Social Networks: Facebook for Business

The world of real estate prospecting has morphed into Facebook friend requests, tweets, chirps and fan pages. Instead of asking for your phone number to talk about your services, clients might instead request you as a LinkedIn connection or message you on Facebook to get updates on a transaction. Facebook is one of the largest social networking sites out there – and real estate agents shouldn’t ignore that fact. But you have to make your impact on social network meaningful and relevant to your target audience; you can’t post a bunch of listings and expect business to rain down on you like manna from heaven. Here are some tips to stand apart from the crowd on Facebook:

After you sign up

* Target your audience (past/current clients, other agents, niche businesses)
* Pay attention to what people are posting about
* Attract friends, followers, connections and subscribers
* Interact and engage with your friends and/or fans

Maximize your exposure

There are three types of accounts on Facebook: personal profiles, groups and business/fan pages. Also, you can place ads to targeted audiences in certain geographic areas for little cost.

Personal pages – Messages are limited to 20 recipients at a time with a personal page. There are strict rules about posting business information on a personal page.

Groups – Groups are set up for more personal interaction and are more directly connected to the people who administer them. Groups can be public or prviate.

Business/Fan pages – This is the ideal way to attract a public following. Here are some business page options:

Geographic area page.Create a page for your county or a specific neighborhood that is solely about that area and has no mention of your business. You’ll get fans instantly and people won’t feel pressured by seeing your business information on the page. Get people to interact on the page by holding photo contests, asking questions that elicit participation (“What’s the best pizza place in town?” or “Where’s the best hiking trail in our county?”) and offering prizes, such as gift cards, dinner for two, etc. Get local businesses to participate; they’ll be more than happy with the free exposure. To spread the word about your business, download a tab called FBML, which allows HTML on the page, such as a framed-in IDX search.

Agent referral page. Add items of value, network with other agents at events posted on Facebook and share referrals.

REO business page. Market your distressed property business and expertise to asset-management companies.

Office or team page. Promote your office or team members, services and more with this page.

Builder/condo page. Reach out to builders, condo associations and other groups who have a vested interest in these niches. Promote your expertise in condos, new construction and niche services.

Read more: How to use social networks for business

2010 Top 5 Social Networking Websites (How To Apply to Your Business)

If you’re using social networking websites to market your business, you always want to keep in mind where your market is going. Chances are, they are going to be involved in at least one of the following websites. I checked out the top 5 social websites recently, and wanted to share with you what I found.

Top 5 Social Networking Sites:

Number 5 – Ning
You may never have heard of Ning, but its slotted in as the 5th most trafficked social networking website. According to Wikipedia, Ning is a social networking site that appeals “to people who want to create their own social networks around specific interests with their own visual design, choice of features and member data.” Ning is a good place for companies that have success on other social networking websites to register. They offer you the opportunity to build a complete custom network, which can really prod viral marketing. The biggest drawback I see right now is that it is a paid membership site. So, you do have to pay to create your own site centered on a particular idea or niche (which I believe we used to call “websites”). I’m curious to see how this takes off, and if they decide to offer a free option as well.

Number 4 – LinkedIn
Not surprising to be in the top 5. It’s still really the only social networking site dedicated to connecting business professionals together. It’ll be interesting to see how it fares now that sites like Facebook and Twitter are giving business owners a lot more resources to market themselves to a greater audience. Also, a lot of people are starting to complain about how stubborn LinkedIn is about listening to its users, and adding new features. Unless LinkedIn chooses to evolve soon, I believe they will be replaced for business to business needs.

Number 3 – Twitter
No surprises to be one of the top three. Twitter really has started to gain a lot of popularity recently. The developers did a good job of making sure that it was easy to connect Twitter to everything, and allow you to send out a blast of your content in the smallest way possible.

Internally, a lot of companies are starting to use Twitter accounts to keep each other updated through the day, avoiding setting up a paid service that does basically the same thing. This has helped said companies run more efficiently, and keep in touch using the internet.

Twitter is launching a lot of new features for local businesses, so will probably continue to grow for the business person’s need.

Number 2 – MySpace
I’m going to be honest here, I was shocked that MySpace is still getting the second most traffic in online social networking. Granted it’s not too much more than Twitter, but it still seems like no one goes on MySpace anymore. I did a little research and found out why this is (and the reason your business should stay off of MySpace). A lot of artists and bands still use MySpace music to release information and connect with their fan base. MySpace music is still a huge thing, and pretty much the only thing, MySpace offers that other social networking websites lag on. Once the bands start taking these pages down and moving elsewhere, MySpace is going to have trouble remaining as a website.

Number 1 – Facebook
No surprises here, since if Facebook was a country it would be the third largest country in the world (as far as active users go). Facebook seems like it is going to be around for a while, as it answers the needs that people became obsessed with in using MySpace, however, Facebook learned from MySpace’s mistakes. If you’re new to business social networking, Facebook is becoming a must have to market your business online. Facebook is answering the call of entrepreneurs and business owners, and is seeking to improve the way that a business can interact with its customers.

-Jerry Nihen

Marketing on Social Networking Sites

Social network marketing can be noble, valuable and highly engaging, despite the best efforts of some get-rich-quick-but-doomed-to-fail wannabes to represent themselves as the devil’s personal spambot. Don’t confuse these idiots with genuine marketing. Social network marketing is popularly called as Internet marketing. Today on the internet you can find many ways market your products and services online. The internet attracts many business people to promote their businesses and products online. Social network marketing provides tons of benefits using the dialogues and personal connections in order to promote different kinds of businesses. Today’s commonly used marketing services include Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and many others that readily spread word or marketing messages like a viral infection.

