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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

*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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