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Some Old Rules Still Apply

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It doesn’t take much reading here on Agent Genius, or on other web sites aimed at real estate professionals to notice that our world has changed a bit in the last few years.

There are new “web 2.0” ways to market our listings and ourselves. One big difference between internet marketing and more traditional marketing is that internet marketing is less expensive.

I think by removing cost barriers some new problems are cropping up that no one is talking about. In the past an agent would buy a marketing program and use it. We could spend thousands on it, but before deciding to make an expensive purchase we would do a little research. After we made the purchase we would track the results. Smart agents will stop using products where there is expense and little or no ROI.

Many of the products we use on the internet today are free, or inexpensive. We write blogs, and join social networks, and use electronic flyer’s and web sites. Once the cost barrier is removed there really isn’t any reason not to experiment with every gadget, doodad and web site that comes along. (I know I do – when I have time)

The problem is, the social networks and blogs can be very time consuming, taking time away from revenue generating activities. They can also steal valuable family and personal time. That is the true cost of our newer marketing techniques.

We need to treat social media and internet marketing sites the same way we used to treat expensive marketing programs. Do some research, test the product and measure the results. If the results are not there it is time to move on.

Just because we can join social networks, start blogs and use some really cool internet based programs does not mean that we should. Keeping up with what is going on and even learning how to use new technology is a great idea, but spending hours each day on the internet “keeping up” might not be the best use of our most valuable and expensive resource, time.

Looking at “must join” networks like Active Rain, I see people spending hours online writing and commenting. Out of close to 60,000 members there have been some success stories. The success stories are quickly turned into “featured posts” so that everyone sees them. They write the same posts over and over again, and they get featured over and over again. That is what keeps the network going and growing.

The people who have not been successful, which is a much larger group than those who have had successes, either go away, or stay on and assume that success will come soon. Either way we don’t hear much from them or about them.

Not everyone has the same success with blogs or social networks. Not all social networks are equal and writing blog posts is not for everyone. My point is we should not be afraid to experiment and learn, but we should also keep track of how much time we are spending on the free internet services and hold ourselves accountable for measurable results. If the results are not there it is time to move on.

The neat new watchamacallit that one of our blogging buddies just wrote a glowing review of may have little or no value when it comes to building a business. Some products don’t have any practical application for real estate practitioners for revenue or lead generation.

Failure on the internet can be expensive, even when the programs are free.

Full time REALTOR and licensed broker with Saint Paul Home Realty Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota. Author of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com, Columnist for Inman News and an avid photographer.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. joe Peffer

    November 26, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Well Said Teresa. It is soooo easy to lose your entire work day with this new gadget or that blog post or last week’s Carnival. ROI is a tough nut and it mostly involves live follow up to make all the tech work.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to use potential tools like twitter and utterz for client building.

  2. Chris Lengquist

    November 27, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    An excellent post. Discussing AR you are probably about 99% right. I have really, conciously dialed down my participation on AR not because of a lack of success, but just the opposite.

    My other blog keeps me busy. Both from a logistical and a money in my pocket point of view. And money in my pocket is what it’s all about.

    On AR I found that points was the driving force for a great many people and that just didn’t interest me. So I stop in now and again. But really only to say “hi” to those I got to know.

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Social Media

New Reddit policy on impersonation mimics other social media giants

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Reddit is the latest social media company to change their policy to protect against deepfake impersonation, because of the harm they can cause.

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impersonation with deepfakes

Reddit is the latest social media company making updates to their rules and policies ahead of the 2020 election. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and now Reddit are all trying to make the social internet a safer place to receive information.

Reddit’s new policy officially bans impersonation with the goal of handling “bad actors who are trying to manipulate Reddit, particularly are issues of great public significance, like elections.”

Deepfakes have become a key topic of conversation the last few years. In the wake of the mass spreading of misinformation during the 2016 presidential election, users have grown wearier than ever of the information they see online. Deepfakes are no longer a niche subject, but an everyday pain point that technology companies are scrambling to control.

In a statement made on r/redditsecurity, Reddit informed users of the change to website policy stating, “Reddit does not allow content that impersonates individuals or entities in a misleading or deceptive manner. This not only includes using a Reddit account to impersonate someone, but also encompasses things such as domains that mimic others, as well as deepfakes or other manipulated content presented to mislead, or falsely attributed to an individual or entity.”

The platform isn’t trying to make a mass change to it’s often humor driven culture. Parody and satire are still allowed forms of impersonation so long as the joke is obvious. Reddit has vowed to always take context into account when looking at cases of user impersonation.

It’s a good sign for society when popular social platforms start taking their role in controlling the spread of false information seriously. Companies like Reddit are in a position to create real change in the way we spread and consume information about major global events.

What’s unclear is how much man power these companies are putting behind their policies. Reddit ends their statement by pointing users to a report form that users can submit if they or someone else is the victim of impersonation. The question users should be asking is how long would it take to get a response or see action on these reports?

Policy changes are great, but if companies are simply throwing them onto their fine print with no resources behind enforcement then it’s not social change, it’s just legal jargon to protect their ass.

