Google Plus & Pinterest = Marketing Dynamo!
The ultimate goal of any social media strategy is to get more visitors to your website. It is a long process, but worth it because you have to take the time to grow your followers and build a strong bond with them. Pinterest and Google Plus are two of the most underrated social media sites for Realtors, but because of their target audiences (home fanatics and professionals), they often have the biggest conversion rates.
And the good news is they work together flawlessly to give you greater results in less time. Some say they go together like wine and cheese others like peanut butter and jelly. The point is the work great in unison with one another!
Far too many Realtors are wasting all their time on Facebook lolly gagging about things that are not going to help their business grow. Telling the world you are going out on an afternoon showing does nothing to inspire confidence in your followers and frankly they don’t really give a damn.
Why Google Plus?
The bottom line is that if you have a blog on your website (if you don’t, you need to get one), then you need to be active on Google Plus. For obvious reasons, Google considers websites that are linked to Google Plus profiles when deciding how to rank websites in search results. You support them; they support you. It’s pretty simple to make Google Plus drive more traffic to your website:
- Make sure all of your blog posts are keyword rich. If you don’t have the keywords, your post most likely won’t show up regardless. Don’t overdue it however, as “keyword stuffing” looks horrible and won’t make a difference.
- Enroll in the Google Authorship program to make sure your blogs are linked to your Google Plus profile. This will also make your Google Plus image show up next to your blog posts in the search results, equaling a higher click through rate. It is estimated that a good quality mug shot can garner as much as a 30 percent uptick in clicks to a website. People love visuals so seeing your picture is naturally going to inspire their curiosity.
- Most of your Google Plus posts should be created to drive interaction and engagement; however, once a week you can post about a listings and include a link directly to your website. I certainly would not overdue sharing of listings as most people in social sites could really care less. They want to see things that move them in some fashion. It is doubtful your three bedroom ranch on Main Street is going to do that.
- There is a right way and a wrong way of using social media for Real Estate. In fact one of the biggest Realtor social media mistakes is just blogging about Real Estate listings on Google Plus. As a social community Google+ happens to be one of the most intelligent. In other words the conversations you see at Google Plus will be a little different than Facebook if you get my drift. Those that get the most engagement on Google Plus are sharing awe inspiring content. A Real Estate listing is not the kind of content that is going to make people want to interact with you. A Real Estate agent that “gets it” will not make sharing listings a big part of their social media focus. Sprinkle in properties from time to time that will catch peoples eyes for some reason. When they interact with you make sure you do the same back. In order for social media to really be successful it needs to be a two way street.
The people on Pinterest are crazy about interior decorating, home improvement projects, and other home-related topics. This makes them the perfect audience for you. Plus, pins have the longest lifespan of any social media site.
Essentially, they are there forever for people to refer to in an easy format. You will have things re-pinned that you posted months ago. Using Pinterest for Real Estate is a great way to increase your sites online exposure along with providing helpful information to those using Pinterest on a daily basis for educational purposes. To help Pinterest drive more visitors to your website, follow these tips:
- Make sure your images are intriguing and worthy of a re-pin. Get creative and look for interesting architecture and unique features in the homes you are selling. Pin these images and double check that they link back to your website.
- Create several other boards dedicated to all things home living so that your followers frequently visit your boards for ideas and inspiration.
- If you have a blog and are writing articles related to topics surrounding real estate make sure you have boards for these. I would highly recommend that you add the ability to your website to have what is called “rich pins”. Rich pins enhance the graphics and presentation of your articles and make them stand out on Pinterest.
- Here is an example of a rich pin from the Maximum Real Estate Exposure website owned by Realtor Bill Gassett (that’s me) – Rich pin Maximum Real Estate Exposure. If you click into one of these pins you will clearly see the difference from a standard Pinterest pin. Don’t you really like how this looks? Thought so! Here is how you can apply to get rich pins for your blog.
- Examples of some excellent boards to create that are related to the real estate industry are home improvement, mortgages/financing, decorating, etc.
- Another terrific way to get exposure on Pinterest is to set up specific boards for communities you sell Real Estate in. There is nothing better than having a complete board dedicated to the city or town where you sell Real Estate. This is one of many ideas for great Real Estate community promotion. If you do a good job optimizing them these boards can come up in Google searches related to local Real Estate.
Benefits of Using Them Together
Okay, now that you understand the merits of both of these sites separately, it’s time to discover how great Pinterest and Google Plus can be when used together.
- You can use the same image on both sites. This means less work for you. For even better results, consider adding text and your watermark to the images for added branding opportunities.
- Hashtags are also usable on both sites. The popular hashtag on Pinterest, #pinoftheday, also trends from time to time on Google Plus.
- Your content will last longer. Just posting on Google Plus means your content is only visible for a short time. However, when you put the same information into a pin, it can be discovered for months to come.
- It saves you time. Since you can post the same thing on both social media sites, you save yourself time, which means more return on your investment.
- You can connect with the same people on both sites. By having interaction with them through both networks you will build a stronger relationship, which is more likely to result in a sale when the time comes.
