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Zolving another … network



First, a funny observation. Just got my Realtor Daily email. It hailed the “new” real estate networking site, Zolve. You know, the same one Benn talked about, I dunno, in OCTOBER. I’m not saying…I’m just saying…

Anyway, the good thing about it is that it reminded me that I had planned on taking one for the team. Yes, I created a Zolve profile. I need another network to keep up with like Carpenter needs another sheep thrown at him…but none the less, here it is. (BTW – you should go over to facebook right now and throw sheep at him…he loves it and we will wait…)

I did see some two of the usual suspects out there – Jay and Shailesh. However, the pages looked just like mine when I got finished – unexcited about creating yet another “This is me and my view on world peace” page.

Here is the skinnie.

  • Evidently there has been 2,500 new profiles created last month. However, poking around, many of the profiles look like mine – bare bones to get that freaking completion bar to fill up.
  • The blog posts now total 89 (correction – 350. 89 is this week’s count only – thanks, Brian)…Sorting by most active, the most comments I saw were 4. Most of the comments throughout were from Brian Wilson – you know, the guy that owns the place

Here’s why I like it and will continue to see if it works out

  • Brian Wilson – The man is a Realtor and built the site while serving in the Middle East. If that doesn’t give him some street cred, I don’t know what will.
  • Referrals are a big part of my business. I live near a military town. Folks are always moving in and out. Another resource to try and find good agents are always a plus.
  • It was free.
  • You don’t have to log on to search profiles. This makes it easy for the consumer. I hate having to create a profile and log in to search for some one to give my business to.

And there you have it – or as much as I know for now. I’ll keep you posted.

Now I am supposed to go check out this “cre8buzz” network…but not today…I have had enough “profile creating” for one day.

Update – I had a problem with the “select a market” function of the profile creation. Sent an email from the “contact page.” Brian Wilson emailed me back, from his Blackberry, in under an hour. Points given for customer service.

Writer for national real estate opinion column, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.

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  1. Shailesh Ghimire

    December 3, 2007 at 2:30 pm


    Jay’s the usual suspect. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.. 🙂

  2. Kelley Koehler

    December 3, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    I’m there too, although I haven’t completed my profile – I got to the part about inviting 5 other people to complete it and stopped. I asked Jay and Shailesh to join my spehere, but maybe they fell off, as they haven’t responded. Or maybe they did and I wasn’t told about it.

  3. April Groves

    December 3, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Shailesh – you are guilty by association – maybe you should watch the riff-raff you hang out with 😛

    Kelley – You stopped the same place I did…and I didn’t see those guys on your sphere. But I did send you the desperate “add me” msg 😉

  4. Mariana

    December 3, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Nope. I cannot join one more stinkin’ RE community … even if Brian is my neighbor! (Sorry Brian!)

  5. Jay Thompson

    December 3, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    I *thought* I accepted your sphere invite Kelley. Maybe I forgot.

    Brian’s a great guy, and I wish him well in this endeavor. But I do wonder if the world needs another networkingthingy.

    Arpil – if you get a chance, could you fix the link to me? I need all the link love I can get. 🙂

  6. April

    December 3, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Mariana – I feel your pain…really

    Jay – Sorry…to many “http”s in the soup

  7. Brian Wilsn

    December 3, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    April, thanks for joining the network and for your perspective. I am sorry that I haven’t closed the circle on your question but we have had 232 people join today – an all-time high for us but it is keeping me busy answering questions and the like.

    You were only looking at “this week’s” blogs. Since our launch 6 weeks ago, we have had over 350, which isn’t too shabby. However, Zolve is not a blogging site; we offer blogs for our members who want to use this feature to drive traffic to their online brand. We are a real estate networking and referral site.

    Wait until tomorrow or Wednesday when you log in… you will see a screen for Zolve Connects which means for a specialist in helping military families like you, April, will be able to select “connect me” for that specialty amongst abut 50 other business specialties and professional interests.

    In a few days, you will receive an email from Zolve introducing you to the three Zolve members from around the world that show the most connections with you. You will have the option to “say hello” or invite them to your sphere of influence. If another member has a strong Chinese cultural background, she could select that as a “connect me” and build a national network of other real estate professionals that share that cultural background and want to work with like folks.

    My friend Marc tells me that I write too long of posts. He’s right!

