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Shaping NAR’s Social Media Face

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If I were to be asked, this would be the framework

Always using an informal voice allows for the following:

  • It is not imperative that NAR’s social media person go out and represent the organizational line. What is imperative, however, is that this person know and understand everything going on at the NAR.
  • From top to bottom this person must be privy to all events, know the end game of the events, and create target goals that help each activity become a success.
  • Alert membership to upcoming training, conferences, new policies, new committees, votes, campaigns, and cheerlead/rainmake for each.
  • Thus the job is to build buzz around the organization, talk about improvements, and make known the direction the organization is heading.
  • The SM person should also fundamentally avoid discussing the NAR’s position, however, should understand the nuances of misunderstanding in blogs and comment sections around the net. Their job should, in fact, be to simply correct the record as to allow for a debate based in fact, rather than a created reality of a member or non-member.
  • The SM person should never engage in outright argument, but invite the crowd to spots where they can become better educated on the truths within and outside of the organization. Inserting a permanent reality into a comment thread allows those that wish to rise above the fray to gain knowledge on the subject. It is never the social media managers job to save everyone, it is simply their job to insert simple wisdom.
  • The SM person should have access to every department official to ask direct questions when unsure, and be allowed to provide the information in real time.
  • NAR’s representative should always encourage and rally Realtors to get involved. If a blog post is written that complains about a certain outcome of a committee, then provide information that illustrates how to become involved in the process of changing that outcome.

These are just some fundamentals of how I would frame such a position of Social Media Manager for NAR, and I can certainly understand why some have turned down this position already- there’s no proper framework in the public eye for the position, and no one wants to be a scapegoat. I would suggest creating a small panel of those within the space, and allow them to come together on how a social media position should look based on reality, not someone’s best guess.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Jonathan Dalton

    October 13, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I think the framework outlined is solid, but may be irrelevant depending on what NAR’s purpose may be.

    We’re viewing the position as those who already engage in Social Media, those who for lack of a better term “get it.” The question remains not just of whether NAR does get it but if it wants to do so. Reading between the lines a little bit, it seems as though they want Social Media on their terms which is absolutely beside the point and ultimately counter-productive.

    Bold, decisive, spur of the momentaction is not an NAR hallmark but it’s a Social Media necessity.

  2. Benn Rosales

    October 13, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    I suspect a little of both, and I also suspect they’ve spoken to a few self-proclaimed experts on the issue, but regardless of what framework they use it will surely define its value in the end.

    I really want this for NAR, I’ve been calling for it for months, but get this wrong, and I’m not sure when you’d get another chance at a do over.

  3. Pam Buda

    October 13, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Hi Benn–very thoughtful post and a good delineation of the roles/responsibilities of the position and the fine line of any person(ality) taking on a role representing a corporate entity. Could be applied to the job description of social media manager across the board with any number of companies and in any number of markets.

    In each case the persona of the SMM (social media manager) would need to track with the culture and goals of the organization that they represent.

    I don’t think that means the SMM would need to be a corporate drone, or have a big target on their back if the job is handled skillfully. Seems to me the skills and the role you described are a pretty apt description of the role played by a strong marketing or public relations person. Many of the same skills apply.

    In this case the constituency of the social media manager would be the key influencers and authors across the right mix of media platforms of Web 2.0, rather than the print and electronic (as we used to think of electronic–how quaint!) media. Frankly in many businesses beyond real estate, this is already standard operating procedure. Classic technology evangelism strategy for instance absolutely requires the buy-in of early adopters/influencers (read the blogosphere/twittersphere) in conjunction with the media distribution channels (Twittersphere, etc.) in order to drive adoption to the broader market–the vast majority of Realtors in this case, who are slowly getting on board.

  4. Nick Bastian

    October 13, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    ” but get this wrong, and I’m not sure when you’d get another chance at a do over.”
    Have the bets begun yet? 🙂

  5. Pam Buda

    October 13, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Follow on–interesting post by Conversation Agent, Valeria Maltoni on the difference between a traditional “corporate” persona (is that an oxymoron or what?) and maintaining (or not) the image of perfection in the world of social media. https://budurl.com/sjsd

  6. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    October 13, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Benn, I do hope that the NAR reach out to the leaders in the real estate space and talk about what the role should be, especially given that the role will likely piggyback on the success of those of us who have actively created the real estate social mediaverse… that token would take them farther than any single SM superstar.

  7. Cyndee Haydon

    October 13, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Lani – I loved your framework – it’s a tall order for someone to fill – my biggest concern is that NAR understands you don’t “control” social media – I think corporations struggle with this concept – the reality that like it or not… the inmates do help run the asylum 🙂 – Can’t just lock’em up or silence them. You have to intelligently engage and effectively communicate – like you do so well!

    I agree that this is a double edged sword for NAR – done well it could have benefits to them from a PR standpoint – do it badly and the run the risk of becoming irrelevant IMHO.

  8. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    October 13, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Cyndee, I *wish* I came up with that framework, but the credit has to go to Benn.

    You’re so right about it being a double edged sword- they haven’t even hired yet and people are already screaming foul. Benn’s right- with the correct framework (as he provided here), it can be a great added service from the NAR… the problem is that social media is not just a marketing tool, it is a culture, and if the candidate sees it as a utility rather than a lifestyle (I can’t think of a better word here, sorry), it will backfire on NAR.

    Everyone needs to remember- due-paying members ARE the NAR. It’s not a machine on some far away hill. Get involved, don’t behave as if it’s an immaterial corporation- you pay, you have a say (see Benn’s last bullet point).

