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Keep your local blog buzzing with amazing content

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Focusing your blog on a local or even hyper-local community is all the rage right now in real estate blogging.  And for good reason.  If you spread yourself too thin over a large geographic area, the “synergy” (to use an over used word) of all of your efforts is just not likely going to pay off as well as if you are laser focused on one specific area.

You can loop videos, photos, blogging, a Facebook fan page and much more all together with the focus being your target community.  Having your content appeal to the larger audience (not just ones looking actively to buy or sell real at the present moment) is one way to build your presence and fill your pipeline.  Keep them coming to your site for community info, and you will always be top of mind when they, or a friend of theirs, have a real estate need.

Finding fresh new info for your blog or content can become a challenge, but worry not!  There are some nifty tricks that may help you sift through what’s out there.

  1. Set up a Google Alert to notify you when anything new is posted on the internet.  This will keep you in front of the news about your community.  When news breaks, post it to your facebook page and/or twitter account.  You’ll be seen as the one providing the latest news, even before they see it on the 11 O’clock news!
  2. Subscribe to alerts on just about any topic on Everyblock.com (right now they have around 15 cities and growing).  Topix is another site as is Outside.in. I subscribe to all three!
  3. Sign up for a local coupon service like Groupon and/or LivingSocial, and share the great deals with your friends, fans and followers.
  4. Subscribe to social event sites like Daily Candy, Thrillist and/or local ones from your community.
  5. I’d search through YouTube, Flickr, etc. to find the local photographers, vloggers and bloggers and subscribe to their feeds and share new and exciting content from them.  Reach out to them as well and introduce your local blog.
  6. Centr’d is a more encompassing site, with info on just about everything from events to bargains.
  7. If you are on twitter, set up a search so that any time your local area is mentioned, you see it.  This is often the FASTEST way to get breaking news, as people tweet it in from their mobile devices.

Everyblock and Centr’d have widgets you can add right to your blog.

Right now, larger cities are more heavily covered by these sites, but you can get info on just about any community/zip by using a combination of them.  As time goes on, more and more cities are being added as well, so don’t despair, work with what is available and keep your eye out for new additions.

If you have a great hyperlocal source suggestion, please add it to the comments below.

Janie has been in the development, construction and real estate industries for over 20 years. She began her career in commerical construction and has slowly worked into all of the related industries and added residential properties to her resume 7 years ago. She is currently the co-owner of sister companies, Papillon Real Estate and Papillon ReDevelopment (a construction and project management firm). Janie blogs for The Coral Gables Story. In her "free" time, she is a graduate student of Atlantic History with a focus on the history of business and technology. She is a lover of geo-anything. She loves the story.

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Matt Stigliano

    July 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Janie – One of my favorite tips is to follow your local news team on Twitter and Facebook if they’re out there. Our local station, KSAT 12, has an excellent bunch of social media users that are very active. I follow the personalities that are the anchors, reporters, and weathermen, as well as the behind the scenes people who you wouldn’t normally know by name. Just the other night for instance, I knew about an officer involved shooting at 2AM as it was happening – not exactly blog fodder in this instance, but more than once, I’ve been able to “break” news, get a bit deeper into a story, or get connections to the people in the story because of my relationship with those at KSAT 12.

    I’ve also been involved in sending them bits and pieces I see – mostly photos of weather when we’re watching big storms, but occasionally traffic and accident “heads up” alerts when I come across them. In addition to being great resources, I’ve found them to be a fun bunch of locals as well and getting to know them has been interesting and enjoyable.

  2. Janie Coffey

    July 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

    OMG Matt, how could I forget local news stations/journalists? Doh! You are so right, they are a great resource to both glean info from and to provide info to. Journalists are people to and need sources, so if you should yourself to be a credible, willing and informative source, you could be the go-to person for real estate in your area. We were lucky enough to be on the 6 O’Clock news for our local ABC affiliate through our twitter friendships with local news people! Thanks so much for pointing out the big gaping hole in my story! 😉

  3. Miami Condo Shop

    July 21, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Great post. Janie pretty much covered everything. The truth is that if your content is mediocre, so will be your success. You need to keep your readers educated, enlightened, or simply entertained in regards to your niche to keep them coming back for more. I find it useful to use other blog links and whenever a reader leaves an interesting comment on one of my posts I usually follow their own blog and see what else they’ve written. Sometimes, I also get fresh ideas from Digg, Delicious,Technorati, etc. Thanks for the gold pot of infos and keep up the great posts.

