Twitter card integration makes your listing tweets stand out

We enhanced your Twitter listing shares by adding Twitter card integration to your RealBird single property websites. From now on, when you or someone else tweets one of your listings that you published on RealBird, the primary photo is also sent to Twitter using their "summary info card" specification. There is no additional step required on your side, just make sure that you select a high-impact photo on RealBird as the first, primary picture of your listing and don't forget to tweet your property website once it's published.

A note on automatic displaying of the photo: the current "summary info" card format does not show the picture in others' feed automatically, only if they click the "View Summary" link of your tweet. We are working on a solution with which you will be able to select between the current "summary info" card format and another photo centric format called "photo" card. We believe that the current "summary info" card format generates the best click through rate, but we'll let you decide between the two options soon.

Below is en embedded example  showing the large primary photo included in the tweet:

Google +1, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sharing tools are now easier to use with RealBird

We just made it easier for you and your visitors to share your listing information on social networks.

Your RealBird single property websites, your Quick Share page and also the listing editor confirmation page now show a new, large social media sharing module. We have been supporting social network sharing for your listings for years, but this update introduces some accessibility improvements and also adds a large button with counters for the new Google +1 button and for LinkedIn as well.

Social Sharing Buttons

What is Google +1 ?

Google +1 is a brand new social plugin from Google. It is similar to the Facebook Like button you see on many websites ( including your RealBird listing sites). You or your visitors can "vote up" content found either on Google's search result or on 3rd party websites, e.g. your RealBird property websites. Google then uses this vote to highlight and rank search results differently for your network (searchers who you are connected to via Google services, Twitter etc.) 

To vote your properties up in Google's index, you can visit your own RealBird property website, scroll to the bottom and click the +1 button. It takes only a simple click. Or you can visit your QuickShare page (link is provided on the top of the listing management page in the RealBird member area) and click the +1 button for each of your listings. Finally, when you add a new listing in RealBird, the confirmation page will also have the same set of sharing buttons so you can simple click on it as soon as the property is posted. 

Here is an example of how the RealBird listing is presented for your network in Google's search result, once it is voted up by you. In this case, RealBird's Google account voted up a listing and is shown for me as such:

Google +1

How to enable the Facebook Like button ?

Similar to Google +1, the Facebook Like button enables you and your visitors to easily share your listings with their Facebook network with only a single click. In order to enable this feature, you will have to connect your Facebook account to RealBird. This is a standard and secure process, just click on the Facebook Login button in the member area and click Allow on the permission popup page. We do not see your Facebook login info, it's absolutely secure to connect to RealBird.  We require this extra step, because unlike other simple implementations, we support the full Facebook Open Graph and we need to designate you as the admin of the Facebook Listing Page that is created for each of your listings. This is a very powerful feature, but also really easy to set up. A more detailed explanation can be found on this post of ours from a year ago: Don't Forget to Like Yourself - Facebook Listing Pages with RealBird

How to best utilize the LinkedIn button ?

A new addition to the social sharing module is the large LinkedIn button. Some of the features that we really like about this tool are:

  1. Just like Facebook, the LinkedIn module automatically picks up your primary photos and page title so your shares are visually engaging, which can result in higher click-through rates and subsequent share
  2. On the LinkedIn sharing popup, you can also post the RealBird listing website to LinkedIn Groups, including the RealBird Group on LinkedIn
  3. You can also use the LinkedIn tool to share via emails

If you are an active LinkedIn users, we suggest to set up a few geo-targeted real estate LinkedIn groups and start sharing local real estate related info including your RealBird property websites there as well.

The screenshot below shows these options:


To sum it up: You can now quickly access the new sharing module via A) Your RealBird single property website B) Your QuickShare page C) The new listing add/edit confirmation page.

We hope this new feature will make your social media marketing with RealBird much easier...

Enjoy !


  -- Zoltan


Sharing habits of RealBird agents and consumers

The RealBird Listing Publisher provides a convenient way for agents in the member area to quickly share their listings on social networks and social bookmarking sites after publishing it. The chart below shows the sharing habits - the distribution of sharing destinations - of the RealBird listings. Since this particular sharing service is different than the one available on the RealBird single property websites and used only by RealBird members, the chart represents the importance of these destinations as decided by real estate professionals. 

Sharing distribution

The second chart shows the sharing distribution by consumers from the single property websites. This stats might include RealBird member agents as well, so it represents a different data set. Facebook and Twitter rule as well, but LinkedIn is #2. I suspect that LinkedIn sharing - being a professional network - is used by the RealBird member agents again and not by consumers.

Sharing distribution on the single property websites

-- Zoltan

Win an iPod Touch. A social media experiment

This post is reblogged from our ActiveRain blog

RealBird iPod Touch Sweepstakes on TwitterAnother week, another promotion. We are now experimenting with social media marketing. More specifically, we are attempting to create a viral marketing event in the form of a sweepstakes. Aside from the obvious, which is to promote our own brand, we want to be able to demonstrate to our readers and members how to utilize social media to achieve a marketing goal. We selected ActiveRain (as the viral hub) and Twitter to be the core platform for this experiment.

