook they only have so much time to look through their news feeds. They may be on it for an hour on their lunch break or a few minutes while waiting for the bus. Either way, content that is towards the bottom of the page will be missed- and that may be the most valuable content for them. If Facebook did allow users to chose what they want to see by showing them every single post available to them, organic reach would decrease even more.

“How can I gain reach instead of losing it?”

Avoid using meme and frequent calls to action

Being able to gain reach back is pretty simple. One of the major things you would want to do is avoid meme and frequent call to action use as much as possible. Instead of using phrases such as “click like if you agree” be more creative and let what you’re saying sound natural.

Keep a link a link and keep a photo a photo

Some Facebook users find themselves wanting to include links within the descriptions of photos, but instead a link should be posted as a link and a photo should be posted as a photo. Think about how you can deliver content in the best way for your audience to consume it.

Increase post frequency

This does not mean you should be posting 10 times a day. Instead try posting once a day for three days and see what happens. Every realtor’s page is different- you just need to see which way works best for you and your business.

What do people love/ hate about your page

Finding out what people didn’t like about your page is just as important as finding out what they did. Facebook gives users the options to “hide” a post from their view. which is basically the same as “unliking” a page. Overtime you may see a pattern that demonstrates that more people “unlike” your page when certain subjects are discussed or certain themes are used. Finding out what people didn’t like can help make better informed decisions about your content strategy.

Analyzing outbound links to determine which source is the most well received is a perfect way to figure out how you can better your posts to increase your organic reach. Try focusing on engagement during your posts- users tend to look at posts that can involve them.

Try out new things

It seems simple enough but most users tend to forget that practice makes perfect. Try testing different times of the day for different content (i.e marketing a home sale in the morning and posting a video blog in the afternoon).  Figuring out what is most beneficial to your users at certain times of the day is a simple and beneficial way to increase your organic and total reach.

Let me know what you have done to help keep your reach increasing as Facebook continues to make changes to its social network.

The National Association of Realtors and Move Inc. has announced it’s preliminary injunction against Zillow and its chief industry development officer, Mr. Errol Samuelson. On July 1st, Washington state Supreme Court judge Barbra Linde granted the preliminary injunction against Samuelson which forbids him from preforming many of the duties he was hired for. The lawsuit developed after Samuelson quit his job and was sued for alleged breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets. Judge Linde says that Samuelson embezzled Move’s and NAR’s secrets by acquiring them using improper means and copying information without proper permission. It has now been ruled that until the case is over Samuelson can’t directly or indirectly use, disclose, or rely on any NAR or Move confidential information and Zillow is not aloud to use any information previously obtained from Samuelson.

You can find the complete details at Inman News.

 

 

Recently, Facebook has provided its users with specific algorithm changes and at the same time over the past few months users have seen a significant decrease in their page’s overall Total Reach- specifically, organic reach. For business pages that are looking to keep their ad budget as low as possible, increasing organic reach is vital.

Wikipedia defines organic search results as listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being advertisements. In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising. In this case the pages of Facebook

To better understand how you can better protect yourself from letting these changes get the best of you, we first need to understand what is actually happening on our news feeds.

What’s happening with your Facebook Posts?

Facebook presents your posts to you by showing you the number of likes, comments, and shares as well as how many people viewed your post. So, what does “250 people saw this post” actually mean?

Facebook adds up how many people saw the post ( paid advertisement or a simple share by a family member) to give you the total number of people who saw your post. People who saw your post for free, whether it be by stumbling upon it on their news feed or any shares, is known as organic reach while any additional exposure you have paid for is knows as paid reach.

  • Organic Reach = Those who saw it because of  shares and free distribution
  • Paid Reach= Those who saw it because you paid for it
  • Total Reach= Organic Reach + Paid Reach (This is where Facebook develops the number for “250 people saw this post”)

On December 2nd 2013, Facebook announced their efforts to decrease meme content as well as place a significant emphasis on links in order to improve its news feed’s quality content, which in turn raises the bar for any page of the platform. In doing so, Facebook users experienced a significant decline in their organic reach.

What is “meme content”?

Facebook is looking to weed out meme photos that are hosted somewhere other then Facebook. Essentially, they are targeting lower quality imaging sites.

A portion from the Facebook blog site says:

“Starting soon, we’ll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile. This means that high quality articles you or others read may show up a bit more prominently in your News Feed, and meme photos may show up a bit less prominently.”

Those most at risk to this are viral image hosting sites like 9GAG and Memecenter, which are essentially outside image hosts that provide Facebook-ready sharing headlines.

In part two I will be discussing why organic reach is decreasing and how you can benefit yourself and your Facebook business page.

REALTOR.com announced that they will no longer feed portals such as MSN and the likes.  Instead they will be focusing on there own infrastructure and building there desktop and mobile products.

“We are no longer focused on Internet portals for traffic acquisition,” said Barbara O’Connor, chief marketing officer of Move, in a statement released from REALTOR.com.

