How do you drive incredible growth in online followers?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Catarra Real Estate, Inc CA BRE #01191946

I read a great article this morning from Jimmy Mackin from Inman News about how a pair of women who go by the moniker "The Geeky Girls" drove up their number of online followers by a huge percentage, almost overnight.  The method of doing this was relatively simple, which is why I'm bringing it up here.  It's easy for a large scale business to spend thousands of dollars to recruit followers but if you're an agent with a limited budget, you have to be creative.  These ladies did just that.

In a nutshell, they went online and followed this sequence:

  • Posted on Facebook that a challenge was "coming soon"
  • Posted the challenge on their blog
  • Posted the challenge on Facebook
  • Mentioned who was winning
  • Updated results
  • Posted the winner

The prize in this sequence of events?  A t-shirt, one for each of the top 3 winners.  For $10, they boosted their numbers substantially over a 7 day period.  The question is, could anyone do the same sort of thing and achieve similar results?  I think you could.

What can an agent offer as a prize?  All sorts of things but keep it cheap and simple.  If you don't like the idea of the t-shirt then how about a Starbucks gift card, pre-paid VISA, some consulting time, or anything else of value.  You could give anything away as long as it costs little but offers an incentive for someone to friend you, like you, subscribe to you, or otherwise build your base of followers.  I believe this works not because of the prize but because people love getting something free.  Any chance to get a freebie with the small task of subscribing to a blog is well worth it to most people.

What networks can you use?  If you're not on Facebook, use Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, and other places where you network online.  Any social media outlet can be used.  Put the challenge out and post the results anyplace you want to drive growth in your followers.

So, read the original article for the details on how The Geeky Girls did their thing and give some thought to how you might implement something similar.


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Comments 17 New Comment

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Andrew Herren
Craig Massee Real Estate

Great advice. It has always amazed me what people will do for a $10 T-shirt. I doesn't seem to matter what logo is on it. At the high school football games on Friday night, Chik Fil A has an air operated gun that shoots them into the crowd. I swear people from 6 to 60 jump over themselves to get one!

November 03, 2011 04:40 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten
Phoenix Real Estate Agent, CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe

Hey Bryan this sounds like  great idea....and fun as well.  I've been thinking about doing some new things going into 2012 and this might make the cut. Seems like a simple and easy thing to create with potentially huge results.  Thanks for sharing.

Featured in BananaTude

November 03, 2011 04:59 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

What a wonderful method.  I may need to try that sometime.  I'm going to bookmark this + check out the original article.

November 03, 2011 07:44 PM
Rob Kittle
"We Specialize, You Benefit!" -The Kittle Team
The Kittle Team - Coldwell Banker

Hmmm... A contest with a little reward will drive you more friends and followers plus i think they will be checking your profile for more contest. Cool tip!

November 03, 2011 08:19 PM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Coweta Newnan Homes for Sale
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers


Wow, that sounds like a great response from a very modest investment. I'm going to check out the links and try to think of something to entice more followers.

November 03, 2011 09:23 PM
Brian Madigan
LL.B., Broker
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)


Seems very simple. I can certainly afford to buy a T shirt out of my marketing budget.


November 03, 2011 09:27 PM
Tammy Lankford
Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)
Lane Realty

ooo ooo ooo I'm gonna test that and see how it works out.

November 03, 2011 11:00 PM
Sussie Sutton
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.
UTR Texas Realtors

Me too! This post has excited me!

This is the kind of marketing that I like. It increases your SOI gets more people to maybe take a look at you!

The cost is excellent. Not too cheap and not too expensive. I am definitely look into trying this one. I too will book mark this post!

Thank You!

November 04, 2011 12:21 AM
Doug Anderson
Doug Anderson's Bay Area Real Estate Views
Executive Brokers Real Estate Group

I love it Bryan. Out of the box thinking. Not so easy for a linear guy like myself but this is the time of year to start thinking, planning and implementing for 2012.

November 04, 2011 01:08 AM
Janis Borgueta
LIC R.E Salesperson - Homes for Sale Newburgh NY
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ~ 845-527-7115

I have actually had this in mind for quite some time.. just never got organized to get this done. I just started with Active Rain, and i love all these suggestions and of course this is what i need to hear... Somebody doing it and being successful with the efforts!

November 04, 2011 08:14 AM
Bryan Robertson
Broker, Author, Speaker
Catarra Real Estate, Inc

Janis - Just remember the idea wasn't mine but I'm happy to share it.  Glad it will help.

Doug - Yeah, it's a really good idea and I'm hoping to implement it myself soon.

Sussie - Let me know how it goes!

Tammy - May it bring you lots of followers :)

Brian - I should hope so and it might do wonders for your business.

Richard - Let me know how it works out.

Rob & Debbie - Cool.  I hope it pays off.

Anna - Thanks for the feature!

Andrew - I've seen those things and people do go crazy over a t-shirt.

November 04, 2011 11:18 AM
Marti Steele Kilby
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA
Steele Group Realty

Hi Bryan,

I've seen it work!  A friend of mine who was just starting his business started a contest on FB.  The first 500 people who liked his page by a certain date were entered into a drawing for an Ipod.  He had a huge response and it really helped him jump start his business. 

I'm definitely going to read the article and give it a try.  Thanks for sharing!

November 04, 2011 05:55 PM
Marti Steele Kilby
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA
Steele Group Realty

Oops!  I just read Facebook's rules for promotions and my friend might have been out lif line as far as using the Like button......

November 04, 2011 06:06 PM
Mark Delgado
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove

What a clever idea.  I had thought of offering gift cards as incentives but hadn't thought of this angle to help drive internet traffic. 

November 05, 2011 09:17 PM
Marge Piwowarski
Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC
Phoenix AZ Horse Property


We could also offer points (tongue in cheek) after all, it works here...

November 06, 2011 12:25 AM
Christine Gerbehy
Making waves, one home at a time...
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Northfield

What a GREAT idea!  And even if it were $30, if it works, it was WELL worth the money spent.  I'll have to try it!

November 06, 2011 07:01 AM
Kathryn Acciari
Realtor - CDPE, CIAS, Sturbridge MA Real Estate
RE/MAX Professional Associates, with offices in Sturbridge, Charlton, Auburn, Spencer, and Shrewsbury

Sounds like a cool idea.  My problem is, being perfectionist-type, that the thing of value has to be something extraordinary. I'd spend a year just trying to come up with that!

November 06, 2011 04:42 PM
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Bryan Robertson

Broker, Author, Speaker
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