Is there a social network for you?

Services for Real Estate Pros with

TechnopaloozaI spent a decent amount of time recently revising a presentation for Technopalooza, a tech event that's been organized by the Arizona Regional MLS (ARMLS). The title of the presentation I'm going to be giving is:  Using Social Networks to Build and Engage Your Community.

I definitely don't want to give the "whole" thing away, (at least not before I get a chance to present it to a live audience!), but I thought I'd give a taste for how I organized the presentation so that you can (hopefully) get a better idea of which social networking sites you should be using to build your business.

First off, based on the title, I broke the presentation into three parts:

  • Part 1: "Using Social Networks"
  • Part 2: "Building and Engaging YOUR Community"
  • Part 3: "To"

The insight I thought I'd share is from Part 1 of the presentation and it's the idea that there's a social network for everyone, but every social network is not right for you.

social network for everyone

The idea is that if you look at the three types of personalities that tend to do well online (and by "do well" I mean generate traffic to websites), they are:

  • Community Builders
  • Connectors
  • Mavens

I like to think of the community builders as the social fabric that keeps everyone engaged.  I thought about calling these people "social networkers", but "social network" has a pretty different and fuzzy meaning so I decided not to go there.  The value of these people is that they are often the ones to organize events, bring people together in social settings, introduce new people to the "rules", etc. 

I use the term connector for the people who are more the business networking type.  These are the people who attend lots of conferences, have a huge rolodex of names and are always on the lookout for ways to connect people together so they can do business together.  I had lunch last week with a true connector.  The guy organize monthly dinners at a very nice local restaurant for 8 (different) people each month even when there's no obvious way he's going to make money (yet!).

The mavens are the first-movers and the people who are always looking for the next big thing. Traditionally, these guys have been some of the best bloggers around because they're always looking for the next big trend. (I could be wrong, but out of the three, I think this one best describes me).

Once you identify where you fit into this mix, I think you'll have a much easier time finding the social network that will not only drive the most business your way, but that you'll enjoy engaging in.

  • For example, for the community builders out there... try out Twitter.   I think you'll find there's a huge community of people out there just waiting to engage with you.  And for the people who treat this right, there's a huge potential for generating referrals from the connections you'll make using the tool!
  • For connectors, there's no more popular business networking tool than LinkedIn.   Engage over there.  Start making a ton of connections with other business-minded networking folks.  And when you hear about a great business opportunity for someone, look to spread the news to your linkedin connections.  This will give you an awesome opening to start up a connection and start a dialog in a way that people on that social network want to engage!
  • And for the mavens, I'm completely smitten with Facebook Pages (not a Facebook Profile mind you, but a Facebook Business Page!).  Functionally, these are kind of like twitter, except general chatter is really not appropriate, so instead you can focus on topics and conversations that are related to your business or interest  (in my case, it's using social media to generate business!)

My hope is that for at least a few of the folks reading this post, it can help bring some clarity to how you might engage with people on the various popular social networks!

And just to close the loop, in Part 2 of the presentation I'll be giving at Technopalooza, I talk about how to build your own community, which is where I talk about the importance of blogging and creating dynamic local content (all great ActiveRain stuff!).  In Part 3, I talk about how "to" bring all the pieces together and actually use the social networks to build traffic and interest in YOUR community.  If there's any chance you can make it on Wednesday, then I look forward to seeing you in Mesa!

Comments (14)

Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

I'd LOVE to see you in Mesa! Anyone who is close and doesn't get there is REALLY missing out! Great to see you here on AR in the meantime.

Apr 20, 2009 09:23 PM
Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Hope to see more posts on this or may=be your presentation uploaded some whewre where we can listen to it. Thank you for thisone it was really good

Apr 21, 2009 12:24 AM
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Interesting take on the different types of people. I just finished the Tipping Point and honestly didn't think about it in terms of Social Networking. (duh)

One thing I have noticed is that face to face some people can be Connectors and not so much in Social Networks. It could also work the opposite and I have seen that too.

Some people are so engaging from the computer but face to face not so much.


