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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

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
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  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
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“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.

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Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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