Social Media vs. Social Networking

Last week I attended a couple different real estate related events in and around New York City, both of which I think are worth recapping here this week.  The first was The Real Estate Marketing and Technology Academy put on by GreenPearlEvents.com.  The second was the Westchester Real Estate Professionals workshop which featured Allan Dalton, the Chief Marketing Officer of RISMedia and Co-Founder and President of RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network.  While the audiences varied quite a bit in terms of real estate focus: commercial vs. residential, city vs. suburb and demographic of attendee, much of the discussions focused around the same topics; Social Media and Mobile Technology, both independently and the convergence of the two.

On day 1 (Wednesday the 28th) of The Real Estate Marketing and Technology Academy there were two sessions, Social Media 101 and 201, which kicked off the conference.  At the same time as Social Media 201, the room next door featured a session titled Mobile Marketing Techniques for Brokers and Agents.  While both were well attended, the session on social media was standing room only.  I myself bounced back and forth to both so I could compare and contrast the relevancy of the discussions in each.

What I found interesting, was that the session on Social Media was really focused on social networking platforms and the way in which they can used.  And, unless I missed it by bouncing back and forth, there was no differentiation made between the two at the session or a discussion on how to make money from social networking.  In my opinion, the reason this wasn’t discussed and rarely is at sessions like this, is because no one is actually using social networking platforms to make money.

Thursday, as Allan Dalton addressed the crowd of Realtors gathered at the Rye Grill and Bar, Social Media was again at the forefront of the discussion.  However, it began in a much different way.  Instead of discussing the particulars Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare had to offer and the ways they could be used, Allan set the stage by reviewing of findings from the 2010 Dalton/Hundley Real Estate Social Media Census.  What I found most interesting was the stark contrast he drew between Social Networking and Social Media.

Social Media, unlike social networking, is a way for real estate agents to attack viral issues and disseminate content on those issues to the communities in which they work and live.  By doing so, similar to the way in which politicians attack viral issues to generate a voter base, real estate agents could then use Social Media to “draw fans, friends, and followers from social networks to members of their own Real Estate Social Network,” Allan Said.  According to Allan, the premise behind this is that anyone, even a six year-old can have “friends, fans and followers,” but they don’t make you any money when it comes to selling real estate.  By transforming those same people into Members of a network, like members of a political party or patients of a medical practice, real estate agents will stand a better chance to gain that future business and create clients as opposed to customers (who complete one transaction).

Certainly, social networking has its place, it’s a great pool in which to generate “members” and disseminate information from your Social Media outlets.  Furthermore, since so much of the social media landscape is taking place on mobile devices it is imperative that your brand and your social media content is formatted properly to translate to all mobile devices.  Social networking and social media owe much of their success to the advancement of mobile technology and should you want fully participate in this area as part of your business, you too need to evaluate how your brand is perceived and accessed through mobile devices.

All these topics will be covered in greater detail in Allan’s upcoming book, Leveraging Your Social Media Links, which will include a chapter on Mobile Technology.  For more information on the book as well as RISMedia’s upcoming Leadership Conference and Social Media Summit, Text the word Leaders to 88500.

Read the edited version at: http://rismedia.com/2010-05-02/monday-morning-mobile-social-media-vs-social-networking/

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