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Social media tools and the sinking ship/speed boat theory

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I don’t think I’m sinking, but I’m no speed boat… yet. My Facebook Biz Page Tribe is tiny, but the size of my Twitter Tribe is healthy. Per common sense and best-practices practice, I would like to grow the size of my Facebook Biz Page Tribe by sharing relevant, valuable and interesting stuff.

My problem is this- how do I broadcast share my relevant and interesting stuff if I don’t have an audience?  Sorta of like if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there…

So I posed the following question on Twitter.

I felt I might have some success growing my Facebook Biz Page Tribe by forward-sharing of the stuff I share there with my Twitter Tribe.  You know, then if people liked it, they might say to themselves, “Hey, this is interesting stuff, I think I like this page.”  If that’s how it worked, maybe both Tribes would thrive. (I know there are some automatic cross posting tools, but I wanted to cross post manually.  I don’t want to share everything automatically, different audiences, relevance, etc.)

The next that happened was the Tweet you see below.  Jeff Bernheisel with M Realty was kind and cool to answer my question.  In addition to Jeff’s Tweet, several people spoke up and shared that they would like to know how to do the same thing – which is why I wrote this post.  Now you and I and our AgentGenius Tribe will know how too.

Problem solved.  Simple eh?  If you have to run, safe travels and thanks for reading.

But if you have a few amps of spare attention, I wanted to share a bit more . . .

My The-Sinking-Boat or The Success Speed-Boat Theory.

Social media tools work in expected and unexpected ways.  If you use them wisely, you’re driving a Success Speed Boat.

If you’re not using social media tools and strategy, or using them stupidly, you’re not missing the boat –  it’s worse than that, grab some floaties, your  ship is sinking.  Depending upon your current level of social media apathy, the hole in your success may be gaping or the size of dime.  Either way, if you don’t get on board, come correct and patch it; first you’ll slow, then sink, then drown in salty sea of sameness and irrelevance.  RIP.

I understand that some will see my theory and proclamation as lame, pompous, arrogant, or all of the above.  But I gotta tell ya, my personal experience, along with what I observe and learn everyday,  confirms the undeniable truth of The Success Speed Boat/Sinking Ship Theory.

If you’re skeptical about the fuzzy nature of my experience and observation filter, I understand.  If you believe that the real estate business is a people business, then focus your attention on this data and tell me what you think it means for the future of social media and whoever uses it wisely.
Are We Obsessed with Facebook?

Back To Cross Posting And Patching A Leaky Ship.

Here’s a tiny tutorial. . .

Step 1.  Share something on your Facebook Biz Page, then capture the web-link to your shared post by clicking on the Date/Time Link.

Step 2. Copy the shared perma-link.

Step 3. Copy and past your Facebook Biz Page perma-link into your Tweet.  To conserve Twitter characters, I originally used the URL shortener Su.pr to shrink my perma-link.  It didn’t play nice with Facebook.  Next I tried the Goo.gl, the free Google.com shortener (and QR Code generator).  It worked, yea.  Here’s what it looked like.

The Result

So I used this cool little technique and within 7 days my long-gone hair regrew and my teeth magically whitened and straightened.  I lost 13 pounds of fat and grew two inches taller.  I haven’t returned her call yet, but Oprah wants me to guest appear on her new Network.  Lastly, miraculously and more to the point, my Facebook Biz Page Tribe exploded overnight.

Ok.  Not really.  I don’t know what the impact will be, I just started, it’s a journey, not an event.  I do believe that if I use one tool and Tribe to support another tool and Tribe, only good things can happen.  And now we all know how to cross post Facebook Business Page posts manually to Twitter.

Best wishes for successful 2011 and thanks for reading and happy speed boating.

Cheers.

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and BrandCandid.com. On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. Bob Wilson

    January 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    This is great news for all those agents busy with their SM campaigns chasing the mega producers who are unaware that their boat is going to sink.

    • Ken Brand

      January 23, 2011 at 8:57 pm

      I’m not sure if you’re “in” or “out” Bob, either way, thanks for the comment. Cheers.

      • Bob Wilson

        January 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm

        Ken, you made the following statement:
        “If you’re not using social media tools and strategy, or using them stupidly, you’re not missing the boat – it’s worse than that, grab some floaties, your ship is sinking”

        I was simply trying to point out the absurdity of an absolute like that.

        • Ken Brand

          January 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

          You’re absolutely right, it’s a bold and absolute statement. As you point out, and I agree, the reality is only a very rare few things in life are absolute. I was going for dramatic effect, but the general principal is true in my opinion. Appreciate you comments. Cheers.

          • Bob Wilson

            February 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm

            I didnt say it was bold. I said it was absurd.

            What general principal? It is a nondescript term.

            What evidence do you have that those who dont employ this ubiquitous, yet vaguely defined concept of a sales strategy are going to fail?

