Welcome back to our new weekly social media news roundup! We feature new announcements in social media and clever advertising, and tell you what it means for real estate agents focused on getting a higher ROI on their digital investment.
This week we look at Instagram’s war on annoying comments, Google’s efforts to customize your Inbox feed, the Snapchat of shopping, Pinterest as your best new-old brand tool, emoji-googling, Ford showcases a marketing blind spot and virtual reality Touch-ing.
1. Pinterest Lets You Create a Brand Cover Page
Pinterest is one of the most underrated branding tools in the ever-expanding social media sphere. Instagram gets all the visual credits, even though Pinterest makes it easier to share and source content. Its new Showcase feature lets you create, essentially, a front page for your brand. Smart agents and brokerages will take advantage of this opportunity to exercise even more control over their brand by creating a stunning cover page. You could have one Showcase for your personal brand, and then others for each listing – a curated mood-board for the kind of lifestyle the particular listing implies. We made an example of one (see below) so you can see how easy it is, and how beautiful it can be.
2. Instagram Gets Serious About Comment Trolls/Bots
Not the furry kind from the recent movie, but those Commenting bots that have long been an issue with Instagram and they know it. Finally, the social media app just announced that it’s now letting users combat harassment – all those useless and sometimes destructive comments on your posts – with a new disable-comments feature. Now you can disable comments on certain posts, as well as like comments you do actually like. This is good news for agents looking to have a clean and professional outward-facing social media presence (which should be all of you). Even slower to the uptake, it’s worth noting Twitter is also finally cutting down on autoresponders. The Internet can sometimes seem like a pot about to boil over that you can’t turn off, but this is one way to ensure your social media is securely neat and on-brand.
3. Ford Cleverly Showcases What You’re Missing
The latest and brightest mobile advertising this week comes from Ford and BBR Saatchi & Saatchi in a promotion for Ford’s new Blind Spot Information System. Thanks to Snapchat etc., a lot of mobile smartphone users primarily interact with their phones vertically, not horizontally. Ford latest ad shows a car driving down a road between the black bars that frame horizontal videos when they’re viewed vertically. This is a self-referential wink to mobile video users who never turn their phones sideways. The video asks: “Want to see what’s in your blind spot?” Well, watch the video to find out. We love how this advertising technique shows potential for real estate as a way to open up how home exteriors and interiors are showcased using video.
4. YEAY Just Out-Shopped Snapchat – Yay!
YEAY is, like all good apps, something you didn’t know you needed – until you can’t stop using it. Marketed to the elusive Generation Z (you mean there are more than just Baby Boomers and Millennials??), YEAY wants to revolutionize how we shop. In fact,
according to data from Sharethrough. YEAY is being compared to Snapchat because it’s fast, intuitive, leverages flowing video and treats e-commerce like a fun and low-stakes experience. We like where it’s going, and are sure that it’ll change how we conceptualize real estate browsing experiences in the near future. Zillow, Zumper, etc. are you listening?
5. Google Puts More Inbox Intelligence at Your Fingertips
Here at Two by Fore Interactive, we’re users of Google at Work and often bring clients onto it. So we were excited to hear that Google was using its design and AI smarts to craft a better inbox app experience. The main screen on the Google Search app is now your own personalized screen, where you can customize what you want to be shown in the app’s settings. By adjusting your settings you can keep up to date with industry news, and @mentions of crucial aspects of your brand like your neighbourhood or your site/social media channels. You should also be using this new tool to streamline your information intake – keep track of what’s necessary for your clients and your brand, and ditch the rest. You can scroll aimlessly through reddit on a different app.
6. You Can Now Google Stuff, Using Emojis, Through Twitter
That’s right. Sounds convoluted, but it’s actually really simple. The average person uses 96 emojis a day, which is actually kind of ridiculous. So now when you want to look something up, you don’t even have to remember the word for it. Know that you want a sandwich-type food involving a beef patty, that gross orange cheese called “American” and rounded buns? No need to google the word “hamburger,” just tweet an emoji hamburger @Google, and they’ll send you everything you need to know about your local hamburger scene. We see this as another way to further bridge social media and house buying and selling e-commerce, namely: real estate. Have you tried tweeting a house emoji at Google yet? It doesn’t really work. But it’s early stages yet. In the meantime, agents: it’s high time to work harder on your SEO – have your latest listing be Google’s first response to the next tiny tweeted cartoon A-line.
7. Oculus Goes ‘Feelies’ a la Brave New World
We like to keep up-to-date on Virtual Reality news because, well, we’re pretty sure it’s the future (and present, for the super-rich) of real estate. The latest is that
It’s essentially a way for people deep in Virtual Reality to interact with their “environment” in a more natural way than they would if they were using a traditional game controller. Virtual Reality technology is getting easier to use as well as more accessible to the average consumer, and if you’re not keeping up with it and thinking about ways to implement it in your business a.k.a. your listings, you’re falling behind.