Archive for social media for homebuilders
My long awaited and greatly anticipated revision is out! “Social Media For Home Builders 2.0: It’s Easier Than You Think” is now available from BuilderBooks for $19.95 ($17.95 for NAHB members) and it will soon be on the shelves at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. The Kindle version will be available in a few weeks from Amazon as well.
If you liked this first version, you are going to love the second edition. It is double the size of the original book with more information that ever on how to make social media work for your company.
This popular resource teaches builders and residential construction professionals how to use social media tools such as blogs, Facebook,Twitter, Linkedin, and YouTube, to increase their visibility and improve their sales results. Social Media for Home Builders 2.0: It’s Easier Than You Think is designed to help readers understand social media and construct a strategic plan for attracting more prospects, following up on leads, and selling more homes.
The updated edition is BIGGER and better than ever with even more examples, details, and strategies than the first edition. Look for:
- examples of specific social media campaigns and their sales results by builder type (large volume builder, small volume builder, custom builder, remodeler and supplier)
- sample tweets and Twitter campaigns to draw foot traffic to homes and communities (look for some great ones by @LennarAtlanta)
- new research on how people are using social media
- new tools specific to the real estate industry, including how to use RealtyJoin
Learn how to engage consumers through social media, get content suggestions for blogging, find out how to improve SEO, run campaigns, track, analyze, and improve results.
Social Media for Home Builders: It’s Easier Than You Think does it again! Already named one of the top sellers in 2010 for NAHB BuilderBooks, the book also sold out in just three days at the 2010 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas; and the book was the top seller at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando.
Written by our very own mRELEVANCE, LLC, Managing Partner Carol Flammer, the book guides readers on how to maximize Return on Investment (ROI) through planning, establishing, maintaining and evaluating a social media program.
To help demonstrate the effectiveness of social media programs, Carol offers research and case studies, then describes site-specific instructions to help readers build a presence on outlets such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Although the book’s resources and references speak specifically to the real estate and home building industries, other businesses will find the guide to be a useful tool for online marketing.
If you’d like to purchase your own copy of Social Media for Home Builders: It’s Easier Than You Think, visit the Builder Books website or call 800-223-2665.
Or, if you’d like to pick her brain further, you can book Carol as a speaker or consultant by visiting the mRELEVANCE website.
Congratulations Carol on your repeat performance!
When you’re figuring out your schedule for the International Builders Show in 2011, be sure to block out some time to meet an expert. NAHB has scheduled several times for you to “Meet the Experts” and learn more about hot industry topics as part of the Custom Builder Symposium Central.
Mitch Levinson, managing partner of mRELEVANCE, will lead a round table talking about one of the topics he knows best: social media. His session, “The Power of Social Media – The Tools of the Trade,” will help builders and real estate marketers understand the best way to harness and use social media for ultimate results. He’ll address what social media tools are the most effective, how you can use the power of social media to be found in search engines and how you can drive qualified traffic to your website to in turn generate leads that convert to sales.
This “Meet the Experts” session won’t just be another lecture. Mitch wants you to bring all of your questions! He’ll keep things lively and interactive while giving you the information you need to get started or become more efficient in using social media.
Be sure to mark Mitch’s “Meet the Expert” session on your calendar for IBS. He will be in Room 309 A-B on Level 3 in the West Concourse on Friday, Jan. 14 from 3 to 3:35 p.m.
The Atlanta 50+ Housing Council has teamed up with 50+ Councils from around the country to present 50+ University Day. More than 20 guest speakers will serve as the instructors and panelists on Thursday, Oct. 14 at the Cobb Galleria Center.
mRELEVANCE founder, Carol Flammer will present a 3 hour seminar on “How to Use Social Media as a Marketing Tool.” GREC credits are available for this course. Learn how social media can help your business reach existing customers AND build relationships with new ones.
Social Media as a Marketing Tool will cover the “how to” basics for promoting your business through social networking and blogging. Learn how to create an effective integrated strategy for your business and save time online. Bring your laptop and come prepared to set up sites and get questions answered.
The cost of the conference is $80 for 50+ council members and $125 for non-council members. If you’re looking to take advantage of additional savings, non-council members can increase their value by simultaneously becoming a member of the Atlanta 50+ Housing Council and registering for the conference for only $150. That’s a savings of $75.
Space is limited, so act fast to take advantage of this offer. For more information about 50+ University Day, including online registration and class schedule, visit the website.
You are invited to attend the Southeast’s premier event for all in the home building industry, the 21st Century Building Expo & Conference. The conference is scheduled Sept. 15 through 17 with the expo hall open the 16th and 17th. These three days of game-changing information will take place at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C.
