You just became the Mayor of…
If you don’t know what Foursquare is, here’s a brief run down. An app run from your phone, Foursquare allows you to “check-in” to locations in your city (and others if you’re traveling). A “check-in” is like making a public announcement as to your whereabouts. Hey everyone, I’m at Starbucks. Hi friends, you can find me at the Applebee’s on Highway 123. Seems kind of silly if you look at it without any more info. It’s a game. While traveling through your city, you’re checking in, becoming “mayor” (after so many visits, you become Mayor until someone usurps you), and earning badges. Badges are Foursquare’s way of rewarding you for certain milestones. The more badges, the more you’ve done. Each new check-in, entering new places into the Foursquare database, and other things earn you points. See, I told you it was just a stupid game.
Perhaps it’s not though, let’s take a moment and think outside the square. There’s a few things to consider with Foursquare that I’ve come to discover and these little items, make it much more than a game. To make it even better, we can apply it to real estate and our daily business.
Where are you?
Location, location, location. Let’s face it, you’re not always in the office. You’re not always with clients either. Right now, I’m sitting in a Starbucks writing this post. If a client of mine walked into the Starbucks and said hello, I’d stop in a heart beat and enjoy their company for awhile. Random happening, but I’ve had it occur before. We love connecting with clients (and non-clients) in person, it’s (according to most agents I know) the single most important factor in building a strong client base.
So what if you were in the local Starbucks, but your client was next door having a bite to eat. If you knew they were there, would you stop in just to say hello? If they knew you were next door, would they stop in just to say hello? If you’ve been doing your homework and building strong relationships with your clients, I bet the answer was yes to at least one of them. Instead, you’re in Starbucks and your client is next door. No connection made.
Think about what would happen if you’re clients knew where you were and you knew where they were. Sure, you wouldn’t want to go overkill and stalk them throughout the city, but it sure would be nice to be able to have a few more chance encounters on the street.
Who are you?
As you begin appearing all over your city, people will take notice. I have several locals that are now friends with me. We now trade barbs about different places we’re going to take over (being Mayor comes at a price – everyone wants to beat you) and share tips about discounts, things to do, and who has the best pizza in town. We’re socializing. We’re getting to know each other as well, since we often take conversations off of Foursquare and move them to our blogs and places like Twitter. I’m meeting the locals and interacting with them. Real estate 101, no?
Something a little different.
We all like to interact with everyone as we build our real estate businesses, but of course, the real goal is to make sure those acquaintances know we’re Realtors® and we’re there to help them in buying or selling. Foursquare doesn’t really have a way of doing that. Or does it? When people are reading your Foursquare updates, they might know you love to stop into that fabulous Italian restaurant in your town, but do they know what else you do?
Start checking into your office – simple enough, you probably spend a fair bit of time there. But what about checking into subdivisions, listings, title companies, lenders’ offices, etc. Have you thought about all the time you spend in those businesses and locations? With a simple check-in (and add a “shout out” – a short bit of text talking about the place you’re at) you can make sure people remember what it is you do. Staying top of mind is a goal we all share, so why not do it – in a more subtle fashion than ever before.
Checking in to a lender’s? How about “Checking rates with Lender A” as a note? Heading over to the title company? You could say “Heading into a closing on 123 Fake Street. Client is so excited.” New neighborhood you’re investigating? “Have you seen Builder X’s new model homes? They’re gorgeous inside.” Now of course, this is in no way meant to replace all the other check-ins you might do – restaurants, salons, museums, parks, tourist attractions, doctors, stores, and shopping malls. These are an important part of your persona as well. People like to relate to people with common interests. A local friend of mine just noticed I checked in at a gas station across the street from his home. He was excited to see me check-in there as this connects us in a way we weren’t before.
So go ahead play games.
Since Foursquare check-ins literally take about 5 seconds (10 if you type slow), you won’t find yourself sucked into any sort of real time-waster and you might actually have a bit of fun. As well, you’ll be building a database of favorite local spots that you frequent – we all recommend businesses to our clients, there’s little difference to what you would do normally, except that Foursquare gives you a platform to do it on.
photo courtesy of roomjosh
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: CMP.ly 0
Instagram announces 3 home feed options, including chronological order
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is allowing users to choose how their home feed appears so they can tailor their own experience… and chronological is back!
Break out the bottle of champagne, because they are bringing back the chronological order in Instagram!
About time, right? Well, that’s not all. Per Protocol, Instagram has announced that they are rolling out three feed options in the first half of 2022. What?! Yes, you read that right.
3 New Feed View Options
- Home: This feed view should feel familiar because it’s the algorithm you already use. No changes to this view.
- Favorites: This feed view option presents a nice and tidy way to view creators, friends, and family of your choosing.
- Following: Last, but not least, is my favorite re-boot, the chronological view of every account that you follow.
Per Protocol, recent legal allegations have been made that Instagram and Facebook have been prioritizing content viewed as harmful in the algorithm and specifically in Instagram. Instagram is widely believed to be harmful to teens. Per the American Psychological Association, “Studies have linked Instagram to depression, body image concerns, self-esteem issues, social anxiety, and other problems”. They have been under scrutiny by lawmakers and in response are posing the chronological feed as a solution.
