Which social networking site is right for me?

Posted by mhurston on July 22, 2009
Creative Corner

If you’re in commercial real estate this is something you have probably started to ask yourself. Do you immerse yourself and join every possible site out there, automate all your postings with Ping.FM and run the chance of not having the time to manage responses to all these sites or do you select a couple key places to better manage your ability to interact with potential clients on a more personal level?

While the first option may sound great as far as exposure for your listings, advertising on a site that doesn’t have your target audience in mind may end up causing you to waste a lot of time on setting up accounts you don’t need. While from a business standpoint it may be worthwhile to create the accounts to block others from using the company’s name, that’s not always a concern when you’re focusing on your individual listings. To help in deciding which place may be the best for you to hang your hat I’ve taken a look at some of the demographic information provided by Quantcast.com on several of the most popular social sites and compared to our typical client information.

The following sites are in order of popularity based on subscriber information and visitor traffic. US Site Views are based on 30-Day increments.

Facebook.com
US Site Views: 90.8 M
Majority Users: 54% Female
Age: 46% are 18 to 34
Income Level: 30% over $100k/yr

MySpace.com
US Site Views: 62.7 M
Majority Users: 57% Female
Age: 46% are 18 to 34
Income Level: 25% over $100k/yr

LinkedIn.com
US Site Views: 10.9 M
Majority Users: 56% Male
Age: 43% are 35 to 49
Income Level: 38% over $100k/yr

Ning.com
US Site Views: 7.3 M
Majority Users: 54% Female
Age: 35% are 35 to 49
Income Level: 16% over $100k/yr

Bebo.com
US Site Views: 5.1 M
Majority Users: 60% Female
Age: 45% are 12 to 17
Income Level: 20% over $100k/yr

Hi5.com
US Site Views: 4.0 M
Majority Users: 52% Male
Age: 48% are 18 to 34
Income Level: 6% over $100k/yr

Friendster.com<
US Site Views: 1.9 M
Majority Users: 52% Male
Age: 29% are 35 to 49
Income Level: 27% over $100k/yr

Orkut.com
US Site Views: 485.9 K
Majority Users: 54% Male
Age: 55% are 18 to 34
Income Level: 18% over $100k/yr

So why is the above relevant?

Given that the majority of commercial real estate clients tend to be Male, between 45 and 60 with mid to high level six figure salaries we can see that it wouldn’t be worth our time to advertise our Industrial or Office availabilities on a site that has a primary demographic of females between the ages of 12 and 17 such as is found at Bebo.com

Overall, LinkedIn seems to be the best site for professionals to connect with other professions, followed closely by Facebook, which also boasts 9 times the number of visitors and users when compared to LinkedIn. The only other site from this list I would consider, from a strictly commercial real estate point of view, would be Ning, as this social networking site operates completely different than the others. Instead of signing up and being part of a wide variety of users the site instead allows each user to create or subscribe to user driven social clubs. Essentially a Ning user can create their own “social networking group”, such as a social club focusing on Las Vegas Real Estate.

While other social media services like Twitter can compliment all of these sites it may also be worthwhile to look at up and coming networks. Recently I became aware of a new social networking site geared specifically for real estate professionals. The site, RealCorner.com is still relatively new and unfortunately I could not find much third party information for them short of Alexa.com which of my last checking had a lot of holes to fill with their information still.

In any case the site is still worth watching and based on its description and meta tags is usually not blocked by most companies firewalls or web filters, much like LinkedIn, where as most of the popular sites listed above are blocked from within the work place.

– Michael G. Hurston

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