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‘Happy birthday’ from your market

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SAN DIEGO -- In the free-flowing and informal world of social media, Realtors may stir up more business by wishing a colleague happy birthday, or snapping a picture of an encounter with a snake, than by blatantly promoting listings on sites like Twitter and Facebook.That's been the experience, at least, of Mike Parker -- a genial Realtor from Northern Kentucky who shared his social media expertise with colleagues at the National Association of Realtors' annual convention in San Diego.Parker sees nothing wrong with posting listings to social media sites -- his are displayed automatically on his Facebook page via a feed from Realtor.com.But he advises real estate agents and brokers to concentrate on expanding their network of contacts ("friends") on social media sites, and building personal relationships with them. The way to do that is not by bombarding them with marketing pitches, but rather engaging in conversations that may seem to have little to do with real estate.That's ...