The easier it is to project out to and share things with your online social networks, the more likely you'll take the time to constantly be present there. While I don't believe social media is the Holy Grail of real estate business, I do see its importance as part of the deck of things we all do to create and maintain relationships. That's why I like this week's Cool App so much: Cortex. It's an extension for the Chrome web browser that seriously simplifies your ability to share things with your social circles.
How to get it: Cortex is available at Google's Chrome Web Store for free. If you already use Chrome as a web browser, you simply go to the app's page and click on "Add to Chrome." If you don't use Chrome, but still want to give this a try, simply install Chrome first by visiting Google.com/chrome, downloading and installing Chrome onto your machine. (It's free.)
Once you have Cortex plugged into Chrome, to use it you simply click and hold on a web page. You'll see a little social wheel appear, at which time you can choose where you want to share this. You can even choose a specific friend on Facebook to share a piece of content with. Cortex enables you to add commentary with your share if you like or you can simply share the page.
With Cortex, you can share links, images, articles, videos, and even highlighted text. Where exactly can you share these things? Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instapaper.
One of the best ways to participate in social networks is to provide clear value to your networks that is relevant to your business brand. Sure, some people may appreciate details of where you ate dinner and with whom, but most folks are going to be following you because they value your insight into the local real estate market. They'd find real value in reading the latest data report or a great commentary you read that made you sit back and think, "I couldn't have said it better myself."
More and more, social media participation is a lot about curating relevant content for a group of like-minded individuals. Cortex is a free app that plugs right into Chrome that can make that an easier task for you.