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Social Networking vs. Marketing

March 27 2014

social media fb twitterThere are two terms that are loosely tossed about at real estate conferences whenever the topic of social media is brought up: social media marketing and social media networking. There is a huge difference, and knowing the difference allows real estate professionals to take the right approach to be successful in social media.

Let’s start with social networking. That is the hub of all activities in social. It is about connecting to people you know and people who you want to know. On Facebook, your "friends" make up your network. On Twitter, your network is comprised of "followers." On LinkedIn, your "connections" make up your network.

Building your social network can be easy, or it can be hard. It depends on how many email addresses you have of the people that you want to network with. The best way to start is by connecting your email address book to each site that you want to network on. The sites have quick and easy tutorials that walk you though this process. I will not restate them here.

Here are the links:

Once you have this accomplished, your social networking will be a breeze. Two things will happen. First, these networks are great at suggesting new people to network with. Second, they will suggest that friends of your friends consider connecting with you. In no time at all, you are socially networked.

Social media marketing is done in three different ways: social media advertising, automated posting, and manual posting. There are a number of ways that you can do social media advertising. The first is to use the advertising set up tools on each of these sites. It is simple, but be careful. If you do not know what you are doing or how you should do it best, it may be better to use an agency like AdWerx.

Auto-posting to social media is also a marketing solution. However, it is not such a great idea unless you monitor the auto-posts. For example, many of the leading virtual tour companies will automatically post your tours and tour updates to your social media pages. It is a great way to tell your social network about a new listing or an upcoming open house.

Homes.com also has a great service called SocialSocial. They will not only help you set up great profiles on social media, they will also manage your pages with great content. Again, be careful. If you auto-post too much or the information that you are posting is not relevant to your network, you may be blocked.

The last and most effective social media-marketing tool is the manual method. Most agents look at their social media feeds every day to listen to the conversation on the network. If you find something that you think others in your network will enjoy, you can share the post. If you simply want to let the writer know that you enjoyed their post, like it or retweet it. If you think that you have something to contribute, add a comment or reply.

Remember, people love social networks because they allow you to stay connected to the people that you want to stay in touch with. Don’t be shy. Jump in and get your feet wet.