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Magic Tiger, Hidden Lesson – Social Media the Game Changer

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Magic Tiger, Hidden Lesson

Don’t expect any special effects.

In my latest movie post, Magic Tiger, Hidden Lesson, I have stripped away all the karate-chopping, bamboo pole vaulting, freeze frame gizmodery that you might have been expecting. I hate to disappoint, so I’m letting you know now. Refunds are available at the front counter (please buy some popcorn first, you can’t return that).

Conceptualized over a conversation between Ken Brand and myself, I can only hope that my plot lines stay true to his original work. He’s quite the wordsmith, so I’ll try and do him proud.

Once upon a time…

It was actually yesterday and I was still getting my day started when I noticed a quiet tweet that almost passed me by. When I saw it, I didn’t think much of it and certainly didn’t expect it to turn into a post.

Ken Brand - Twitter

Tiger Woods vs. Magic Johnson. Two men. Similar situation (minus a case of HIV). One is beloved by the world. One is being thrown to the lions (pardon the feline-relative allusionary pun). What went wrong? How did Tiger end up being dumped by Gatorade and Magic Johnson got a TGI Friday’s (Magic owns several businesses in Los Angeles, all with his name on them, in this case, Magic Johnson’s TGI Fridays)? Okay, maybe it’s not that simple, but go back in time to Magic Johnson’s press conference and remember the moment.

Of course, Magic approached us publicly and that may have made the difference between him and the speculation over Tiger and whether or not he did leave voice messages for an attention-starved reality TV bit player. Regardless of how the situation was handled, there is a major difference between the two and our collective reactions to their dalliances.

The cast.

On November 7, 1991 Johnson held a press conference to tell the world he had HIV. Although at the time he said he didn’t know how he contracted the disease (back in 1991 most people still thought only homosexuals and drug users were able to contract HIV), he later admitted it was through unsafe sex with multiple partners throughout his career. I remember the somber press conference well. I was never much of a basketball fan, but this was Magic-freaking-Johnson. He was one of happiest guys you could imagine. He was a hero to millions. He was bigger than Dr. J. (the only basketball player I ever had a poster of). The news hit hard on a nation still trying to wrap their heads around the whole concept of HIV. We were sad for Magic. We wished him well. We lost one of the greats that day. We supported him and hoped he would return someday.

Since the beginning, when the whispers started circulating that Tiger had been less than faithful, the rumor mill machine has woken from it’s slumber and started turning out daily press release style “announcements.” Not a second goes by that Tiger isn’t being talked about somewhere. Unlike Magic, not all of the talk is supportive. In fact, most of what I hear isn’t even close to supportive. People are angry, disgusted, and ready to try him in the court of public opinion. His once “squeaky clean” image is tarnished. This storm has only begun.

While I realize one could argue that the two men handled their situations much differently and therefore public opinion moved in opposite directions for each of them, I think there’s something bigger at play here.

Enter the Dragon.

By now, you’ve probably already figured out the plot line here. There’s a difference in the story arcs and it’s right in front of you. Social Media. The plot twist that you knew was coming, but still paid to see. With Benn’s recent posts about privacy involving social media, you can see what social media has brought to the table for celebrities and even us humble civilians. Privacy is under siege and waning everyday. As celebrity-obsessed peeping-toms we revel in their loss of privacy, but around our kitchen tables and office water coolers we insist we must fight tooth and nail to protect it.

Social media has opened up a can of worms and I fear some of the wiggly-woos have already squirmed their way out of sight. We can’t get them all back into the can and back on the worm farm. And we’re to blame. We opened our lives and insisted everyone become transparent in all their dealings – whether personal, professional, or the things we do in secret. The buzz word transparency became the death knell of privacy. While no one intended transparency to mean publicly, it certainly seems like that’s what we’re dealing with now and not just for the celebrity obsessed cult of Lindsay Lohan (don’t ever utter her name on Twitter – you will be followed immediately) bottom feeders. We’re demanding more and more of ourselves too. We want our businesses to be open and honest, but how far can we take that? I fear it may go further than we think.

