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Mature Users Make the Most of the Latest Networking Tools

October 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Teaching New Tricks: Mature Users Make the Most of the Latest Networking Tools

From “tweeting” to “writing on walls,” the odd verbiage associated with the latest and most popular internet applications can seem a bit daunting. Social networking sites such as Facebook, which have taken the internet by storm in the last few years, seem to be tailored to the young, web-savvy crowd, many of whom may be blissfully unaware of whether or not their parents and elders are keeping up with all of the latest buzzwords. Is it possible for an older generation to not only keep up with, but also be excited by the trendy new ways that people are sharing information online? For ambitious real estate broker Vickie Brockelman, 52, it’s not only possible, it’s essential. As the owner of Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, she uses social networking sites to help market new properties and homes online. The ability to share these prospects using online blogs (short for “web log”) or tools such as Twitter makes getting the word outeasy. Brockelman has also been able to track the results to find out exactly how many potential buyers are being led to her website from a particular blog, tweet (a shared Twitter update), or link.

“I first heard the word blogging about four years ago,” she said. From there, she researched the various ways that the internet could make prospects more visible to potential buyers. She learned quickly that blogging about available properties was a “phenomenal” way to use the internet highway to advertise. As a result, Brockelman has found that the tools found within these social media channels have made it easier to tell if individual ads are actually bringing results and are more cost effective, enabling her to customize solutions for customers.

The versatility of these tools has also been invaluable in tracking not only how many people have clicked on a link to a new sale prospect, but also how quickly they responded as well as what age and general demographic they may be a part of. In addition, sites such as LinkedIn have made it easy to build a network with other sellers. Brockelman said LinkedIn is a good place for users of her generation to start to find old coworkers. Creating connections on this business- oriented site can give the user immeasurable ability to network their skills to others that are linked on the pages of former associates.

From there, she suggested that users can move on to Facebook to connect with grown children or childhood friends. Even new users will have no trouble using the site to keep old friends up-to-date with current developments in life, both small and large. Twitter, which was developed as recently as 2006, allows users to stay in touch with friends, family, business contacts and even celebrities by receiving text message updates (known as “tweets”) that are not intrusive for either the sender or the receiver. Both of
these sites allow the user easy access to the latest developments concerning their passions, their hobbies, or their curiosities. In essence, these sites constitute the “word of mouth” of the internet age.

Brockelman noted that the use of these tools is growing for those who are well past their twenties. “Most of my agents are over forty-five,” she said. She also found that the most of the respondents to her tweets concerning new home listings fell into the “forty-three to fifty-seven year-old demographic of mostly women.”

In combating the notion that these tools are geared only for the young, Brockelman conducted a quick internet search which turned up Olive Reilly who, at 108, was the world’s oldest blogger. According to reports, the Australian Reilly posted her final blog entry this past June.

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