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Students Say “Goodbye” to Anonymous Listings and “Hello” to Facebook Marketplace

With school just around the corner and budget top-of-mind for most, students nationwide are looking online for slightly-used furniture, bikes — even textbooks. Facebook Marketplace provides students a safer way to buy or sell because listings are tied to friends (or friends of friends). This provides some knowledge about the buyer or seller, making it also a more social way to find a new apartment or roommate. Individuals also tend to me more accountable for these same reasons.

The Facebook Marketplace is free to use — and will be releasing an iPhone app soon, making it even easier for students to post their stuff for sale.

To see how easy Facebook Marketplace is to use, check out this video, Facebook Marketplace in Plain English, which was created by one of our users.

Join us For a Free Webinar: You Have a Facebook Page, Now What?!?

If you own or manager properties, don’t miss the upcoming half-hour webinar, “You Have a Facebook Page, Now What!?!” with Craig Donato, CEO of Oodle.

Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010
Time: 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM PDT

Each month over 2 million people in the U.S use Facebook Marketplace to search for rentals. Learn Learn how to get your rental properties on Facebook Marketplace, which is one of the leading sites for rentals, as well as how to optimize your social media presence, including tips and tricks to:

  • Establish the right professional presence
  • Build a base of fans and followers
  • Maximize your visibility and discoverability

Register now for this free webinar. Space is limited.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Video: Facebook Marketplace in Plain English

This video was created by one of our Facebook Marketplace users. I was so impressed that I had to share it on our blog.

Introducing Oodle Pro for Property Managers

Property managers can now use Oodle Pro to fill their vacancies. With more than two million people looking for rentals each month on the Oodle Network, (Oodle.com, Facebook Marketplace, AOL Rented Spaces and more than 250 other sites) Oodle Pro is a great way to promote listings and find renters. In addition to generating leads, Oodle Pro helps property managers improve their presence in social media, generating word-of-mouth referrals.

Using Oodle Pro, listings are:

  • Promoted across the Oodle Network, which includes the Facebook Marketplace and 250 other sites
  • Linked to a building’s Fan Page in Facebook or their Twitter Profile, helping them better market their property and acquire fans
  • Promoted in social streams on Facebook and Twitter

Also, both lead activity (clicks, impressions) and social activity (shares, comments) are tracked to give property managers insight into both traditional and social ROI

According to HUD, the national rental vacancy is 10.6 percent in 2009Q2—up 50 basis points since 2009Q1. In this competitive market, Oodle Pro can help property managers stand out from the crowd by leveraging social media to generate word-of-mouth referrals, promote their brand and communicate with a new generation of renters.

SMO: The New SEO

For the last 10 years, we’ve been obsessed with search and getting our business and our listings well placed in search results. Times are changing and social media is quickly becoming as important as search in terms of how people discover all sorts of things – including businesses and their listings.

According to Compete, in the month of February, Facebook had more US visitors than Google. But more significantly, Compete reported that Facebook is now driving more traffic than Google to the web’s biggest sites.

A big change is afoot. A new form of discovery is emerging – social discovery. In addition to just searching for information, people are increasingly discovering things through trusted recommendations and referrals — predominately through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Local businesses need to begin to migrate their focus from SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is now a reasonably well understood practice to SMO (Social Media Optimization), something we’re just beginning to wrap our heads around.

In the world of search, a local business needed to do three things:

1. Establish a solid online presence by building a good web site
2. Ensure that people could discover the website through search (SEO)
3. Raise the visibility of the site by promotion through advertising and by syndicating their listings to places with good traffic

While the tactics with social media are different, the steps are very similar:

1. Establish a professional presence by building a professional Facebook Page and a professional Twitter profile –and then linking them together
2. Recruit a base of fans and followers (this will be the future of direct marketing)
3. Increase their visibility within their community by sharing information and participating in conversations

In addition to generating leads, Oodle Pro helps small businesses (real estate agents, car dealers, property managers) build SMO through their listings:

1. Enhances their professional presence by adding listings to their Facebook Page (see screenshot below)

2. Allows them to discovered by people they don’t know by linking their Facebook Page and Twitter Profile to their listings — – and promoting those listings in Oodle, the Facebook Marketplace and the rest of the Oodle Network (see screenshot below)

3. And gets people talking about their listings – which generates word-of-mouth referrals (see screenshot below)

Interested in learning more about Oodle Pro? Check us out here.

“Give it Away” for Earth Day

We all know that by sharing, reusing and giving our stuff away, we can curb the purchase of new items and the disposal of old ones. Sites like Freecycle.com and Handmedowns.com allow you to give away your stuff online locally. Facebook Marketplace also allows you to give things away, but with the added benefit of knowing something about who will be arriving at your curb — or door. Whether you choose to give items away to your friends, friends of friends or to the larger Facebook community, a little bit of information about the recipient can be a reassuring thing.

I have used Facebook Marketplace to give away everything from my son’s carpet to a kitchen butcher block. In addition to feeling good about recycling my old stuff, it’s also nice to hear how the items have been thoroughly enjoyed from those that received them. This Earth Day, I’m giving away a white book case.

If you don’t have anything to give away, think about searching for it used before buying new. Facebook Marketplace makes it easy to search for items by category — from baby gear to autos. You can see what your friends, as well as friends of friends are giving away, giving you that same comfort of knowing who will be answering the door.

