Larry BraunerI envisioned when launching my social media consulting practice spending my time creating and executing traffic generating and branding strategies using a wide range of social media sites. I did not envision spending my time optimizing clients’ websites and blogs.

Your Website or Blog

What I found, however, was that clients’ websites had not been designed to appeal to visitors and convert them into subscribers or customers, nor were they set up to attract search engine traffic.

This problem concerned me very much. As I’ve written numerous times, the core of a social media marketing campaign is always your website or blog. Consequently, I decided to offer a full range of services to help clients make more effective use of the web.

Social Media and Web Marketing in Action

Welkin Capital GroupI was asked very recently to market the website of Welkin Capital Group, a high-end real estate finance company. When I accepted the assignment, I knew that my work would encompass more than social media and search engine optimization. It would include a total website makeover, as well.

The transformation of Welkin’s website has been dramatic. The best way to appreciate the changes we made is to compare the new website to the old website. We still plan to add a newsletter and a blog but already, the new site has a better look and feel, more room to maneuver, additional content and a social component.

While working on the Welkin site’s new design, we began optimizing the site’s content for search engines — and for human visitors too:

  • During the first six weeks, March 7, 2010 to April 17, Welkin received 51 unique search engine visits from 25 search terms.
  • During the next six weeks, April 18 to May 29, the company received 152 unique search visits from 63 terms.

We’re still working on the website’s content. Writing and tweaking content is an ongoing aspect of web marketing.

If you’re interested in real estate, you can follow Welkin on Facebook and Twitter.

Conclusion

Your main takeaway from this article:

Web marketing begins with your website or blog, the core of your web presence, and without which your social media marketing plan isn’t complete and cannot succeed.

Please subscribe to Online Social Networking and leave a comment telling me what’s on your mind. :-)

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Larry BraunerA commodity is any product or service for which there is demand, but for which there is no perceived qualitative difference between that which you offer and that which your competitors offer.

Its market price is determined solely by supply and demand.

With commodities, e.g., electronics or metals, consumers are as likely to buy from your competitors as they are to buy from you and will choose randomly among the lowest priced offerings available to them.

What is Commoditization?

Commoditization or commodifying is the transformation of a product or service into a commodity by external influences such as a commodities exchange or the growing virtual marketplace on the Internet.

Haven’t you yourself ever compared offerings for a product on the web and purchased the one with the lowest price? You used to shop for this product at a neighborhood merchant, but now you tend to shop around for it online.

Commoditization prevents a product or service from standing out and places  downward pressure on its price.

Commoditization in Real Estate

While real estate itself is far from being a commodity, the agents who sell real estate, especially residential real estate, are losing their competitive differentiation in the market.

I attended REMarTech in New York City this past week. The conference was marvelously organized and presented by Ryan Slack and Green Pearl Events. If you’re in real estate, you ought to join the Green Pearl social network on Ning.

Real Estate MarketingI met lots of interesting people at REMarTech and learned some important facts about real estate sales and marketing, as well.

I learned that real estate brokers and agents are no longer the main sources of information about real estate properties and property listings. Buyers readily obtain detailed property information and listings using online services like Zillow, Trulia and StreetEasy, each represented at the REMarTech event.

As a result, the real estate broker listing a particular property is more likely now than in the past to end up splitting the commission for the sale of that property with a competitor.

How Social Media Helps Real Estate Agents

A recurring theme at REMarTech was that blogging, social networking sites, and mobile apps help real estate agents convey to potential buyers and sellers the agent’s depth of knowledge and active involvement in the neighborhood he or she represents.

A number of real estate agents use foursquare to check in and take a stand in their respective neighborhoods.

One speaker reported being the mayor of all the buildings he represents. If you wanted to sell your apartment, wouldn’t you think that perhaps the mayor of your building would be the best person to sell it?

REMarTech Takeaways

I can report to you that leaders of major real estate companies, such as Fred Peters of Warburg Realty, Diane Ramirez of Halstead Property and Jacky Teplitzky of Prudential Douglas Elliman, have already adopted social media within their organizations.

A typical real estate broker or agent has limited social media know-how but wants to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.

Fortunately, Green Pearl Events, organizer of REMarTech, is eager to help early adopters to adapt — and so is, of course, yours truly. ;-)

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Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

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