“The growing popularity of searching real estate listings across mobile platforms, coupled with the  success of our brand and social marketing campaigns, has proven to be the most effective and efficient way to attract transaction-ready consumers to our services,” said Barbara O’Connor, chief marketing officer of Move, Inc. “We are no longer focused on Internet portals for traffic acquisition.”

For over 10 years MSN has served up listings from REALTOR.com.  It’s not clear yet if  Zillow, Trulia or other portals like Homes.com will step in and try to provide listing data vacated by REALTOR.com or if they will follow suit and also pull the data and begin to solely focus on their own integrated marketing strategies.

 

 

We all know that blogging, when done effectively and cross-linked to your website, can be a very effective way to increae your SEO and engage your visitors frequently. But sometimes, finding topics to blog about is difficult.

Here are some tips to help:

  • not like the other guy – try not to pick topics that your competitors are also writing about. Try to be unique – that can equate to higher rankings if there are fewer people blogging about the same thing
  • been there, done that – avoid topics that are already represented by other content on your blog or website. For example, if you are a REALTOR, don’t blog about a new listing – that listing is most likely already present in the property search area of your website
  • local, local, local – search engines LOVE hyper-local content. Blog about things going on around you – events, seminars, community, neighborhoods, or even achievements of a business associate
  • read trade or industry publications to come up with trending ideas that others may find interesting
  • write a follow-up to a previous blog post that was read  alot or commented on a lot
  • sometimes your own hobbies can give you some great blog ideas
  • show me how – write a quick how-to or guide for something in your industry that you do well, and can perhaps help others to do better
  • don’t be afraid to be funny – sometimes a blog post can go off the beaten-path and have nothing at all to do with your blogs usual posts. Jokes, funny happenings around you, or even a funny movie or TV show and provide humorous interludes for your blog that readers will appreciate

Don’t be afraid to experiment. There is no WRONG blog post. Some may not be as popular as others, for sure. But if you experiment a little, you may stumble across a post that becomes more popular that you ever thought it would, and it turns out to be something completely different than you usually post about.

Do you post any blog articles with unusual topics that surprised you in their popularity? We’d love to hear about it!

Responsive website design allows your site to change orientation, resolution and layout based on the device a user is visiting from. But is that always the best option for every type of site?

Some sites that require detailed user interactions don’t scale well to a very small device. A thorough site and usage analysis needs to be performed to
Real Estate Responsive Websites

determine the best solution for your website. Sometimes, a site with very specific pages designed specifically for phone-based users with options and content designed for a particular function, are more appropriate.

Let’s take a travel reservation site as an example. Typically, the actual reservation process is done from a desktop computer, which offers multiple options for adding hotel and car reservations to your travel package. But once the travel reservation is complete, that user may only use the mobile version of the site to check in or confirm a minor change. The full compliment of reservation functions isn’t used often and might not scale well responsively to a small platform. This might be due to technical limitations of technologies used on the desktop site not being deployable in a mobile form. It might also be due to space restrictions imposed on small devices. Or, your site might require extensive keyboard input, requiring the user’s mobile keyboard to be visible most of the time, reducing the amount of screen visible to your application. But whatever the reason, a proper usage study is needed before you decide to invest in a mobile deployment of your web application.

With proper planning, the right choice can easily be determined. Have you recently built a mobile version of your site and see some shortcomings? We would love to hear from you.

Content Marketing

With all the attention to the update Google has been doing over the last year or two, it has become clear content is paramount for any website. In a nut shell Google wants to find content that is clearly written to the audience, content that is relevant and original. Today it is not enough to just write good content and SEO but you need to have a strategy on how to market your content.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Content Marketing, here it is;

Content marketing is a practice of creating relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving business.

The premise here is to build your brand, gain trust, position yourself as an authority and capture your target audience.

Because you now have a goal you need to plan on how you will engage your audience and then convert that to a sale.

Here are a some tips to help you get started.

1. What do I want to accomplish?

Define what your ultimate end game is.  Why are you writing the content? Is it to build trust, retain clients, attract new prospects, highlight yourself, build brand awareness, build loyalty, or just build SEO.

2. What type of content should I publish?

While I am a big believer in blogging, today blogging is not enough.  You need a cornucopia of mixed media, web pages, blogs, video and eBooks.  You need to cultivate your audience along the sales pipeline.

3. What resources will I need?

This is a complex answer because you first need to consider the size of your firm and what resources you have available.  Once you consider who is writing what and/or if you are going to outsource any of it you can then begin to evaluate what types of content you want to produce.

4. Write is Natural Language

When you write your content you need to write as naturally as you can.  Long gone are the days when we wrote to game Google into positioning our content to inflate our SERP. The thing to remember here is to build your authority as an expert.

Don’t forget just because you have created all of this great content and then do not share it you are just wasting a lot of time and money. Another thing to consider is do you have a quality CRM application?  Do you use any marketing automation?

 

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