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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

Take Google classes online for free to give your brand superpowers

(BUSINESS) If you own a business or lead one, take one of many interesting free Google classes to brush up or learn new info to gain a competitive advantage.

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google classes

Staying competitive means not only hiring the right people, making the right product, and being a good leader – it means investing in your own development.

Especially if you’re an entrepreneur – it pays to invest in your own development by taking classes, webinars, and other forms of education.

Online courses in particular are useful if you have competing roles (or multiple roles!) that keep you from being able to attend a local course. Google offers a few free Google classes that are listed on platforms like Udacity.

There are many courses available that could benefit your company; here are three worth starting with:

  • App Monetization – Ultimately, most of us are in the business to make money. This course is useful because it equips you to consider profitability from the beginning, and then introduces monetization models and from there, prompts you to develop a strategy and gives information to track a strategy. This course is focused on sharing best practices, and makes you a better manager even if not developing an app, per se. Course is available via Udacity.
  • Localization Essentials – If you want to compete in the global market, and you are ready for that, it is essential that you consider how your product will need to be adapted both in terms of language and culture. This course is especially valuable for developers, product owners, or localization newbies. Knowing the fundamentals of localization makes you more prepared for dealing with a global audience. Course is available via Udacity.
  • Responsive Web Design – People like it when things work. I’ve said before that people are visual, but they also crave intuition. This course talks about responsive web design and discuss what works across different devices (because we don’t always go on our computer!) with a focus on optimization. This class does require a good comfort in reading HTML and CSS. People interact with products first online many times – make sure your website is responsive to any device. Course is available via Udacity.

There are of course a much larger amount of online courses on everything from history to design, and beyond. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are sustenance for knowledge seekers. Check out for example, the Science of Happiness from UC Berkeley, or learn about Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel directly from Microsoft.

Before engaging in an online course, make sure:

  • You are interested in the topic.
  • You have the pre-requisites and key knowledge. Read the course description!
  • You make the time.

Many MOOCs are free, not just Google classes – but time and your own work are still valuable. It’s easy to write off something for free, but you want to maximize your time and make sure you get something out of it. Being educated can give you an advantage, but keep learning relevant to your interests and goals.

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Business Marketing

5 ways voice is changing the SEO game

(TECH NEWS) As voice assistants take over our lives, you may worry how your SEO fares in this new, uncharted territory. Let’s discuss.

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voice and SEO

SEO is a moving target. The standards change constantly so, despite years of experience, many web designers struggle to meet all the optimization guidelines. How, then, can any business confidently approach the web design process? It starts with recognizing those evolving norms, the newest of which is voice search.

Why Voice Search Matters

For years, the dominant SEO rule has been mobile first. The introduction of voice recognition systems, like Siri and Alexa, to smartphones has dramatically changed how we interact with devices. In fact, 20% of Google searches are voice searches with that number expected to grow rapidly over the next few months. Businesses and web designers, then, need to make sure their sites are voice ready if they want to stay relevant. Though the sites may stay the same visually, they need to gain a new edge functionally.

From The Ground Up

Modifying your website to support voice search isn’t as simple as many other SEO transitions, but if you take a ground up approach to the process, you’ll be able to reshape your website around those changes. Still, you’ll need help to do this correctly. When adapting your website for voice, SEO consultant Aaron Rains recommends hiring an expert for a full site audit and analysis to maintain your page ranking. You don’t want your page to take a rankings hit because you’re trying to keep up with the trends.

Expanding Your Device Options

In addition to its advantages from a mobile perspective, making the move to voice search also means expanding your site’s horizons by making it more accessible to new devices, particularly the smart home speakers that are gaining in popularity. Users are particularly comfortable with these devices because they rely on natural speech patterns rather than half-formed search terms. Children growing up with these smart speakers in their homes seem to view them as part of the family and will be native voice search users as they grow.

Snippets For Search

Part of updating your website for speech is optimizing the content to match changing search patterns. One of the key ways to do this is through the use of featured snippets.

Featured snippets are designed to help put your website in the #0 spot – the top ranking. To do that, you’ll want to put the answers to your most popular queries in the first few sentences on your page. This is especially for purchasing and local search since people frequently use voice search to find local businesses. If you can optimize for the most important snippets early on, you’ll be way ahead on the competition and have a greater ROI.

Rebuild and Reassess

After modifying your website for voice, you may find your rankings initially drop. That’s because you need to request your site be re-indexed. Otherwise, search engines won’t be able to match queries with your new site content. Re-indexing will put all of your new information into effect and make it possible for users to search using the featured snippets. Re-indexing your site will also help you ensure that you haven’t interfered with the crawl-ability of your site.

Experts expect half of all searches to be voice-driven by 2020, but since 50% of users with voice search access already use it at least occasionally, now is the time to act. Even if many users are still wary of voice search, you can’t afford to fall behind. Those users will still be able to rely on traditional text search mechanisms, but that won’t help voice enthusiasts. If you lose those early adopters now, they might not come back when you’ve caught up with the voice search revolution.

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Business Marketing

How to use offline marketing to your advantage in a digital world

(BUSINESS) We often become obsessed with new marketing strategies, favoring the internet over some traditional methods that continue to drive traffic timelessly.

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offline marketing open sign for small business

Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.

When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.

“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”

How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.

1. Yard signs

When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.

The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.

2. Billboards

The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.

With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”

3. Promotional giveaways

It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.

Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)

4. Local event sponsorships

One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.

Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.

Offline marketing is anything but dead.

If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.

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