            At the end of the day, sales skills are what is required to close a sale or listing appointment with a buyer or seller prospect. SM doesnt factor into that equation at all.

            That leaves the task of acquiring a prospect to close. Are you saying that cant be done successfully and repeatedly without SM?

          • Ken Brand

            February 4, 2011 at 7:36 am

            Bold to me, Absurd to you. Here’s what I mean, for example, one guy believes that walking on the moon is absurd, because he isn’t a rocket scientist, the rocket scientist understands that it can be done, but it’s a “bold”. To you it’s absurd, I respect that, but I don’t believe it myself.

            As for evidence, I don’t have that. What I have is experience. What I’ve learned is that agents who don’t embrace change, they fail. I’ve seen it happen year after year for 30 years. SM isn’t any different, in a couple of years if you’re not into it, you’ll be out of business.

            If you think that “sales skills” are all that is required to succeed, I have to disagree. It’s difficult to sell someone in the real estate business if you don’t have a client to work with. I’ve seen plenty of skilled sales people fail because they wouldn’t prospect. I’ve seen plenty of poorly skilled slaes people thrive, because they had great prospecting skills. Buyers and sellers primarily work with people they know and trust. NAR points this out in the 2010 Homebuyer and Seller Survey. Knowing and trusting someone usually means there’s some kind of relationship. SM is key to fostering relationships. I’m saying that as SM continues to mesh and intertwine with all media, commerce, education, entertainment, politics, religion and revolution, YES – ignoring SM will sink your ship.

            And lastly, do you believe that the 20 and 30 somethings think as you do at SM and it’s relevance in their life? All the factors I’m talking about will impact every agents success in the future. The further out you project, the more important it will be. Might as well start now.

          • Bob Wilson

            February 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm

            “If you think that “sales skills” are all that is required to succeed,” Seriously Ken, did you even bother to read the entire response? Did you miss the part about acquiring prospects?

            “And lastly, do you believe that the 20 and 30 somethings think as you do at SM and it’s relevance in their life?”

            Dude, you love to make assumptions. I didn’t tell you what I think about SM. I merely challenged your absolute statement (which is why it is absurd) about who will fail and who will not.

  2. Jeff Belonger

    January 24, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Ken… I still don’t consider myself a true expert on all what and how to do it… but here are a few more tips.

    You can also set your FB fan page to automatically display what you post onto Twitter. Like an auto post. But I also prefer to post myself on twitter with the link, so I can place an engaging question so people will want to click onto my link.

    Also.. I use TweetDeck and what’s nice about this is that you can stick the full link/url into the “what’s happening” part and it will automatically make your url smaller for you… by- passing the fact that you have to make the url smaller youself, by using Tiny URL or another site.

    But overall… I agree… using such social tools can only help you, but if you use them wisely and not spend 24/7 on them… You can’t think of it as a popularity contest, getting the most followers… but those that actually engage with you, ask you questions, those that retweet your posts and like your posts… helping you get the word out there.

    • Ken Brand

      January 24, 2011 at 11:25 am

      Amen Jeff, I see it like you do. I hear lots of good things about TweetDeck, I need to check that out. Thanks for sharing man. Cheers.

  3. Agent for Movoto

    January 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Wow that is one nifty little trick. I am definitely going to give that a try within the next five minutes. Thanks!!!!!

    • Ken Brand

      January 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      Hope it works like magic for you. Cheers.

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Business Marketing

What skills do marketers need to survive the AI takeover?

(MARKETING) Quality marketers are constantly evolving, but getting your head around artificial intelligence can be a challenge – let’s boil it down to the most relevant skills you’ll need.

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data science marketing ai

When Facebook and Twitter were born, a new era of social media was ushered in, opening the gates for new areas of expertise that hadn’t existed before. At first, we all grappled to establish the culture together, but fast forward a decade and it is literally a science with thousands of supporting technology companies.

So as Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes over marketing, doesn’t that mean it will replace marketers? If you can ask your smart speaker in your office what your engagement growth increase was for your Facebook Page, and ask for recommendations of growth, how do marketing professionals survive?

Marketers will survive the same way they did as social media was introduced – the practice will evolve and new niches will be born.

There are 7 skills marketers will need to adapt in order to evolve. None of these are done overnight, but quality professionals are constantly grooming their skills, so this won’t be stressful to the successful among us. And the truth is that it won’t be in our lifetime that AI can quite process the exact same way a human brain does, even with the advent of quantum computing, so let’s focus on AI’s weaknesses and where marketers can perform where artificial intelligence cannot.

1. Use the data your new AI buddies generate.

In the 70s, the infamous Ted Bundy murders yielded the first case that utilized computing. The lead investigator had heard about computers and asked a specialist to dig through all of their data points to find similarities – a task that was taking months for the investigative team. After inputting the data, within minutes, they had narrowed their list of suspects from several hundred to only 10.