    • Janie Coffey

      July 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

      you are so right Marc. If it isn’t fresh, informative and helps them become more educated, they aren’t going to come back. I LOVE your videos on your blog, really great! Let’s meetup sometime!

  4. Jordan

    July 21, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Great Strategies! Don’t have much to do today–think I’ll hone in more on my target market. 🙂

    • Janie Coffey

      July 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

      keep me posted Jordan, I am sure you will find many great sources for your target market.

  5. Al Lorenz

    July 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    There were several here I had missed before!

    • Janie Coffey

      July 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm

      please share with me any others that you come across, the more the better!

  6. Geoffrey Kasselman, SIOR, LEED AP

    July 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Hey! I know the sign in that picture! It is at a children’s overnight camp in WI (my daughter goes there). Love it!

    • Janie Coffey

      July 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm

      where in WI? my maiden name is Sederberg which was a take off from Cedarburg WI, I was born near Hartford (not far from Milwaukee) and still have tonssss of family there

  7. Jonathan Dalton

    July 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    > You’ll be seen as the one providing the latest news, even before they see it on the 11 O’clock news!

    But to what end? Is the point to become a community journalist a la Curbed or to sell real estate in a given community? And will the time spent reporting local news really mean that when someone wants to buy or sell they’re going to remember that in spite of why they follow you that you sell real estate?

    Based on what all of us experience in our own spheres, I’d argue no. When I coached soccer, the kids’ parents saw me as a soccer coach, not a real estate agent. I could remind them as often as I wanted but at the end of the day their frame of reference for me was as a coach.

    It’s like trying to escape the friends’ zone … once you’re there, the odds of a romance rising are virtually none because that’s not how you’re viewed. Spend too much time trying to be more than what you are, a real estate agent, and people will see you as everything but.

    On a side note, a blog doesn’t have to be hyperlocal to be effective – I write about topics for Canadian buyers a handful of times a month and still rank extremely well for “Phoenix real estate for Canadians” and gain business. You also don’t have to have a blog to dominate hyperlocally, you can do the same with a static website with excellent content and plenty of listings info.

    • Janie Coffey

      July 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      Hi Jonathan,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are right, you don’t have to have a hyperlocal blog to be effective. Or even a blog. There are lots of ways to be a successful and productive real estate agent. Blogging, and specifically hyperlocal blogging is just one avenue which could be a stand alone lead generation source, or a supplementary source to other efforts. I did not mean to say it’s the only way, and hope this post doesn’t come off as such.

      Why our team has moved from a Miami real estate office, to a more local focused one focused on a specific area was to maximize our efforts, our time with clients, etc. When we were spread too thin covering a large area, we ended becoming too all over the place. Hence the switch to a tighter focus.

      The goal of being the source of info is to build a blog (again, our approach, not the one for everyone) which is the community hub. So that people subscribe to our blog, see we sell real estate and then think of us when the idea of real estate arises. Our blog never tries to hide or minimize that we are Realtors.

      We also practice other prospecting such as SOI development, expireds, farming postcards, etc. It’s a more holistic approach to “cover” our target local market.

      The intent of this post was to provide suggestions to provide blog fodder for those who do, or are interested in, local/hyperlocal blogging, not to suggest it is the only way to sell real estate.

      I think any prospecting method, ANY, will yield results if done in a consistent, dedicated and professional manner. From networking only to door knocking only, and everything in between. I also think a good mix of “old style” and “new style” prospecting, will help you maximize your reach and minimize risk (if one dries up).

      😉

  8. Jimbo

    July 22, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Personally, I like fwix.com It lets you follow the latest local news (in my case, Charleston, SC) in your area via twitter, photos, blogs, weather, etc . You can create a customized widget for your blog (as I have on mine)and keep your blog “buzzing” with local news and deals. Once you’ve created a widget, you’re ready to go. Simply copy the code below into your site’s html. For instructions on blog installation, select your preferred blog type.

  9. Property Marbella

    July 23, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Hi Janie, I follow the local newpapers over internet. There can I find many interesting news and the best is; they dont use any SEO, so with little normal SEO and WP plugin “All in One SEO plugin” can I be first on Google very easy and get clients to my site.

