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August 1, 2014

Infographic Fun: Facebook Reaches 1 Billion Users!

In the Facebook blog, it was announced just last week that Facebook has officially reached 1 Billion monthly active users. That is quite a number! As a lover of stats and infographics, I wanted to show you today this great one I stumbled upon on Pinterest recently, illustrating some of the numbers on Facebook.

140315344611602388 w8BRtnNv c Infographic Fun: Facebook Reaches 1 Billion Users!
 Infographic Fun: Facebook Reaches 1 Billion Users!

 Infographic Fun: Facebook Reaches 1 Billion Users!Megan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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Photo Content is King Now

camera1 300x199 Photo Content is King NowPhotos are the kings of web content now.  I’m not just talking about the importance of having photos on your listings. I am talking about the skyrocketing popularity of visual based social networks like Pinterest and Instagram and how much more attention getting and engaging images are.

There has been an explosion of photo sharing on the web. You may have heard , “Facebook is the Photo Economy“.  More than 90 billion photos have been uploaded since Facebook launched. 6 billion pictures  are being uploaded monthly. I am sure that you have noticed in your news feeds that a large chunk of the content you see are images now. So it may come to you as no surprise that photos tend to grab more attention in your news feeds. The engagement rate on photos versus status updates is about 2:1. What does that mean? People are more likely to “like” and comment on photos as opposed to status updates.

But it is not just Facebook where images are important. The visually based social network, Pinterest (which I’ve talked a lot about recently) continues to soar in popularity. People are using it to curate information they like, that inspire them, and brands have found a way connect with customers in an authentic way. In the first quarter of 2012, Pinterest had 11.7 unique visitors. This image reliant social network is a force not to be ignored. And of course, there are some great ways to make good use of it and apply to your business.

Now is a good time to seriously consider infusing your marketing with more visual content. This is especially great if you struggle with coming up with new thing to write about for your real estate blog. These images can then be easily be shared across social networks and can be a potential traffic driver.

Images have a way of communicating ideas, emotions and more, in ways that words sometimes cannot. They capture more attention and have a higher engagement factor on your social networks. Examine ways to improve your use of images on your website and social media. Then get involved with visually based social networks like Pinterest and Instagram. This “photo economy” is about more than just your listing photos.

What are your favorite ways to use images in your marketing? Are you an avid Pinterest or Instagram user?  Let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear about it.

 Photo Content is King Now

 Photo Content is King NowMegan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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Infographic Fun: It’s All About The Images

Today’s infographic talks about how the huge shift in social media to where images are having a huge impact in improving page views and engagement.

ItsAllAbouttheImagesInfographic 4fb10f2a8d905 w587 Infographic Fun: Its All About The Images

Browse more data visualizations.

 


 Infographic Fun: Its All About The ImagesMegan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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Pinterest for Real Estate – Pinterest Etiquette

PFRE PinterestEtiquette Pinterest for Real Estate   Pinterest EtiquetteIn this edition of Pinterest for Real Estate, I wanted to cover the subject of Pinterest Etiquette. Pinterest has outlined their own etiquette guidelines of course, including some recent changes. But there are some items that need to be stressed, especially if you are new to Pinterest.

Be Authentic

You’re not all business all the time, are you? Pinterest can be a true representation of who you are, especially if you spend the time to curate boards of things you like, things you want to make, things that inspire you, and things that you have made. Include a great mix of yourself and your business by making boards that represent your personal life, and then creatively making boards related to your business. (Need some ideas? Read this post here). And for the boards you have that ARE business related, go ahead and pin images used in your blog posts or your website, since it is great for driving traffic to your sites.

Still Avoid Shamless Self Promotion

In the beginning of April Pinterest removed the “avoid self promotion” rule in their terms, which opened up more possibilities for business use. There are some great benefits that Pinterest can bring to businesses, like increasing traffic to your website/blog, but one needs to strike a delicate balance. A majority of Pinterest users are on there for personal use and are not necessarily there to shop for real estate or other products. And nothing will turn off your followers more (and Pinterest users ignore your boards completely) if they see nothing but shameless self promotion. So doing nothing but promoting your listings with it (unless they have some awesome and inspiring photos), putting a photo of yourself up as “Worlds Best Realtor” or constantly promoting some other product you sell just won’t garner much attention and you could lose followers.

