The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® is holding a Tech Trilogy for members this year. The first of the Tech Trilogy series hosted by the Los Altos/Mountain View, Menlo Park/Atherton and Palo Alto districts took place last Friday in Los Altos. Entitled “Social Media and Your Marketing,” Mary Pope-Handy of Sereno Group and Tim Hmelar of WebLunchBox and Intero-Mexico shared information with members on the importance of social media marketing. The pair walked members through the process, sharing tips on blogging, on cross linking sites and blogs, and on how to get on page 1 of Google.

Both Handy and Hmelar indicated Facebook is one social media tool that is a “powerhouse. “ It’s also important to use Twitter, LinkedIn, ActiveRain. Yelp can also be a good tool for business, they said.

Real estate purchasers are surfers, they said. In fact, 96 percent of first-time buyers start their home search online, so it’s important to be found on the Internet. If you have a website, you need to know HTML so you can make changes to your site. If you’re not blogging, you should. YouTube and using videos are also musts for REALTORS®.  Findings of a survey reveal 45 percent of respondents walked through a home they visited online; 29 percent located an agent via an Internet home search; and 75 percent of home owners say they’re more likely to list with a REALTOR® who makes videos.

Blogging can differentiate you and your knowledge from that of other agents. Companies that blog receive 97 percent more inbound links. These companies also report 55 percent more website visitors.

It’s important to get on page 1 of Google since a survey shows 68 percent of people do not go past the first page when they search for something. Use the right key words on your site and blogs and cross link them, they said. Pope-Handy showed members how, by using certain key words on her blogs and sites, her entries have appeared on page 1 as the first four top results, and of the 10 search results on the page, six were hers.

“Think of social media as a marketing plan. You need to have a crystal idea of what you want to accomplish,” said Pope-Handy.

The second of the three-part tech series is titled, “So What Can I Do with Instanet?” and slated for Tuesday, July 26 at the 8 am at the Left Bank in Menlo Park. The third part of the series is scheduled for Friday, August 5 in Palo Alto.

This year’s Tech Trilogy for SILVAR members is sponsored by Bank of America.