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Social Media

Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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Truth Social: Trump’s long-standing battle against Big Tech backfires

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Truth Social is an example of how a new platform, though necessary to keep competition alive, can prove to be fallible before it succeeds.

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Man holding iPhone with Truth Social app download page up, as well as the stock market and Trump in the background on computer screens.

Former President Donald J. Trump announced a new social media platform, dubbed “Truth Social” last week. The platform has since been the recipient of cyber attacks by hacker collective Anonymous and the Software Freedom Conservancy has accused the Trump Media and Technology Group of violating the terms of their software agreement.

The circumstances plaguing Truth Social provide a small (if nuanced) look into the rigors of creating and sustaining new social media platforms in the modern-day. While expanding the number of social media platforms available creates more competition, this platform, in particular, raises some questions about the wisdom of investing in a service that creates an ideological echo chamber, as well as demonstrating that not just anyone can run a social media site.

There’s no denying that this new entry into the world of social media is off to a rocky start. Cyberattacks just hours after Truth Social’s test run left the site in disarray, with fake user accounts for Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump appearing at various stages of the launch. Truth Social’s hosts eventually took it offline, and the sign-up process is halted for the time being.

Woman holding iPhone showing Truth Social's feed.

Truth Social also has some interesting rules regarding user interactions on their platform, including a non-disparagement clause and the assertion that users can be sued for the content they post, Time reports.

“In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress,” says one section of the Truth Social terms of use.

This clause is in stark contrast to the ethos behind Truth Social – a platform that, according to the press release, was “founded with a mission to give a voice to all” and “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

The disparity in messaging versus reality is an understandable mistake, as much of Trump’s mindset was most likely impacted by criticism levied against him on mainstream social media when he had his accounts – and anyone in the same position might reasonably make the same call. However, restricting users to agree with one set political ideology is a perilous precedent to set. Echo chambers aren’t particularly conducive to longevity.

iPhone showing Trump's suspended Twitter account.

The Trump Media and Technology Group also violated the terms of their open-source software of choice when they uploaded the pilot version of Truth Social. According to the licensing agreement associated with Mastodon – the software company TMTG used – users must have access to the source code for the product in question (in this case, Truth Social).

Since the initial users of Truth Social did not receive that access, the social media platform is at risk of permanently losing its rights to the code.

While some of these pitfalls feel proprietary to Trump insofar as his high-profile battle against social media is concerned, the truth is that any development of new social media entries will be messy and fraught with obstacles. Truth Social is just one example of how a new platform – something that is absolutely necessary to keep competition alive – can prove to be publicly fallible far before it ever succeeds.

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Instagram Collabs: New feature fosters the ability to co-author content

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format called Collabs, giving users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels.

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Instagram stock images of collab feature.

Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format that many can benefit from. Called Instagram Collabs, this latest feature gives users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels. This isn’t the first feature Instagram has rolled out to promote collaboration between users, but we think it will be a beneficial addition!

How to use Instagram Collabs

Using Collabs is very similar to how you tag someone on Instagram. You can start by choosing to create either a reels video or feed post. After recording your video or taking your photo like you normally would, you head over to the “Share” screen and select “Tag People”. On that screen, there is now an “Invite Collaborator” option!

By choosing to invite a collaborator, the account you add will be able to share your post to their profile grid and their followers. Additionally, the names of all the collaborators will appear in the feed post or reel header, but before their username shows up on your post, the collaborator will need to accept the collaborator invitation first.

Keep in mind, only public accounts can be tagged and there is a limit to how many tags you can use. You’re able to tag up to 20 accounts, including the number of tagged users and collaborators.

Instagram stock photo of how to use new feature, Collabs, with iPhones showing the sequence of how to add a co-author.

Benefits of Instagram Collabs

Collabs makes it quicker and easier for everyone to share content on the platform. From local artists working together on a project to businesses working with high-profile influencers to promote their brand, content is shared instantly. Gone are the days of screenshotting or using third-party apps to repost that same content on your profile.

Along with making sharing easier, the feature makes it clear and simple to give credit where it’s due – all authors are given credit. When it comes to branded sponsorships, instead of adding hashtags or brand tags that can become cluttered, along with the user, the names of brands are neatly displayed in the header. Before this feature, it was a little difficult to distinguish a regular tag from a business, but with Collabs, that is no more.

And last, but not least, collaborators will all share views, likes, and comments. By sharing engagement signals, content creators will be able to maximize their reach and businesses will have more transparency with their customers.

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