Social networking definitions

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Social networking definitions

Many Estate Agents that experience social networks for the first time usually complain that it is “alien” or “like another language”.

Here at Resource Techniques, we have decided that any Estate Agents new to social media should have their first ‘leg up’ onto 2 of the main social networks used in the UK – Facebook and Twitter.

Each section below contains names and definitions that Estate Agents can expect to discover when implementing their online strategy.


Facebook is the UK’s most popular social network with just under half the population possessing their own account. Due to the numbers of users and familiarity, it is no wonder that many Estate Agents decide to start with Facebook before moving onto other social networks.

These are the terms Estate Agents are likely to expect on Facebook:

  • Newsfeed – This is where all the updates from friends, groups, pages and events appear. It saves the user time from having to look at every single web page for more information.
  • Friend/Unfriend – Part of Facebook’s structure is to connect two accounts together by ‘friending’ them. Since users have become particularly security conscious, many accounts have privacy settings so that only ‘friends’ can see their wall posts, photos and information.
  • Wall – A place where users can leave text, photos, links, videos and even opinion polls name ‘Questions.
  • Poke – A poke can only made from one account to account, not to or from a Facebook page - with no particular purpose. It is used my many users to get the attention of other users.
  • Page – A Facebook page is designed so that Businesses, brands, organisations, or public figures can be ‘liked’. Once ‘liked’, updates from that Facebook page appears in the Newsfeed.
  • Like/Unlike – Like gives users the option to show their appreciation or admiration for a status, photo or link without having to comment. This limits the number of mundane comments made.


Twitter is the SMS love child of the internet. It allows users to post and communicate within 140 characters. Many Estate Agents I talk to find twitter the most usual network to adopt and many find that its nuances strange and unexplainable.

These are the terms that Estate Agents can expect on Twitter:

  • Tweet – A message sent out by twitter with a maximum 140 character limit.
  • Follow/Unfollow – Same as ‘friending’ on Facebook, following someone on Twitter is just as simple as subscribing to whatever tweets are sent out from their account.
  • @[Username] – the @ character is used to tell twitter that the next letters immediately after will signify a username. The user mentioned will be notified in their ‘@Mentions’ tab and the tweet will display with a link to the user’s account. E.G @RTechniques.
  • Retweet – A retweet is a way of showing your appreciation for someone else’s tweet. It can be done in two ways. The old or ‘original’ way was to use the initials of retweet (RT) in a message before stating their username and what they said. E.G. ‘RT @RTechniques’ and then the original message. This old style is usually used so that users can add their own comment.

The new style of retweeting is to simply press the Retweet link that appears when you hover over another user’s tweet. Their tweet then appears to your followers as if they were following that user (showing you as a reference).

  • Hashtag – A hashtag is simply a way of categorising tweets so that they are searchable in twitter’s search function. Similar to a @Mention, users place a hash symbol (#) before text to let twitter know that it has to place a hyperlink that is clickable once the tweet has been sent.

Hashtags can be used as adding a search term, or extra information to a tweet or they can be used so that everyone at a particular event can follow everyone else that is also tweeting from that event.

  • Trends – Trends is ‘top 10’ hashtag or a word (sometimes two) that is being used be everyone else. Its main function is to spread national or global news and developments but Estate Agents will also notice that it is used to play a game. For example #whendiditbecomecool is a hashtag trending today. Users place that hashtag in their tweet and then comment on the social aspect of ‘what is cool’.

Of course Facebook and Twitter are not the only social networks that are in the UK, but for Estate Agents starting off their social media it is recommended that they get to grips with these before moving onto other social networks.