Twitter this message to participate

In our opinion, the four rules below are the basis for a successful social media campaign:

Rule #1 - The transaction cost for participants has to be as low as possible

Transaction cost means not only the monetary cost, but the abstract cost of efforts, time and mental resources as well. We designed this sweepstakes so that it only takes a few seconds to enter. Just click here to post the following message to Twitter and you are in.

"RealBird is giving away a free iPod Touch #realbird1 ReTweet to enter Rules:"

Rule #2 - An incentive has to be provided

Incentives do not have to be monetary in nature. They can be a reward as trivial as feeling good because of the participation, as it would be the case in charity campaigns for instance. In this particular case, the incentive is two fold: 1) the Apple iPod Touch which will be the prize for one lucky participant - this is a monetary incentive 2) the excitement of participating in something of this nature - this is a mental incentive. I suggest not to underestimate 2) either in terms of its effect.

Rule #3 -Ideally, do some good in the process

Related to Rule #2, good campaigns are those with secondary or by-product value for participants. We designed this campaign in a way that the tweet contains a link to randomly selected active RealBird listing website. So while the message will be traveling on the web, every instance of the message will link to a random RealBird listing, hence bringing exposure for a RealBird member and their property; for free.

Rule #4 - Be as transparent as possible

Transparency creates trust. Trust increases participation. We made sure that you will see as much of this campaigns internals as we do. You'll see all participants by searching Twitter for the topic #realbird1 and you will also be able to see the click-through rate, peaks and drops, viral hubs and sources through the amazing URL shortening service

Enough of the theory: this is the single step to take in order to participate:

Simply Twitter (or retweet) the message below. Make sure that the Twitter topic #realbird1 is presented in the message.

Enter sweepstakes: RealBird is giving away a free iPod Touch #realbird1 ReTweet to enter Rules:

Current participants: See as participants join the sweepstakes

Click-through traffic: See stats here

Sweepstakes rules and disclaimers:

  1. No purchase is necessary to participate
  2. A participant is defined as a Twitter user, uniquely indetified by his or her Twitter username
  3. One prize for one randomly selected participant: an 8GB Apple iPod Touch (2nd generation)
  4. One entry per participant no matter how many campaign tweets are posted
  5. US and Canadian residents can win only (although we welcome others to retweet )
  6. Drawing is on April 2, 2009
  7. Free shipping of the free prize, no cost to the winner
  8. The linked, random RealBird property website may contain 3rd party advertisement. This advertisement only shows when visitors arrive through this campaign's channel and there are no advertisements on the RealBird single property websites otherwise.
  9. No association or business relationship is claimed by RealBird with ActiveRain, Twitter, Apple or any other party mentioned in the campaign.
  10. While RealBird employees and their families can Twitter the message, they can not participate in the sweepstakes and their Twitter account will be excluded from the list prior to the drawing
  11. Prohibited where local and state laws disallows such promotions
  12. The winner will be announced on this blog and we will contact him or her via email, Twitter and phone (if it is publicly available) for delivery information. If we can not reach the winner within two weeks from the drawing date, we'll conduct a new drawing.

-- Zoltan

RealBird communities on FriendFeed, Twitter and MyBlogLog

We are now streaming RealBird listings to 3 new platforms, MyBlogLog, Twitter and FriendFeed. All 3 have some distinct set of features and we shall see which one will be the most appealing for people to interact around topics related to RealBird and the properties advertised.

A service by Yahoo, MyBlogLog started as a smart widget to create mini communities on blogs and to add face to faceless website and blog visitors. Since then, it grew into a powerful lifestreaming, and general social networking platform. If you are a MyBlogLog user, join our MyBlogLog communities. All RealBird listings are automatically streamed here through the property search engine.

Pros: Lifestreaming is getting better and Google indexes the content fast and the photo "footprint" is a must-have for every real estate agent (consider it your grocery card photo banners online, for free)
Cons: The community messaging is still very basic and unintuitive, and is mostly used for messaging to blog readers, i.e. a one way communication from authors of the community to their readers.

We are now streaming your listings as they are posted to Twitter as well. Our twitter username is realbird and you can send us tweets, follow or interact with ours.

Pros: The simplest way to get in touch with us

Cons: The power of twitter is the limitation of the message length allowed. It forces people to summarize what they have to say. That might also be a disadvantage as a forum platform, but for some sort of conversation between you and us, it may be the quickest way. We shall see.

FriendFeed started as an aggregator of users' and their friend's social network feeds and enabled them to track the merged online activities all at one place. Eventually, FriendFeed became a major hub for liquid conversation, i.e. a place where people engage around a topic streamed from 3rd party sites, blog and media. One of the most intuitive implementation I've seen so far and it tends to be less noisy than Twitter. We have created a RealBird Room on FriendFeed. We stream our blogs and the RealBird listings here as well. Use this forum to add your likes and dislikes about our service, comments on existing posts and interact with other RealBird users. Once you joined the Room (free), you can send us an email with your blog feed and we will add it to the community (assuming you are a RealBird member and real estate professional)

Consider these services as new ways to start discussions about RealBird, our product features and best practices and to interact with fellow RealBird members. We are going to set up communities (or groups) on ActiveRain and Facebook too and eventually we will see which platform the most conversations will emerge on.

-- Zoltan