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How Do I Use Social Media On PhotographyForRealEstate.net?

Published: 02/06/2010
By: larry

Today I had someone ask me how I use Social Media On PhotographyForRealEstate.net. I have to admit it's not all that clear. Here is how I use it:

  1. Twitter: I have a Twitter account (@pfreblog) and I have the PFRE blog's Feedburner feed setup so that every time I post to PFRE Feedburner automatically sends out the post on an e-mail. You can subscribe to that in the upper right side-bar. For the last 9 months or so Feedburner also sends out a tweet with the title and a link to the post. The advantage of following pfreblog on twitter is you get the tweet within minutes of when I post, whereas the e-mail takes about 8 hours to get to you.
  2. FaceBook: For about two years I had a Facebook page for PFRE but never spent much time on Facebook. I've always found the Facebook TOS regarding photos really offensive. In early 2009 Facebook changed their TOS for photos to say all photos that you post are theirs even after you leave Facebook. This just doesn't make sense for photographers. The recent craziness with Facebook changing their privacy settings several times just pushed me over the edge so I canceled my Facebook account. My feeling is that Facebook is just not a company that I'm willing to trust with anything. This is probably crazy for someone who blogs, but for me there are a bunch of companies that I choose not to do business with just based on principle. Facebook is one of them!

Yea, I know what you are thinking-- I'm a fuddy-duddy when it comes to social media. Maybe so, but I spend a huge amount of time answering e-mail. I enjoy answering readers questions and answer most e-mails with in a few hours at most. I spend so much time on e-mail my 3 year old grandson walks around saying, "I have to go check my e-mail". I don't know where he heard that phrase! So for now if you want to talk to me the best way is via e-mail.

11 comments on “How Do I Use Social Media On PhotographyForRealEstate.net?”

  1. Yikes! So those of us who are Agents/photographers, who where thinking of using faceBook to post a new listing of a property, could technically loose the copyright to the images or worse?

  2. @Larry - you said "fuddy-duddy"... say no more 😉

    @Charles - not sure what is worse than losing the copyright to your images. Having said that, copyright transfer is not as simple as a retroactive TOS on facebook - there's a significant difference between right to use and copyright. Beyond that, get 10 intellectual property rights attorneys in the same room and ask them what rights you have to use the property photographs (beyond the terms of your listing contract) to which they all agree you hold the copyright. You will get ten different answers. Facebook's TOS for photographs isn't really the issue - the issue is that, unless you obtain a property release for all your interior shots, as well as exterior shots taken from non-public property, you don't really have a right to re-use the shots beyond the terms of your marketing contract with the homeowner so it's all kind of moot.

  3. Erik, thanks for making that clear. So in reality when pondering whether to promote photography/listing via social media, one needs to be staying inside the TOS as an agent/photographer. But the return of course is you loose control of the content?

  4. That's funny, I just had this same exact question a couple of days ago but didn't ask it. I did set up a Twitter and Facebook account, but have not been keen on using Facebook. To me it has too much of a personal element to it to properly try to market a business. Maybe I'm doing it wrong though, because others seem to be successful at it. I do, however, like Twitter as it is an easy way to get your name and website out there quickly and even search and target exactly who you want to see it by following them. I have noticed, or at least it seems, that only a very small number of Realtors are using Twitter. Has anyone else experienced this in their area?

  5. One way to sort of skirt the whole issue, which I use, is to start a Facebook group for your photography website, and post direct links to the show from Facebook, thereby providing one-click access to your show without jeopardizing any rights to the images. The good part is that Facebook will recognize the link and include some of the description for me so people have a brief overview of what they are about to click on anyway. It seems to work and one house on my site was purchased this week because someone in the group followed the link to the show and took it from there.

    Just my 2.5 cents.

  6. @Charles - the reality is that, even though you retain copyright for intellectual property that has a limited usage life, once it's online it's out of your control regardless of any site's TOS. Are they screen-grabbing your shots in Bangladesh and using them for magazine ads? Who knows? Who cares? You'll never see it anyway!

    @Jamin - I used to use Facebook and will likely start up a fan page at some point but have focused more on twitter. I have gotten around the issue of others using my shots by slapping a large watermark on each image (ok, I may have missed one or two): http://twitpic.com/photos/proplistingspro

  7. You could try integrating a cooliris Express 3D wall directly into your Facebook fanpage. Their are also other new intuitive flash based methods of fanpage customization that you are able to do now. I use it on my website just because it looks badass and matches my layout/theme. Plus, it automatically grabs photo's from my Flickr account, so it's a great little free plug-in for showing your photo's in an interesting way.

    Give it a try:
    http://www.cooliris.com/yoursite/express/

  8. Jamin. I am an agent/photographer here in Marbella Spain where RE photographers starve. So we desperately need to promote and get the word out. My thought was through social media which would also provide some customers for Larry lohrman fantastic eBooks. (only a very small number of Realtors are using Twitter). Your comment left and in an email from Larry which Larry pointed out and I missed completely is that your customers need to be using twitter and faceBook to benefit . I am sure though, that these are early days using social media for promotion?
    Another thought is, will all this effort going into providing social media content increase ones Google ranking in a good way? as we all need customers and agents also need stock as it were..

    Erik. As mentioned above RE photography has not taken off here yet , and as we are all aware of the enormous amount of time and money it takes to be able to consistently provide good quality images. It hasn’t happened to me yet, not sure if that’s insulting to my photography but as owners often use multiple agents at the same time. The better pictures could feasible be lifted from the social sites as they would be public?. The answer I suppose is a watermark, email address as an example!

  9. @Charles - "...Another thought is, will all this effort going into providing social media content increase ones Google ranking in a good way? as we all need customers and agents also need stock as it were.."

    Yes, that was my thought on it as well. Additional links back to your website from social media increase your Google ranking as well as increase traffic. So, even if you do not directly reach realtors through this medium it will help you rank better in the search engines and eventually you will indirectly reach the target audience. Hopefully our target audience will grow in social media as it is a very cost effective way to market and reach a large amount of people in a small amount of time.

  10. @Jamin: It will increase your traffic, but only if people are visiting your social media sites in the first place. The main goal is still to have social media for the purpose of user interaction, and that's what helps bring people back. Way more effective than simply trying to climb in google rank for the purposes of boosting traffic stats.

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