    Brian Wilson, Zolve

  8. April

    December 3, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Brian – You did a fine job responding to my question. I was very happy with the level of response it received.

    Thanks for clearing up the blog numbers. I went back and looked at the search filters. I also corrected the post.

    I will be poking around there. I am a firm believer that you never know where your next bid lead is coming from.

    And I always give kudos to the military service. Thank you…

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Social Media

This non-judgmental app can help you switch to a plant-based diet

(SOCIAL MEDIA) There are many reasons people choose plant-based diets. If you’re looking to try it out, this app helps you stay on track.



No Meat Today, a judgement-free plant-based diet tracking app.

The interest in plant-based proteins continues to grow. Healthline suggests that Americans are shifting toward plant-based meat substitutes because of shortages in the grocery store due to the pandemic, but there are many reasons to make the switch.

Plant-based proteins are considered more sustainable than traditional meat. Nutritionally, plant-based meat alternatives are often healthier. Regardless of the reason, if you’re one of the many Americans who are changing your diet, there’s a new app that can help you stay on track without making you feel judged if or when you do eat meat.

Your companion to eating less meat

No Meat Today is an app available in the App Store. You can get on a waitlist in Google Play. It’s a fun app that asks you, “Did you eat meat today?” You can even define what meat means to you, red meat, fish and seafood, poultry, eggs and/or dairy. As you eat less meat, your “planet” attracts cows. The design is simple, “don’t eat meat, get a cow.” If you eat too much meat, your cows go away. There’s no judgement if you lose a cow.

The creator, Arnaud Joubay says, “I’m not here to tell anyone what they should do, only to offer a friendly app to those who want to do the same.” It’s recommended to look back at your history to decide whether you want to eat meat or not.


The app was just released earlier this year. Most of its features are free, but you can pay $4.99 for all the features for one year. There have been some very cute cows released for special days. In the App Store, reviews are positive, but the caveat is that the creator asks you to contact him first if you if your review isn’t 5-stars. It’s a cute app that can motivate you to eat less meat.

Here’s the link to the product page.

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Social Media

Twitter insights to engage more customers this holiday season

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter wants to help you prep your marketing for the first COVID holiday season by sharing findings on what customers care about.



Man on laptop open to Twitter, considering his holiday shopping with Christmas tree behind him.

The year 2020 has been a year like no other. None of us expected to be confined to the inside of our homes, but here we are. And now, more than ever, the holiday season is something most of us are looking forward to, even if we have to spend it apart. And social media like Twitter will be a key part of that.

So, to get a sense of what consumers expect this holiday season, Twitter UK has shared some insights to help brands better strategize on their holiday campaigns. Twitter’s official partner, Brandwatch, analyzed tweets from March to September to find out “people’s opinions and biggest concerns.” Here are Twitter’s findings.

Compared to previous years, people have already started asking for and have begun giving gift ideas and recommendations to each other. According to the data, mentions of Christmas started to increase in March. Between March 1 and September 30, there was a 10% increase in mentions compared to last year. So, brands should definitely start kicking off their marketing campaigns sooner than later.

The pandemic has undoubtedly influenced how we spend our money and has altered how we are able to have family time. According to the Brandwatch Twitter data, 59k people are discussing how family gatherings will be impacted by it. So, brands should be mindful of this, and incorporate messaging that reaches out to everyone. Messaging that makes family and friends feel connected, even if they are spending the holidays alone.

Another thing to consider is combining your efforts with local businesses. Making purchases from small and independent businesses is something that has been heavily highlighted since the beginning of the pandemic. With Christmas drawing near, this couldn’t be more important in people’s minds. Twitter has seen a substantial jump in people saying they will be holiday shopping locally. By partnering with a local business, both small and large companies can benefit from sales.

Also, health and safety were and still are at the top of everyone’s minds. A lot of people on Twitter are saying they will do all their shopping early. This will help them avoid the large crowds of last-minute shoppers.

As a result, companies should start preparing themselves to receive early shoppers. Part of preparing is making sure all health and safety measures are in place. Brands should follow all CDC guidelines and make sure they continue to be transparent with customers. Sending out a simple safety message through social media or email will go a long way.

These insights from Twitter are specific to the UK, but should still be considered. No one knew we’d still be where we are now. However, the holiday season is still something people are excited about. And, brands can take these insights to help maximize sales.

