Google Plus (Google+) is a great marketing and personal branding tool for real estate professionals. With Google+, agents and brokers can increase visibility by improving their search engine optimization (SEO), building relationships with industry influencers through Google+ Communities, and positioning themselves as trusted sources among other tech-savvy professionals.
If you’re focusing your branding efforts only on Facebook or Twitter, you may be missing out. Here are three reasons why you should use Google+ for personal branding:
1) Increase Visibility with SEO
Because Google+ is a Google product, everything that you do on the social platform affects your search rank on Google. +David Amerland, SEO expert, explains in this article about using Google+ as a real estate agent: “The data you input in your Google+ profile, the connections you make, the interactions you have and the posts you place, they are all part of an increasingly visible digital footprint that begins to define ‘you’ as an entity in Google’s search.”
Another plus factor (pun intended): Video giant YouTube is owned by Google. That’s nothing new but you might have not realized how powerful the integration can be for your profile.
In her article “Why Realtors Should NOT Create Google+ Business Pages and Stick to Their Personal Profiles,” marketing professional +Katelyn Wheaton explains that from your personal Google+ profile “you can sync your YouTube channel directly, allowing users to find all your videos from the top navigation of your profile.”
If you’re using a YouTube video channel to showcase your listings, it may be in your best interest to create a personal profile rather than a business page; this is a must-have tool. And if you’re not using videos for your marketing and branding, you should consider it and check out some tips on how to do it well.
2) Build Relationships on Google+ Communities
Google+ is not just another social network. For starters, Plussers, the active users of Google+, are different than users of other social media. They tend to be more tech-savvy, conduct themselves in a professional and sophisticated manner, and they really enjoy networking.
Think of Google+ users as your colleagues, as opposed to your friends and family.
Just like your colleagues hang out by the water cooler to share stories and discuss work, Plussers meet and share industry insights in Google+ Communities.
The Communities feature is relatively new, but these groups are rapidly becoming the best places to find engagement and build influence.
How can you make the best out of the Communities experience? +Mark Traphagen, Google+ expert and fellow Durham neighbor suggests: “Join Communities relevant to your field and become a valued contributor there. Communities are the best way on Google+ for people who like discussing the same topic to discover each other. Certainly join Bill Gassett’s Real Estate Community at a minimum.” We agree!
Each Community has its own rules, which are set by the moderator. Be sure to read the rules carefully before posting anything. We (+AdWerx) once posted the same article on various Communities only to find out that it’s against Google+ rules. Oops! Learn from our mistake; find out more about Google+ Community Member Guidelines here.
Another way Google+ differs from other social media networks is in the content its users share, which takes us to the third reason why you should use Google+…
3) Be a Trusted Source
Google+ is not Facebook. You won’t see thought-leaders sharing photos of what they had for breakfast or their little pup’s trip to the vet. Real estate professionals who want to be taken seriously and make an impact should use Google+ to share thoughtful industry insights, start discussions and build relationships.
In a recent article +Jessi Hall, a real estate writer for Veterans United Home Loans, discusses things real estate agents should never do on Google+: “…while you want to be friendly to your professional contacts, you want to use Google+ as a more sophisticated tool to help grow your business.”
We hope that you now have a better understanding of Google+’s recognizable benefits for your personal marketing and branding.
How else have you used Google+ for real estate marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.