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There are a number of online tutorials and training sessions springing up that are designed to help people figure out how to use social media to their advantage and design marketing programs around things like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. They can also show you how to turn a good video into a great one. However, is it necessary to take a course in social media marketing? It may not be. Here are some pros and cons, as well as a few questions to ask in order to determine whether or not a social media course would be a waste of your time.

 

Pros

You’ll learn a good deal about the various social media applications, including a few that you probably haven’t heard of.

The course will include ways to come up with an effective social media marketing plan.

There are many forms of online communication that must be learned, or else you could turn away new followers and fans.

In an instructor-led course, you can have your questions answered quickly and easily.

Cons

Any course will take up some of your precious time, even if it consists of only online videos.

An instructor-led course can be expensive.

The time and money that you put into the course may not be worth it if you don’t end up bringing in new clients and selling more properties.

Some of the things taught may be common sense.

 

Should you take a social media marketing course?

No, if:

If you already use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn successfully.

You already have a social media marketing plan in place.

You have hired someone to handle your social media.

 

 

Yes, if:

You have no idea where to begin when it comes to using social media.

You aren’t sure if using Twitter or Facebook will help your company or business.

You want to get rid of your social media person and do the work yourself in order to save money.

Thanks to the technology in new smartphones, it’s possible to do away with a traditional camera altogether. It’s easy to take high quality pictures with your smartphone, then upload them immediately to your social media accounts in order to spread the news about the new house that you have for sale. However, before you start to upload those pictures to the web, make sure that they are the best representations of that property. Here are some tips.

 

 

 

 

Some things that your pictures shouldn’t be:

  • Blurry
  • Under lit
  • Over lit

 

 

 

 

 

What your pictures should be:

  • Clear and crisp
  • Colorful

 

 

 

How to get them that way?

1) Be aware of the limitations of your phone. Does it have a flash? If not, you shouldn’t take pictures at night or when the sky is overcast. How powerful is the zoom function? If it isn’t very strong, you’ll have to take your pictures from closer up than you planned. Does is automatically adjust for shakiness? If not, you’ll have to hold your hand very still when taking the picture, or you’ll end up with a blurry mess.

2) Check the lighting and shadows. The best pictures are taken outdoors when the sun is shining, but that isn’t always possible. Look at the shadows to make sure that they aren’t obscuring important details, and take note of how windows and other shiny objects reflect the camera flash. Paying attention to the smallest lighting issues and using them to your advantage will help a great deal.

3) Take more than one picture. Sometimes the slightest change of angle will turn a mediocre picture into a fantastic one. Take a picture from your original angle, then turn slightly to the left or right, taking pictures from those angles as well. Compare the three before choosing the best one.

4) Don’t go overboard on the special effects. Sure, it’s cool that your newest photo app can turn your ordinary picture into a replica of a faded Polaroid from the 1970′s, but will it help you sell that house? More than likely not. Save the special affects for your personal photos.

5) Change your camera settings. It’s nice to know that you can take a picture that measures 4000 by 3000 pixels, but that is way too large to pass around on social media. Set your smartphone camera so that it takes pictures of a reasonable size — around half to one-quarter the amount of pixels will do. This also helps if your camera has a smaller amount of megapixels; the lower your number, the grainier a larger picture will be.

6) Understand that your smartphone will never be a digital SLR. While smartphones are handy and make an excellent substitute for smaller point and shoot cameras, the quality of their pictures will never rival that of an expensive multi-lensed digital camera that has not only more settings, but also more megapixels. You’re trading convenience for the best quality, and while that’s fine in most cases, you need to be aware of it.