The conference will consist of general session seminars that feature nationally-recognized speakers discussing some of the hottest topics and trends in home building, such as incorporating social media into your company’s day-to-day business. Carol Flammer, author of “Social Media for Home Builders: It’s Easier than You Think,” along with business partner Mitch Levinson will hold the session, “Social Media for Home Builders.” Carol is also teaming up with Tammie Smoot to teach, “Selling to Women through the Social Media Grapevine.” These seminars will help take the mystery out of social media so that you may grow your business through this hot method of internet marketing.
The conference is also a great way to get you on your way to achieve a professional designation. You can take courses through the North Carolina Builder Institute for designations recognized by the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. Visit the website for pricing information.
In between seminars make sure to visit the Expo floor where you’ll find 200 exhibits displaying the latest products and services for the home building industry.
Register as a full delegate to gain unlimited access to the general session seminars. The cost of registration is $75 before Sept. 14 and $100 after Sept. 14. Or, you may register for the Expo floor only by Sept. 14 and visit the all of the exhibits for free. If registering for the Expo floor only after Sept. 14, the fee is $25. All fees include Expo floor access and conference lunch on Thursday and Friday.
The registration deadline is quickly approaching. Don’t miss your chance to learn from the industry’s best. For more information about the 21st Century Building Expo and Conference, visit the website.
School is back in session. Fall is in the air and yellow school buses are everywhere. Going back to school can be more than just educational, it can be fun. However, for home builders, developers and remodelers, the learning curve for social media can be overwhelming. Does your home building company have the proper social media tools? Do you understand the building blocks needed for online success? Are you interested in streamlining your social media program?
Get all of your questions answered when you go “back to school with social media.” It can be easy when you have the proper building blocks in place. Author of NAHB BuildersBooks’ number one selling book this year, Carol Flammer offers solutions and a step-by-step, block-by-block directions for setting up your program in her book, “Social Media for Home Builders: It’s Easier Than You Think.”
Now builders, developers and remodelers have the opportunity to win a signed copy of “Social Media for Home Builders: It’s Easier Than You Think.” Here are the guidelines. Now through September 17 when you Tweet or Post on Facebook you will be entered into a daily drawing from mRELEVANCE to win a copy of the book.
Simply tweet the following: I want to go back to school with Social Media for Home Builders by @CarolFlammer. Post this on Twitter or on the mRELEVANCE Facebook wall or on Carol’s Facebook wall, or just tag Carol in a post.
“Social Media for Home Builders: It’s Easier Than You Think” is available from BuilderBooks.
As you have probably heard, this weekend Facebook is opening up the flood gates and allowing people to register their ‘name’ or URL for their profiles and pages. According to Facebook, these new ‘usernames’ will be only available in basic text format, and account owners can only secure a single username for each profile and a single username for each page they administer.
They also have offered precautions for the names you choose, as “once it’s been selected, you won’t be able to change or transfer it” and to prevent name squatting.
Either way, be ready at midnight June 13th to get your name for your profile and pages, ’cause they won’t last long…’
For more info, visit the Facebook Blog.
Does filling your car’s gas tank with gas, qualify you to be a mechanic? Just because you wear clothes are you a fashion designer?
Yet Marketing Sherpa‘s recent study shows that two-thirds of marketers who work for “organizations that have not used any form of social media marketing or PR”, consider themselves knowledgeable on the subject. Does creating a profile on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, or reading and commenting on blogs REALLY qualify you to be the social media marketing expert in your company?
Marketing Sherpa states, ” Clearly, there is a disconnect between personal exposure and professional ability that is unique to social media. And this disconnect is one of the most critical dangers to the successful adoption of social media as a marketing strategy.”
This was confirmed in MarketingSherpa’s Social Media Marketing and PR study where they found that the “lack of knowledgeable staff” was the most significant barrier to social media adoption. When making the initial jump into social media, many organizations start by delegating responsibility to the first staff person they find with a profile on Facebook or LinkedIn since very few people have any level of practical experience in this new strategy. The result is usually a marketing program pre-destined to failure.
Marketing Sherpa suggests that a better approach to adopting this strategy is to seek the advice of an agency or consultant specializing in social media if no one within your organization has proven experience. mRELEVANCE certainly agrees with this! Our team has spend a lot of time rebuilding social media tools and reworking strategies that missed the mark in the past year.
We understand what works and what doesn’t in social media. Our team is here to help you plan an effective strategy, train your internal staff and supplement your staff with the specialized skills needed to execute social media programs successfully. When it comes to social media marketing, an investment in expertise will insure a rapid return.
