The Evolution to Social Networking

Today it’s real, social networking shapes our life. An age which started in the early 2000s with Friendster and Myspace began as websites that allowed you to meet people and check out pictures. With Myspace growing bigger and Facebook joining the game it opened up more possibilities like networking, connecting and sharing. Today with Facebook having won the social race, they have set the standards of networking. Facebook has taken the limits of social networking to becoming your online life. More than Google even, Facebook is your online persona. You have everything you like on Facebook, your pictures, your friends and so much more.

With Facebook you share videos and music. You chat with your friends and pass information. You discover news, music or artists. You express your feelings and more. With all that it makes Facebook addicting. You come back every time to check pictures of your friends, stalk some people (including exs) and see what people are up to.

So with all this, how much more can social websites do? What’s the future of social networking? Facebook seems to think it’s about sharing seamlessly and connecting more easily. Are they right? In their situation, certainly. With no other major player, what they are trying to build for the future seems pretty good.

But is that really the evolution of social networking? In my opinion, not the longer term evolution. Facebook and the other networks have two issues that separate them from what I think will be an evolution of social networking. They are passive websites. What do I mean by that? Well they are mainly typed networks. You want to express yourself, you type it. You want to communicate with your friend, you type. Want to share something type it out and post a link. Well if its something cool. Type to respond to the comments. That’s what I mean by passive.

Secondly it’s not real time. OK, Facebook is fast and you can get responses almost instantly. However it’s still not real time. Say I want to say something to my friend, I type it and then wait for my friend to respond. While if I was physically with him, as soon as I will start talking he will probably retort while I’m talking.

That’s why in my opinion, the evolution to social networking is live networking. What is this? Like real time video social networking. Networking where you video chatting is entrenched in the dna of the social network. You have something to say, start talking on cam and your friends respond in real time. You want to talk with friends; immediately call them and talk. Want to meet people? go into the hunt of meeting people and start connecting. Have something to share like a new song, share it and comment on the song with your friends actively listening to the song with you. Real time gaming. Play angry birds and react with your friends in real time. Imagine all the things you would be able to do. Sharing will be much easier and faster. Communication will be easier and more lively and that is just a little surface I’m scratching here.

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

4 Social Networking Sites You Need to Participate In

There is no doubt that online social networking has exploded into incredible levels of popularity in the past few years. In fact, social networking is more popular than email, and preferred over email. Almost seventy percent of recent Internet users report having visited a social networking site at least once in the past year. With these extraordinary numbers, there comes many different ways to monetize social networking.

Facebook and Twitter, currently two of the most popular social networking sites out there, are allowing people to connect with others they will probably never meet in person. Facebook, in particular, is very popular among upper-middle class individuals and is fast-growing among the 35 and up crowd. Twitter is growing in leaps and bounds every day.

While MySpace was originally the flagship social networking site for a few years, it has now been mainly relegated to teens and urban dwellers, rather than businesses hoping to make a living on it. The benefit of MySpace is mostly its heavy HTML orientation, allowing users to customize their pages relatively easily.

Facebook, in contrast, has a cleaner, starker layout that leans heavily toward updating one’s status and reading everyone else’ status updates. It is a terrific social networking tool for sharing links and photos. Some believe that Facebook is too “invasive” in terms of privacy, but the great thing about Facebook is its ability to customize settings to block certain information to network “friends.” Others use Facebook strictly for business purposes, collecting “friends” that share the same business or interests.

LinkedIn is another fantastic social network site that is growing every day. It’s like having your business card and resume out there for the world to see and to network with people that are in your particular business or service industry. LinkedIn is also geared heavily toward upper income individuals and professionals (in contrast to the more “social” MySpace). It is a good website to advertise one’s business and showcase a professional image.

Twitter is the newest social networking tool right now, and it shows tremendous promise for its ability to market to a specific group and for affiliate marketers to make huge profits. It’s very simple to use, fun, requires very little software knowledge (in contrast to MySpace), and can reach a wide or targeted audience at will. The best feature of Twitter is the easy, quick, ability to throw out links to one’s webpage.