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Facebook AI turns your 2D pictures into 3D photos – it’s trippy

(MARKETING) Facebook offers a new way for you to market and capture attention, and it might be the move they need to retain younger users.

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Let’s face it, Facebook isn’t cool anymore. It hasn’t been for quite some time. Your aunt posts Minion memes about Mondays on Facebook, and Facebook knows that’s not cool. But their new technology could be their secret weapon to get renewed attention to their platform from all demographics.

Facebook has been in the virtual reality market ever since they bought Oculus in 2014. But while they have lofty goals concerning VR — founder Mark Zuckerburg states Facebook’s long-term goal is to boast over one billion VR users — there just aren’t that many physical headsets in homes yet. In the mean time, Facebook is taking the lessons learned from the virtual 3D space and applying them to your two-dimensional phones screens.

How does Facebook turn a normal image into a 3D photo? Let’s back up a bit first. Imagine your eyes are cameras. Most of you probably have two eyes. When you focus on a thing, both of your eyes are looking at the same thing, but from a slightly different vantage point as each eye is a couple inches from each other. Your brain puts these two images together and creates a three-dimensional picture of your surroundings. That’s why you can “see” in 3D.

iPhone hardware works in a similar manner. Your iPhone 7+ and newer all actually have two cameras on the back instead of one. Those two “eyes” give your iPhone the ability to create photos with depth. This is where Facebook’s new technology comes in.

If the iPhone’s two cameras are the eyes of this metaphor, then Facebook is the brain. Facebook’s proprietary AI software takes the data gathered from the two cameras and “guesses” what else is around. The result is more like a diorama than a photograph, giving users the ability to zoom, pan, and tilt as if they were looking through a window rather than at a photograph.

Facebook is rolling out the technology as we speak, and has included a list of tips and tricks to level up your multi-dimensional photography skills. “You’ll get the best results if your main subject is three or four feet away,” says Facebook in a press release, “and to really make it pop, try to capture scenes with multiple layers of depth, including something in the foreground and something in the background—like a shot of your family standing in a field of flowers.”

These new features will be viewable from your standard news feed, and with added functionality if accessed through Facebook’s headset VR platform, Facebook360.

Whether this turns out to be the Next Big Thing or just another neat tech niche thing, the ability to effortlessly create 3D still lifes out of standard photographs guarantees The Youths will be hanging around Facebook for at least a little while longer. And guarantees you have yet another way to market to capture attention. Neat!

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James M Lane, AINS was born into this world without his consent an ornery 60 year old man with a full beard. He has worked in the insurance industry for the last half decade, and was a foreign language preschool teacher for years before that. He writes horror in his spare time. Follow him on Instagram for deliberations on pro wrestling and beards.

Real Estate Marketing

Dark data may be the key to unlocking your brokerage’s potential

(MARKETING NEWS) The key to a solid marketing campaign could be dark data if anyone can figure out how to actually use it.

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One trend that marketers and entrepreneurs alike are trying to utilize is the mining of dark data from social media. It may sound like something a supervillain in a made-for-TV movie may use to “hack the mainframe,” but it may be the crux of your next marketing strategy.

Research firm Gartner defines dark data as “information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.”

This data is frequently unstructured, making it difficult to utilize effectively. Structured data is easy to analyze, it populates spreadsheets after a customer enters their information on your website and other clear roads of analysis.

Unstructured data, in contrast, is information that may be collected but its not utilized effectively. Almost 90 percent of unstructured dark data falls through the cracks and is never put to use. One big source of unstructured data is social media posts.

Customers will share insights into your business and brand through their posts about their purchasing habits. This is frequently done through not just through the selfie, but the captions associated with the photo as well.

A picture can tell a lot of information to people (what times of items you sell, their quality, and their overall experience) but the caption can help you understand more what their attitude towards those events are.

A picture may show an attractively plated meal, but the caption may talk about how there was a long wait for the food as well as poor customer service. These captions, and subsequent comments, can offer a keen insight into what people like and dislike about your brand called sentiment analysis.

Sentiment analysis can be utilized to understand attitudes toward your brand, and there’s multiple ways you can go about this. One method of analysis is through the building of word clouds which examine the most used words in a few days of dark data. Pro-marketers can easily pull dark data from those who like or follow a business’ social pages into software which can do the legwork for you.