Q: My college-aged niece will gladly set up my Facebook account and similar sites for my business at no cost, but I’ve heard some companies pay many thousands of dollars for social media campaigns. I must be missing something. What is it?
A: Actually, you’re missing about 95 percent of the effective social media tactics.
Social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn, are fun and interactive. But for home builders who want to see large increases in qualified buyer traffic on their Web sites, participation in these sites is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
Think of your business as a home. The core purpose of your business and your actual work provide your foundation and the framework. Your customer relations and interactions build out the walls. Your marketing and public relations programs – including social media – give your home curb appeal. They are the façade revealing interesting architectural details and the large windows inviting passersby to take a look inside.
And you might say that social networking sites such as Facebook are the welcome mat. They’re sitting right there in front of the door, but experience shows they’re not going to bring the buyers inside. Without all of the other pieces supporting them, chances are no one will notice them at all.
First things first
Social media marketing should be an extension of a complete strategic Internet marketing, SEO (search engine optimization) and/or public relations campaign. A sound social media strategy ends with, rather than begins with, social networking sites.
The first steps involve creating the virtual pieces that will build upon each other. Start with a sound Web site. If your site isn’t built correctly, with proper keywords, title tags and SEO, then there’s no point in following up with social media. Upon your properly built site, you place your properly built blog.
Bowen Family Homes, a regional home builder based in Atlanta, recently launched www.BowenFamilyHomesBlog.com as their formal entry into social media marketing. Their goal was to increase keywords and referring URLs for their Web site. At the time of this writing, just 20 days after launch, the new blog ranks fifth among the corporate Web site’s referral sources, and it was on page one of their search engine results pages (SERP). Already, there were 27 referring URLs to the blog.
Why go to the trouble to start your own blog when you can use one of the free sites to post your news? First, if you don’t own it, you cannot fully control it. When Facebook recently changed the format for business member pages, thousands if not millions of businesses were sent scrambling in response. Second, the applications you need to optimize your blog may not work on sites you don’t control. And finally, it’s not always possible to integrate someone else’s site – with the idiosyncrasies of their codes and formatting – into your overall strategy for optimizing your online presence by interconnecting the items you post.
Where do we go from here?
“If you build it, they will come” does not apply on the Internet. Now you have to promote the sites you’ve built online. This requires taking a careful inventory of your goals, the audiences you wish to reach, and the online places those audiences visit. Strategies will differ for each home builder based on location, housing types, price points and any number of factors.
In many cases, free social networking sites are used to spread the word about other facets of your social media program. However, you must remember that the power is not in the act of networking, but in optimizing. That means each networking site and each blog post should be filled with key words and other directional signs that will point qualified buyers back to your Web site. More specifically, you want visitors to make their way to your “contact us” page. That’s the only way you can turn qualified buyers into homeowners.
But what about cost?
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch” definitely does apply on the Internet. Social media programs require a significant investment of time and, usually, money. A recent BusinessWeek article (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2009/tc20090218_335887.htm) listed $50,000 as the budget for an effective, two-to-three-month social media marketing campaign. Can it be done for less? Yes, much less. Can it be done for more? Most certainly.
Social media marketing professionals encourage clients to evaluate their return on investment. Like Bowen Family Homes, most clients are looking for an increase in key words (the number of words people use to find the site through search engines), referring URLs (other Web sites that send traffic your way), increased traffic on the Web site, and ultimately, increased sales. These indicators can be measured through analysis of tracking reports, which Internet marketing firms typically create at regular intervals.
As a home builder, you wouldn’t want just anyone to build or remodel your own personal home. You’re going to trust professionals with proven experience.
It’s the same with social media marketing and social networking. This is your business. You’re creating curb appeal and inviting potential buyers into your figurative home. With social media, you can do it yourself or have your niece do it, but if your foundation isn’t properly built, it can actually hurt your rankings in the search engines. Getting it right the first time is worth the investment.
“This article originally appeared on the NAHB Sales and Marketing Channel, a member benefit of NAHB’s National Sales and Marketing Council (NSMC). Find out how to join NSMC and access the Channel for free. Non-members may purchase a subscription to the Channel here.”
Carol Flammer has been published on Builder Homesite’s InSight InBox blog on social media success. Her article, “Each One Reach One: One-to-One Million that is” details the social media successes that builders, developers and manufactures are experiencing.
Engaging in social media greatly expands your ability to reach others through the power of RSS feeds and online networking. Read her article to find out how companies are reaching anywhere from one to one million with well crafted, relevant messages and a strategic social media marketing program.