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The New YOU in Social Media

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social media perception

I was talking to a dear friend this weekend that I’ve lost touch with and owns a catering company.  While catching up I explained how social media has provided a creative out for me that was missing in my life since I made the decision to stop practicing architecture.  He, like me,  is an extrovert, a people person, someone that enjoys engaging others and as his business has grown, he misses the “engagement factor” of more intimate gatherings.

While I explained the power of social media he stood there with such interest and focus and was so intrigued by the whole notion of being able to engage people you don’t know at a personal level.  Before he parted he said something to me that keeps resonating in the back of my mind – a lot of us take this for granted but is one of the single most powerful concepts behind social media.

“What I find interesting about the concept of social media is that you can engage people and have no pre-conceived notions or pre-judgement of them”

I go back to all the friends I have made in social media, whether through blogging, facebook, twitter, etc……..I have learned to like these people for what they are, never worried about what they have done, or what precedes them ……beyond powerful (and scary at the same time).

So the reality of Social Media is that you can become what you want with the help of a computer screen to shield you.  Don’t jump down my throat now and tell me I’m crazy.  What I’m saying here is that as you develop a marketing strategy and include social media as one of those tools, realize that you have the power to mold perception (without lying to yourself please) – you will never be a 6′ Adonis in your 5′-1″ chubby frame, but you could easily have the self-esteem of a God.

Far fetched?……maybe…..but that’s why Agent Genius is so much fun

WARNING:  if you are a Jerk in real life….. no Social Media in this world will mask that

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Matt Stigliano

    August 31, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    WARNING: if you are a Jerk in real life….. no Social Media in this world will mask that

    Ines – I mainly commented here just so I could send that quote to Twitter. It’s one that everyone should recognize. You can be who you want, but the real you will always shine through.

    I love when someone says something to you that’s simple and effective. It’s probably something you knew already, but hearing it out loud sometimes hammers it home.

  2. Derek Massey

    August 31, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I’m about 6′ 3″ tall. Put all us 6′ 2″ or taller guys in a room, and we are about 3.9% of the population. Yet if you put 100 CEO’s in a room, a striking 30% of them are 6′ 2″ or taller. Anyone who has read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” knows this.

    What’s my point?

    I’m lucky to be tall. I didn’t do anything special to become this tall, it just happened. Does it at least contribute to my success? Blink says it does.

    With social media, my height means nothing. It doesn’t add followers, friends, or influence. You could be 3′ 6″ and have the same amount of social capital as me. If you have better ideas, are more helpful and can better connect people than me, you will have a more meaningful and influential network. Height, good looks, nice dress, Ivy pedigree — these are are what used to win on the business battlefield, but don’t cut it online.

    Great article, Ines!

  3. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    August 31, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Matt – you always manage to put a smile on my face – thanks for sending the Jerk quote to twitter 🙂

    Derek – you totally got my point….it’s amazing how this medium gives opportunity to those that wouldn’t otherwise even get a chance (I know it’s shallow…..but we can’t turn our face to the rules of society).

    cheers to the short people!!! and to the tall ones like Derek as well

  4. Hal Lublin

    August 31, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Totally agree with you, Derek. I’d like to think that I’m fairly good at getting a read on people, and I find that social media can allow people to get to know the real you quicker simply BECAUSE you aren’t hampered by physical preconceptions.

  5. Doug Francis

    August 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    In the past week I have had two similar conversations coming up with ideas or themes for friend’s blogs. In both cases, the conversations ended on a positive note with all sorts of creative ideas flowing.

    But both people started out poo-pooing blogging, Facebook-ing, and Twittering, but when a clear objective was refined and a strategy developed they were excited to get rolling.

    It is really nice to have someone say, “I really enjoy talking with you” when you have simply helped them get started.

  6. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    August 31, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Hal – I didn’t just mean physical preconceptions either – it’s also easier for many to be social on line who have not had much luck with real life social skills – I’ve even seen many overcome the lack of F2F social skills with the help of SM (no wonder there’s a social component in SM!!!) 😀

    Doug, and that little help of listening ear goes so much further in this medium. I, for one, have become a better listener

  7. Ian Greenleigh

    August 31, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I may have said it before (apologies, if so) but my favorite part of social media is access. The fact that everyone is on a relatively equal playing field when it comes to social media is part of the reason people like me have access to people like, well, you. I am just starting my career and have little to show by way of milestones and measures of success, but I can be relatively certain that you will read this. Perhaps you will think about it, perhaps you will not. But at the end of the day, I put myself in front of you in a way that we are both comfortable with (as opposed to say, calling you), and I would not have been able to do so in another era. I would never have the cajones to pick up the phone and call someone like Redfin CEO Glen Kelman, but he has personally (and thoughtfully) responded to my comments on his blog. At the very least, we get to exchange ideas with those that would otherwise be inaccessible. This is priceless.

