I have to admit, I was skeptical about social networking when it first emerged. Many many many years ago in the dark ages of social media, I — like everyone else — had a Friendster profile. In fact, that profile still might be up. I’d check if I had any idea what the password might be.
As the years went by, new sites would pop up and I just let them come and go. Then, a couple of years ago, LinkedIn and Facebook appeared. As much as I tried to resist the constant e-mails I received asking me to join, eventually I caved and now I’m fully immersed in the world of social networking. LinkedIn connects me to business contacts around the world, while Facebook keeps me informed with what’s happening with my closest friends. Others might choose to use both resources for business and personal purposes, but the beauty of social networking is the ability to set the tone on each site that works for you.
Since the whole world seems to be ensconced in this enticing movement, if you haven’t joined yet then you are missing out. Recently, one of my friends announced via Facebook that she’s having a baby. Perhaps this isn’t the venue I would use for such an announcement, but had I not been plugged in I would be in the dark.
As Realtors, your image is your business. If you’re not available to potential clients in a way that other Realtors are, that could result in a lost client. Believe me, I know as well as any other that the social networking world can be somewhat daunting and overwhelming, but that’s no excuse not to try.
In our cover story, we spoke to four experts who have turned their social networking skills into big business. Throughout the rest of this issue, we’ve gathered a number of additional articles – from privacy to podcasting – that can get you started, or take your efforts to the next level. To show you another way that social networking can benefit your business, in this issue we’re featuring a blog that we captured from our own Network, proving that you never know where social networking can lead.
At the end of the day, there is no harm in entering the world of social networking. The goal is to get your name and your expertise out there, and these online methods are a great way to farm new clients and find new leads. Whether you are working on Facebook, ActiveRain or Chicago Agent’s own Network (ChicagoAgentMagazine.ning.com), you’re using a free service to get the word out about your business, and what could be better than that?