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I wish more real estate bloggers would use Twitter

From the Editor: published in the earliest days of Twitter, this column is one of the very first written for real estate about Twitter for business – when written, if you weren’t at SXSW, you probably hadn’t heard of Twitter. So when it’s called the “new thing,” know that there are many of us out there who don’t see it as new, rather another business tool.

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Twitter

Twitter

I admit it. I am into the whole social media thing.

Facebook? Check.

LinkedIn? Check.

Twitter? Check.

I am a self-professed information junkie, so I find these sites fascinting. I have also found that they are a great way for me to stay in contact not only with my clients, but with other RE.net bloggers out there. I have met plenty of new bloggers and made some great contacts by using Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter seems to be lacking a significant real estate voice, however. Sure, some of my favorite real estate bloggers have Twitter profiles (Greg, Joel, & Jim among them). The problem is, they don’t update them much, if ever. I think this is a real shame.

The bleeding edge

I started using Twitter a few weeks ago. I admit that I came in with a built-in bias against Twitter. To be honest, I find the stated purpose of Twitter (i.e. “What are you doing?”) pretty lame. I don’t think there are a lot of people out there who really care what I am doing at any given moment. I decided that I would try to follow 5 rules when writing my tweets. I didn’t want things to get boring.

In true Web 2.0-spirit, people have taken Twitter and turned into more than just countless status updates of millions of random people. It is truly a great place to find out what has captured people’s attention. All you have to do is seek out people who you find interesting and follow their tweets. It is a great way to stay on the bleeding edge of news and information.

Twitter has also established itself as a premier micro-blogging platform. It has been great for me because I can post links on Twitter that I find interesting, but that I don’t really have the time or inclination to use an entire blog post to discuss. There are plenty of other notable bloggers out there who are doing the very same thing. Sometimes following the tweets of others has inspired blog posts of my own. At the very least, Twitter has become a platform from which to launch discoveries into all sorts of things that I might have otherwise missed.

Real estate bloggers could benefit tremendously from using Twitter.

The micro-blogging aspect of Twitter could be very valuable to people like real estate bloggers, who I am sure have all kinds of great ideas, but not always the time to write about them. Let’s say that I read a great story about mortgage fraud, but I just don’t have the time to devote a full post to it. I can post the link on Twitter, and perhaps someone else who is following me will follow the link and write a post of their own. Even if that doesn’t happen, because bloggers tend to be more plugged-in to what is happening in the industry, Twitter would help everyone stay on top of the industry by offering instantaneous communication and dissemination of information. In a way, Twitter is a living uber-wiki.

The real estate bloggers that I know are all very smart and creative people. Twitter offers a convenient and efficient way to get their message out to not only the rest of the blogosphere, but also to the public as well. I am also confident that real estate bloggers could also come up with alternative uses for Twitter that would benefit us all, bloggers, clients and customers alike.

So, real estate bloggers, if you are reading this, head on over to Twitter and get going– the RE.net needs you!

I'm a REALTOR, basketball referee, happy husband, and Community Manager (in no particular order). I have a passion for the real estate industry and officiating, a passion that I try to turn into inspiration on my blog, The Real Estate Zebra. I am also the Community Manager at Inman News. When I'm not blogging here on AG or the Zebra, you can usually find me on Twitter.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Benn Rosales

    October 12, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    Okay, you make a great case for twitter, but the problem is, I am having problems with being in all places at all times- every 2.0 idea seems to be the end all be all of the known universe! How in the hell are we supposed to know what is and isn’t worth the effort?! Seriously man, ‘uber’ is insanity!

  2. Daniel Rothamel

    October 12, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    Twitter is one of those things that requires very little effort. Like I said, one reason that I like it is that it requires less effort than blogging. I can do either, depending on how involved I want to be.

    By “uber-wiki” I meant that it is superior to your average wiki in that the information is constantly changing on an instantaneous basis. Of course the fact that it isn’t static can be a drawback as well, in that you don’t really have an archive of the information.

