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Earth Day Primer




April 22 is Earth Day.  I’m one of those believers in the phrase “Everyday is Earth Day”, but for those of you who may not have embraced such a mentality, I encourage you to at least notice tomorrow.

Is this thing on?

Sometimes I feel being active in the (I hate that term) is like preaching to the choir.  Most of the really active people are blogging on multiple sites, are on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and are utilizing a variety of electronic advertising.  I feel like I’m talking to myself.  Last Friday, on an RE Bar Camp call, someone else shared my mentality.

How many of you will mention Earth Day tomorrow?  Since I’m assuming many of you reading this are already reasonably environmentally friendly due to your online marketing efforts, I encourage you to bring someone else into the fold.  Get someone who isn’t a blogger, doesn’t know what RSS or Twitter is and especially get the people who are environmentally wasteful in their marketing practices to join the

Show them ActiveRain, which I personally find to be an excellent tool for agents attempting to jump into the rapid currents of online real estate marketing.

Share with them your favorite sites and online tools.  It’s easier to talk about concepts you are passionate about, so pick the ones you like and talk one person into using them.

How a simple list can grow the conversation

Here’s my thought: Tomorrow is Earth Day, you share this article with someone on the pretense that you are promoting Earth Day, BAM! they’re in the conversation just by visiting Agent Genius.

Here are some great Earth Day resources that I want to share and hopefully you’ll share with others:

How Twitter is saving the world one lawn mower at a time

Now my one technology anecdote that plays perfectly into Earth Day.  I have become a Twitter fanatic, almost to an addictive level.  I turned it off all weekend (for the most part) and felt like I must have missed out on some great conversations.

Last week, I decided I wanted a push lawn mower for my yard.  I don’t have much grass, so a push mower wouldn’t take much time. Plus I could save my rotator cuff from the terrible pull cord on my gas mower. I thought about electric mowers, but coal still supplies half the energy in the US (I’m on 100% renewable, but if I can save that for something else, all the better).   Gas mowers create as much pollution as somewhere between 95 miles and 3400 miles of driving.  I did some research online, but was still feeling lost.  I sent a message out to the void of Twitter asking if anyone knew some place local to buy a push mower. Within minutes, a new contact sent me a message saying I could have hers, I just had to pick it up.

Skip to the end, I recycled something someone else was going to scrap. I saved fuel by swinging by on my way home instead of having a huge truck deliver it. I’m saving energy every time I mow my lawn.  And it cost me nothing but a few minutes to ask on Twitter and a few minutes to pick it up.  And all because I used technology.

So go out, share some of your favorite real estate marketing online resources.  Expand the conversation while helping contribute to Earth Day.

Nick runs a new media marketing consulting company helping real estate professionals learn how to implement new media tools into their marketing arsenal. He frequently gives presentations on generational marketing, green marketing and advanced online promotion. Nick is active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. Jim Duncan

    April 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Two things I have become aware and fond of –

    1) FreeCycle for trading stuff locally for free
    2) My human-powered push mower (as long as my neighbor keeps his gas-powered for the occasional full-on cutting)

    Baby steps have a big impact over time.

  2. Nick Bostic

    April 21, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    You’re dead on about the baby steps. At some point, you’ve taken all the baby steps and you’re stuck with upgrading your appliances. It’s definitely a good feeling, but an expensive habit at that point.

  3. Andy Kaufman

    April 22, 2008 at 12:39 am

    I’m the only (un)realtor I know that doesn’t own a car. I was sick of waiting in traffic and bending over for maintenance, gas, parking tickets & to cross the bridge, so I started leaving my car at work and started riding the BART a year ago. It was working out so well that I decided to ‘go all in’ and get rid of my car all together. If I need to show homes or run an errand, I grab a Zipcar. I know that this isn’t even an option for most of you, but it works for me and it’s something that I can feel good about.

  4. Nick Bostic

    April 22, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Andy, I can say I’m jealous. We have Zipcar in Portland, but unfortunately in my day job I’m driving all across town and back. Luckily, I have a fuel efficient, low emissions vehicle, but I am looking forward to next years version of the hybrids which are supposed to do even better.

    Congrats on being able to operate car-less!