  9. Lisa Sanderson

    October 13, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Yes, that last bullet point is uber-awesome. How much talent & knowledge is there within our ranks that is not yet tapped? Talk about energizing & harnessing the power of One Million! (is it still one million?) The State & Local Associations need to do this too.

  10. Jay Thompson

    October 13, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    “and if the candidate sees it as a utility rather than a lifestyle (I can’t think of a better word here, sorry)”

    I think lifestyle is the right word Lani.

  11. Jonathan Dalton

    October 13, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Lifestyle sums it up best – I agree as well, despite both of your UT leanings.

    > due-paying members ARE the NAR. It’s not a machine on some far away hill. Get involved, don’t behave as if it’s an immaterial corporation

    Yes and no. There’s a difference between what takes place on a committee level and what happens in a corporate reporting relationship between the SMM and whomever happens to be his/her boss. Does NAR want to know how those of us already utilizing social media (I’m admittedly hit-and-miss to be honest, bet still) believes the role could best be filled or is their goal to try and dictate down to the plebiscite from their platform.

    ARMLS here in Phoenix had what I thought was a solid idea in creating a blog discussing the transition from one MLS system to another. Unfortunately, the primary writer was the compliance guy. Rather than a conversation building, the blog was bogged down by a series of mandates. Focus was lost immediately, the intended audience followed and the plug has been pulled.

    Many of us are skeptical because posting on Monster.com is a clumsy start … this is the kind of job that shouldn’t really be posted. Find your potential pool of candidates and make the offer.

  12. Bob

    October 13, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    While Benn penned the framework I would like to see, I think Jonathan has nailed it in both of his comments.

    The crux of the issue here revolves around what is NAR trying to accomplish with this position.

  13. Cyndee Haydon

    October 13, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Oops – Benn I am so sorry for my mistake 🙁 – Lani’s tweet and her consistent brilliant blogging had me thinking she wrote this article. My humble apologies – let me set the record straight – YOU hit it out of the park with this one – hope NAR has it’s google alerts going off so they see it!! 🙂

  14. Benn Rosales

    October 13, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    I understand what NAR wants to accomplish is important to the nar, however, it’s a dynamic thing this social media, and attempting to control it any further than it needs to be controlled would lead back to my initial comment of SM FAIL. Why? because as much as you want to control a lifestyle, you can’t, it’s a natural thing- it’s simply what you did that day, that minute, that hour, not what you want to accomplish tomorrow- it’s a right now thing, it’s a human thing.

    just sayin…

  15. Craig Barrett

    October 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    And give the membership a reason for them to follow the SM. Once discovered every member across the country will ask… “What’s in it for me? How does this affect my bottom line?” Give value, specific value to the membership and how a member can increase or improve their business. I think if specific, tangible value is not part of the frame work, the words of the SM are as good as SPAM.

  16. Benn Rosales

    October 13, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Craig, that is a question we face every day, what is the tangible value of social media, the problem is, if you value a position within a conversation, then it’s actually up to you to place a value. If that value is zero, then its zero- for others it’s invaluable.

  17. Jonathan Dalton

    October 13, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    I disagree on just one thing, Benn, though it may be mere semantics. Trying to control the beast won’t work (I keep picturing DiNiro in Backdraft when he talked about fire). But guiding it can be accomplished, and guiding is a lesser form of controlling, at least to my mind.

  18. Kevin Sharkey - IBR Broker

    October 13, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    I nominate Teresa. No one understands or uses SM better.

  19. Benn Rosales

    October 13, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Jonathan, you’re right, it’s semantics, but a good point you make none the less. Controlling the message without using a heavy hand is an art.

    I’m imagining the smm at one of the bubble blogs right now, whomever they chose should get a raise before they even begin…

  20. Bill Lublin

    October 14, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Jonathan; Part of the problem (from our perspective as social media participants) is that when we speak we speak as individuals with our own personalities, responsible to no one but ourselves –

    When anyone speaks on behalf of NAR they speak as the voice of all of its members. Becuase that voice is the voice of all of the members and not each of the members (many of whom do not agree on many issues) the voice is a synthesis. Therefore we need to listen to that voice differently, appreciating the need of the voice to articulate the viewpoint of the organization – That doesn’t mean that it won’t be genuine or effective, but it will take a very clever individual to project and maintain their personality while bringing the association viewpoints to the members.

    Benn- Great post on a solid topic – I especially like the statement “Controlling the message without using a heavy hand is an art. ” Though the Sm will need to provide the Association message, I believe the effort will be made to provide that message in an open and conversational manner, allowing for the two way flow that is essential to any good dialogue.

    Craig – You said “And give the membership a reason for them to follow the SM” I think that those of us in this arena will follow and engage the SM because they are here – which is , I believe, the point of the job. Though NAR gets bad rapped too often, the association is constantly looking for ways to better communicate with the membership – though you might mot like the vehicles it uses, there is no question that the association is proactive in creating a variety of electronic and print communication vehicles to reach the membership from newsletters, to email to listservs to magazines and direct mailings. As far as the value to the association and the member, I disagree with Benn a little here – the communication itself provides the value to the participants.

    Kevin – I know Teresa at least well enough to guess this is not a job she would want – mostly because she likes to speak for Teresa – not for anyone else – and that’s what makes her so great and her voice so real 😉

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Social Media

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.

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Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.

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Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?

Wrong.

Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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