Pin Images From Their Original Sources

We must work to keep Pinterest from being dilluted with images that are not pointing to where they originally came from. For example, I find it incredibly frustrating when I find an image of a recipe I really want to try, but I cant get to it because it’s not linked to the source. So be sure when you pinning something, that you are getting it from the original source. I also recommend that wheneer you repin something, first click on it to check to make sure it came from the original source. Don’t use Google Images for pinning, because you run into the same problem. Go to the site the images actually came from to give proper credit to the source. And if you find images on Pinterest not sourced correctly, leave them a comment to let them know.

Be Sure to Write Descriptions and Tags

When pins have descriptions and are tagged right, they are so much easier to find. So don’t be stingy and write a description for your pins, or change them on your repins. You’re helping the Pinterest community to find them and letting them know why they should click or pin them too. Also, tag it back to the creator if possible. It helps the creators a bit in tracking where their pins are coming from. And if you are pinning images that came from your own site/blog, be sure to have a good description and tag so your items can be easily found too.

 Pinterest for Real Estate   Pinterest Etiquette

 Pinterest for Real Estate   Pinterest EtiquetteMegan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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Pinterest For Real Estate – Some Pinterest Basics For the Beginners

PFRE PinterestBasics copy Pinterest For Real Estate   Some Pinterest Basics For the BeginnersLately you cannot seem to go anywhere without people talking about Pinterest, how fun it is and how awesome it is for business. I’ve touched on the subject on using Pinterest for real estate a few times already. In previous posts, I talked about having the right expectation of it for your business (and what not to do), and gave some examples of how to use Pinterest to tie into your real estate business. I realized that some of my readers are still newbies, so today I am talking the basics.

First, Why Pinterest Matters?

Pinterest has become the fastest growing social network as of late. According to Compete, unique visitors jumped 155% from December 2011 to January 2012. Mashable reported recently that Pinterest is now the #3 ranked social network in the US. The point is, it gets HUGE traffic, and chances are there are many of your potential clients that use it regularly. Can you use it for marketing? You can, but as I pointed out before, it is important to do it authentically and in a smart way.

Another reason Pinterest matters? The potential to drive traffic back to your sites and blogs. I will delve into this more in an upcoming post, but Pinterest can potential have a huge impact in the incoming traffic to your site/blog if you post interesting and relevant images sourced from your own site. More to come on that later.

Who Uses Pinterest?

According to stats analysis sites such as Alexa and Infographic, Pinterest has about a  70% female user base.  This group also reveals a higher than average percentage of college-educated users, with most being between 25-34 years of age. Certainly this is a growing sector of the homebuying world as well.

Basic Pinterest Lingo

Pin: An image posted  to Pinterest

Pinboard: A themed collection of pins

Repin: Reposting someone else’s pin

Grab The “Pin It” Button for Your Browser

One fabulous goodie that Pinterest provides is a button for your browsers bookmark bar. Once installed on your browser, you can then Pin images on any website you are browsing and add it to one of your pinboards. It is quite convenient and makes pinning easy. Go find it HERE.

Still Need An Invite?

Pinterest is still running on an invite only system. You can go to the site and fill in your info to request an invite.  If you want to get in on the Pinterest fun sooner, have a current Pinterest user to send you an invite (like me).

So those are some basics. As you can tell, this is one of my favorite topics to talk about. Coming up next in future posts, I’ll be talking about the traffic driving force of Pinterest, some Pinterest etiquette, and ways to build your following.

follow me on pinterest button Pinterest For Real Estate   Some Pinterest Basics For the Beginners

 Pinterest For Real Estate   Some Pinterest Basics For the Beginners

 Pinterest For Real Estate   Some Pinterest Basics For the BeginnersMegan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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Connecting Pinterest To Your Real Estate Business

pinterest logo Connecting Pinterest To Your Real Estate BusinessPinterest is a fun new social network and a great visual diversion for most of it’s users. Now agents are trying to figure out a way to use Pinterest for real estate. Like I mentioned in my previous post, Pinterest is not a tool for self promotion or a magic lead generating solution. That being said, there are ways you can creatively use Pinterest in relation to  your real estate business, to make new connections and even help with link building.