Brokers have some options that are less sophisticated but can still do sentiment analysis of dark data effectively.

The IProspect blog suggests to use “a blend of monitoring tools,” many of them free, to complete a sentiment analysis.

A better understanding of dark data means you aren’t limited to just basic social media analysis tools. With these concepts, you too can illuminate your dark data and shine some light on future prospects.

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Real Estate Marketing

Ramp up your Twitter by letting Narrow take the reigns

(MARKETING NEWS) Let Narrow manage and moderate your Twitter. Using analytics and algorithms your only job will be telling Narrow what you like and the app will do the rest.

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Reaching your target demographic on social media can be difficult even when you know exactly who you’re looking for, to say nothing of when you can only approximate.

While this still isn’t an exact science, one app—Narrow, by a company of the same name—may be the solution to your Twitter campaign’s shortcomings.

At first glance, Narrow looks like another Twitter analytics tool; however, what sets Narrow apart from its competitors is its automation. In addition to finding and tracking your target demographic through a combination of location, keywords, and hashtags, Narrow will like and retweet posts from users that fit into your established demographic in order to redirect them to your profile.

If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, you can also use keywords to find relevant users’ bios and follow their profiles, which is a proven growth technique.

Naturally, Narrow keeps you up to date with built-in analytics that show which hashtags and keywords net the highest success, all while continuing to interact with users based on your informed input. The ostensible result is a higher level of engagement with your target audience, more followers for your brand, and a better understanding of your brand’s target audience.

After choosing a monthly payment plan—which come in flavors of $19/month for one Twitter account, $49/month for three accounts, and $99/month for 10 accounts—all you have to do is link your Twitter account(s), plug in the keywords and hashtags you want the app to interact with, and—no, wait, that’s all you have to do.

As one might reasonably expect, you can look into your progress on Narrow’s dashboard at any time, allowing you to drop unsuccessful keywords, prioritize the more successful ones, and view your overall conversion rates for each Twitter profile you manage.

It’s worth noting Narrow’s to-date involvement: according to the developers’ website, Narrow is used by companies like Forbes, MSNBC, and Entrepreneur. Given the bevy of useful resources this app boasts, you might want to consider adding your site to that list.

Narrow starts out at 19.99/month for one Twitter account. Even if you aren’t looking for a growth resource right now, do yourself a favor and head over to the site to check it out.

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Real Estate Marketing

How real estate agents are getting around the Do Not Call list

(MARKETING) Getting in touch with potential clients is the difference between sinking or swimming, so how does one go about getting around the Do Not Call list!?

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One of the major challenges for cold calling as a real estate agent is that pesky Do Not Call list. There is a list of expired listings daily that you intend on calling – it’s a part of your strategy to earn new business, and good for you for never resting on your laurels.

But there are so many laws regarding who you can call and when. And of course laws that restrict your calling anyone on the Do Not Call registry.

Now, these laws are not new, in fact, it has been illegal to call anyone on the DNC list for a decade and a half.

So what is one to do?

Some agents are getting around the DNC list and it is so very clever.

Here is the playbook:

  • Agent: rings a phone number on the DNC list.
  • Consumer: answers phone, “Hello?”
  • Agent: hangs up on the Consumer.
  • Consumer: curious, calls the Agent back. “Did you just call me?”
  • Agent: “Oh yes, I just sold a home in your neighborhood at 12% over asking price, I would love to talk to you about an opportunity to sell your home in this tight market where home sellers are coming out on top and-“
  • Consumer: “I am on the Do Not Call list, it is illegal for you to call me, please remove me from your list.”
  • Agent: “Well, actually, you called me.”
  • Consumer: hangs up, starts to Google how to make a complaint with the FTC.

Sound legit?

It absolutely is not, and the Federal Trade Commission would agree.

The truth is that there is no way around the Do Not Call list, and there are so many nuanced laws on the topic, that brokerages today pour more resources into digital marketing efforts that are less likely to be flagged for illegalities.

If you practice real estate, and you’re making cold calls, the best option is to register as a telemarketer (which you are acting as when making cold calls) with the FTC, paying subscription dues, and only calling numbers NOT on the DNC list.

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