Al and Cal Homes and Community: Has Social Media become a Vehicle for Big Business? If so Why Do We Call It Social?

Has Social Media become a Vehicle for Big Business? If so Why Do We Call It Social?

Has Social Media Become a Vehicle for Big Business?  If so Why do we Call it Social?

The first I heard of "social media" was though the kids, although, I don't think they were calling it social media at the time.   The kids heads were engrossed in My Space.   The news was continually warning us of the dangers of this new, frightening phenomenon.  

After a few years, I attended a "free" seminar on the wonders of "social media" and how it would help and grow my business.   Of course I realized that it would help and grow the speakers business too, but none the less, he convinced me that the largest growing population of the Facebook community was women over 40.   It doesn't take rocket science to realize that after doing business for the past 25 years that my loyal clientele might be experimenting with this new "social" thing.   

I left the seminar hells bells to learn about this new way of meeting and greeting people.  I could easily see the potential of being in front of so many people at the same time.  It was intriguing and exciting and I couldn't wait to get started.  I sought out people that got me going.   It wasn't going to be as easy as it sounded.   twitter

After awhile, I thought I was getting the hang of blogging and posting.    Reading and commenting.  There is an etiquette to this social media I found and not everyone agrees to exactly what it is.   I found my way of doing it and have been working with Facebook, blogspot, AR, Trulia, ever since.   My thoughts and posts are constantly evolving and I think back to that free seminar and wonder.

In that short time, social media has become the buzz word of business

and I wonder if it has made our lives easier as promised or if it has become "overdone".    

As a small business owner, it is so hard to keep up in a world where information is at our fingertips and where we need to produce new information with great content continually to make our selves found.   We strive to do this in order to continue to have a presence in  business.   How can a small business compete against the big conglomerates and should we try?  

I know that I have something to say.   I know that my experience in this business is valuable.   I know that I need to reach out to my past clients and sphere.   But, Is it possible with all the people in the world to come up with valid, new and relevant content each and every day?    Is it possible to get out in front of the syndicated giants and have your self found in a sea of posts and ads?

And, if and when I do, Is it possible to beat out the big guy in terms of value when they can purchase in vast quantity?   Why is it that many have forsaken quality and strictly make purchases based on price alone?   

I'm starting to get off topic.  It seems to me that big business is invading our "social" media circles.   

Is there a benefit to this?   Who do we chose to align ourselves and why?   Can we make a difference by choosing who to do business with?   Can we keep small business afloat?   

Do we make purchases based on price alone, or do we instead look at small business America and move in those folks direction to support not only them but ourselves?

My pledge is to support small business owners that I know and others that I don't.    It honestly has become more and more difficult.   "Like" this and you get a discount.  "Like" that and you are entered to win!

Has social media become just another vehicle for big business?  If so, then why are we calling it social media?    Am I missing something here?   

Just thinking......





Carol-Ann Palmieri

Al and Cal Realty Group

Remax Executive Realty




Comment balloon 29 commentsCarol-Ann Palmieri • August 03 2012 03:40AM


Good morning Carol,

Excellent post and a very good question to pose. Social media is growing at a rapid pace and for some consumers it will always be about the price and don't think about supporting the small business owner. There are plenty of others that even though they are plugged in it's all all about the experience and want a personal connection. I'm all about working with these folks:).

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) about 6 years ago

Carol Ann, we think about this social media being a new vehicle for big business constantly.  Still haven't gotten with the FB yet, I'm happy for those who have had success with it but am concerned by the fact that the need to be on it is being force fed everywhere we turn.  My business partner Leslie noticed some time ago that our local television station used to run contests that people could win gas cards.  The entries could come in the mail, email, or their website.  Now the only way to enter is by joining fb. Feels like the koolaid factor to me sometimes.

Great post and congratulations on the feature.

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) about 6 years ago

Carol Ann, you make excellent points and many of the small business owners I deal with neither have the time or money to spend on "Social Media" i keep them connected by doing blogs on really frazzles me to have the big box stores invading like they do..and i'm sick of click and get it things!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 6 years ago

I think that big businesses will use anything they can to get more of the market share.  It has and probably always will be this way.  Small businesses owners can really only compete on their own merit of having a loyal customer base.  There will always be folks who shop for price alone and then there will always be those who only shop for quality.  IMO we, as small business owners, still have a place in the social media world and we can still benefit by it.  

Great post Carol Ann :)!

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) about 6 years ago

Businesses, big and small, should take advantage of every opportunity to expand their customer base and to maintain good relationships with their existing customers.  If social media is a cost effective path to marketing goals, it makes sense to use the available tools.

Have a great day and an outstanding weekend.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) about 6 years ago

Carol is so hard to keep up with all the technology, but social media is a reality these days, and if we aren't using it in some form we are prone to get left behind.  Enjoyed the post!

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) about 6 years ago

Hi Dorie.  The personal connection is what does it for me.    The give and take of what makes a community, even the new "social" ones!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Hi Mona.   I know exactly what you mean.   It really has changed things.    Thanks for weighing in.

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Hi Ginny.   I agree and can I say you do a fab job of promoting the small guys in your area.    I need to do more of the same.  

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Hi Brenda.   We have to make sure we continue to do it better.    Thanks.   

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Hi Roy.   It clearly is an effective tool if all are using it.   Looks like a promising weekend.   Back at you!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Hi Anita.   The key is to find the fit as I know you have on many platforms.   

