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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

Tag photos, connect with friends, order food?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook seems to be sprawling into every nook and cranny of life and now, they’re infiltrating food delivery.

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Facebook is now bringing you food! Although, no one was really asking them to.

In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is attempting to transform into more than just a social media platform. They have partnered up with food delivery services to help users order food directly from their site.

They hope to streamline the process by giving users a chance to research, get recommendations and order food without ever leaving the site.

Facebook has partnered with their existing delivery services including EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo in addition to restaurants to fast track the process.

The scenario they imagine is that while scrolling through the newsfeed, users would feel an urge to eat and look to Facebook for their options.

After chatting up friends via Facebook Messenger to ask for the best place to go, users would visit the restaurant’s page directly, explore their menu and decide to order. When ordering, you will have the option to use one of the partnered delivery services either with an existing account or by creating a new one.

The benefit is you stay on one site the entire time. With the time you save, the food can get to you faster, which is a plus for everyone.

Assuming that people already live on Facebook 24/7, this seems like a great update. If you like getting recommendations from your favorite social media resources, it’s even better.

The problem is that in recent years their younger audiences have dropped off in favor of other sites. Regardless of what they think, not everyone is flocking to Facebook for their every need.

My guess is that this service will benefit those already using Facebook, but is less likely to draw new audiences in.

Adding more services may not be the key to success if Facebook can’t refine their other features. They have already been criticized for their ad reporting practices, though they seem to fix everything with a new algorithm.

Facebook has continued to stray away from their original intent, and food delivery won’t be their last update.

Facebook wants to be everything, but not everyone may want the same.

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Social Media

Hate Facebook’s mid-roll ads? So does everyone else

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Those pesky ads that pop up in the middle of that Facebook video, aka mid-roll, seem to be grinding everyone’s gears.

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mid-roll

In an ongoing effort to monetize content, Facebook recently introduced “mid-roll” ads into videos by certain publishers, and it has now been testing that format for six months. If you aren’t a big fan of those ads interrupting your content consumption experience, you aren’t alone; publishers aren’t crazy about them either.

In a report on the program, five publishers working with Facebook’s new mid-roll ad program were sourced and all five publishers found that the program wasn’t generating the expected revenue.

One program partner made as little as $500 dollars with mid-roll ads while generating tens of millions of views on their content.

Two other partners wouldn’t specify exact revenue number, but they did acknowledge that the ad performance is below expectations. As far as cost goes, certain publishers mentioned CPMs between 15 cents and 75 cents.

That range is large because a lot of the data isn’t clear enough to evaluate their return on investment. According to the Digiday report, publishers receive data on total revenue, along with raw data on things like the number of videos that served an ad to viewers.

The lack of certain data points, along with the confusing structure of the data, makes it difficult to assess the number of monetized views and the revenue by video. For context, YouTube, as arguably the biggest player in video monetization, provides all these metrics.

Another issue is that licensing deals are cutting into margins. Facebook pays publishers, via a licensing fee, to produce and publish a certain number of videos each month. In exchange, Facebook keeps all money until it recoups the fee, after which revenue is split 55/45 between the publisher and Facebook.

While these challenges doesn’t change the fact that revenue is low, it does make it difficult to dissect costs in a meaningful way.

Why is revenue so low to begin with?

For starters, a newsfeed with enough content to feed an infinite scroll probably isn’t the best format for these kinds of ads. As a user, when I’m watching the videos and the ad interrupts the experience, I’ve always scrolled right on through to the next item on my feed. It’s a sentiment echoed by one of the publishers in the Digiday story.

Because of that, Facebook’s new Watch program, which creates a content exclusivity not found on the news feed, might produce better results in the future. Either way, Facebook will need to solve this revenue challenge for publishers, or they might pull out of the programs altogether.

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Social Media

Will Facebook’s Bonfire be a hit or go up in flames?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook secretly launched a group chat app that they secretly copied from a super small company. Lots of secrets.

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bonfire facebook

As we well know, big social media and social messaging companies have a tendency to rip each other off. We’ve seen Instagram rip off Snapchat, another big player in the space.

However, what happens when a big player copies a young upstart?

Facebook appears to be doing just that. The social media giant announced a standalone group video chat app called Bonfire in July of this year. After testing, that app is now available in the Denmark App Store.

“Bonfire bears a striking resemblance to Houseparty.”

Both apps enable multi-party video chatting, complete with video effect filters (much like Snapchat). Facebook has their app synced with the Messenger feature to let potential participants know when they’ve been added to a chat. Bonfire also lets you capture snapshots of the video chat.

So, why does Facebook want to copy this startup so badly? Because the concept is a hit.

Back in 2016, Houseparty was the 7th highest ranking free app in Apple’s App store. Additionally, the app has been shown averaging a million downloads in the last 6 months. Facebook is in the business of building community, per their mission statement, and this concept is a growing epicenter of social community and interaction.

That also makes Houseparty and Bonfire a great tool for reaching a younger consumer audience more directly.

While a live event on Facebook or Instagram makes for a great general broadcast, these apps could be a great way to offer exclusive experiences to certain customers.

Imagine, if you will, the thrill of 6 fans winning a content to have a private show streamed to them by their favorite artist, followed by a Q+A session? Or, imagine a pop culture brand like The AV Club hosting an interactive discussion with fans dissecting the latest episode of Game of Thrones?

If those examples feel a little too big for you, then imagine a group of restaurant employees hosting a live discussion in several different chat rooms soliciting feedback on all parts of the experience?

The bigger point is, that level of intimacy and exclusivity works well on this platform.

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