Closing Credits.

So how do we pull back after we’ve already made a whole industry out of destroying people’s privacy? Some would argue that they signed up for it by becoming celebrities. My former musician past agrees and disagrees. Yes, there is an element of privacy that is naturally lost. You are there because the public got you there. You owe your fans. I can remember sitting in a cafe in Germany, having a cup of coffee with some local friends. Within minutes, we had to leave through the back door and head for the hills. I just wanted a cup of good coffee that I couldn’t get in my hotel room unless I was willing to sell my soul to the room-service-devil and ein bisschen interessant Gespräch mit meine Freunde. I never asked for the mob scene that ensued. I was always willing to give my time to fans, but not to be mauled and grabbed in a feeding frenzy.

I look forward to seeing some of the “opt out” ideas that Benn has mentioned in previous posts become reality as social media evolves. As real estate agents however, are we just like celebrities – courting the attention while claiming we don’t want too much of it?

photo courtesy of amyelizabeth.

Matt is a former PA-based rockstar turned real estate agent with RE/MAX Access in San Antonio, TX. He was asked to join AgentGenius to provide a look at the successes and trials of being a newer agent. His consumer-based outlook on the real estate business has helped him see things from both sides. He is married to a wonderful woman from England who makes him use the word "rubbish."

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Benn Rosales

    December 9, 2009 at 10:35 am

    on just the issue of privacy:
    Celebrities go to great lengths to protect their personal information (which is the point of opt out). I really doubt you’ll log onto a website and obtain the buying habits or address of a celebrity unless they want it to be found. Verified accounts also probably go a long way on twitter to protect specifics. Also, celebrities are not using real names in sm nor in real life, we are in most cases.

    The rub on privacy is that in the past the data collected was a snapshot of someone, today it’s a complete profile of ‘you.’ Opt out is not about ‘what you’ve said on the internet,’ it’s about who,what,when,where, you are specifically coupled now with what you’ve said used as a weapon or to manipulate.

    I just wanted to make those distinctions. 🙂

  2. Brandie Young

    December 9, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Matt –
    Awesome post as usual.
    Another thing to consider is the power of crisis management that good PR types manage. It’s quite a skill.
    My guess is Magic approached his announcement following a strategic roadmap created by a team of publicists, Tiger has opted to remain behind closed doors.

  3. Ken Brand

    December 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Nice and thanks.

    It’s really a love-hate relationships we humans have with people and things, isn’t it? We’re a weird species, predictable and unpredictable…or maybe we like to think we’re unpredictable?

    Seth Godin wrote an blog post, yesterday or maybe it was today, anyway the title is, “Lead With Your Glass Jaw.” In it he talks about this very subject. The basic premiss, by drinking the Social Media, transparent, put yourself on-line kool-aid, you make yourself vulnerable. Making yourself vulnerable, Seth sez, makes a person feel they can trust you more. (Of course it takes time and patience to craft a winning persona/brand and when things go BAD, they go real BAD, real FAST.)

    Anyway, a few things strike me. There is no such thing as secrecy. If anyone other than you knows about it, it can go public, then viral in minutes. To stem the hemorrhaging, I’d say it’s always best to fess up, fall on the sword and come correctly clean. And lastly, Brand management is critical and good behavior is the primary protector.

    Loved the post, not really about real estate, yet, everything about it is real estate profession related.

    Cheers.

  4. Dallas Lawrence

    December 9, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Tiger Woods’ ordeal over the past couple weeks reminds me of the importance of defining your own message in today’s digital age. When a crisis or scandal of such a juicy nature embroils a celebrity, the glare of the media spotlight will surround them whether they choose to embrace it, and failure to face the storm provides fertile ground for rumors and innuendo. I wrote more about how Tiger should have addressed the media clearly and transparently on Bulletproof Blog: bulletproofblog.com/2009/12/08/social-media-versus-the-tiger/

  5. Matt Stigliano

    December 10, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Benn – Point well taken although even with fake names, if someone wants it, they’ll find it. I never used my real name in the band, yet people were able to find my telephone number (a private number) and address and went so far as to post them on our site at one point. As you can imagine, that was a fun week.

