Blogging is a SOCIAL media- keyword SOCIAL

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow

I came across an Active Rain network blog the other day of someone who is in a similar line of work as me, working for a major real estate website.  Funny, I thought, I haven't heard of this person before nor ever seen their blog.  I checked out the blog and found some interesting content and nicely written posts.  When I clicked to find out more about this person, turns out they have written 128 posts!  So why haven't I heard of this person before? 

I think the answer lies in "social" aspect of blogging. 

I have written 138 posts, so about the same amount of content. Let's compare the activity around our blogs:

Other blog: Comments received, 463   My blog: Comments received, 1758

Other blog: Number of subscriptions, 16    My blog: Subscriptions, 122

Other blog: Number of associations, 8   My blog: Associations, 90

Here is why I think the reason for the difference in numbers exists:

Other blog: Comments made, 30  My blog: Comments I have made, 485

Commenting is something I made a conscience effort to get better at this year, and when I did, I saw the traffic to my blog increase.  (and when I say "comments" I mean actually saying something interesting that makes other people want to find out more about you, not just "nice post".) 

In fact, when I comment, I can often see the traffic to my profile increase.

What I have learned is that when you participate in a social community or network, like Active Rain, it is important to engage others just as you would like to be engaged.  To not do so is similar to watching an ad on TV where there is no interaction between the source and the viewer.  There is no personal attachment. 

This is why I think it was smart for Active Rain to create the position of "community builders".  When Rich Jacobson leaves a comment on my blog, I don't feel like I am just giving Active Rain content, but I feel like Active Rain is also engaging me on personal level.  This builds an emotional connection with the product.  When there is an emotion connection, this leads to creating passion, which leads to me spending more time on the site than I care to admit.

So what communities would you like to engage you?  Personally, I would like to engage real estate agents, which is why I am here.  Another example- I own an investment condo in FL.  About a year ago the condo board set up a website for owners to communicate about the property and with each other.  On the website is a forum.  There is one owner who is a local Realtor, he engages every single question involving anything to do with the value of the property or what is going on with local real estate (there aren't too many, can't take more than 1-2 hours a month).  I will use him when I sell the unit. 

Think about engaging the community you want to engage you.  If it is other Realtors, than Active Rain is the place for you.  If it is local home buyers, Localism.  You can even carve out a niche by getting involved with Groups.  Maybe you want to engage other parents in your child's school, find out where they hang out online and be there too.  Maybe the group you want to reach doesn't have an online social network, start one by using ning

The last part of this "socialness" is extending these relationships beyond the computer screen.  When you see something interesting, send a personal note or pick up the phone.  If your network organizes themselves offline, get involved.  For me, this means attending Inman Blogger Connect, Active Rain Chicago gathering or other real estate conferences.  If no one else initiates the get together, be the one to do so with evite, twitter or meetup.com

Blogging is great way to get started with social media, just make sure you are actually being "social" when doing it to achieve the maximum benefit.

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Rainer
66,332
Stacey McCarthy
McCarthy Real Estate - Philadelphia, PA
@SmartGirlsOwn

It pays to be popular!

Aug 11, 2008 03:50 PM #44
Rainmaker
95,714
Michael Sahlman
www.HomesForVIPs.com - Keller Williams Realty - Miami Beach, FL
e-PRO - Miami Beach Florida Luxury Homes

You're right Sara. It might help if I did not do this right before I fall asleep as I am not in the most talkative mood or the blogative mood. I have learned a lot of very useful information that I would never have expected to learn. Socialize is defintiely key.

Aug 11, 2008 04:16 PM #45
Ambassador
2,010,972
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Lots of good points.  I find the same thing, that commenting tends to bring a response from those whose blogs I have visited.

Aug 11, 2008 06:40 PM #46
Anonymous
Bryan Spann

Sara, you are right about commenting on other peoples blog. I know when I get comments, I got to their profile to find out more about these people. I also need to target the people I comment on to be more efficient with my market and network.

Aug 11, 2008 10:46 PM #47
Rainer
49,011
Earleene Woods
Keller Williams Experience Realty - Murray, KY
ASP, CRS, GRI

Sara,

Thank you for the insight.  I am just getting started at blogging and am trying to get all this figured out.

Aug 12, 2008 12:15 AM #48
Rainmaker
47,470
Rick Turner
Key Realty - Toledo, OH
Puts People In Their Places!!

Sara,

Although I didn't read everyone of the comments here, (I guess I'm saying in advance, excuse me if I repeat someone elses!) but people like doing business with people they know and feel comfortable with.  Remember that Networking is just that... Work!  It can be work to respond to all the comments on one of your posts, but the benefits (as in the example of the agent responding to your condo forum) is that he has established a relationship and trust. And that equates to business. Social NetWORKING.... hmmm sounds like a good blog topic!!

