Do you love the ‘Like’ Button? If so, Proceed with Caution

Close-up of business group keeping thumbs up

Have you ever heard of “Like farming?” No? Neither did I until very recently (not that it’s new.) I thought it might be a good idea to spread the word on what this practice is and why you should be aware of it the next time you’re scrolling through your Facebook news feed.

What is “Like farming?”
Here’s a good definition from ThatsNonsense.com:

“Facebook like-farming, in its simplest sense, is the process of attempting to get likes, shares and followers using exploitation, manipulation and/or deception.”

What this really means is that any time you like, comment or share something that you don’t quite know where it comes from, you’re at risk for being farmed.

Once these posts get a lot of “likes,” the scammers behind the posts are then able to start posting spam that shows up in your news feed or links to more malicious sites that might try and steal your personal and/or financial information.

What Can You Do?
The simple answer is really read what your scrolling past and understand where it comes from before hitting “Like.” Don’t fall for the emotional photos or posts that tug at your heart strings and ask you for something such as “help me reach one million likes” or “comment on this photo and see what happens.” The list goes on.

And finally, just because you like something doesn’t mean you have to “Like” it.

For more information, here are some good articles the explain the scam in greater detail.
Everything you need to know about Facebook Like-Farming by Craig Charles, thatsnonsense.com
Don’t click ‘like’ on Facebook again until you read this by Kim Komando, Komando.com
Why You Should Be Careful About What You ‘Like’ On Facebook by Amit Chowdhry, Forbes.com

Digital Marketing Ideas for the Holidays

Confident female designer working on a digital tablet in red

The winter holidays can be a slow time in real estate, especially in the Northeast. Buyers and sellers can go into hibernation and forgo battling the weather. Perhaps you’re planning on taking some time off too.

Still, the winter is not the time to let potential clients forget about you. Instead, take the holiday month to boost your digital marketing strategy with these ideas. The boon of any digital marketing plan is that a little work in advance will allow you to relax and take that much needed time off for the holidays.

Get local

Winter is the perfect time to advertise your local brick-and-mortar business, if you have one. This is the time when many people are home for the holidays, restless, and out walking around shopping or exploring the town. Luckily, Facebook offers a local awareness feature that targets audiences when they’re near your business. This is also a great option to get more people aware of your Facebook business page, where they have the opportunity to follow you and interact with your business in the future.

promote-local-business_screenshot

Get in the spirit

If you do launch a local awareness ad mentioned above, be sure to treat your visitors and curious locals to some holiday cheer. Consider offering coffee or hot cocoa to passersby, or offer free gift wrapping to shoppers if your office is in a busy downtown area.

Let people get to know your story

The holidays are all about connection. Launch a digital campaign that shares your story as a business, how you got into real estate, or why your community matters to you. Showcase yourself, your colleagues and employees to position your business as real and human in the digital world.

Use strong visual elements

Any digital advertising campaign launched during this time will be competing with all the mistletoe and mouth-watering recipes in peoples’ newsfeeds. Make sure any social posts you deploy are bold, visually compelling, and comply with the design guidelines for that platform. (For instance, you can find Facebook’s advertising guidelines here.) Consider using stock photography if you don’t have any professional photos or video at your disposal.

What the 2016 Presidential Debate Can Teach Us About Live Video

People at a Political RallyTonight is the first of three 2016 Presidential Debates, and if you’re not at home in front of the TV at 9 p.m., don’t worry because you can pretty much stream it anywhere. Social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Google have all taken up the opportunity to get a chunk of the 100 million expected viewers tonight. Those are Superbowl numbers.

What’s more interesting is that there will be a chance for viewers to ask questions via social media directly to the candidates. These viewer-generated questions may or may not be read, but it gives the average American social media user a chance to engage in the election process like never before. It also puts the pressure on the candidates to speak in such a way that will come across on social media. It’s likely that both candidates will have come to the debate tonight prepared with “tweetable” quotes and catchy sound bites.

When preparing for your next live video, it might be helpful to take a note from the Presidential candidates and come prepared with a few crafted points you want to make in a way that people will remember. Also, live streaming will allow your viewers to ask questions in the comments, so take some time to answer those. If you’re filming the live video yourself in selfie mode, you’ll be able to see the questions and comments pop up as they’re entered below your video. Otherwise, set aside time for questions and have the person filming read the questions aloud to you then.

Your success (and the 2016 President’s) may depend on it.

Are paid social posts worth the money? | Social Media Monday

In the world of social advertising, the million dollar question is whether organic reach get you anything anymore. (Organic reach is the amount of people your social posts are served to organically without ad dollars.) A recent study found that a majority of users (59%) found paid social posts to be more effective than organic. Still, more users are still posting a majority of organic content.

Instagram takes on Snapchat | Social Media Monday

Modern TownhousesIt’s just our luck that weeks after spending all that energy writing about how to fit Snapchat into your real estate marketing plan, the platform would come up against some serious competition. That competition comes from none other than the power couple of Instagram/Facebook, who have been adding features that are eerily similar to Snapchat’s biggest claims-to-fame.

For example, you can now post live updates, or “stories,” onto Instagram. Sound familiar? They couldn’t even come up with an original name for the time-sensitive posts Snapchat has been host to for years.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, the social media giant has been rolling out filter technology that allows users in select countries to post selfies with Olympics-themed filters and overlays.

All this is to say, if you were wary of downloading yet another social media app, this may be your excuse to just stick with the old stand-bys of Instagram and Facebook before Snapchat becomes obsolete. It’s too early to tell what exactly will happen to Snapchat, but now is the time for the company to pull out all the stops. We’ll be watching.

How to Reach Millennials | Infographic | Social Media Monday

Millennials have dominated the homebuying market for the past three years. This group of young adults lives online, and expects different experiences with business than generations past. For instance, more of them are on social media and mobile than their predecessors, and they like to interact with brands before they buy. To get a more in-depth look at the psychology of millennials, take a look at this infographic from MarketingProfs.