- You can connect with new people on each site. Both Pinterest and Google Plus attract different people. The more you can interact with, the better. Plus, you can encourage these new followers to join you on the other site.
One really terrific way to get people who are on Google Plus over to Pinterest is to insert language into your Google Plus post at the end that says something like this: “Pin it for later here”. Following this language you insert the actual URL of your Pinterest Pin.
When someone at Google Plus clicks on the link they will be taken to the pin at which time they can hit the pin it button and share it onto one of their boards. This will change the amount of likes and pins you get because you are using the power of one social media network and applying it to another. One thing to note however is that when you add a second link into the description body at Google Plus neither of the links will have any social signals transferred with them. In other words by adding a second link the first link to your site will not count any shares, comments or plus ones.
You will need to decide which is more important to you social signals or the ability to interconnect Google Plus and Pinterest together. There is no right or wrong answer on this.
Options on How to Post
There are many different strategies to use when combining Pinterest and Google Plus. Here are a few ways to do it, but feel free to create your own.
- Rock the simultaneous post. There are many apps out there (like Everypost) that allow you to enter the details of your post once and it will post them across all of the platforms you select. This is a great time-saver and is ideal for Google Plus and Pinterest since the images and hashtags work great on both platforms.
- Another option is to start with your image on Pinterest. Then, you can use the same image on Google Plus, but add in a few extra details, a creative anecdote, or a funny saying to include with the Google Plus post.
- Have Pinterest be your guinea pig. You can test out your images on Pinterest to see how popular they are. If they do well you can post them on Google Plus, but if you don’t get any interaction, skip them on Google Plus and try something different. Remember the tip above as well about including a link on Google Plus back to your Pinterest Pin location. This one really works well!
As you can see these are some excellent ways you can use Google Plus and Pinterest together in unison to achieve greater exposure for your Real Estate business! Use these social media tips to step up your Real Estate marketing and over time you should see some results from your efforts!
About the author Bill Gassett
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized Real Estate leader who has been helping people move in and out of the Metrowest Massachusetts area for the past twenty six plus years. While his business covers numerous towns, Hopkinton Real Estate, where he grew up, has been a major focus. Bill has been one of the top RE/MAX Realtors in New England for the past decade. In 2012 he was the #1 RE/MAX agent in all of New England. Connect with him on Google+
Building a strategy that focuses on two social media at the same is great for all the reasons you have stated. But you need to not loose track of the specific of each social media site and the people that use them. These 2 work really good together.
Great article Bill! I have to admit, that I have been not doing this effectively. I do it occasionally but 2014 seems like it may be the year to up my game with Pinterest.
I am not on Pinterest because I don’t know how to use it for my webdesign society. I’m going to think about it. Thanks Bill !
Strategy, strategy, I believe any pair of social media networks work well with a well thought out strategy.
Excellent information! Just one thing I would like to say my images do better on Google + I can test the popularity better on Google + Pinterest results are shown over the period of time, so the popularity check is kind of slow on Pinterest.
Thanks everyone for all your comments on the article. As you can tell Google Plus and Pinterest are my two favorite social media platforms.
Bill, this is packful of excellent ideas! I had new buyers who found me online and one is an SEO expert for Target, the other owns her own boutique here locally…they told me first off that my SEO is working (they found Fishhawk Lake/me all over the place, they said), BUT even more importantly, they suggested that I get started with Pinterest. I became a woman obsessed and for two days, took many of my photos and pinned them. Now, I have to go back and do what you said, look at your examples, and start connecting the dots…
(by the way, Katerina was very instrumental in helping me get where I am on the search engines because of her SEO to the Top webinars–loved them and her!)
Excellent post, Bill! I find the detail very helpful. When considering social media marketing or search engine optimization it’s very helpful to have suggestions presented in the context of a given industry. What works in this regard for one industry may not work as well in another. For example, Real Estate is all about the visual so photography and video are key components of any R.E. marketing strategy.
A couple of quibbles: Who knows the actual effects on search results of getting +1s or followers in Google+? This seems to be an area of controversy. I’d love to see some studies on this. With respect to participation in Facebook groups: One doesn’t really know the effects of Likes on search results. I can say the quality of content on the groups I frequent such as Tech Support for Real Estate Agents (https://www.facebook.com/groups/agentsupport/) and Organic SEO for Real Estate (https://www.facebook.com/groups/OrganicSeoforRealEstate/) is high. These groups are more about discussions of certain subjects and posters asking for assistance than the communities on Google+.
Wow ! … Ok let me say that again …WOW ! What great info bill.
I just started on G+ about six months ago and Pinterest last month I love them both so I’m glad I’m on the right track. I like that tip about “pin it for latter ” I set up a SEO board on my Pinterest account mainly because it was a way to bookmark things I want to read on google plus but might not have the time at that moment.
Again thanks !
By: Mark White
Is is difficult to do the google plus authorship?
This is a fantastic article, it gave me some great ideas! Thank you for sharing it.
If I may add, Google Plus is very important for real estate because it also helps SEO in quite a few ways, one of which are the links posted to Google Plus are Do-Follow Links, which is great for SEO.
Thanks again for the great article!