Before I launch into the various ways to use Pinterest for your RE biz, please heed this following warning… Please for the love of all things holy, DO NOT use Pinterest onlyas a vehicle to just post images of your listings to promote them. I’m serious. People do not go to Pinterest to search for real estate.

Moving on, here are a few ways you can relate the Pinterest social network to your business.

1. Showcase Your Community and Neighborhoods

 Connecting Pinterest To Your Real Estate Business

Use lifestyle marketing and build your “trusted advisor” status by showing that you know you local community and neighborhoods well. Just like you can use video marketing to show off the great neighborhoods and area amenities, you can create pin boards on your Pinterest account to do the same. Curate pin boards with images of the neighborhood parks, city views, local landmarks, and the local restaurants and hotspots. Showcase what is great about the communities you work in the most and the lifestyle that people live there. It is a great way to show prospective buyers, connect to people in the community, and connect to people who interested in that area. You can do this for relocating buyers she meet with. When initially meeting with them, pull out your iPad (or laptop) and show them a collection of pin boards of the various neighborhoods that may suit their lifestyle or that they are considering. Again, it builds your status as a local area expert.

2. Home Decor,  Dream Homes, & Landscaping

One thing I like to do on Pinterest is search for home decor ideas or features I want in the home of my dreams. You are in the business of selling homes, so why not create pin boards related to all things home decor or showcase photos of certain spaces? For example, I have made a pin boards consisting of Dream Kitchens, Dreamy Bedrooms, Dream Baths, and Outdoor spaces. It is a fun thing for me to put together and collect images what I want in my dream home. So again, because it relates to homes so it can relate to your real estate business. One agent I saw had gone a step further and encouraged their buyers to create pin boards of the things they wanted in their ideal home to help aid in the home search process. A great way to connect this social network to your real estate business.

Dream Kitchens1 Connecting Pinterest To Your Real Estate Business

3. Feature Interesting Architecture
Another real estate related category that you can create pin boards for would be images of interesting architecture. Do it in combination of #1 and feature architecture that might be unique to the areas or neighborhoods you work in. Do you serve a market area with numerous victorian style or other historical homes? Show off their unique exteriors and more. Live in a funky city neighborhood with an eclectic mix of old and new architecture? Show off those features. You get the idea.
4. Feature Your Interests, Likes & Hobbies

You are more than just a Real Estate salesperson. You are not just a real estate robot. You have hobbies, interestes, and generally have a life outside of your work. So use Pinterest to display that. If your alter ego is a chef or you just love to cook, make pin boards full of your favorite recipes or ones that you want to try.  If you’re a crafting addict like me, create pin boards with your own projects, or find great DIY & craft ideas you want to try yourself. Have fun and make things that reflect you. Just because you’re in the real estate business, there is no need to make Pinterest all about real estate (and it is NOT the place for self promotion anyways… have I mentioned that before?). Doing this can help you connect and meet others on this network who have similar likes and hobbies.

Who’s doing it right?

There are ways to tie this social network into your real estate business, and here is a collection of those in the industry that are doing it right on Pinterest and I generally like following:

Do you have a more ideas on creative things you can do with Pinterest, or are you someone who is doing Pinterest right? Leave a comment below and let me know!
 Connecting Pinterest To Your Real Estate Business

 Connecting Pinterest To Your Real Estate BusinessMegan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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What is the ROI of Pinterest?

300px Facepalm What is the ROI of Pinterest?

Facepalm - Image via Wikipedia

“How do I leverage Pinterest for my real estate business?”

The title of this post, as well as the above question is starting to get asked a lot around the real estate marketing circles and social networks I follow. And I must tell you, it makes me cringe to hear it. Many agents are joining this relatively new network, looking increase their marketing reach and hoping it’s the holy grail of lead generation. Frankly I think they are missing the point and purpose of Pinterest, and may be sorely disappointed in the lack of “ROI”.