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Social Media

10 Snapchat Ad tips to increase engagement for holiday shopping season

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As holiday shopping draws near, Snapchat offers helpful tips to help business owners make use of their advertising and branding tools.



Woman holding phone open to Snapchat chat window, casually dressed with journal and coffee nearby.

The holidays are basically here, and Snapchat wants to make sure you get the most out of your Snap promotions. The company recently released its “Snapchat Ads Best Practices: 10 Tips to Help Increase Ad Engagement” post. With these pointers and advertising best practices, Snap hopes to help companies “build visually appealing ads that drive quality engagement and high return on investment for your business.”

So, let’s get into the tips!

1. Choose the right ad format for your goals
With a lot of advertising options, Snap says you need to select the right ad type that will better align with and help you meet your business goals.

2. Showcase your product front and center in your ad creative
Displaying a fullscreen video or image of your product will encourage a viewer to want to engage more. As a result, it is good to include a ‘hero’ message at the beginning that has all relevant information, such as offers and specials.

For eCommerce purposes, products should be featured “front and center to drive purchase intent.” For apps and games, include the app’s UI, features, and benefits in the ad. Meanwhile, local businesses should highlight the services or products their business specializes in.

And, always remember to make sure your creative meets Snapchat’s ad specs so your ad can be displayed flawlessly.

3. Make your ads feel native to Snapchat
No one likes intrusive ads that scream at your face telling you to buy a certain product or service. To prevent this from happening, Snap says your ads should “mirror the bite-sized and linear storytelling of Snaps” already on the platform. These non-intrusive ads should be kept short at around 5-6 seconds. And, Snap says these more “conversational ads” get viewed more fully than polished ads do.

4. Drive urgency with relevant messaging
Don’t overcomplicate the message. This will just get people to swipe away. Instead, make sure relevant information is at the beginning and is easy to understand. Placing your messaging within the first 2 seconds is preferable.

5. Design for sound on
Despite what you might think, silence isn’t better. Snap says that about 64% of Snapchat ads have the sound turned on. And, an effective way of including sound in your creative is by using a customer testimonial. Spoken testimonials help viewers understand and better relate to the brand or product.

6. Link your ads properly
Make sure users are being directed to where you want them to go. You don’t want them clicking on a broken link. Or worse, someone else’s content. The right link is crucial for impressions and conversions. Here are Snap’s recommended “attachment types depending on advertiser goal.”

  • Drive online sales by using Web View Attachments. These pages instantly load for the user and are available in Snap Ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.
  • Drive app installs by using App Install Attachments. Snapchatters will be able to swipe and download your app. Using ‘Install Now’ or ‘Download’ as a CTA, Snap says you will have strong conversion rates.
  • Drive app engagement/app visits by using Deep Links. These links will bring existing users back to your app. At the same time, any new users will be directed to the app store to install the app. Deep Links can be added to Single Image or Video ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.

7. Test ad creative and try new ad formats
Testing something is a pretty good idea when it comes to anything. Snap emphasizes this, and says testing can give you “insight into what content resonates most with your target audience.” They recommended testing your ad creative for about 2-4 weeks using different formats. After you’ve gathered enough information, you can determine the winning format that is best for you.

8. Use goal-based bidding to bid towards your desired action

  • Goal-based bidding “allows you to optimize towards a specific action that a Snapchatter is most likely to take, such as installing your app, watching a video, or completing a purchase.”
  • Snap has several bidding strategies, and it recommends using Target Cost Bidding.

9. Broaden your targeting
After you’ve been running your ads for at least a couple of weeks, Snap says to consider broadening your target audience. Snapchat has several different targeting options. Some of the categories you can expand on are geo, gender, age ranges, and languages. Expanding your audience will allow you to get more impressions.

10. Understand your audience reach to optimize
Finally, make use of Snap’s Audience Insights. These insights provide Snapchat with data like demographics, interests, locations, and devices overview. By knowing this information, you can better understand your audience and create content that is tailored to them. Content that will ultimately maximize your advertising efforts.

Overall, Snapchat understands that “mobile advertising is a key component to any digital marketing strategy.” By offering us these tips, they are reminding us of some things we already know, and telling us how they can help us achieve our advertising goals.

With the holidays around the corner, Snapchat says they can help you reach a large and engaged audience for just $5 a day with their offerings. So, what do you think of Snapchat’s tips?

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