    All the data that is stored in bazillions of computers worldwide is only as private as the programmer behind it made it. And we’ve seen how eager hackers can find a loop hole in one to many security systems. Then there’s the case of human error – see the TSA’s recent foul-up for a great example of that.

    I do agree that privacy is a huge issue, but I’m forced to wonder – are we beyond the stopping point? Have we opened Pandora’s Privacy Box and are only now trying to figure out how to stuff it all back in?

    Brandie – If you read the articles about Magic’s press conference, you’ll see just how well managed it was. Even down to him calling the big names in basketball personally before the press conference, because he wanted them to hear it from him. PR definitely could have helped Tiger, as the only PR he’s received is from tabloid gossip.

    Ken – Thanks for asking the question, I love things like that, where I’m forced to try and figure out the hows and whys. Someone once told me, “A secret can be kept between two people if one of them is dead.” Secrecy and privacy are hard to maintain. Like I said to Benn, it only takes one slip up to make something secret (like the TSA guidebook) suddenly the most popular piece of information on earth. This wasn’t even a case of someone trying to break the veil of privacy, it was simple human error. Ever sent an email to the wrong person? Ever sent one to the person that you were griping about in the email when it was intended for someone else? (I have…it was embarrassing.)

    I’ve earmarked Chris’ post for later reading.

    Dallas – You definitely need to retain control over your name, your brand, you image. Let it get out of your control and others will re-construct you in the image of who they want you to be. I’ll have to check out your post a little later today.

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Social Media

Kizie brings Pinterest-style moodboards and metrics to Twitter for business

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Let’s get real – Twitter isn’t typically considered a visually stunning or super functional analytics platform. Kizie is here to change that!

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Kizie Moodboard on Desktop

If you use Twitter for work, fun, or anything else, then you may want to check out this fancy new remodeled version offered by Kizie. Kizie is Twitter, but better. They offer a cleaner user experience with built-in options to help you enjoy Twitter the way you’re supposed to, without ads or promotions, and a chronological feed. They do offer a pro plan starting at $5.99 a month. The free plan has a limited number of tweets, threads, reader views, and saved links per month, and to get more you have to upgrade. All plans whether free or paid are ad and promotion free creating a better user experience.

Kizie offers several built-in tools and features. Reader Mode allows a link post or article to open the content directly within the reader mode in a modal. Kizie created a tool called Tweet to Image where an image can be created from a Tweet to be shared elsewhere, i.e., Instagram. They have created a Quick Media Preview where you can view the media without having to click it. All you will need to do is hover over the media with your cursor for it to play the video or GIF or show the full aspect ratio of an image.

If you use Twitter as a marketing tool for your business, Kizie makes it easier to see metrics. Their website states, “With Kizie, you won’t have to click individual tweets to see how they’re performing. Right after you log in, you’ll see a list of your recently posted tweets in the right sidebar on your Home feed. This list will show the following metrics of your tweets: Likes, Retweets, Impressions, Profile Clicks, Link Clicks.”  It also incorporates Twitter Analytics. Free accounts only get engagement statistics for the last 10 tweets, but the pro account gives detailed statistics of the last 100 tweets.

Kizie is also incorporating a tool called Moodboard. This Pinterest-style feature allows Creatives to create a Moodboard page where you can go through and view all the saved items in a beautiful lightbox view for inspiration or reference.

Kizie feed on mobile phone.

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Social Media

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!

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Instagram home feed options

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

  1. Home: This feed view should feel familiar because it’s the algorithm you already use. No changes to this view.
  1. Favorites: This feed view option presents a nice and tidy way to view creators, friends, and family of your choosing.
  1. 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.

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Social Media

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.

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Laptop on lap open to Facebook page representing ad targeting.

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.

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