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You Are Who You Hang With

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people from all walks of life

Ines has had a great discussion going on in her recent post, about social capital. I first learned about building social capital from Bill Lublin at ReBar Chicago.

Recently, I was invited to do a live podcast with Gary Keller and Mariana Wagner on Keller Williams Agent Mountain. The discussion was about getting business from social networking.

Ok, enough name- dropping? Bear with me…

How do “you” use Social Media?

One of the questions Gary asked was about how we use social networking to get business? The point I made in the interview and stand by is getting outside the real estate network to build social relationships.

It is bigger world out there

Isn’t it boring just to talk to folks in our industry?

Just like we blog and farm niche area’s. I feel it is important to get out of the real estate networks and engage with people around “other” parts of our life, and  things we care about.

Many times on some of the social networks I participate on, except for a few blurbs on what I do in my profile, they don’t even know I am a Realtor. I am not a Realtor there, I am a person interested in the same thing in life that they are.

On those social networks, I don’t talk about my listings, the market in Ann Arbor, or anything about the industry. I engage in the purpose of that network. For instance, if I am on Navy Moms then I am connecting with other moms who have sons in the Navy.

No shock that I am conservative in my political beliefs. On conservative networks I don’t talk about my listings etc…. We talk about issues we are concerned about facing our Nation. I have good friends on all those networks, I didn’t know a one of them until I joined and participated.

My point is that those who use social networks effectively are not just hangin’ out with the RE net folks. We are not just Realtors, Lenders, Stagers, we are real life people who have other interests beyond what we do in our careers. I hope.

What do you care about?

There are millions of social networks to join. In April Ning announced there is over 1 Million Social Networks on Ning. ONE MILLION… blows my mind.

I read last night that there is over 20 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute. According to FaceBook statics they have over 300 million active users.

If you join a social network and don’t like it just un-join…spend time where you enjoy being and growing and engaging. I’ve un-joined several along the way.

At the root of Social networking is it affords us the opportunity to meet people beyond our local communities. If your not happy, (unlike with your neighbors) you can move.

There is more to social networks than Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. You are so much more than your career.

If you care to comment I would love to hear where else outside the RE net you are meeting and engaging people.

Flickr Photo Credit

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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40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Joe Loomer

    September 25, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    navy.togetherweserved.com – great site for active, retired, and veterans. I’ll bet your young Sailor’s on it too.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Joe, I will ask him.

  3. Jill Wente

    September 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Missy:

    Is the podcast only accessible to KW agents? I wanted to listen to it but I guess I don’t have the privilege since I don’t hang my license with KW.

  4. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I didn’t think so, Jill. I put the link in safari as I usually work in FF and it came up for me, so I “assumed” it was available.
    Let me check.

  5. Matt Dollinger

    September 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Missy,

    AWESOME! God bless you for writing this. I have been touting this for YEARS, written a couple of blog posts about it, and often am quoted saying,

    “The Real Estate Industry is the biggest thing standing in the way of the Real Estate Industry”

    A couple of great people to follow outside the industry:

    David Armano
    Peter Kim
    Greg Verdino
    David Sandusky
    Alecia Hyuck
    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    This is such a great topic Missy, thanks for writing!

  6. MIssy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Matt how’s Chicago? I will definately at your recommendation Google these folks and check them out.

  7. J. G. Keating

    September 25, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Missy,

    This is a great post and soooo true.

    I belong to some very different sites and I enjoy all of them, sometimes my posts tend to overlap and oops sorry for that for those not interested, but that’s who I am. A compilation of different interests.

    I am more than just a Realtor therefore I have more to talk about than just RE. I’m a single mom too and I meet a lot of clients just by engaging in conversations that involve other single moms. I have as much in common with them as I do with other RE agents, if not more!

    Although I really enjoy RE forums I would be foolish to think that my purpose for being there is to solicit clients only, I’m there because I can get industry news, updates and highlights, all of which help to improve my business which hopefully in turn will increase my business.

    But I am so much more than that, as I hope we all are. SM should not only be about soliciting business it should first and foremost be about expressing who you are and what you believe in, the business will follow.

    I could go on and on but I have a question!

    Anyone reading this post need a Realtor?

    I didn’t think so……

    See my point!

  8. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    @missycaulk – What a cool post – so many people miss the opportunity to join “groups” of like minded individuals and you are right, it’s not only about real estate for God’s sake!

  9. Jeffrey Douglass

    September 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Missy, Such great advice with such a wide world out there to follow outside our industry. You have inspired me to do a better job searching that out – thanks for thinking outside “real estate”.

  10. MIssy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    J G, good point! Don’t need one right now, but when I do need to refer it is to those I have spoken to and got to know on RE networking sites.

    As the saying goes, people like to do business with those that are like them and they trust.

  11. MIssy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Ines, I am sure when you and Rick get together with your Mojitos groups it has nothing to do with RE which proves the point. Hey you even got me to drink a few and take a few shots for your groups.

  12. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Jeffrey, glad it inspired you, I have had fun meeting people in different places. Sometimes too much!!

