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Instagram might lead to *better* marketing without the likes

(MARKETING) What happens if like counts everywhere just go poof? Instagram is starting a trend where something great will probably happen.

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instagram likes

You know that Instagram account you follow even though it makes you feel terrible about your own life? I’ve got one too.

It’s no secret that the “likes” ecosystem can be damaging to people’s mental health. Everyone from grade school children to retirees has experienced FOMO at the hands of an Instagram feed.

There has been a lot of press this year about the social and business impact of hiding like counts. Now that Instagram has officially begun testing out hiding like counts in the U.S., what does this mean for users? If Instagram decides to permanently hide like counts for all global users, will it set off a chain reaction? What happens if like counts everywhere just go poof? It’s hard not to speculate.

If that sounds like the kind of world you want to live in then I’ve got great news. There are already folks out there cutting down the likes ecosystem like it’s an overgrown weed. From an open source social media network that hides likes by default to a browser extension that will hide all vanity metrics everywhere, the revolution is well underway.

If you manage any marketing, removing like counts means letting go of vanity metrics. Metrics such as engagement and impressions have always been more important for marketers because theses offer a more realistic picture of how your brand is doing online.

Instagram’s hope is that removing like counts will remove some of the more insidious aspects of social proof (a.k.a. when people like something just because other people liked it) from the equation. This creates an opportunity for users, influencers, and businesses to create more authentic and creative content that focuses on engaging with their audiences.

The loss of like counts could spell major change for which influencers brands choose to partner with moving forward. This could give micro influencers, who often have smaller like counts and more niche audiences, a better seat at the table.

Creating high-quality, engaging content will be key to building your online presence moving forward. If some businesses and influencers find their metrics taking a hit after the removal of like counts, they need to take a hard look at their content.

Social media can be an exhausting place, but I’m optimistic about the changes hiding like counts could bring for everyone.

Staff Writer, Natalie Gonzalez earned her B.A. in English and a Creative Writing Certificate from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a writer and social media nerd with a passion for building online communities.

Real Estate Marketing

How market to each generation, and yes, they are ALL different!

(MARKETING) Knowing how each generation is interacting with marketing content will help you keep your edge in your chosen markets – here’s your update!

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Generation of women.

In the last few years, a higher premium has been set on presenting your content appropriately to your audience. In order to do this, you must really learn about the demographics of your audience as a way to speak to them in the most effective way.

We can do this by looking through our follower list, determining the audience that would most benefit from our audiences, and opening the floor for questions. Sometimes we rely on studies and other collections of data to show us what certain audiences dig and don’t dig.

Such was the case with Koeppel Direct’s roundup regarding optimizing your content for every age group. They broke it down in such a way that helps us look at different generational online uses.

First up, we have our Baby Boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964. According to the data, they make up 74% of the US population. Sixty-7% of that population uses smartphones, while 57% use social media. The favorite platform of Boomers is Facebook, with 31.9% using the social media site.

It’s recommended to tailor content for Boomers in the following ways: make your content text-light (300 words is the preferred article length of this generation), videos that are heavy on information (slower-paced is preferred over fast), and Facebook-optimized content (57% will visit a company’s website after seeing them appear on social media, and 34% will make a purchase).

Next on deck is Generation X. This group was born between 1965 and 1980, and makes up 66 million of the US population. 85% own smartphones and 75% use social media (with 45 million Facebook users and 23.5 million Instagram users).

The content recommendations for Gen X are: longer-form video (30-second mobile video ads are preferred over ads that are shorter), tablet-optimized content, and 48% are more likely to buy from a company that offers instructional videos.

Now, everyone’s favorite, Millennials! These peeps graced the earth between 1981 and 1996 (May of ’94 brought you yours truly) and they make up 71 million of the population. 92% own smartphones and 85% use social media (with 59 million Facebook users and 43 million Instagram users).

Unsurprisingly, two out of three Millennials prefer online shopping. The recommended content comes in the way of shorter-form video (10-seconds preferred), interactive content (it’s all about the experience! Even with campaigns), email campaigns (Millennials spent 6 hours a day going through email, with 77% wanting to receive business communication by email).

Additional tips include: personalizing content, using less text, and sharing mobile coupons and rewards.

Finally, we’re at the end of the alphabet with Generation Z. Generation Zs were born between 1997 and 2012 (so they were learning to walk during the peak of Friends) and makeup 60 million of the population. A whopping 95% have access to smartphones.

The favorites of social media include: 73% on Instagram, 69% on Snapchat (noted to be more popular with girls), and 80 percent say that social media influences their shopping (thanks, Insta models!)

