Real Estate Referrals Have Changed Forever

Don't get left behind. Social Media has changed referrals forever.

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When it comes to trying a new product or service, recommendations from friends, family, and co-workers – people that you trust – are what we rely on most. Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising you can’t buy, but with the rise in popularity of social media, this new medium has become a powerful tool that has amplified word-of-mouth reviews, and given them a much broader reach.

Why should you care about what people are saying online? Here are 5 major reasons:

1. The Buzz Factor

It only takes looking at the explosion of review apps and websites such as Yelp, Google and Urbanspoon, to realize how word-of-mouth recommendations are being relayed to the world. Good or bad, people are taking it into their own hands to let others know about an experience and, more importantly, people are listening.

“Not only are many Americans sharing updates about their life (43%), what they are currently doing (36%), and places they are going (31%), many are also revealing brand, product and company preferences.” – Harris Interactive

2. Earning Your “Street Cred”

Although traditional advertising can help to build awareness, people have become wary of the credibility of an advertisement. More and more people have come to rely on the recommendations of others, for honest and unbiased reviews from multiple sources. The younger generation, especially, are all too in tune with the tricks and marketing ploys of traditional advertising.

“While traditional advertising such as TV spots and newspaper ads, as well as digital marketing such as sponsored links on Google, can build brand awareness, they increasingly do not resonate with target audiences. This is especially true among the 18-29 demographic, a group that’s notoriously suspicious of advertising and well aware of the proliferation of fake positive (and negative) reviews.” – BusinessWeek

3. Timing Is Everything

What people say about a business or experience online cannot be controlled, but both good and bad reviews can be responded to within seconds, giving you the upper hand to identify and diffuse customer complaints personally, as well as share rave reviews with a wider network. If you are unsure of how you should be responding to negative reviews, take a moment to catch up on and compare the reactions of UK celebrity chef Claude Bosi’s reaction to a bad review, versus Toyota’s leading example:

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/how-not-to-respond-to-negative-reviews-online-aka-how-to-make-people-hate-your-brand

Generally, there is a surprisingly simple strategy used by internet savvy small business owners that you can follow too:

“Monitor social media channels for mentions of their brand 2. Respond personally to each and every comment in the most engaging, funny, and/or humble way possible 3. Rinse and repeat” – Search Engine Journal on Boloco’s grass roots strategy.

4. Reaching Your Audience

Hiding from social media won’t stop people from talking about you on the internet. As we pointed out earlier, there are tons of apps and forums out there where people can leave their two cents (good and bad) for everyone’s viewing pleasure. Your social media accounts not only give people a direct way to involve you in what they’re saying, but will also give you a direct way to contact them and respond to reviews questions and comments in a timely professional matter, that everyone can see.

“It’s important that you are always monitoring these reviews so that if there is a bad review you actually know about it. After all, you can’t react if you don’t know there is anything to react too. Remember, the faster you can react, the better.” – Social Media Today

5. Building Trust

Being engaged in the conversation is key to building the trust of an audience online. Don’t worry so much about people seeing a bad review here and there, but more so the overall perception of your brand. Responding to both good and bad reviews, as well as questions, in a timely and professional matter will hold more weight with someone reviewing your work, than one angry person’s bad experience. Your online interaction will, in turn, reflect your credibility in real life.

“Don’t ignore negative reviews. You have to do something, and searching around the web for a way to delete and ignore the review isn’t it. Remember that even negative reviews can serve as a positive. They give you an outlet to show your great customer service and turn a bad relationship into a good one (hopefully creating a life-long customer).” – Social Media Today

So Now What?

Don’t let the thought of a bad review online scare you away from social media, as you now know, doing so could be detrimental to your business in the age of the internet. Just as you would in real life, you can use your social media accounts to diffuse negative feedback, and turn a bad relationship into a good one that will result in a life-long client. Give yourself a voice, get involved in the online conversation today by starting your free 14-day with CityBlast.com now.

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