    While I don’t think that any of the 2.0 platforms has all the answers, I do think that they can be integrated into a pretty manageable and cool solution. There is a tremendous opportunity for someone to come up with a simple way to integrate all of these things. With Google’s acquisition of Jaiku, and its Orkut social-networking site, it appears as if they might be heading in that direction.

    This year was big for social media sites, and the next few months and years should prove to be even more exciting.

  3. Andy Kaufman

    October 12, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Great post Daniel,

    Twitter is really something that you just need to take the plunge and participate in to fully appreciate.

    I know that we’re inundated with new services left and right, but microblogging is proving to be a rich communication channel where conversations are taking place and relationships are being forged 140 characters at a time.

    In case you’re on the fence and need another nudge, heres another post that I recently came across that may help

    Confessions of a Twitter Convert- https://db.tidbits.com/article/9228

  4. Jay Thompson

    October 12, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    I have a Twitter account. I’ve twitted (tweated?) a total of one time.

    But I’ll jump in there this weekend, time permitting, and give it another shot…

  5. Jim Cronin

    October 13, 2007 at 2:59 am

    Disclaimer: from treo… being brief.
    I’m kind of creeped out by twitter, after trying it for a few days.
    and
    I really, really no longer have the time to blast messages that 3 people care to follow…
    Nonetheless…I recognize the potential value of leveraging social media for mindshare.

  6. Chris LaBarbera

    October 13, 2007 at 10:30 am

    You just motivated me to sign up. sww you on twitter.

  7. Chris LaBarbera

    October 13, 2007 at 10:31 am

    I totally mispelled my last comment. See you on Twitter. thanks for the Info about the site.

  8. Daniel Rothamel

    October 13, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Chris & Jay,

    I’ll be following. . .

    Andy,

    Excellent points. I’ll continue to follow. . .

  9. Aria Schoenfelt

    March 20, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Although I signed up for Facebook in it’s early days while I was still in college, I didn’t embrace it until a year or two ago. I don’t want to be left behind with Twitter! Just play with it, you’ll find a format that works for you. Click on my link if you’d like to find me on Twitter.

  10. Jim Gatos

    June 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    I’m on twitter but I don’t know what to do with it…

    Kinda feels like I got “assimilated” by “The Borg”…

    and my resistance is futile…

  11. Upstart Agent

    August 8, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    I wish more real estate bloggers used entrecard!

    I don’t know why but I just can’t get into Twitter. It seems so time consuming to me…I suppose it could be worthwhile, but I’m not someone who feels the need to constantly tell people what I’m doing and see what they are doing.

    I am sure I might be missing out on some social networking opportunities that way, it definitely seems like a great way to get a following…

    Hmmm…maybe one of these days 🙂

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Social Media

Facebook’s Résumé takes another shot at LinkedIn

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook took another swipe at LinkedIn by introducing a new Résumé feature.

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Any job hunter is likely familiar with the little section somewhere during the application process where you’re asked to enter in social media information. Thankfully, Facebook is usually an optional field.

While I try to keep what the public can see of my social media profiles toned down enough as to not cause my grandmother to blush, I’m still not quite comfortable sharing my profile with prospective employers.

I’m sure many out there feel the same, and Facebook knows this.

Tinfoil hat theories aside, LinkedIn may be shaking in their boots as Facebook begins to advance their growth in the professional sector in their pursuit of social media domination.

Facebook has begun experimenting with a new Résumé/CV feature that works as an extension of your standard “Work and Education” section on a Facebook profile page, allowing users to share work experience in more detail with friends and family but most importantly: potential employers.

Luckily, the new Résumé/CV feature won’t be sharing personal photos or status updates, but will rather combine all the relevant information into a single, professional-looking package.

So far this feature appears to be rolled out to a small number of users, and it’s unclear when it will be officially launched, but this isn’t the first time Facebook has dipped their toes in the waters of the job sector, or took a jab at LinkedIn.

Several months ago, Jobs was launched, a feature that allows Business Pages to post job openings through the status composer, and keep track of them on their Page’s Jobs tab.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the intent behind the new Résumé/CV feature, “At Facebook, we’re always building and testing new products and services.

