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Stik To…Branch Out And Everything In Between

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Rant or wisdom

Everyday it seems some new app or new site is popping up with a request to endorse or recommend someone. And being the good, little, proactive Realtors we are,(I am)we rush over to join or see what all the buzz is.

After a while it becomes annoying to our friends and past clients.

Hey I love entrepreneur’s, it’s not them or the application in and of itself…we need more entrepreneurs to bring jobs to America and many of the apps are really cool.

My issue is with the “latest and greatest next new thing”… being asked by people I don’t know to recommend them.Not just people you meet in your social sphere, but how many times can you ask your past clients to recommend you? How many different sites can you send the those past clients to?

It’s probably me, but I just can never ask other people in my sphere to recommend me.  Obviously others don’t feel that way. Yes, I am always thrilled to get a recommendation when it comes from the heart and is unsolicited.

Your sphere

Who is your sphere? Well in many cases it is folks we have met online, via blogging or social media. We’ve read their blogs, maybe commented a time or two on them and then voila…we get a request to recommend them or endorse them.

I don’t know you

Do we really know someone we have met in the online world enough to put our name on a recommendation for them? Just because you can write great posts, doesn’t make you are great Realtor. Just because you spend hours on Twitter, doesn’t make you a great Realtor.

Local

Should we recommend agents in our local area? Personally, I say no and haven’t done that even on Linkedin which is the oldest recommending site. At least on LinkedIn we can tell in what capacity we know them. I will recommend local lenders and others I know but not other local Realtors. If they do a good job, I love to recommend people and endorse them.

So who should you recommend?

I prefer to recommend people I have met, know personally or have done business with. After all if we haven’t transacted business with them how do we know if they are good at selling Real Estate? I believe it is important when we put our name behind any recommendation that we know them and not just through their social media updates.

As service providers, we are asked frequently for a plumber, inspector, electrician. I had a situation this past summer where a potential seller asked me for some recommendations for a painter. I sent them three. But, I had not had my house painted in a long time that we haven’t done it ourselves so I got recommendations from other agents and past clients.  It was a disaster as the potential seller had a language barrier and none of the painters showed up. Not good.I felt terrible.

People take those recommendations and endorsements to heart and it builds trust with us. If it turns out not a good experience, it is a black mark on us.

Guilt

When you see a recommendation pop up on your Facebook wall, or a friend asks you for a recommendation how do you feel? Of course, I am happy they thought enough of me to endorse me or recommend me. But, I feel guilty when I just can’t return the favor or respond to their request.

  • Am I the only one?
  • How do you feel?
  • How many times  can you send your past clients to all the sites popping up?

***This post was not directed at anyone or one app in particular,it is just the discussion I am after.***

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. BawldGuy

    February 15, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Hey Missy — With the exception of blogs and some websites, social media in general is — about 80% anyway — something to be gamed. The other 20%? What everyone including their creators promote it to be. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but imho, all of ’em are decent broadcasters of links and announcements, and not much else.

    For me, a double threat as both a MarketingTard AND a TechTard, the real value is having met some folks with whom I’ve eventually become very friendly. I’ve made some long term business connections too, but again, that falls into the 20%. Social media is merely another tree in the marketing forest.

    Make any sense?

  2. Jeff Belonger

    February 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Missy… I am going to agree with Jeff Brown above…. I think he is pretty much spot on in his statements and it makes sense. It goes back to your whole post and how everyone wants recommendations because they read you online, think you are great, etc, etc.. but as you pointed out, how do you know they are that good.. and as Jeff mentioned, so many are just great broadcasters of links and announcements. I love that line.. and I am tired of getting the “stik” recommendationg thingy on FB.. lol Seriously, good post and so much truth to who you know and who you think you know, when so many of the connections are made from online. And Jeff’s comment about social media is merely another tree in the marketing forest.. love this statement also. So many social media gurus out there. lol . thanks

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Social Media

Reels: Why Instagram can’t compete with TikTok… yet?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The future for Instagram Reels is uncertain, since even Instagram has acknowledge that TikTok is far ahead of them, but what does it mean for their future?

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Phone camera on stand in foreground with two women filming for TikTok or Instagram reels in the background

If you’re a TikTok user, chances are you’ve scoffed at Instagram’s attempt to compete with the hype. Yes, I’m referring to the Reels feature.

In an attempt to step in and absorb all the TikTok user run-off in August, when Trump announced the TikTok ban, Instagram launched Reels. Short, catchy and sharable clips, Reels are almost exactly like TikTok videos – but are they catching on?

In an interview with The Verge’s “Decoder” podcast, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri says that he isn’t yet happy with Reels, stating that TikTok is still “way ahead”. While Reels is growing in terms of shared content and consumed content, it’s not nearly where Instagram hoped it would be by this point. Perhaps this is because TikTok is still alive and well. Or perhaps there’s something else to it.

It’s interesting to note that some of the most popular Reels on Instagram are simply reposted TikToks. This poses the question: Is Instagram’s Reels simply a channel where the ‘cream of the crop’ TikTok videos can get posted in a second location and exposed to a new audience, or is it actually a platform for creators?

Mosseri also hints at some sort of consolidation across Instagram’s video features (i.e., IGTV, in-post videos, Reels). Without being entirely sure what that will look like, I’m already skeptical – is this all just another example of Facebook (via Instagram) trying to hold a monopoly on the social media sphere?

My opinion? As long as TikTok is still in operation, it will reign supreme. While the two apps have a ton of overlap, they are simply different cultural spaces. TikTok is a trend-heavy, meta-humor creative space that relies on engagement between users through effect, duets, and other TikTok-exclusive features.