Apr 21, 2009 12:55 AM
Tara Jacobsen
Marketing Artfully - Clearwater, FL
Marketing Artfully

I have to disagree - according to the Tipping Point you are a Maven AND a Connector meaning that you are out on the cutting edge AND you have to tell everyone about and make sure that they know what they are supposed to do...:) Thanks for being both!!!

Apr 21, 2009 04:07 AM
Dustin Luther - Calabasas, CA

Hi Susie!  Thanks so much!  ;)

Charlie:  I don't think they are streaming or recording the presentations that day... but I do a lot of presentations and may head out your way some day soon!

Missy:  So true!  So many people either lose (or gain!) a pesonality when behind a keyboard!

Apr 21, 2009 04:08 AM
Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor
Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC - Mesa, AZ

Dustin, can't wait!!! I'll be there both days - I am looking forward to meeting you and learning everything there is to learn. ;-)

Apr 21, 2009 05:20 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Great post. Active Rain is good of course, and I really enjoy Facebook as a networking tool.

Apr 21, 2009 07:55 AM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

You REALLY like those FaceBook pages, don't you?  I need to figure out how to really pimp mine out.  There is a good series...  2 weeks to a really cool FaceBook fan page...

Apr 22, 2009 11:42 AM
Calie Waterhouse
Chandler, AZ
Community Builder

Hey Dustin - Your presentation at Technopalooza was awesome!  Everyone in the audience walked away with some type of an "AHA!" moment.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and insight with us.   As soon as I figure out which one or two types I am - I'll let you know.  Thanks again - Calie

Apr 25, 2009 02:53 AM
Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas we can be off the wall when we're on the wall but the facebook pages serve a specific business purpose?  I'm very much okay with that.

Thanks Dustin!  It was great to meet you in PHX!

Apr 26, 2009 02:44 AM
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA


I have a question.  Can you answer me on Twitter vs. here?  I'm thinking I need to go to the first big thing vs. the next big thing and beef up my Facebook and MySpace places. The question is about MySpace (I know how you feel about Facebook) LOL!

My children are always saying they heard from people we know all over the Country via their MySpace.  I have one, as does Kim, but we never did much with it other than sign up so we can follow our own children now and then.

Is there any downside to perfecting a MySpace page?  Not sure why I think I'm too old for MySpace.  Probably that Trulia Voices T-Shirt I got at the Inman Connect that says:

"You can find me on Trulia Voices....(front) because I'm too old for MySpace (back)"

Your thoughts appreciated.

Apr 26, 2009 03:41 AM
Dustin Luther - Calabasas, CA

Thanks everyone for the kind words... and thanks Calie for the post-Technopalooza run-down.  I had a blast! 

And Amanda:  I'm so down with playing on FB walls!  ;)   I had way way too much fun hanging with you in PHX!  Already excited for San Diego!

ARDELL:  If you can perfect a MySpace page, other than the time it would take, I can't think of a downside!    My only issue with MySpace is that it is not attracting the same group of people... and almost definitely not your clients.   My guess is that if you asked 10 random clients from last year, probably eight of them would have Facebook profiles that they've updated recently, while only one or two would have active MySpace pages.

Apr 26, 2009 05:19 AM
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Dustin - Okay, I guess I'm a maven too.  I blog a lot here, but I'm also a twitterer and on LinkedIn, and I have both a Facebook social profile and a business page.  My business page at last count had 51 fans, for which I am grateful  (some are also friends on my social profile and some are not).  And I know that many of them read my blog links there and other comments I post, as well as checking out my website.  I do have to confess, though, that I don't have a MySpace page.  I think if I spent any more time on the computer keeping up with more sites I would have no time to sell real estate!

Apr 26, 2009 09:19 AM
Paul Guenther - Empire Title
Empire Title Agency - Flagstaff, AZ
The Extra Mile Is Part Of My Regular Route!


I missed your presentation, at the event, but Myself and my Branch Manager Bill Risser are also trying to help get people interested in Social Media as part of their marketing plan

Jul 20, 2009 03:28 AM