We’re not dealing with murderers here in the marketing world (…right, guys?), but the theory that algorithms can speed up our existing jobs is a golden lesson. As more AI tools are added to the marketplace to enhance your job, experiment with them! Get to know them! And continue to seek them out to empower you.

Atomic Reach studies your content and finds ways to enhance what you’re delivering. CaliberMind augments B2B sales, Stackla hunts down user-generated content that matches your brand efforts, Nudge analyzes deal risk and measures user account health, and Market Brew digs up tons of data for your SEO strategy.

See? Independently, these all sound like amazing tools, but call them “AI tools” and people lose their minds. Please.

Your job as a marketer is to do what AI cannot. Together, you can automate, do segmentation and automation, beef up your analytics, but no machine can replicate your innate interest in your customers, your compassion, and your ability to understand human emotions and predict outcomes effectively (because you have a lot more practice at being a human than the lil’ robots do).

2. Take advantage of AI’s primary weakness.

As noted, you have emotions and processes that are extremely complex and cannot be understood by artificial intelligence yet. Use those.

How? Compile all of the data that AI offers and then strategize. Duh. AI can offer recommendations, but it cannot (yet) suggest an entire brand strategy. That’s where you come in.

And more importantly, it cannot explain or defend any such strategy. One of the core problems with AI is that if you ask Alexa a question, you cannot ask how it came up with that information or why. This trust problem is the primary reason marketers are in no danger of being replaced by technology.

3. Obsess over data.

AI tools are young and evolving, so right now is the time to start obsessing over data. What I mean by that is not to use every single AI tool to compile mountains of useless data, but to start studying the data you already have.

The problem with new tools is that marketers are naturally inquisitive, so we try them out and then forget they exist if they didn’t immediately prove to be a golden egg.

Knowing your current marketing data inside and out will help you to learn alongside AI. If you aren’t intimately familiar, you won’t know if the recommendations made through AI are useful, and you could end up going down the wrong path because something shiny told you to.

Obsess over data not by knowing every single customers’ names, but be ready to identify which data sets are relevant for the results you’re seeking. A data scientist friend of mine recently pointed out that if you flip a coin five times and it happens to land on tails every time, AI would analyze that data and predict with 100% certainty that the sixth flip will be tails, but you and I have life experience and know better.

Staying on top of your data, even when you’re utilizing artificial intelligence tools will keep you the most valuable asset, not the robots. #winning

4. Don’t run away from math (no wait, come back!)

One of the appeals of marketing is that math is hard and you don’t need it in a creative field. But if you want to stay ahead of the robots, you’ll have to focus on your math skills.

You don’t have to go back to school for data science, but if you can’t read the basic reports that these endless AI tools can create, you’re already behind. At least spend a few hours this month on some “Intro to Data Science” courses on Udemy or Coursera.

5. Content is God.

We’ve all said for years that content is king and that feeding the search engines was a top way to reach consumers. You’ve already refined your skills in creating appealing content, and you already know that it costs less than many traditional lead generating efforts and spending on content is way up.

Content can be blogging, video, audio, or social media posts. Artificial intelligence will step in to skyrocket those efforts, if only you accept that content was once king, but is now God. What is changing is how customized content can be. For example, some companies are using AI tools to create dozens of different Facebook ads for different demographics, which would have taken weeks of human effort to do in the past.

Because content is what feeds all of these new smart devices, feeding your brand content effectively and utilizing AI tools to augment your efforts will keep you more relevant than ever.

6. Get ahead of privacy problems

Consumers now understand what website cookies are, and know when they’ve opted in (or opted out) of an email newsletter, but to this point, humans have made the decisions of how these data choices are made. Our teams have continually edited Terms of Service (ToS), all done not just with liability in mind, but to offer consumers the protections that they want and have come to expect.

But AI today doesn’t have morals, and consumer comfort is not a factor unless humans program that into said AI devices. But it still isn’t a creature of ethics like humans are. Ethical challenges going forward will be something to stay ahead of as you tap into the AI world. Making sure that you know the ToS of any tool you’re using to mine data is critical so that you don’t put the company in a bad position by violating basic human trust.

The takeaway

You’re smart, so you already knew that the robots aren’t taking your job, rather augmenting it, but adding AI into your marketing mix to stay ahead comes with risk and a learning curve. But seeing artificial intelligence for what it really is – a tool – will keep your focus on the big picture and save your job.

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible; if your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Ten podcasts that every business owner should hear

(MARKETING) If you’re a business and want to learn something, give one of (or all of) these ten podcasts a listen.

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So many choices, so little time

As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

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From interviews with business leaders to industry specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

Business podcasts for your listening enojoyment

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly populat show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace, Change.org, Kiva, Teach For America and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further thna Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real world applications and cover everything from marketing to techology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

#LearnSomething

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