  8. Hal Lublin

    August 31, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Good point Ines, I think the comfort of that computer screen makes a huge difference, I think one great thing that social media does is remove the awkwardness of the “meet n greet.” By time you physically encounter someone you’ve connected with online, you’re not really meeting them for the first time – you already have a comfort level with them that you’ve each developed on your own terms.

  9. Jeff Turner

    August 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Damn straight!

  10. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    August 31, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Ian – you are absolutely right – access is an amazing part of social media – The fact that you can have a glass of wine with Sherry Chris from BHGRE or dinner with Pete Flint from Trulia would have never been possible in another era. SM also lets you have access to our sphere of influence’s sphere….which is incredible all by itself. But at the end of the day, it goes back to how you present yourself to the world and how you chose to share that “social capital” once you get it. (for the record, I would accept a call from you any day)

    Hal – ice breaker in steroids! i totally knew you before I met you F2F

    Jeff – I LOVE your deep contributions 🙂

  11. Jeremy Hart

    August 31, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Derek – I think you hit it on the head with that comment.

    Ines (or anyone else that wants to comment), why do you think that the hard sell is still so prevalent in social media? You said yourself that with social media, you have the potential to mold yourself – and subsequently your message – however you want. Why does the “look at me, look at what I have to offer!” still get used so much when it’s not what the consumer wants?

  12. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    August 31, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Jeremy – I think it has to do with the battle of egos we have in real estate. The **I’m bigger than you, take a better profile photo and have been in the business 30 years doing it wrong but my “top producer numbers” don’t reflect that.** We can show our worth and our real selves, whether we’ve been in the business for a year or 20

  13. MIssy Caulk

    August 31, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Computer screen or not, I is what I is.

    Nice, fresh look at social media.

  14. Matt Stigliano

    August 31, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Ines – I only sent it, because it needed to be sent.

    Ian has a great point about access. I have spoken to people who I admire, respect, and want to be more like thanks to social media. I’ve had my words recognized by people who probably wouldn’t know who I was otherwise. I’ve spoken to CEOs directly and many non-CEO employees who were there to help and now are among my contacts and friends when I run into something.

    Jeremy – I think Ines is right. I also think it has to do with two parts of the same problem. The first part is that people don’t know any different. They’re doing it the way they always have. The second part is that there are people out there teaching it that way. I have heard several “gurus” in person state that if you can get enough followers, you’re broadcasting to a massive audience. If you have a million followers and only get a 0.5% return rate – you’re still getting 5,000 people to do whatever it is your broadcasting. In the world of social media, numbers like a million are not impossible.

    What people are missing is that they are not a million people paying attention, they are merely a list of followers that probably never read a word of what you said. Relationships and conversation still matter online. You may never meet some people, but you still have to have a connection in order to build something other than a pen pal.

  15. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    August 31, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Missy – and I really like what you is 😀

    Matt – you will always have those that will play the numbers game and what’s sad is that we are back to traditional methods that are “hit or miss” – If I was spending $10,000 in print advertising per month hoping to make $ off of 10% I was hitting and hoping that my ads in the paper would create a certain perception and in the end it always became a numbers game……a #’s game that made no sense to me.

    The concept has been taught for years and those people will never go away. What’s amazing to me is that the same people that teach the numbers game have some sort of fanatic cult following that blows my mind.

    Unfortunately for us, we are seeing those “cult leaders” joining in the SM bandwagon and expect to keep using their methods but now using the big trendy SM catch phrases to make believe they are at the top of the game…..maybe it’s not so unfortunate that they don’t get it.

  16. Sal Antsipenka

    August 31, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    A lot of real estate professionals turn to social video as an extension of their marketing effort and in my opinion that leaves a bunch of them disappointed. Social media is a full time job if you do it in general. It requires a niche as any other business to be fun and creative.

  17. Elaine Reese

    September 1, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Ok, I’ll fess up. I’m 5’7″, 110 lbs, and age 35. Do you buy that?

    Sometimes when I hear of people being conned by online dating, I wonder how they could be so gullible. Then it dawns on me that I’m developing those same type of relationships with the people that I meet on these various social networks. Hopefully, our group of folks aren’t so deceptive.

  18. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 1, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Sal – some do claim you can do SM without going all the way. I don’t think there needs to be a niche necessarily, as long as you are consistent – but to take the question back to subject, even if you do choose to use video…..you can do it without pre-conceptions…..because we are not just talking about looks here.

    Elaine – what? you’re not? 🙂
    (I’ve thought the same thing about deception……but as I said with the “jerk” comment above…..true colors would eventually show)

  19. Matt Stigliano

    September 1, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Ines – Those cult-like leaders are using the buzzwords. I’ve seen it around me. I hate buzzwords. I try to avoid them. It does annoy me that some great words are stricken from my vocabulary because of a few that insist on drilling them into the ground. Oh well, time to invent new words I guess.

