Which social media should I be using?
You've heard that saying, "There's an app for that"... just about anything and everything you want to do on your mobile device, there's an app for that including all forms of social media.
And there is a plethora of social media.
Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc... There are over 200 social media that have at least several hundred thousand members and hundreds more popping up every day. If they're unique and serve a purpose or solution to a problem, they expand and grow. But the six mentioned above are probably the most well-known and discussed, especially on places like ActiveRain.
But which one should you go with and should you belong to all of them?
Most people have their social media in their signatures on their blogs or in their email signatures which allow people reading the information a way to connect on other places. You should always have whichever social media you use on your website AS WELL AS a place to share your information on their social media. Clicking a little 'like' button is much easier than copying and pasting a link into one of the social sites. They want to make it as easy as possible to like, tweet and share the information and you should too. (See example of this at the bottom of this post).
Choosing which social media to maintain though, doesn't have to be stressful or confusing and you don't have to belong to all of them. I understand the situation of "my clients are there so I need to be too" but if you are going to have an account just for the sake of having it without "socializing" on it, it really may be a waste of time. Find a social media or two that will appeal to your clients and that you can maintain at a reasonable level.
Facebook - Good for just about every type of business and industry. You can share updates, tips, images, videos, chat with people and message people. BUT it's not indexable. Although a Facebook business page can be found on the search engines, your individual posts and status updates cannot so optimizing your posts and statuses for the search engines is pointless. This truly is a social network for people. (My client with kid's Bibles uses their Facebook page to update followers about new changes to their product.)
Google Plus + - Unlike Facebook, your posts and statuses are indexed, and immediate! Even before a blog post or web page is indexed, your post ABOUT the new webpage will be indexed and found by Google. This is perfect for listings, updates and sharing the latest about your website. Google+ is a little more techy and business minded although there are plenty of friends and family stuff as well. Connecting and communicating is valuable on Google + and Facebook. Respond, repost and tag people all the time to gain followers and exposure. Remember, people can follow you without you following them and vice versa. It's like a Facebook business page with likes.
Twitter - Twitter is good for quick communication and talking about something. It's a way to connect with a group by using hashtags # and including other people in mentions with @ . That group moderator gets all the tweets from one hashtag and it's everyone talking about the same thing. Twitter is probably not the best for images although you can add twitpics but people have to click on the link to see it. Home stagers, artists, or anything that needs to be seen rather than read, may not fully benefit from Twitter.
Linkedin - This is the resume and skill set database of the world. Business owners are finding more employees on Linkedin than just about any other site and it's for professional networking and the business minded. Small images may be seen but the groups are business based, goal orientated and information gathering. Inspectors, mortgage brokers and tech fields can benefit by exchanging ideas, network and gain exposure on their skills.
Pinterest - Totally for images. Perfect for fashion, food and DIY home decor. Ideal for home stagers, professional movers and organizers, recipe providers and artists. This can work for real estate agents that want to share beautiful photos of their area because people love to share places. Post images of homes for sale with the best image possible. A short status can describe the pin and you can even add a price by adding $ before the amount. The source should be linked back to your image or website for a great link back.
Real Estate agents can really benefit from Google +, Facebook and Pinterest. But remember, don't wear yourself out posting everything to everywhere. That's a full time job. Find one you feel comfortable with and that will offer you the most bang for your networking bucks and run with it. Share it, talk about it, write a blog about it and then maintain it. Connect with others and they will connect with you. Social media is all about the main idea - BEING SOCIAL. So get out there and get socializing.