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Social Media

This non-judgmental app can help you switch to a plant-based diet

(SOCIAL MEDIA) There are many reasons people choose plant-based diets. If you’re looking to try it out, this app helps you stay on track.



No Meat Today, a judgement-free plant-based diet tracking app.

The interest in plant-based proteins continues to grow. Healthline suggests that Americans are shifting toward plant-based meat substitutes because of shortages in the grocery store due to the pandemic, but there are many reasons to make the switch.

Plant-based proteins are considered more sustainable than traditional meat. Nutritionally, plant-based meat alternatives are often healthier. Regardless of the reason, if you’re one of the many Americans who are changing your diet, there’s a new app that can help you stay on track without making you feel judged if or when you do eat meat.

Your companion to eating less meat

No Meat Today is an app available in the App Store. You can get on a waitlist in Google Play. It’s a fun app that asks you, “Did you eat meat today?” You can even define what meat means to you, red meat, fish and seafood, poultry, eggs and/or dairy. As you eat less meat, your “planet” attracts cows. The design is simple, “don’t eat meat, get a cow.” If you eat too much meat, your cows go away. There’s no judgement if you lose a cow.

The creator, Arnaud Joubay says, “I’m not here to tell anyone what they should do, only to offer a friendly app to those who want to do the same.” It’s recommended to look back at your history to decide whether you want to eat meat or not.


The app was just released earlier this year. Most of its features are free, but you can pay $4.99 for all the features for one year. There have been some very cute cows released for special days. In the App Store, reviews are positive, but the caveat is that the creator asks you to contact him first if you if your review isn’t 5-stars. It’s a cute app that can motivate you to eat less meat.

Here’s the link to the product page.

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Social Media

Twitter insights to engage more customers this holiday season

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter wants to help you prep your marketing for the first COVID holiday season by sharing findings on what customers care about.



Man on laptop open to Twitter, considering his holiday shopping with Christmas tree behind him.

The year 2020 has been a year like no other. None of us expected to be confined to the inside of our homes, but here we are. And now, more than ever, the holiday season is something most of us are looking forward to, even if we have to spend it apart. And social media like Twitter will be a key part of that.

So, to get a sense of what consumers expect this holiday season, Twitter UK has shared some insights to help brands better strategize on their holiday campaigns. Twitter’s official partner, Brandwatch, analyzed tweets from March to September to find out “people’s opinions and biggest concerns.” Here are Twitter’s findings.

Compared to previous years, people have already started asking for and have begun giving gift ideas and recommendations to each other. According to the data, mentions of Christmas started to increase in March. Between March 1 and September 30, there was a 10% increase in mentions compared to last year. So, brands should definitely start kicking off their marketing campaigns sooner than later.

The pandemic has undoubtedly influenced how we spend our money and has altered how we are able to have family time. According to the Brandwatch Twitter data, 59k people are discussing how family gatherings will be impacted by it. So, brands should be mindful of this, and incorporate messaging that reaches out to everyone. Messaging that makes family and friends feel connected, even if they are spending the holidays alone.

Another thing to consider is combining your efforts with local businesses. Making purchases from small and independent businesses is something that has been heavily highlighted since the beginning of the pandemic. With Christmas drawing near, this couldn’t be more important in people’s minds. Twitter has seen a substantial jump in people saying they will be holiday shopping locally. By partnering with a local business, both small and large companies can benefit from sales.

Also, health and safety were and still are at the top of everyone’s minds. A lot of people on Twitter are saying they will do all their shopping early. This will help them avoid the large crowds of last-minute shoppers.

As a result, companies should start preparing themselves to receive early shoppers. Part of preparing is making sure all health and safety measures are in place. Brands should follow all CDC guidelines and make sure they continue to be transparent with customers. Sending out a simple safety message through social media or email will go a long way.

These insights from Twitter are specific to the UK, but should still be considered. No one knew we’d still be where we are now. However, the holiday season is still something people are excited about. And, brands can take these insights to help maximize sales.

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Social Media

10 Snapchat Ad tips to increase engagement for holiday shopping season

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As holiday shopping draws near, Snapchat offers helpful tips to help business owners make use of their advertising and branding tools.