However, this won’t fix everything. Even if the algorithm isn’t prioritizing harmful posts, those posts will still exist and if that account is followed it can still be seen. The other issue with this solution is the knowledge that unless Instagram lets you choose your default feed view, they could still cause the algorithm view to be the automatic view. Facebook doesn’t allow you to make the chronological feed your default view. This means you would need to choose that view every time. This bit of friction means there will be times it is overlooked and some may not even know the functionality exists. Knowing this information about Facebook, prepares us for what’s to come with Instagram. After all, Facebook, or Meta, owns both.
While as an entrepreneur, the chronological view excites me, I know the reality of it being used is questionable. I would love to know others can see the products and services I offer instead of hoping that Instagram finds my content worthy to share in the algorithm.
As a human being with a moral conscience, I have to scream, “C’mon Instagram, you CAN do better!” We all deserve better than having a computer pick what’s shown to us. Hopefully, lawmakers will recognize this band-aid quick fix for what it truly is and continue with making real changes to benefit us all.
Facebook’s targeting options for advertising are changing this month
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Do you market your business on Facebook? You need to know that their targeting options for ads are changing and what to do about it.
Meta is transforming Facebook’s ad campaigns beginning January 19th. Facebook, which has been infamously battling criticism regarding election ads on their platform, is revising its limited targeting ad campaigns. Per this Facebook blog post, these changes eliminate the ability to target users based on interactions with content related to health (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”), race and ethnicity, political affiliation, religious practices (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”) and sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”).
These changes go into effect on January 19, 2022. Facebook will no longer allow new ads to use these targeting tools after that date. By March 17, 2022, any existing ads using those targeting tools will no longer be allowed.
The VP of Ads and Business Product Marketing at Facebook, Graham Mudd, expressed the belief that personalized ad experiences are the best, but followed up by stating:
“[W]e want to better match people’s evolving expectations of how advertisers may reach them on our platform and address feedback from civil rights experts, policymakers, and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing advertisers from abusing the targeting options we make available.”
To help soften the blow, Facebook is offering tips and examples for small businesses, non-profits, and advocacy groups to continue to reach their audiences that go beyond the broad targeting of gender and age.
These tips include creating different types of targeting such as Engagement Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, Website Custom Audiences, Location Targeting, and Customer Lists from a Custom Audience.
Here’s the lowdown on how it will happen.
Per the Search Engine Journal, changes can be made to budget amounts or campaign names without impacting the targeting until March 17th. However, if you go to change the ad set level that will then cause changes at the audience level.
If you need to keep that particular ad to reuse, it may be best to edit the detailed targeting settings before March 17th in order to ensure you can make changes to it in the future.
I believe it was Heraclitus that declared change is constant. Knowing this, we can conclude other social platforms may follow suit and possibly adjust their targeting in the future as well.
Hate speech seemingly spewing on your Facebook? You’re not wrong
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook (now Meta) employees estimate its AI tools only clean up 3%-5% of hate speech on the platform. Surprise, Surprise *eye roll*
As Facebook moves further toward Zuckerberg’s Metaverse, concerns about the efficiency with which the company addresses hate speech still remain, with employees recently estimating that only around 2% of offending materials are removed by Facebook’s AI screening tools.
According to Wall Street Journal, internal documents from Facebook show an alarming inability to detect hate speech, violent threats, depictions of graphic content, and other “sensitive” issues via their AI screening. This directly contradicts predictions made by the company in the past.
A “senior engineer” also admitted that, in addition to removing only around 2% of inappropriate material, the odds of that number reaching even a numerical majority is extremely unlikely: “Recent estimates suggest that unless there is a major change in strategy, it will be very difficult to improve this beyond 10-20% in the short-medium term.”
The reported efficacy of the AI in question would be laughable were the situation less dire. Reports ranging from AI confusing cockfights and car crashes to inaccurately identifying a car wash video as a first-person shooting are referenced in the internal documents, while far more sobering imagery–live-streamed shootings, viscerally graphic car wrecks, and open threats of violence against transgender children–went entirely unflagged.
Even the system in which the AI works is a source of doubt for employees. “When Facebook’s algorithms aren’t certain enough that content violates the rules to delete it, the platform shows that material to users less often—but the accounts that posted the material go unpunished,” reports Wall Street Journal.
AI has repeatedly been shown to struggle with bias as well. Large Language Models (LLMs)–machine-learning algorithms that inform things like search engine results and predictive text–have defaulted to racist or xenophobic rhetoric when subjected to search terms like “Muslim”, leading to ethical concerns about whether or not these tools are actually capable of resolving things like hate speech.
As a whole, Facebook employees’ doubts about the actual usefulness of AI in removing inappropriate material (and keeping underage users off of the platform) paint a grim portrait of the future of social media, especially as the Metaverse marches steadily forward in mainstream consumption.
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