Adversely, Reels is a space for Instagramming millennials and Gen Xers who might be choosing to opt out of TikTok (which has sort of become the cultural epicenter for the younger Gen Zers). The feature might also be used by Insta influencers and creators of all ages who toggle between the two apps (i.e., reposting your viral TikTok on Instagram to gain more traction).

Whatever the reason is for engaging in Reels, I’m fully certain the feature will never amount to the success of TikTok – but I guess we’ll have to wait to see what Instagram has in store for us next.

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Social Media

One easy way to organize your influencers inbox, get paid for fan DMs

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Superpage is a contact page for influencers that also allows users with a fanbase to charge fans money for guaranteed attention on their message.

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Demo page of Superpage, a contact page for influencers that lets you filter DMs across social media platforms.

At times, our inboxes can get out of control. Besides email from our family and friends, marketing and spam emails wind up in there, too. While for some of us, it isn’t too bad to handle. Some people might find it a little harder to manage because of the great influx of messages they receive. And, some of those people are influencers.

Well, that is one company’s target – if you have a fanbase, you have an influence. Superpage is a “contact page for influencers.” According to the company’s website, their product will help influencers declutter their inboxes and offer them a better communication setup.

“DMs & e-mails were built for generic human communication. With huge follower-base & more people seeking their time, influencers need a slightly different communication setup – designed just for them. That’s what we’re building at Superpage – a communication system uniquely crafted for influencers,” wrote Superpage Founder Srivatsa Mudumby.

Who can get Superpage?
Superpage is meant for influencers, creators, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and just about anyone with a social media presence.

What does it do?
The platform allows fans to directly connect with influencers by letting them send a message through the influencer’s Superpage. So, instead of hoping to receive a reply from the DM they sent on Instagram or TikTok, Superpage guarantees a reply, as long as it isn’t illicit or spammy of course.

But, while Superpage lets fans communicate with their idol, it doesn’t do so for free. Fans “pay what they want” to send a message. However, the website doesn’t make it clear whether what you pay makes a difference. If someone pays more, will their message get prioritized? I doubt a $10 ticket gave anyone the chance to choose between general admission or VIP.

How does it work?
You sign up and set up your personalized page by adding a bio, display picture, cover photo, topics you’d like to discuss, etc. Once you link your bank account to your Superpage account, you can share your page on social media, website, or blog post. Through your unique “Superpage link” anyone can send you “Super texts” (messages).

In your Dashboard, you can view, manage, and reply to your messages. Superpage uses “restricted messaging”, which means each sender receives a limited number of messages to follow-up. Once you’re finished replying, the conversation will automatically close.

Fees and Payments
There is no monthly fee to use Superpage. The company makes money by charging a 5% commission plus credit card fees. And, it uses Stripe to process payments directly to the influencer’s bank account.

“People want to talk to influencers of the world but because of huge volume of messages & poor incentivization, influencers can never respond to everyone mindfully. We spoke to a ton of influencers and almost everyone complained “my inboxes are spammed,” wrote Mudumby.

Superpage does provide a new way for fans to reach out to their idols, but is it more like a way for them to charge for office hours? One thing is for sure, it’s a way for influencers to reach out to fans, but make money in the process, too. It’s up to you to decide if it’s something you’d put your money into.

As for a decluttered inbox, it does seem like all those emails and messages might not end up in your messy inbox. Instead, they will live on the platform’s dashboard in a, hopefully, more organized manner.

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If you’re not on Clubhouse, you’re missing out – here’s why

(SOCIAL MEDIA) What exactly is Clubhouse, and why is it the quarantine app sensation? There’s a few reasons you should definitely be checking out right now!

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Clubhouse member hanging out on the app, on a couch with mask on their face.

The new exclusive app Clubhouse is challenging what social media can be – and it might possibly be the best thing to blow up during quarantine.

Developed by ex-Google employee Rohan Seth and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Paul Davison, Clubhouse has only been gaining in popularity since lockdown. Here’s why you need to join immediately:

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is like if subreddit pages were live podcasts. Or maybe if niche, topic-centric Zoom chatrooms could connect you with people from all over the world. But it’s ONLY audio, making it perfect for this period of lockdown where no one truly looks their best.

From networking events to heated debates about arts and culture to book clubs, you can truly find anything you want on Clubhouse. And if you don’t see a room that peaks your interest, you can make one yourself.

Why is it special?

Here’s my hot take: Clubhouse is democratizing the podcast process. When you enter a room for women entrepreneurs in [insert your industry], you not only hear from the established experts, but you’ll also have a chance to listen to up-and-coming users with great questions. And, if you want, you can request to speak as well.

If you click anyone’s icon, you can see their bio and links to their Instagram, Twitter, etc. For professionals looking to network in a deeper way, Clubhouse is making it easier to find up and coming creatives.

If you’re not necessarily looking to network, there’s still so much niche material to discover on the app. Recently, I spent an hour on Clubhouse listening to users discuss the differences in American and British street fashion. It got heated, but I learned A LOT.

The celebrities!

Did I mention there’s a TON of celebrities on the app? Tiffany Haddish, Virgil Abloh, and Lakeith Stanfield are regulars in rooms – and often host scheduled events. The proximity to all kinds of people, including the famous, is definitely a huge draw.

How do you get on?

Anyone with an iPhone can make an account, but as of now you need to be “nominated” by someone in your contacts who is already on the app. Think Google+ but cooler.

With lockdown giving us so much free time that our podcasts and shows can’t keep up with the demand, Clubhouse is a self-sustaining content mecca. Rooms often go on for days, as users in later time zones will pick up where others left off when they need to get some sleep. And the cycle continues.

Though I’m still wrapping my brain around it, I can say with fair certainty that Clubhouse is very, very exciting. If you have an hour (or 24) to spare, try it out for yourself – I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

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