November 25 2008

Does Blogging Work In The Building Industry?

We've heard the social media buzz for a while now.  We know the new Gen Y demographic is one of our largest ever and they have embraced social media.  What we have not heard a lot of is how, specifically, do we make social media work for our company.  So here is a specific example of how a divisional marketing professional is successfully using blogging and another social media site.

Jonathan Torres of D.R. Horton Tampa has a division blog.  Kudos to both Jonathan and D.R. Horton for letting this official or unofficial pilot exist.  So, is it working?  I say we let Jonathan comment on the challenges and successes.  I would however like to comment on the Internet Marketing impact the blog is having.  First, the D.R. Horton Tampa Blog has received credible press and recognition from Big Builder Online and from New Homes Directory just for being one of the only, if not the only publicly traded home builder to be actively blogging.  Secondly, you may or may not know that Google has a rapidly increasing interest in blogs.  For the past several months, Google has been including a link called 'Blog Results' into many its search results pages. 

1. Google Search for 'DR Horton'.

I did a Google search this morning for 'DR Horton', found and clicked the 'Blog Results'.  Low and behold what did I find?  The D.R. Horton Tampa blog as the first result. 

2. Google Blog Search for 'DR Horton'.

This is not the only influential item I found.  I also did a Google search for 'DR Horton Tampa'.  I found two powerful examples of Internet marketing that completely validate the Internet benefits of using social media as a major part of a marketing strategy.  The first example I found was that the D.R. Horton Tampa blog was the 9th result for the search (DR Horton Tampa).  The second example I found as the 10th result was a news release posted by Jonathan on NHDBuzz.com, the building industry's press release website.

3.  Google Search for 'DR Horton Tampa'.

Due to Jonathan's social media efforts, he single handedly has secured 2 out of 10 positions on the FIRST page of a Google search!   The first page of a Google search is the most powerful marketing real estate anyone can have.  It is the beach front property of the Internet. Most of us know the negative things that can appear in a Google search for a builder name.  Jonathan's use of social media, blogging and another social media site NHD Buzz, has ensured that the results page for D.R. Horton Tampa is filling up with positive influence.

Social media has made everyone a publisher and ensures everyone has a voice on the Internet.  We all need to understand that we no longer have complete control over our messages and our reputation is now being influenced heavily by our consumers.  The best that we can do now is to engage the social media space knowing that we can better connect with our consumers and we can proactively influence what our consumers see on the Internet.

Congratulations Jonathan!  You are helping poise D.R. Horton to positively influence your consumers in the social space.  I only hope that D.R. Horton corporate is watching, listening, and evaluating the results of your social media efforts.   Please let us know some of your challenges and successes.

If any of you know of other builders blogging, please share them with us in the comments below.  If you are a builder blogging, please share with us your challenges and successes.

Jim Adams - CEO
New Homes Directory.com

 

Comments

Posted by: Jayson | December 2 2008 9:52 PM

I've stumbled on a few home builder blogs, but not as many as I would expect to see. I'm sure it's something that is just around the corner for many builders.

Meridian Homes has a blog too - http://www.meridian.com/meridian_blog/

Posted by: Jayson | December 3 2008 1:11 PM

Found another one! http://expectmoreinahome.com/blog/ - seems like a more traditional blog which allows comments and has all the sidebar features.

Posted by: Dawn Sadler | December 3 2008 5:30 PM

This is a great post, and I agree that it's exciting to see new homebuilders enter the blogoshere. It is estimated that one in four online Americans reads blogs daily (Forrester Research) and yet in a recent survey we did here in the Bay Area of 100 new home communities, only one had a blog. This blog, for Pacific Cannery Lofts, is a great example of how a blog can build a sense of community long before the first escrow closes: http://www.pacificcannerylofts.com/blog/

Posted by: Jim | December 3 2008 6:01 PM

Hi Jayson, thank you for your contributions.

Nice to meet you Dawn.  Thanks for sharing.  Wow, only 1 out of 100. I think the more we can put the benefits of blogging out on the web for builders to see, the more comfortable they will become with the idea. Thanks for helping blaze the trail in our industry.  Jim

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