Google Plus is the new kid on the social media block, but first impressions indicate that real estate agents may find it a better “friend” than Facebook. Google’s Facebook challenger has the potential to be a social marketing game-changer for the real estate industry — if it catches on. And that is just one of several “ifs” that Google Plus will have to overcome to wrest the commercial advertising market from Facebook’s grasp.
Despite uncertainty over who will emerge victorious from the Google-Facebook smackdown, real estate agents have little to lose and much to gain by getting in on the ground floor and setting up a Google business page now. There is a basic difference in the way Google and Facebook business pages process visitor interaction for search engine consumption that makes Google’s method more real estate-friendly.
On Facebook, constant interaction between your business page and Facebook fans is required to attract search engine attention. Unfortunately, real estate clients are notorious for being fair-weather friends. Most people only visit real estate sites when they are actively engaged in buying or selling a home. Months, even years can elapse between client interactions with your Facebook business page. Without fresh interaction, Facebook quickly “drops” unresponsive friends; and you fall off the search engine radar.
Google business pages can influence search results for years with only minimal client interaction IF — and this is key — the visitor becomes a member of your circle. In Google Plus, circles are the equivalent of Facebook friends. Different language; same concept: your circle of friends. With Google you have the advantage of being able to organize friends into different circles, or groups. This can be a handy marketing advantage for real estate agents, allowing them to target specific client groups. But the real plus in Google Plus is searchability. When a site visitor joins your Google circle, every time they initiate a search using “real estate” or similar key words, Google search will find your Google business page at shoot it to the top of the organic search results, keeping you constantly on clients’ radar — a definite plus!