    @respres and I spoke to each other about the hard sell once and he said something so simple to me that it’s stuck with me all this time. The hard sell is still around, because it still works. People do get business with the hard sell or it would have died a long time ago. I don’t know how it still works, since there is nothing more repulsive to me and many I know, but somewhere out there is someone screaming “Please sell to me and be pushy about it!”

  20. Joe Loomer

    September 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I’ll be 29 this Friday, or was it 46? Either way, if I’m not relevant or worse – if I’m rude – even the x-number of followers and friends I have won’t ready my posts.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  21. Susie Blackmon

    September 1, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Love getting to know people virtually and then meeting them IRL. I’m too darn old to try to be something I’m not! It is what it is. Many times you can get to know more about people by being social with them on-line first. Love the realtors who blast away on FB and Twitter “Oh I’ve been so busy with closings and showings and did you know I’m the featured realtor of the month?” Had you never met me in person I bet you’d never know I love Cowboys and horses. 😉

  22. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 1, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Matt – and NOW you are getting to the good part – we will attract “like minded individuals” through this medium. I hate hard sales and will never do it….I’m at peace with playing the “do onto others” game. Funny enough I have encountered people that want me to sell them and actually have confessed to feeling uncomfortable with my style ……..different strokes for different folks or as we say in Venezuela, “cada loco con su tema”

    Joe – rude? LMAO!!

    Susie – you totally rock – think of the diversity of people you meet on-line that you would usually not be exposed to? beyond powerful if you ask me. And for the cowboys and horses…….it’s written all over you 🙂

  23. Linsey

    September 11, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Sorry to be slow in my response – my reader has been ignored for far too long. Love this post. I’ve been amazed and thrilled by the opportunity the Social Media has given me to engage in conversations that fascinate and intrigue me. I’m no longer in a large office but I still crave the interaction of challenging thinkers and people asking the great questions. This has surely given me that.

    I also wonder about something. Just a theory but I think those that try to present anything they are not, find that they may pull it off for a week, maybe two, maybe a little more. But, before long, they realize transparency – intended or no – seems to be part of the social media reality.

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Business Marketing

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.

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The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

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2. Can lift over 50lbs
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The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to PrisonPolicy.org, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

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Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.

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In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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2020 marketing calendar – plan this year’s marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Have you ever wondered when is the best time for your ad campaign, well look no further. This marketing calendar has every event listed, even weird ones.

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When you work for a small business or non-profit, marketing is one of those essential tools that can make a difference in your monthly bottom line or fundraising take. And yet it’s often a challenge for busy owners and employees to find — and take advantage of — fresh promotion opportunities.

Add this to your toolkit… a 2020 Marketing Calendar from the team at Liramail, making note of big events and days that you can use online and IRL to engage customers and donors.

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Some dates are obvious… major holidays, for instance, particularly the gift-giving ones. But you can find success around other events as well. The Central Texas Food Bank uses the Super Bowl as a driver for one of their most visible annual events, the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” On a smaller scale this year, restaurants and shops around the Austin area and all over the country used January 25, Australia Day, to raise funds for bushfire relief—drawing customers into their businesses, creating community ties and doing good all at once.

This marketing calendar compiles dates both big and small, providing plenty of opportunities for tie-ins and promotions. Running a clothing boutique? Play with Fashion Week. Looking for a good cause to support? World Wildlife Day and International Women’s Day are just a few weeks away. Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day… and that’s all just in the next six weeks.

The calendar is as useful for engaging your social media audience as it is promoting IRL events. You don’t have to own a pizza place to make a post with your team celebrating International Pizza Day and quizzing your followers on their favorite topping. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to turn Love Your Pet Day into a way to engage people by encouraging them to share photos of their pets.

And if you do have a direct tie? Absolutely use it. Each March, for instance, the small Austin well-building non-profit Water to Thrive observes World Water Day with a quick Facebook fundraiser. One of the Austin-area businesses that participated in Australia Day, Bee Cave coffeehouse/boutique Runaway Luna Lifestyle, did so because of family ties there, raising several thousand dollars with an in-store event and social media promotion of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

So page through the marketing calendar, making notes of days that you can take advantage of. And don’t forget, if you’re inspired to create an in-store event or other promotion, be ready for it. Get the initial date on the calendar, and then work backwards to create a long-range plan to support your event. Check your inventory, possibly looking for related items to feature. Book your advertising, draft your newsletter, schedule your social posts. Let your audience know that something special is coming up.

Have fun with it. Add your own dates. Whether you zero in on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Make a Difference Day, you can create new opportunities for your business or non-profit and for your customers as well.

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