Just what is Pinterest, some of you may you be asking? Pinterest is an new-ish social network where users can Pin images, putting together a visual collection of things they love, their interests and inspiration, etc., on pin boards users create in their accounts. These pin boards can be related to anything from food to crafts, fashion to home decor. The possibilities are endless.

Personally, I LOVE Pinterest. For me it is a great source of creative inspiration, craft and DIY project ideas, home decor ideas, recipe ideas, and a place that I can daydream by pining images of my dream home or dream vacation spots. For me Pinterest has been a place I found fun and and inspirational.

Where I believe that people are really going wrong, especially those that want to “leverage Pinterest for their business,” is that marketing and self promotion is not in the spirit of what Pinterest was designed for. Just simply  look at #3 on their list of the Pinterest etiquette guidelines:

Avoid Self Promotion

Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.

When embarking on any new social networks, Pinterest or otherwise, my advice is to first explore it and really observe. Get an idea of what this community really is about. Observe how other users are utilizing the network. Then go have fun with it. On Pinterest, you may find that you can create new connections and meet like minded people you never knew before. But don’t have high expectations that it will be a magical source of lead generation.

If you are looking into to Pinterest purely as a way to promote yourselves, your listings and generate business, then frankly I think you should move along. Pinterest is not exactly the place for you, and I think you will find very little ROI, if that is your main goal. Your time may be best spent elsewhere.

PinterestHomeDaydreams 300x177 What is the ROI of Pinterest?

There are certainly ways to use Pinterest and relate it to your real estate business, and you can do so without shameless self promotion. Coming up in a follow-up post, I will show you come creative ways to use Pinterest as it relates to real estate, and show you some examples of those in the real estate industry who are doing it right.  Stay tuned!

 

And if you want to follow me on Pinterest, find me here. You will see that I am definitely not all business all the time.

 

 What is the ROI of Pinterest?

 What is the ROI of Pinterest?Megan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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Facebook Timeline: A Quick How-To

1 Megan BarberFB 300x160 Facebook Timeline: A Quick How ToYou may have heard about the new Facebook profile interface, the Facebook Timeline. (If you haven’t yet Check out this complete guide from Mashable) It is quite a radical change to the overall look and function the Facebook profile that they started previewing to users back in September. Now they are rolling it out for everyone to have access too, and should become the default profile setting for all users in a upcoming months.

Want to go ahead and change and play around with the new Facebook Timeline now? They’ve made it easy!  Here is now:
(tips courtesy of Mashable)

  1. Login & Click - Log out of your Facebook account, then go to this About Timeline page.
  2. Get Timeline - At the bottom right of the page, click on “Get Timeline.” If you like what you see and don’t want to edit anything,  publish it right away by scrolling back to the top of that page and click “Publish Now” and you’re done. If you’d like to edit, go to the next step.
  3. Scroll Down and Edit - Scroll down on your timeline and edit or remove any items you don’t want shown. Do that by holding your cursor over the upper right of an item you want to edit, and then click on the icon that looks like a pencil — it will have a label that reads Edit or Remove.
  4. Make Changes - From the resulting drop-down list, you can change the date of the item, add a location, hide it from the timeline, delete the post altogether, or report it/mark it as spam.
  5. Highlight and Expand your favorite posts - If you’d like to “feature” any of your posts, click on the star icon to the left of that pencil icon. Then that item will be expanded all the way across the page, made larger for all your friends to see. Cool huh?
  6. Publish Now – Or wait until Dec 22nd - Once you’re satisfied with all of your edits, either scroll back to the top of your Timeline and click “Publish Now,” or do nothing and it’ll be automatically published on December 22, 2011.
 Facebook Timeline: A Quick How To

 Facebook Timeline: A Quick How ToMegan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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Rich Real Estate Agent, Poor Real Estate Agent

media httpactiverainc qguJq.jpg.scaled500 Rich Real Estate Agent, Poor Real Estate Agent

What separates Rich Real Estate Agents from the Poor Real Estate Agents? Check out this awesome infographic and survey from Active Rain. Lots of striking information in this, definitely worth checking out.

Posted via email from megbarberva’s posterous

 Rich Real Estate Agent, Poor Real Estate Agent

 Rich Real Estate Agent, Poor Real Estate AgentMegan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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