It’s recommended to use: online video ads (56%  take action after seeing a video), video marketing (85% use YouTube), and socially conscious content (94 percent feel that companies and brands should take stands on environmental and social issues).

The roundup also notes that in 2017, it was determined that the average human attention span is eight seconds (which is a 33% decrease from 2000).

There was also a 99%  increase in branded video content views on YouTube over 2016.

In 2019, 80% of all web traffic so far is video. Think about that one.

This information is ever-evolving and helpful to keep an eye on. However, it’s important to note that this is a sample of these generational populations, and not every item applies to each population member. Do your own research to really get to know your audience!

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Real Estate Marketing

Retargeting: are you really getting the best ROI with this method?

(MARKETING) Retargeting cookies can eat up more budget than you would expect, but these simple code solutions will help cut that cost down.

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Retargeting ad graph

Up to 80% of visitors to your site will leave within seconds. Are you wasting time and money retargeting this demographic — one that has shown no interest in your services or products? If so, you may be able to save a substantial amount of your retargeting budget by adding a simple script to your website’s code.

Retargeting is a massive part of any marketing endeavor, but it has its downsides—chief among which is those retargeting cookies are indiscriminate and thus are often applied to clientele who aren’t spending enough time on your home page to warrant the attention. This in turn leads to overspending on underwhelming conversion results.

One solution, proposed by Kevin Ho of Wishpond, involves adding a simple script that delays retargeting cookies for the first 45 seconds (or so) to your website’s overarching code. In doing so, your cookies will not be wasted on anyone who bounces from your site within moments of arriving at it.

Of course, your site may have nuanced clientele which requires you to adjust the parameters around the retargeting delay code. Given the relative simplicity of JavaScript and HTML coding, you should be able to change the amount of time for which cookies are restricted with ease.

Variations of the retargeting delay code itself can be found on sites such as GitHub and SlideShare. Once you’ve edited the code to accommodate your needs, you can paste it directly into your website’s home page file to prevent people who leave your site within your specified timeframe from receiving retargeting emails or ads.

Using this code has a couple of huge advantages. Since the code itself is open-source and easy to modify, you don’t need to outsource to a web developer or spend extra cash trying to implement your delayed retargeting cookies. On the flip side, you could easily (and cheaply) commission a custom version of the code should the open-source version not work with your site.

Either way, cultivating and installing a retargeting delay on your website is quick, painless, and about as cost-effective as a marketing strategy can be.

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Real Estate Marketing

Do your customers a favor and quit using ‘no-reply’ emails immediately

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) No-reply emails may serve a company well, but the customers can become frustrated with the loss of a quick and easy way to get help.

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no-reply email face

Let me tell you a modern-day horror story.

You finally decide to purchase the item that’s been sitting in your cart all week, but when you receive your confirmation email you realize there’s a mistake on the order. Maybe you ordered the wrong size item, maybe your old address is listed as the shipping location, or maybe you just have buyer’s remorse. Either way, you’ve got to contact customer service.

Your next mission is to find contact information or a support line where you can get the issue resolved. You scroll to the bottom of the email and look around for a place to contact the company, but all you find is some copyright junk and an unsubscribe option. Tempting, but it won’t solve your problem. Your last hope is to reply to the confirmation email, so you hit that trusty reply arrow and…nothing. It’s a no-reply email. Cue the high-pitched screams.

Customers should not have to sort through your website and emails with a microscope to find contact information or a customer service line. With high customer expectations and fierce ecommerce competition, business owners can’t afford to use no-reply emails anymore.

Intended or not, no-reply emails send your customer the message that you really don’t want to hear from them. In an age when you can DM major airlines on Twitter and expect a response, this is just not going to fly anymore.

Fixing this issue doesn’t need to be a huge burden on your company. A simple solution is to create a persona for your email marketing or customer service emails, it could be member of your team or even a company mascot. Rather than using noreply@company.com you can use john@company.com and make that email a place where your email list can respond to questions and communicate concerns. Remember, the whole point of email marketing is to create a conversation with your customers.

Another great strategy for avoiding a million customer service emails where you don’t want them? Include customer service contact info in your emails. Place a thoughtful message near the bottom of your template letting people know where they can go if they’re having an issue with the product or service. This simple change will save you, your customers, and your team so much time in the long-run.

Your goal as a real estate practitioner is to build a trusting relationship between you and your customers, so leave the no reply emails behind. They’re annoying and they might even get you marked as spam.

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