Social media was intially created as a purely personal set of forums. So why is it that business now have tweets and facebooks, myspaces and wordpress blogs? How did this migration occur? And more importantly – why can social media give the edge to your business now – particularly in real estate trade?

1. Social media is where people ARE. The social media space is interactive, fun – casual. It is where 250 odd million users are hanging out. Why wouldn’t you want to join their club?

2. People like recommendations from friends. When we hear chat over the dining table or at the coffee shop about a great house, agent, new shop or restaurant – it feels like a legitimate recommendation from a real person. Being active in social media make it easier for people to comment on their experiences with you in a natural way – recommending you to friends in the world wide web ‘coffeeshop’ of blogs, facebook and twitter. Now with more people using iPhones and Blackberry phones, they are constantly in communication ‘online’. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that?

3. It increases your bottom line as a business. Dell suggests they earn an extra $3 million a year from their Twittering alone. They have a specific person whose only role is to maintain their Twitter account and interact with their ‘fans’. Bear in mind – your social media suite will only make you extra money if you also intersperse real comments about your own life, funny comments, bits and pieces. If you are always mercenary, you become an advert – and that is contrary to social media’s whole bag.

4. It helps you build relationships with your clients

Clients no longer want you to be a company. They want you to be human. That is the premise for so much of the success for perceived ‘green and friendly’ companies such as Apple. They want to know you. By being a part of their facebook community, or their Twitter group they get to know you – feel involved – feel valued. This ‘touch’ element is the invaluable element of social media – this is the one to capitalise on.