“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” - Winston ChurchillIt is in the quest for perfection that all the social networks we have discussed in this blog series frequently make changes to the way they work and the features they have.Even those of us who are not avid Facebook users hear and see reports in mainstream media every time Facebook makes a change to their feature set which impacts on the privacy settings of their users. But not every change gets reported in mainstream media. So how are you, as someone who is only starting to leverage the power of social media, who is still learning what to do and how to do it, supposed to keep up with the changes the social networks push out on a regular basis?
Staying on top of things
The easiest way to stay on top of things is to find some really good websites and blogs that are keeping an eye on what is going on in the wonderful world of social media. So what are some of these resources?
You may think it’s a bit of self promotion, but we here at Rex are a little bit nerdy (duh!) and we do keep an eye on what is going on in the social media arena. We’re not a comprehensive source of everything social media, but we will keep you up to date on any major news in the industry, especially when the changes impact how utilising social media in real estate.
Mashable is probably one of the best resources on the Internet when it comes to social media news. It’s a website I look at daily – and a lot of the facts and figures, as well as the inspiration, I use for writing this blog come from Mashable. They really are a one-stop-shop to everything social media.
Soshable is another really great resource for keeping up to date on what’s going on with social media.
Some change since this blog series started
We only started this blog series a few months ago, and there has been heaps going on in the social media world. Some of you would have heard of Google+ (said Google Plus), which is Google’s attempt at entering the social networking scene. It’s a pretty good service, which only this week was opened to the public (it was in an invitation-only testing phase up until now).A lot of the functionality within Google+ is that good, that Facebook has incorporated this same functionality into their service.I won’t go into a lot of detail about Google+ or the changes to Facebook in this post but here is a quick video that outlines the major changes to Facebook since we started this blog series:
Focus on what is getting you results
I’ve never said you need to run an account on every single social network. Doing so would be incredibly time consuming – especially if you had to keep up to date with all the changes the social networks push out.You need to focus on the social networks that are getting you results. Generally speaking, these will be Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. A year from now, Google+ may have taken over the social media world and Facebook may have landed in the social network graveyard like Myspace did a few years ago.By focusing your efforts on the social networks that are getting you results, you will be investing time in your social media strategy as opposed to wasting it!
Know your demographics
To get the best results from the social networks, you need to understand the demographics of social media use in your agency’s area.I must stress that this is just a generalisation: It is more likely that your potential and existing clients are on LinkedIn if you are running an inner-city real estate agency, as opposed to a outer-suburban or rural agency where your client base are more likely to only be on Facebook.Spend a little bit of time researching the social demographics of the area you operate in. Find out what social networks people in your area are using regularly and focus your efforts there. It will be worth it in the long run.You should be, as part of your social media strategy, researching the social demographics of your agency’s area regularly, as this will ensure you are focussing your efforts on the right social networks.
How is this relevant?
You are probably wondering "How does focusing your efforts on certain social networks relate to keeping up with the pace of change?"Simple – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and the plethora of other social networks would die out if they stagnated development of their services and features. They will change and they will make these changes frequently.You as a real estate agent/principal/director probably don’t have the time to stay up to date on how all these networks are functioning. Keeping up with a couple of them shouldn’t be an issue. Especially if the few you are investing time and effort in to are helping to build your brand and are generating results.That is why knowing your demographics and focussing on networks that are getting you results is important. You’ll only need to keep up to date with the changes of a few social networks instead of all of them!
Next week on the Rex Blog...
Next week we’ll be talking social media aggregators. Don’t know what they are? You’ll just have to come back to find out!