Social network marketing creates awareness of products and services of respective websites with a well set strategic marketing approach along with search engine marketing for increased page rank, link popularity and more visitors to you. Social network marketing is all about getting your website known to the worldwide web by means of target keywords that help in creating a social network that shows interest in products and services offered by your website and acts as driving force in getting more business to you. Social network marketing uses the rules of social media optimization to improve your visibility on the web. SMO bridges the gap between search marketing and social media, allowing your website promotion plan to benefit from the best of both. Social network marketing is something that can be a very strong asset for anyone that is looking to make money online. Facebook and Twitter marketing are great weapons.

Social network marketing or social media marketing is all about reaching target audience through social networks or online communities. The methods range from placing ads to building niche content, focused around the promoted product or service. Social network marketing is the process of promoting your website and brand through the vast online world of social network platforms such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. The goal is to directly reach your targeted audience as well as to gain a new audience, and to have them spread the word to the masses via social networks. Social network marketing is an online tool of marketing which helps in the marketing of any product or thing. With the advancement in technology important tools like Internet and other similar technologies took the initiative to develop the networking.

Facebook is now valued at $15 billion after Microsoft bought a 1.6% stake for $240 million, and a lot that seems to be related, not only to Facebook’s large audience, but also the promise it holds for advertisers. The Facebook-Microsoft partnership will draw even more attention to the cultural phenomenon called social networking. Facebook alone has over 400 million active users. This makes social networking the perfect place to market a business. Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, Digg, Flickr, Wikipedia and StumbleUpon have become household names and are visited by millions of Internet users, young and old each day. Is your brand being talked about on any of these networks?

Facebook, for example, is amongst the world’s most popular social networks and, according to Facebook?s own statistics has about 150 million active users (Inside Facebook states there are about 140 million users). An average user shares their profile with about 100 friends, is about 25 years old (or older) and 70% probably live outside the United States. Facebook is just one of many social networks undergoing comparable demographic shifts. We’re living in an age where social networking and social media destinations site are big business and are easily as recognizable as major portals of five years ago. Facebook is more that social networking tools. It’s also a platform that allow us to spread the messages to friends.

Facebook membership grew only 9% in North America, compared to 25% elsewhere according to comScore. Europe is especially on a roll, with 35 million users, a 303% increase from the year before.

Twitter, now well over 6 million members, has a growth rate of 4 times that of Facebook and every single minute, ten hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. Twitter, Facebook, and the like are sources of endless hype for marketing consultancy groups. They are “packed with potential,” “incredible for businesses,” and “unbeatable” for ROI, or at least they are if people focus on the hype and discussion surrounding it.

Internet marketing companies can use their experience and can effectively include social media marketing in their marketing campaign. The can also provide branding services and reputation management services. Internet marketers the world over are scrambling to create followers so they can market their wares using this fresh, new interface.

Online Poker and Social Networking – The Relationship

Social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace are revolutionary tools that have had a global and dramatic impact on many areas of life, including e-commerce and online gambling entertainment. These types of tools are not simply ways to keep in touch with friends and family, they are portals of access to reach millions of potential customers, players, partners and clients that normally businesses would not have access to. You would be hard pressed to find an industry which has not been touched by the mega Internet presence of social networking sites and tools, and online poker is no exception. As our lives become more and more mobile, we are seeing a transformation occur that places the needs and wants of our daily lives right at our fingertips, including our appetite for the excitement of poker.

As part of this social networking revolution, we are not surprised to see that Texas Hold ’em has hit the Facebook scene in a powerful way. We are not talking thousands of participants, we are talking millions. So, is this powerful impact a good one? The consensus among most experts in the field agree that its a very positive boost for the poker industry as a whole. It is being compared to the explosion of the game of poker in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker turned a $39 PokerStars satellite event into a $2.5 million WSOP Main Event win. The boom that Chris’ win brought to the poker industry was phenomenal. Instead of seeing poker as a game for the untouchables, people were able to relate to Chris and were able to picture themselves playing poker, and things just took off from there.

There are several experts who believe that the Facebook Texas Hold ’em application could be the same type of catalyst. Facebook Poker has 15 million players, which rivals the customer base at several huge online poker rooms who have sites dedicated to online poker. Being accessible through social networking, Facebook Poker is reaching a whole new audience, a completely different demographic of people who normally may not give poker a second thought. Zynga, the creator of Facebook Poker, cosponsored a promotion which allowed players to compete for spots at the WSOP 2009. Two lucky Facebook players won seats, and one of them made it to day 3 of the event. It is foreseeable, and quite likely that in the future, we will hear of up and coming pros who obtained their winning skill set from playing Facebook Poker with their pals.

When creating the application, Zynga’s goal was to enable Poker Night with your friends regardless of geographical constraints. Thanks to the social networking phenomenon, Facebook users from distant corners of the country, or even the world can enjoy playing poker with each other online! Not only has Facebook Poker introduced millions of new players to the world of poker, but has definitely provided a boost to the online poker industry as well. New players are realizing that online poker is one of the most convenient and thrilling venues by which to enjoy their favorite poker game. Along with Facebook Poker, there are many superb online poker rooms to choose from when players are looking for some hot poker action.