Happy Earth Day 2010.

Webinar: “You Have a Facebook Page, Now What?!?”

Thank you to all who attended last week’s webinar, “You Have a Facebook Page, Now What?” In case you missed it , you can view it here.

As promised, we’re also sharing the questions that were asked at the end (as well as our answers):

Q: My followers do not want to know who my sister had lunch with today. How do I prevent this from happening?

A: To avoid this, we recommend setting up a Professional Page on Facebook and having your professional contacts fan that page. This way your fans will only see your professional updates.

Q: Do you recommend completely abandoning SEO search strategies?

A: Absolutely not. It is important to focus on SMO (Social Media Optimization) and SEO. It isn’t likely that Google will be displaced by another search engine, nor will it be displaced by search on Facebook. The two are very complementary to one another. People are going to search for information and they are going to use Facebook to solicit trusted opinions and recommendations. It is important to have a presence on both. It is also important to understand SMO and continue to invest in it.

Q: Can you have multiple pages for multiple companies linked through one Facebook account?

A: Facebook only allows you to set up one account and through that you can create as many Professional Pages as you need.

Q: Are Pages the same as fan Pages?

A: Yes.

Q: Do my status updates on my Facebook Page show up to my fans?

A: Yes, they do.

Q: As a young agent, I feel like most agents and brokers greatly lag behind the social media movement. How do you recommend selling this idea and concept to the technologically cautious and afraid?

A: Encourage them to use social media on a personal level.

Q: You talked about setting up a professional Facebook Page.  How do I do that?

A: To create a Professional Page on Facebook go here. To have all of your listings show up on Facebook Marketplace, you will need to sign up for an Oodle Pro account.

Q: What are the different levels of support for Oodle Pro?

A: Oodle Pro offers three packages, which are determined by the number of listings you have. All three packages offer the same product functionality, but with the ability to have a different number of listings at a time : Silver offers up to ten listings at $25/month, Gold offers up to 50 listings at $99/month and Platinum offers up to 200 listings at $349/month. All plans offer the same level of support.

Q: Do I need to have two different Facebook accounts?

A: You just need one Facebook account. From that account you can create a “professional page” that is separate from your personal one. To do this, go here.

Q: Is Oodle Pro only for real estate professionals?

A: Oodle Pro for Real Estate is designed for real estate professionals. We also offer solutions for other business needs. Click here to learn more about our other solutions.

Q: How does video fit into this marketing platform?

A: Video is very complementary to social media and a great addition to your Page(s). It is another way to share about your business and your listings.

A: How will I know if I’m being successful in my social media efforts?

Q: Being successful with social media should be measured by more than just leads. Here are a few success metrics for determining your social media impact: number of followers, fans, engaged users who are commenting on your status updates and listings, as well as number of inquiries about your listings. It is important to pay attention to how people are responding to what you are sharing, as well as what they are sharing from your posts. Additionally, Oodle Pro offers the ability to track your ROI, comments and shouts, which makes it easy to monitor your customer’s social interactions.

Feel free to share ideas on topics you’d like to see next — and stay tuned for upcoming webinar dates.


Bing Maps for Oodle Rentals

Today during the Where 2.0 Conference Keynote, Microsoft announced Bing Maps for Oodle Rentals. We’ve been working with the Bing team as they roll out enhancements to their SDK for the development community. The Oodle Rentals application uses an API to query our extensive index of rental properties and deliver great search results to Bing Maps users. After loading the application, users enter a location in the search box and are provided a map view of rentals within their targeted search radius.  As you navigate the map, search results dynamically change just as they do with native Bing Maps Search.

Each listing is populated into the left-hand panel with a photo, price, type of rental,  address and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You can click the “Full Details” link that will take you to the complete Oodle listing.  

You can also filter your results by clicking the Refine Search tab and specifying the price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You have the option to choose amenities, pet options and specify the type of property you’re looking for. And, you can search by keyword. Whoa. Want to rent the place? Click the “View Full Details” link on any of the respective properties and you can see availability and inquire within.  There are other cool features like street view that enable users to get a close-up view of the property and surrounding community. Just another way to get the data you need on the property you want.

We’re really excited about the Bing implementation and look forward to adding new features and categories over time.

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Register Now For Upcoming Webinar: You Have a Facebook Page, Now What?!?

Register here for the upcoming webinar, “You Have a Facebook Page, Now What?!?”

Date: Wednesday, March 31 @ noon PST

Establishing a professional presence on social media sites such as Facebook & Twitter is quickly becoming as important as having a website. If you are a real estate professional, don’t miss Craig’s upcoming half-hour webinar where you will learn how to optimize your social media presence, including tips and tricks to:                                                                                                          
1) Establish the right professional presence
2) Build a base of fans & followers
3) Maximize your visibility and discoverability                                                                                                                                                          
This is the first in a series of webinars that will help professionals grow their business using social media. 

Marketplace is #1 Business Application on Facebook

According to AppData, Facebook Marketplace holds the #1 spot for Business Applications on Facebook with 11.9 million users per month. @Smiles holds the #2 position with 5.6 million monthly users and 6 Waves Gaming is in the #3 position with 1.4 million users per month.

Facebook Marketplace is powered by Oodle.

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