How do you drive incredible growth in online followers?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Intero Real Estate CA BRE #01191946

I read a great article this morning from Jimmy Mackin from Inman News about how a pair of women who go by the moniker "The Geeky Girls" drove up their number of online followers by a huge percentage, almost overnight.  The method of doing this was relatively simple, which is why I'm bringing it up here.  It's easy for a large scale business to spend thousands of dollars to recruit followers but if you're an agent with a limited budget, you have to be creative.  These ladies did just that.

In a nutshell, they went online and followed this sequence:

  • Posted on Facebook that a challenge was "coming soon"
  • Posted the challenge on their blog
  • Posted the challenge on Facebook
  • Mentioned who was winning
  • Updated results
  • Posted the winner

The prize in this sequence of events?  A t-shirt, one for each of the top 3 winners.  For $10, they boosted their numbers substantially over a 7 day period.  The question is, could anyone do the same sort of thing and achieve similar results?  I think you could.

What can an agent offer as a prize?  All sorts of things but keep it cheap and simple.  If you don't like the idea of the t-shirt then how about a Starbucks gift card, pre-paid VISA, some consulting time, or anything else of value.  You could give anything away as long as it costs little but offers an incentive for someone to friend you, like you, subscribe to you, or otherwise build your base of followers.  I believe this works not because of the prize but because people love getting something free.  Any chance to get a freebie with the small task of subscribing to a blog is well worth it to most people.

What networks can you use?  If you're not on Facebook, use Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, and other places where you network online.  Any social media outlet can be used.  Put the challenge out and post the results anyplace you want to drive growth in your followers.

So, read the original article for the details on how The Geeky Girls did their thing and give some thought to how you might implement something similar.


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Andrew Herren
Craig Massee Real Estate - Milledgeville, GA

Great advice. It has always amazed me what people will do for a $10 T-shirt. I doesn't seem to matter what logo is on it. At the high school football games on Friday night, Chik Fil A has an air operated gun that shoots them into the crowd. I swear people from 6 to 60 jump over themselves to get one!

Nov 03, 2011 09:40 AM #1
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Hey Bryan this sounds like  great idea....and fun as well.  I've been thinking about doing some new things going into 2012 and this might make the cut. Seems like a simple and easy thing to create with potentially huge results.  Thanks for sharing.

Featured in BananaTude

Nov 03, 2011 09:59 AM #2
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

What a wonderful method.  I may need to try that sometime.  I'm going to bookmark this + check out the original article.

Nov 03, 2011 12:44 PM #3
Rob Kittle
Kittle Real Estate - Fort Collins, CO
"We Specialize, You Benefit!" -Kittle Real Estate

Hmmm... A contest with a little reward will drive you more friends and followers plus i think they will be checking your profile for more contest. Cool tip!

Nov 03, 2011 01:19 PM #4
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Wow, that sounds like a great response from a very modest investment. I'm going to check out the links and try to think of something to entice more followers.

Nov 03, 2011 02:23 PM #5
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


Seems very simple. I can certainly afford to buy a T shirt out of my marketing budget.


Nov 03, 2011 02:27 PM #6
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

ooo ooo ooo I'm gonna test that and see how it works out.

Nov 03, 2011 04:00 PM #7
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

Me too! This post has excited me!

This is the kind of marketing that I like. It increases your SOI gets more people to maybe take a look at you!

The cost is excellent. Not too cheap and not too expensive. I am definitely look into trying this one. I too will book mark this post!

Thank You!

Nov 03, 2011 05:21 PM #8
Doug Anderson
Tucker Associates Real Estate Services - Danville, CA
Bay Area Real Estate Views

I love it Bryan. Out of the box thinking. Not so easy for a linear guy like myself but this is the time of year to start thinking, planning and implementing for 2012.

Nov 03, 2011 06:08 PM #9
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

I have actually had this in mind for quite some time.. just never got organized to get this done. I just started with Active Rain, and i love all these suggestions and of course this is what i need to hear... Somebody doing it and being successful with the efforts!

Nov 04, 2011 01:14 AM #10
Bryan Robertson
Intero Real Estate - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

Janis - Just remember the idea wasn't mine but I'm happy to share it.  Glad it will help.

Doug - Yeah, it's a really good idea and I'm hoping to implement it myself soon.

Sussie - Let me know how it goes!

Tammy - May it bring you lots of followers :)

Brian - I should hope so and it might do wonders for your business.

Richard - Let me know how it works out.

Rob & Debbie - Cool.  I hope it pays off.

Anna - Thanks for the feature!

Andrew - I've seen those things and people do go crazy over a t-shirt.

Nov 04, 2011 04:18 AM #11
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Hi Bryan,

I've seen it work!  A friend of mine who was just starting his business started a contest on FB.  The first 500 people who liked his page by a certain date were entered into a drawing for an Ipod.  He had a huge response and it really helped him jump start his business. 

I'm definitely going to read the article and give it a try.  Thanks for sharing!

Nov 04, 2011 10:55 AM #12
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Oops!  I just read Facebook's rules for promotions and my friend might have been out lif line as far as using the Like button......

Nov 04, 2011 11:06 AM #13
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h

What a clever idea.  I had thought of offering gift cards as incentives but hadn't thought of this angle to help drive internet traffic. 

Nov 05, 2011 02:17 PM #14
Marge Piwowarski
Phoenix AZ Horse Property - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC


We could also offer points (tongue in cheek) after all, it works here...

Nov 05, 2011 05:25 PM #15
Christine Gerbehy
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Northfield - Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Making waves, one home at a time...

What a GREAT idea!  And even if it were $30, if it works, it was WELL worth the money spent.  I'll have to try it!

Nov 06, 2011 12:01 AM #16
Kathryn Acciari
Cameron Real Estate Group - Shrewsbury, MA
RSPS, SRS, REALTOR(R) Sturbridge-Shrewsbury MA

Sounds like a cool idea.  My problem is, being perfectionist-type, that the thing of value has to be something extraordinary. I'd spend a year just trying to come up with that!

Nov 06, 2011 08:42 AM #17
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