February 4, 2011

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Challenges and Opportunities on the Social Web


Keeping up with the ever-changing world of social media isn’t always easy. In just the last few days, Facebook passed the 300 million user mark, Twitter released a new “retweet” API along with tweaks to its design, and YouTube introduced a “trending topics” feature. And there’s no sign that any of these online social giants, or the many services that complement and compete with them, are planning to slacken the pace.

Of course, some question whether all these updates, followers and comments are really worthwhile, particularly for those who want to use social media to promote their business. But few are willing to miss out on the opportunity social media presents to connect directly with potential clients.

According to cnet news, retail sector research company the e-tailing group is about to release data that shows retailers have a “love-hate relationship” with the social web. While 86 percent of the retailers surveyed use Facebook fan pages and 65 percent are on Twitter, many were concerned about the potential social media has to damage their brand should dissatisfied customers air their views to an online audience.

“Brands are especially worried about negative comments hurting a brand, but they also know that they need to go social. That’s why they’re using Facebook and Twitter with some success,” explained e-tailing group spokeswoman Lauren Freedman.

Unsurprisingly, attitudes to social media are no different in the world of real estate. At the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Power Broker Roundtable this month, the participants shared ideas on how best to use online social networks. rismedia.com quotes moderator Virginia Cook, NAR Special Liaison for Large Firm Relations, as saying that social media presents “both opportunity and challenge”.

But while the Roundtable members acknowledged the challenges involved in implementing and maintaining a social media strategy, they all seemed to accept that an online social presence is now expected of real estate professionals. Participant Kaira Rouda had this to say when Cook asked whether it’s possible to connect with consumers without utilising new social technologies:

“With 80 percent of today’s buyers starting their home searches online, I would have to say probably not. We need to meet our customers where they are and, today, that’s on their smart phones. Of course, individual agents have to find what works for them, but we tend to embrace Facebook and Twitter and all the other social media as the best new ways to target our audience.”

As Rouda says, each agent should consider how social media can work in their particular circumstances. But if you need some inspiration, have a browse through this list of social media policies to see how everyone from the BBC to Yahoo! use blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and everything in between.


Related posts:

  1. Golden Rules for Social Media ROI
  2. Facebook vs Twitter 2010
  3. Four Quick Tips for Social Media Success
  4. Finding the Real Value of Social Media
  5. Tiny Market Share Isn’t Stopping Twitter Marketers
  6. Are Social Networks Still Growing?
  7. Studies Say Go Social for Traffic
  8. Tech Trends from the NAR Conference: Part 7 – Social Networking
  9. How to Work Social Listing Options
  10. New Social Tool for Aussie Agents

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