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Carol Ann, right now social media is the buzz word for business. There must be something to it if big business is getting on the band wagon. Like you, I think we should support small business and buy American. After all that is what this country is based on.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 6 years ago

Sometimes I find it annoying to see all the big businesses and their advertising.  Find us on Facebook, Like us for a discount, etc.  But the reality is that social media is here to stay.  We use Faceboook to attract a lot of our business.  I just think it's a no brainer.  Facebook and Twitter are where a lot of people are.  Why not be there too?   

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 6 years ago

Attending free webinars and workshops on social media has allowed me to piece together my social media plan when it comes to real estate. Content and consistency will always win out from my perspective.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) about 6 years ago

Cal gal. Bingo. You are right and I love the aspect of personally connecting with people - I think the social media stuff is critical, but it's tough to compete as a real estate professional too...all the big national home sites use their platforms to charge us for feature spots...

I do support small business whenever I can, and  just keep plugging away hoping that we build relationshps through our own social media efforts - blogging, video, FB, twitter, many hours are in the day? 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) about 6 years ago

Test everything and what compliments the business model, that's a keeper. What doesn't, that's social and subjective

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 6 years ago

Small businesses can use "social media" just as well or even better than big businesses to connect with their customers.  Pople want to connect with other people.  With a small buisness it is often easy to see the founder, manager, or owner of the business and genuinely connect.  Big businesses can advertise on Facebook all that they want but they won't be able to genuinely make that connection that a real person can.

 The biggest bonus is that it will cost those small buisnesses very little or no money.

Posted by Barbie Van Horn, Barbie Van Horn (First American Title Company) about 6 years ago

I joined the ranks of social media a few years ago and I must say I did it kicking and screaming.  Now I'm all wrapped up in cute pictures of kitties and grandchildren and inspirational hog wash.  Don't even get me started on political - will November ever come?  I seriously do not see any benefit to "social media".  I wish I was wrong.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) about 6 years ago

The purpose of social media is to connect others either like-minded or adverse. I don't see social media so much as a business opportunity as it is a learning opportunity. Blogging on the otherhand, is a chance to share knowledge and information that may be helpful to others. That can bring business, but the basics of real estate do not change. It is face to face business. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 6 years ago


Well Congrats first off on another featured post. You ask a very valuable question about social media. Really I do not understand big business on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Maybe Linkedin. Why in the world do I want to like or be a Facebook friend with a big for example Chemical company who might be polluting a river or stream in our community. I am huge fan of small business and frankly it is the engine in this country that drives jobs and growth and not some big conglomerate who sends millions of jobs to overseas countries. We all have to make decisions. At lesat on AR for the most part we are all small businesss people trying to make a living.

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) about 6 years ago

Hi Michael.     Thanks for supporting us!


Hi Christiansen Team.    I don't think it is a fad either, but evolving all the time.   We really need to be current at all times.  


Hi Harry.   A fact for sure!


Hi Debb.   Haha.  I know.  Cultivate a loyal client base and never forget that they are your bread and butter.    No one does it better than you I'll bet!


Hi Richie.    Very important.  Test everything.   


Thank you all for reading and commenting on this topic.    I hope you all have a great and prosperous weekend.  

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Hi Barbie.   Very true.  The true expense is time.   It also can be fun!


Hi Chris and Dick.    There is a bit of ridiculousness happening.   I don't see how big business can gain from it.  I can see how we can, but what the heck do I know.   


Hi Pamela.   I do enjoy blogging and the connection with friends and clients.


Hi Bob.  Thank you.   I feel like minded and don't really understand.  Yet...  I have a lot to learn.    I do try and support small business when ever possible and I believe too that small business is the backbone of America.  


Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment.  I value your opinions.


Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

The biggest effect that social media has... Well, it's kind of behind-the-scenes. Bing did it, and now Google is doing it. They are taking what they know about us and it is affecting the search.

This is an outrageous example, but it illustrates a point:

Let's say you "like" Church's Chicken on Facebook and maybe you even give their home page the Google plus bump. When you search for a fried chicken restaurant in a certain zip code, maybe Church's wouldn't normally appear. But if they are part of your social network-- or even your friend's social network(s), it will be far more likely to show in your results.

So the key, for corporations or people, is to get as many likes and plusses and social media signals as they can. Then, SEO becomes secondary to what you and your friends like.

Posted by J. Worley, AZ Attorney: Personal Injury & Divorce (Divorce & Child Custody) about 6 years ago

Excellent post Cal, congrats on your feature.  We will always be competing with bigger businesses and we can survive by making those we serve happy and referring their friends and neighbors to us.

Posted by Al Raymondi, Ormond By The Sea Florida - Home and Condo Sales (Ocean View Realty Group in Ormond By The Sea Florida) about 6 years ago

Cal - this is a very thought provoking post.  I think at the end of the day, it may ultimately boil down to relationships. 

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 6 years ago

Social media is just one more channel that we can use to personally market us and our services.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) about 6 years ago


You make a very good point.  I have found that most of the small businesses I visit have a facebook page.  I think they feel they have to just to keep up.  I do appreciate their pages, because I can go to their site and find their hours, types of services they provide, etc.  And I do make it a habit to support our local small businesses.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) about 6 years ago

Hi Carol, I have wrestled with the fact that gurus say you must do social media. But then again, since I am from a different generation than you, my peeps are only in social media to see pics of their grandkids... not to conduct business. I guess if your clientele is there... so should you be.

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) about 6 years ago