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Social Media

Image size is a vital factor into usability of your brand

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Keep all of your social media profiles and products looking their best with the social media image size cheat sheet for 2020.

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image size matters

We can safely say that the one thing social media will assuredly do in 2020 is only get more powerful. As such, it’s important to keep up with the sizing information for social media images to keep all of your profiles looking fresh. Make A Website Hub has the official rundown in their annual Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet.
Twitter:
• Profile Photo: 400 x 400 pixels / Displays at 200 x 200 pixels (a maximum 100 KB file size)
• Header Photo: 1500 x 500 pixels (a maximum 10 MB file size)
• In-stream Photo: 440 x 220 pixels (a maximum 5 MB file size for photos and 3 MB file size for animated gifs)

Facebook:
• Cover Photo: 820 x 310 pixels (a preferred maximum file size of 100 KB)
• Profile Picture: 180 x 180 pixels
• Shared Image: 1200 x 630 pixels
• Shared Link: 1200 x 627
• Event Image: 1920 x 1080 px (Shows in feed: 470 × 174 pixels)
• Highlighted Image: 1200 x 717 pixels (appears on profile at 843 x 504 pixels)

Google+:
• Profile Image: 250 x 250 pixels
• Cover Picture: 1080 x 608 pixels
• Shared Image: 497 x 373 pixels

Instagram:
• Profile Picture: 110 x 110 pixels
• Photo Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
• Video to Stories: 750 x 1334 pixels
• Photo Thumbnails: 161 x 161 pixels

Pinterest:
• Profile Picture: 165 x 165 pixels
• Board Display Image: 222 x 150 pixels
• Pin Sizes: a width of 238 pixels (with scaled height)

Tumblr:
• Profile Image: 128 x 128 pixels
• Image Posts: 500 x 750 pixels

YouTube:
• Channel Cover Picture: 2560 x 1440 pixels (for desktop), 1855 x 423 pixels (for tablets), 1546 x 423 pixels (for smartphones), and 2560 x 1440 pixels (for TV)
• Video Uploads: 1280 x 760 pixels

LinkedIn:
• Personal Page
o Personal Background image: 1584 x 396px
o Standard Logo: 400 x 400 pixels
o Profile image: 400 x 400 pixels
• Company/Brand Page
o Background image: 1536 x 768px
o Standard Logo: 400 x 400px
o Business / Career Cover Picture: 974 x 330 pixels
o Square Logo: 60 x 60px
o Business Banner Image: 646 x 220 pixels
o Standard Logo: 400 x 400px

Ello:
• Banner image: 2560 x 1440 pixels
• Profile image:360 x 360 pixels

WeChat:
• Profile Photo: 200 x 200 pixels
• Article Preview Header: 900 x 500 pixels
• Article Preview Thumbnail Image: 400 x 400 pixels (Displays at 200 x 200 pixels)
• Article Inline Image: 400 px x Any size px

Weibo:
• Cover Image: 920 x 300 px
• Profile Pictures: 200 x 200px (Displays at 100 x 100 px)
• Banner: 560 x 260 px
• Instream: 120 x 120 px
• Contest Preview: 640 x 640 px

Snapchat:
• Geofilter: 1080 x 1920

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Social Media

Facebook wants to show how “inclusive” it is with new logo

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook has a new logo, but you won’t see any change on the mobile app. The social network giant wants to expand to be more inclusive with this logo

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social network facebook typeface

Facebook has a new logo, but you won’t see any change on the mobile app. It’s easy to think of Facebook as just the social network where you avoid (or start) political debates with friends and family, but that’s just a piece of the picture. The new logo reflects Facebook’s ongoing expansion as a company beyond their original social network.

Facebook’s roots as a social networking company are undeniable. People have been using the platform to connect with family and friends across the globe since 2004. For many of us, Facebook is part of our everyday lives. It’s how we chat with friends across the globe, meet our partners, join communities, and sometimes it’s even part of our work life.

We have seen Facebook take on some big new projects this year including the announcement of Facebook Horizon, a social virtual reality world expected to launch in 2020. Facebook’s identity as a company now expands far beyond the Facebook app.

Facebook is the parent company of 74 companies including some equally popular and well-known apps such as Instagram and Whatsapp. The company operates out of 60 offices world-wide and employs over 43,000 people.

The new logo is part of an effort to create a clearer distinction between Facebook the parent company and Facebook the social network.

According to Facebook, “The new company branding is designed to help us better represent the diversity of products we build, establish a distinction from the Facebook app and communicate our purpose in the world.”

Facebook wordmark gif

The main design differences between the two logos are the font and the color. The corporate logo is designed in all caps using a font designed in-house. The type is san serif and open with consistent letter width throughout.

Unlike the true shade of blue that we all associate with the social network’s logo, the color of the new corporate logo will be fluid. The color will change depending on the environment such as the product it’s promoting. The corporate logo can be depicted as either solid colors or a gradient.
Facebook has been more than just a social network for a long time, now their logo can help them reflect that.

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