We’re currently testing a work histories feature to continue to help people find and businesses hire for jobs on Facebook,” and so this is just the beginning of Facebook’s plan to become a one-stop-shop and create a more seamless way for people to find and get jobs.

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Tag photos, connect with friends, order food?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook seems to be sprawling into every nook and cranny of life and now, they’re infiltrating food delivery.

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Facebook is now bringing you food! Although, no one was really asking them to.

In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is attempting to transform into more than just a social media platform. They have partnered up with food delivery services to help users order food directly from their site.

They hope to streamline the process by giving users a chance to research, get recommendations and order food without ever leaving the site.

Facebook has partnered with their existing delivery services including EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo in addition to restaurants to fast track the process.

The scenario they imagine is that while scrolling through the newsfeed, users would feel an urge to eat and look to Facebook for their options.

After chatting up friends via Facebook Messenger to ask for the best place to go, users would visit the restaurant’s page directly, explore their menu and decide to order. When ordering, you will have the option to use one of the partnered delivery services either with an existing account or by creating a new one.

The benefit is you stay on one site the entire time. With the time you save, the food can get to you faster, which is a plus for everyone.

Assuming that people already live on Facebook 24/7, this seems like a great update. If you like getting recommendations from your favorite social media resources, it’s even better.

The problem is that in recent years their younger audiences have dropped off in favor of other sites. Regardless of what they think, not everyone is flocking to Facebook for their every need.

My guess is that this service will benefit those already using Facebook, but is less likely to draw new audiences in.

Adding more services may not be the key to success if Facebook can’t refine their other features. They have already been criticized for their ad reporting practices, though they seem to fix everything with a new algorithm.

Facebook has continued to stray away from their original intent, and food delivery won’t be their last update.

Facebook wants to be everything, but not everyone may want the same.

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Social Media

Hate Facebook’s mid-roll ads? So does everyone else

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Those pesky ads that pop up in the middle of that Facebook video, aka mid-roll, seem to be grinding everyone’s gears.

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In an ongoing effort to monetize content, Facebook recently introduced “mid-roll” ads into videos by certain publishers, and it has now been testing that format for six months. If you aren’t a big fan of those ads interrupting your content consumption experience, you aren’t alone; publishers aren’t crazy about them either.

In a report on the program, five publishers working with Facebook’s new mid-roll ad program were sourced and all five publishers found that the program wasn’t generating the expected revenue.

One program partner made as little as $500 dollars with mid-roll ads while generating tens of millions of views on their content.

Two other partners wouldn’t specify exact revenue number, but they did acknowledge that the ad performance is below expectations. As far as cost goes, certain publishers mentioned CPMs between 15 cents and 75 cents.

That range is large because a lot of the data isn’t clear enough to evaluate their return on investment. According to the Digiday report, publishers receive data on total revenue, along with raw data on things like the number of videos that served an ad to viewers.

The lack of certain data points, along with the confusing structure of the data, makes it difficult to assess the number of monetized views and the revenue by video. For context, YouTube, as arguably the biggest player in video monetization, provides all these metrics.

Another issue is that licensing deals are cutting into margins. Facebook pays publishers, via a licensing fee, to produce and publish a certain number of videos each month. In exchange, Facebook keeps all money until it recoups the fee, after which revenue is split 55/45 between the publisher and Facebook.

While these challenges doesn’t change the fact that revenue is low, it does make it difficult to dissect costs in a meaningful way.

Why is revenue so low to begin with?

For starters, a newsfeed with enough content to feed an infinite scroll probably isn’t the best format for these kinds of ads. As a user, when I’m watching the videos and the ad interrupts the experience, I’ve always scrolled right on through to the next item on my feed. It’s a sentiment echoed by one of the publishers in the Digiday story.

Because of that, Facebook’s new Watch program, which creates a content exclusivity not found on the news feed, might produce better results in the future. Either way, Facebook will need to solve this revenue challenge for publishers, or they might pull out of the programs altogether.

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