Social Networking Sites - So Many Choices So Little Time - You Can't Be Everywhere So Where Should You Be

Reblogger Janice Roosevelt
Real Estate Agent with SUSAN MANNERS TEAM, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach

Original content by Ryan Shaughnessy

PREA Signature Realty - The Other Social NetworksWhen it comes to social networking, it seems like we are all lemmings.  I mean we hear that LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter generate leads so we follow the pack and dive right in.  Now, I am not saying that I necessarily disagree with the choice of social networking sites.  I have an active presence on each of these websites and they do generate business opportunities and leads.  However, my question is:  Why did you pick these sites?

For me, the answer is pretty simple.  I joined LinkedIn when a customer summoned me.  I joined Facebook when a family member sent me an invite.  I joined Twitter simply to see what all the buzz in the newspapers was all about.  Other sites soon followed:  Plaxo, Activerain, MySpace, etc.  Again, I joined these websites based on nothing more than an invitation from a friend or colleague, a stray newspaper article. or a comment from a colleague.  Now, if you take a look at the pattern, you will see one thing.  I didn't choose my social networking sites.  In reality, my family, friends, and co-workers chose these sites for me

So, after spending 6 months or so experimenting with social networking sites, I finally looked at why I joined these social networking sites.  For some sites, it was pretty easy.  Here is my thought process:

  • Facebook for my Personal Network:  Many of my friends, family and co-workers already use Facebook.  It has a substantial membership and is great place to reconnect with old friends, co-workers and classmates.
  • LinkedIn for my Professional Network:  Most of my colleagues use LinkedIn.  It is a great tool for managing my professional network for referrals.  Plus, it generates too many referrals, leads and business opportunities to ignore.
  • ActiveRain for my Industry Network:  The benefits of ActiveRain are numerous.  However, there is no better social networking site for identifying trends, keeping abreast of technology, and generating good links for search engine optimization.  Similar to LinkedIn, it generates too may good leads for me to ignore.
  • Zillow for Consumer Contact:  This choice was probably the hardest.  You could easily replace it with Trulia, Redbird, or a host of other sites that are consumer oriented real estate portals.  I picked Zillow primarily because it is a decent producer of leads - albeit not as strong or qualified as LinkedIn or ActiveRain.
  • Twitter for Geographic Network:  Admittedly, I am new to Twitter.  So far, it has been a love-hate relationship.  I have struggled with wading through the massive amount of posts from my network.  However, it seems that every time I am about to give up on Twitter I discover a new application or receive a new link to information that intrigues me.  The greatest value of Twitter for me is that it puts me in direct, instantaneous contact with consumers in my market.  Plus, Gen Y are first-time home buyers and Twitter is used by too big of a market segment to ignore.

However, after completing my review, quantifying the results of my participation on various sites, and justifying the time spent on each social networking site, I had a simple realization.  I didn't participate in any specialized non-real estate sites and I didn't participate in any sites that were tailored to my personal (as opposed to business) interests.  So as I pondered this issue, I came across an interesting list on Mashable.com that gave me a host of ideas.  There are sites tailored to specific market segments like boomers, environmentalists, and students that could be useful.  Similarly, there were sites that suited my personal interests focusing on books, food/wine, dining, travel and pets.  So, now that I have decided to expand my horizon to include one or two specialized sites, the question has now become - Which site or sites should I add to my list? 

Here is a sampling by general topic of the many possibilities:

Books

Business Networking & Professionals

Family

Friends

Hobbies & Interests

Language

Media (Photo, Video & Audio)

Music 

Mobile 

Shopping 

Social BookMarking

Students

Travel & Locals

With over 350 niche sites to choose from (and this list is just the tip of the iceberg), it seems that there is no simple answer and no clear cut winner.  It is the old conundrum - so many so little time.  So I am throwing out the question:  After ActiveRain, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, what social networking sites do you recommend or participate in? And, why?

Interested in using technology to market and sell homes in St. Louis?  Contact Ryan Shaughnessy at PREA Signature Realty at 314-971-4381 or send an e-mail to Ryan@PREASignatureRealty.com.

 

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Janice Roosevelt

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