Woman holding phone open to Snapchat chat window, casually dressed with journal and coffee nearby.

The holidays are basically here, and Snapchat wants to make sure you get the most out of your Snap promotions. The company recently released its “Snapchat Ads Best Practices: 10 Tips to Help Increase Ad Engagement” post. With these pointers and advertising best practices, Snap hopes to help companies “build visually appealing ads that drive quality engagement and high return on investment for your business.”

So, let’s get into the tips!

1. Choose the right ad format for your goals
With a lot of advertising options, Snap says you need to select the right ad type that will better align with and help you meet your business goals.

2. Showcase your product front and center in your ad creative
Displaying a fullscreen video or image of your product will encourage a viewer to want to engage more. As a result, it is good to include a ‘hero’ message at the beginning that has all relevant information, such as offers and specials.

For eCommerce purposes, products should be featured “front and center to drive purchase intent.” For apps and games, include the app’s UI, features, and benefits in the ad. Meanwhile, local businesses should highlight the services or products their business specializes in.

And, always remember to make sure your creative meets Snapchat’s ad specs so your ad can be displayed flawlessly.

3. Make your ads feel native to Snapchat
No one likes intrusive ads that scream at your face telling you to buy a certain product or service. To prevent this from happening, Snap says your ads should “mirror the bite-sized and linear storytelling of Snaps” already on the platform. These non-intrusive ads should be kept short at around 5-6 seconds. And, Snap says these more “conversational ads” get viewed more fully than polished ads do.

4. Drive urgency with relevant messaging
Don’t overcomplicate the message. This will just get people to swipe away. Instead, make sure relevant information is at the beginning and is easy to understand. Placing your messaging within the first 2 seconds is preferable.

5. Design for sound on
Despite what you might think, silence isn’t better. Snap says that about 64% of Snapchat ads have the sound turned on. And, an effective way of including sound in your creative is by using a customer testimonial. Spoken testimonials help viewers understand and better relate to the brand or product.

6. Link your ads properly
Make sure users are being directed to where you want them to go. You don’t want them clicking on a broken link. Or worse, someone else’s content. The right link is crucial for impressions and conversions. Here are Snap’s recommended “attachment types depending on advertiser goal.”

  • Drive online sales by using Web View Attachments. These pages instantly load for the user and are available in Snap Ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.
  • Drive app installs by using App Install Attachments. Snapchatters will be able to swipe and download your app. Using ‘Install Now’ or ‘Download’ as a CTA, Snap says you will have strong conversion rates.
  • Drive app engagement/app visits by using Deep Links. These links will bring existing users back to your app. At the same time, any new users will be directed to the app store to install the app. Deep Links can be added to Single Image or Video ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.

7. Test ad creative and try new ad formats
Testing something is a pretty good idea when it comes to anything. Snap emphasizes this, and says testing can give you “insight into what content resonates most with your target audience.” They recommended testing your ad creative for about 2-4 weeks using different formats. After you’ve gathered enough information, you can determine the winning format that is best for you.

8. Use goal-based bidding to bid towards your desired action

  • Goal-based bidding “allows you to optimize towards a specific action that a Snapchatter is most likely to take, such as installing your app, watching a video, or completing a purchase.”
  • Snap has several bidding strategies, and it recommends using Target Cost Bidding.

9. Broaden your targeting
After you’ve been running your ads for at least a couple of weeks, Snap says to consider broadening your target audience. Snapchat has several different targeting options. Some of the categories you can expand on are geo, gender, age ranges, and languages. Expanding your audience will allow you to get more impressions.

10. Understand your audience reach to optimize
Finally, make use of Snap’s Audience Insights. These insights provide Snapchat with data like demographics, interests, locations, and devices overview. By knowing this information, you can better understand your audience and create content that is tailored to them. Content that will ultimately maximize your advertising efforts.

Overall, Snapchat understands that “mobile advertising is a key component to any digital marketing strategy.” By offering us these tips, they are reminding us of some things we already know, and telling us how they can help us achieve our advertising goals.

With the holidays around the corner, Snapchat says they can help you reach a large and engaged audience for just $5 a day with their offerings. So, what do you think of Snapchat’s tips?

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