Good Post!

Aug 12, 2008 01:15 AM #49
Rainer
78,084
Rebecca Schrader
Competitive Insurance of Dundee - Dundee, FL

Hey Sara,

You're dead on when you say we need to engage others as WE would like to be engaged. I learn more sometimes from the comments that people leave than the posts themselves sometimes. Sometimes it's a "social" thing for me...but other times it's something "specific" such as OPEN HOUSES and how i can learn from others doing this for example. It helps to hear from others and learn from THEIR experiences. Best of luck to you Sara!

Aug 12, 2008 03:07 AM #50
Ambassador
534,190
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Sara - The interaction here is probably unmatched.  And you're right, commenting does return the favors.  As I've said before, I've subscribed to some folks just because of the quality of their comments.  And I always love when the comment stream is more interesting than the actual post, happens quite often on my 'territory':-)

Aug 12, 2008 03:20 AM #51
Ambassador
584,566
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Social networking has become such an incredible means of effectively expanding our Sphere of Contact & Influence. On networks such as ActiveRain, reciprocal commenting is one of the best methods of gaining readership/subcriptions.

Aug 12, 2008 03:52 AM #52
Rainmaker
40,284
Tom Horn
Thomas Horn, Real Estate Appraiser - Alabaster, AL
Appraising The American Dream

Sara,

You make a lot of goog points and they have made me think about my own level of involvment in the social aspect of blogging.  Thanks for the help!!

Aug 12, 2008 03:53 AM #53
Rainmaker
2,851,395
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Sara

 

I realize at some point I will no longer qualify as a newbie on Active Rain or blogging. I have said it before and I will repeat it again ... I am learning SO MUCH on this site about blogging, people, mortgage industry, real estate in various areas and people.  As I continue to figure out all the aspects of Active Rain ... reading your post helped.  I recently discovered that I no longer have that feeling of overwhelm when I log in - I tend to want to read everything and every comment - I spend a lot of time on AR and enjoy every minute of it.

Aug 12, 2008 03:56 AM #54
Rainmaker
3,324,870
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

You want to buy, share, list, refer with people you like...so while people can call them social networks....as many people will attest, they are the beginning of sooo much more.

Aug 12, 2008 04:26 AM #55
Rainer
13,858
Mark Tillett
Asset Realty Group - Seattle, WA

As a fairly new member to Active Rain, I never considered the implications of commenting.


I think I'll start now.

 

Nice Post

Aug 12, 2008 04:47 AM #56
Rainer
35,298
Roger Howell
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS #2289 - Boise, ID
We do business the Fair way!

Sara,

Thanks for your thoughts on blogging and commenting.  I'm still trying to figure this social networking thing.  Its been sort of an afterthought in the past, but I see it becoming vital in the future.

Aug 12, 2008 05:06 AM #57
Rainmaker
558,109
Jeremy Blanton
Myrtle Beach Homes Blog - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com

Sara how did I miss this post?  Commenting is what has really boosted my business too.  People don't see a value in it....What they don't realize is that commenting is what builds your network.

Aug 12, 2008 07:27 AM #58
Rainer
23,387
Jessica Beganski
William Raveis Real EState - West Hartford, CT

Social networking is totally give and take.  If you want people to read what you write and comment, then you must read what's written and comment.  I've been on AR for a while and have pretty much neglected it.  Now, I'm spending more time on it and getting much more out of it - because I put more into it.  Very simple.

Aug 12, 2008 09:55 AM #59
Rainer
292,562
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate

Oh, you read my mind, great post.  There is someone in my area that has written something like 300 posts but has made 7 comments and has gotten less than 20 comments!  To me this person has lost the entire reason for being on AR...I feel sorry for them and grateful that I have made so many wonderful friends here!

Aug 12, 2008 11:03 AM #60
Ambassador
448,073
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX

Sara, the social aspect and the relationships I'm forming is what keeps me coming back. I've learned how to place in Google without AR. Now, it's just the great people I find! I've seen people like what Diane is describing above and it makes me wonder what's their driving factor? Hum.

Nice to meet you. Later in the rain~Deb

Aug 12, 2008 12:15 PM #61
Rainer
30,745
George Wilson
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh Cary Realty 919 439 0965

I think this is very true and insightful!  I reall you have enjoyed the comraderie!

Aug 13, 2008 08:22 AM #62
Rainmaker
833,054
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team

I am fairly new yet to activerain and had never blogged before but do like it now and I comment a lot!

Aug 13, 2008 09:40 AM #63
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