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91: Josh Cobb: The Ingredients For Contagious Online Real Estate Marketing

By |August 10, 2016| No Comments


If your competitors are targeting the same audience online with their special offer (and they are!), what makes your company so special?

According to an extensive study conducted by marketing professor Jonah Berger, there is set of common ingredients for why things go viral.

In this episode of Real Estate Pros, we discuss why some brands and influencers get noticed, followed and talked about more than others.


The Ingredients For Contagious Online Real Estate MarketingOften at workshops and speaking events I will talk about a book called ‘Contagious: Why Things Catch On‘ by marketing professor Jonah Berger.

Jonah spent years researching why some brands, celebrities and influencers are talked about, discussed and followed more than others. What Jonah found in his research was that there is a common set of marketing ingredients shared by the world’s most viral content.

In chapter 1 of his book, Jonah talks about one of these ingredients, called Social Currency – the idea that people share things to make themselves look good to others.

Jonah continues by saying:

“Remarkable things are defined as unusual, extraordinary, or worthy of notice or attention. Something can be remarkable because it is novel, surprising, extreme, or just plain interesting. But the most important aspect of remarkable things is that they are worthy of remark. Worthy of mention. Remarkable things provide social currency because they make the people who talk about them seem, well, more remarkable.”

Ever since the internet became accessible to ‘everyday people’, brands simply uploaded their brochures to the web, believing this is what internet marketing was all about. But as the web matured, some brands realised that the internet is actually a powerful medium for publishing compelling content that can get noticed, talked about and shared by more people.

Now in real estate – let’s be honest – we spend the overwhelming majority of our time when it comes to marketing speaking about our listings, our results, our awards and quite frankly, ourselves. This especially includes the online space and it is certainly the case when it comes to social media.

Social media has given a megaphone to real estate agents the world over and – as with the rise of the internet all those years ago – when social media came along, many saw it as a great opportunity to spread their message to a much larger audience than they could have reached before.

But as time went on, just like the rise of the web, social media got noisy. Really noisy.

As more and more agents started using these platforms to promote themselves and their properties, it became harder, and more expensive, to cut through all that noise.

As platforms such as Facebook made it harder for agents to reach their audience organically, some agents believed that boosting posts was going to get the job done.

We would likely all agree that while boosting posts on Facebook will surely reach more people, it’s not necessarily going to reach the people that our content is most relevant to and it’s even more unlikely that those people will share our boosted posts with their family and friends.

It’s extremely difficult to come up with compelling content all the time and I’m not suggesting for a second that all of your posts on social media need to go viral. Advertising your services online still works. It works extremely well if done right.

But if advertising your properties your services is all that you’re doing, you’re probably losing fans that you didn’t know you could get.

In episode 86 of Real Estate Pros, we spoke about the latest changes coming to Facebook and the impact that this will have on brands. Quite simply, Facebook is prioritising more of people’s friends and families in the newsfeed above brands and influencers and some experts are predicting that organic reach on Facebook will reach 0% when these latest changes take effect.

This means if you’re not paying to promote your posts on Facebook, it’s likely that no one will see your content.

One of the most interesting comments in Facebook’s official statement about these latest changes is this:

“… if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact.”

As Jonah Berger said in his book Contagious, “People share things that make themselves look good to others.”

Facebook knows this and they are rewarding brands and influencers who create compelling content that people want to share.

Is your content compelling? Are you adding value outside of your products and services? Would your own family and friends share your content?

If the answer to all of these questions is a yes, you’re probably on the right path.

Good luck.

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