  13. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    You totally rock Missy and miss not having seen you in a while 🙁

  14. Marjorie Dybec

    September 25, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I have been debating this very question with my business partner husband for the past week. I FB. He does not. He thinks I should invite my past clients in (more touchpoints with me) and I am resistant. I see all the benefits. But sometimes I want to express a political view or an opinion. I might want to talk about my desire to take a pottery class. I might want to kvetch with my “friends” about bad weather, a stroke of bad luck, or a sour experience. These are things I’m happy sharing with “friends” but maybe would edit from a conversation with past clients and customers. And even with the grouping capabilities of FB, I find it to be largely ALL or nothing.

    Anyway, many in my NYC firm use FB as a marketing tool and a solely professional outlet for discussing RE. I rarely use it that way. I want it to be a way to keep in touch with friends I would have lost touch with had I not joined.

    Anyway, your blog was definitely timely and top of mind.

    Thanks.

  15. Christi Borden

    September 25, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Dear Missy,

    Great post. I enjoy my FB real estate friends and do not mind the occasional listing post or Open House notice but there has got to be more to life than real estate. And if I am bored by it all, so are my non-real estate friends on my network. Twitter is another spam machine and Realtors are the worst. I usually tell people that Twitter is like a HUGE cocktail party and if you simply spam your message without adding value, it is like walking around the party, handing out your card, shaking their had and asking everyone, “Hey, do you need a Realtor?” And some people wonder why they have such a poor response from Social Media. Build the relationship and the business will follow. Thanks again for the article.

  16. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Ines I will see you at ReBar San Diego and NAR for a few days. 🙂

    Christi, I never really like HUGE cocktail parties! I have really loved FB more now that I grouped all the friends, family, high school, college and Fans together. Depends on the mood I am in as to who I communicate with and check up on.

  17. tomferry

    September 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    See you in SD Missy …
    TF

  18. Bob Gibbs

    September 25, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Great post. I love reconnecting with people whom I have not seen or heard from in awhile. In fact I have recently had lunch with 2 guys from high school who I used to spend alot of time with. I do post my blogs on Facebook and Twitter but I do way more communicating with others about non-real estate related things.

  19. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Tom thanks for posting this on your Facebook fan page. (((grin))) See you soon!

    Bob, alll things in balance. I do send my posts there too, but I also chat it up with friends. The conversations start around things other than Real Estate as I am sure you know!

  20. Bill Lublin

    September 25, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Missy; Thanks so much for your kind words. You hit the nail on the head when you talk about being who you are with the people who share your interests. That’s where communities grow, and where we can become valued members of the communities we participate in.

    Can’t wait to see you in San Diego again – and your lovely daughters too I hope. Gonna be hard to get presentations going when we’re all busy hugging though! 😉 Got some new ideas around everything social to share – should be fun

  21. Elaine Reese

    September 25, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Totally agree with what you’ve said. My Twitter & LinkedIn focus is non RE. Has been more beneficial by doing that. Have pretty much dropped AR because of the agent-to-agent griping about other agents, points, comments, etc. I haven’t set up Facebook yet, but it’s on the to-do list because some in my sphere are asking why I’m not there.

    Some of the real estate gurus are just so full of themselves they act like they’re rockstars. It gets tiring … unfollow!

  22. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Bill, yes I suspect lots of huggin’ going on! Can’t wait.

    Elaine, I watched your interview on the Columbus (((cough, cough))) station. You did great. What a few days that was, still don’t have my tweet deck set back up. You did great!!

    What are points? Actually, I love AR for the social networking, built lots of social capital there.

  23. Elaine Reese

    September 25, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Missy, actually the Tweetdeck fix was easy. I went to Control Panel and removed the program. I then downloaded it again from their web site so I could enter a new password. As soon as I put in my Twitter name (ReesesPeanut), it brought up my TD, set up just as it had been. Now as for deleting all those DM’s in the Twitter account, that was a REAL pain.

  24. Teri Lussier

    September 26, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Missy-

    I’ve been told by local people who only know me through conversations on local blogs, fb, and twitter, that they respect the fact that I’m not there to sell them something first and foremost. I really do care about the city, the people in the city, and that’s a common ground- that’s what they know me as- someone who cares.

  25. Gwen Banta

    September 26, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    You are so right, Missy. That was the point I was trying to make in my blog about “Networking or Notworking.” We limit ourselves in so many ways – by becoming hooked to the computer or to routine social experiences, or by failing to grow our spheres of influence. Thnaks for the reminder.

  26. Missy Caulk

    September 26, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Elaine, that is what I had to do too. Delete and start over, I just finished setting up my group. But, I had so many failed log on attempts I had to wait.

    Teri, you are awesome!

  27. Missy Caulk

    September 26, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Marjorie, I have a lot of past clients on FB, but they were just here, I haven’t invited anyone yet. Occassionly I do have a tweet go in to FB and I go opps, but like I said here I most communicate with new people in the different social networking groups that are group specific.

  28. Missy Caulk

    September 26, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Gwen, I do think some Realtors limit themselves to just RE sites…a whole big world out there. I hope we have other things in life to talk about and network around. My husband is into planes WWII planes and he has lots of connections there, me I could care less about planes. LOL

  29. Ken Brand

    September 27, 2009 at 10:39 am

    It REALLY is all about the people. Everything else is everything else. Well said Missy. Cheers.

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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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