This week we look at Facebook F8, NextDoor’s new ad offering, LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms, Virool’s vertical video marketplace, McDonald’s Snaplications, the role of social media in United’s downfall, and Youtube’s ad controversy and new feature Super Chat.


1. Facebook Shares Its Vision of Alternate Realities at F8

Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, is this week. Zuck dropped a couple of jaw dropping, sci-fi-ey innovations on us. In addition to working on a way to type with your only your mind, Facebook debuted a new augmented reality platform; and if that was not enough, also launched a VR world called Facebook Spaces. Unlike the simplified AR tricks of Snapchat, FB’s new augmented reality platform knows your precise location and identifies objects from within the image. This lets developers layer virtual information cards onto the physical world, and friends to leave each things like notes on a menu about the best item. But perhaps even more importantly, Facebook will now know what a user is looking at in the physical world, opening up entirely new opportunities for ad placements. Facebook Spaces, on the other hand, is a riff on Second Life, but with VR headsets. Gizmodo notes that Facebook is selling Spaces “as some kind of socialization supplement to replace actual human interaction.” Scary, even for us tech nerds.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

While this will be a slow rollout rather than a big bang, the possibilities for real estate marketing could be really significant. In simple terms, imagine agents layering digital cards and even digital furniture (think about what you’ll save on staging) on rooms for open houses – prospective buyers could hold up their phones to a room and experience another world. Or even bigger picture, imagine the ads you will be able to place as FB now sees people interacting with places and objects that signify they might be ready to buy or sell a home. Will agents start doing virtual walkthroughs of homes with clients? You bet. The question is not really if, but when.


2. Neighbourhood Marketing Just Got a Massive New Ad Space with NextDoor
nextdoor graphic
Online neighbourhood social network, NextDoor will begin offering native instream ads across its 100,000+ communities in the U.S. NextDoor is unique in that it requires a home address at account creation, offering localized ad targeting that is not even possible on Facebook. While the way in which the ads are integrated into the platform isn’t particularly paradigm-shifting, the access to such precise location-based data is a real pull for marketers. State Farm recently tested NextDoor’s ads in 11 U.S. markets. Within days, the brand reached 6.3% of all households in the markets and a positive sentiment score of 97.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

For agents in the U.S., NextDoor’s announcement is a massive opportunity for hyper-local  targeting efforts. The possibility of targeting online ads more precisely than a zip code – until now – has been a real estate marketing fever dream. No surprise, but Canadians are going to have to wait a little bit longer until the company expands its communities northwards (are you listening, NextDoor?). You can even request it here.


3. LinkedIn Takes a Tip from Facebook to Capture Leads Easily
linkedin lead gen forms
LinkedIn has just introduced Lead Gen Forms, which aim to eliminate the primary obstacle to mobile conversion: contact forms. In doing this, LinkedIn is taking a page from Facebook’s book, albeit over a year later (no one ever said Microsoft moves fast). The idea is to help drive warm leads from users’ Sponsored Content campaigns – and therefore try and turn LinkedIn into an effective lead-generation platform.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

While this update from LinkedIn is a darn good idea, the jury (and yes we mean us) is still out on whether LinkedIn is at all valuable for real estate marketing. We’d recommend you stick to Facebook advertising for now, comrades.


4. Video is Going Vertical Thanks to Mobile Devices
virool vertical video
Video advertising platform Virool has just launched a vertical video marketplace for programmatic ads. This will allow brands and agencies to purchase space for vertical video ads with publishers. Virool’s move comes after the company’s recognition that 60% of their total inventory is from mobile.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

Given that real estate photographers and videographers are predisposed to shooting landscape content, we know the challenge firsthand of getting vertical video and images for mobile-first websites and advertising. Given the prevalence of mobile, it’s time for the industry to adapt. In fact it is one of the reasons our Facebook Canvas looks so darn good… vertical comes out on top on mobile devices.


5. McDonald’s Wants You (Well Maybe Not YOU) to Apply For a Job via Snapchat
snapchat mcdonalds job applications
You heard right. In Australia, ubiquitous fast food chain McDonald’s is now letting job hopefuls apply via Snapchat. In an era where a billionaire reality TV-star with a toupée has his finger on the nuclear war button, very little is shocking – so to Snaplications we say: giddy up! What does such an application look like, you ask? Prospective employees don a virtual uniform via Snapchat’s filters (because the #1 most important thing about a new job is how good you’ll look in the uniform) and spend 10 seconds (!!) explaining why you are a good candidate.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

While we’re not planning on hiring via Snapchat any time soon (and don’t think you should either), McDonald’s decision to leverage social media as a recruitment tool is savvy. As LinkedIn waxes and wanes, traditional digital hiring sites are losing traction in favour of sites with better lead-generation potential. If we were looking for a new employee, for example, we’d publish a Facebook ad.


6. United Airlines Just Set New Records for Virality
united airlines pr debacle infrographic
Contrary to popular adage, not all press is good press (particularly in the age of social media, when most things are press). When a passenger was violently dragged off a United Airlines flight last week, the video was shared on Twitter over 200,000 times, and has been circulated prolifically on other social media and news platforms. Stock shares in the company dropped significantly following the incident.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

When we discussed Pepsi’s recent advertising misstep recently, we noted the ever-increasing significance of PR-HR errors in the age of the social media Panopticon. Going viral for the wrong reason (examples of “wrong reasons” include violence against customers and trivializing life-or-death social movements) is not good marketing. Real estate marketing campaigns should never sacrifice integrity to be the next trending hashtag.


7. Youtube Changes Up Its Ad Mix Under Controversy
youtube live streaming comments
In the wake of a recent controversy – wherein several big-name advertisers suspended ads on YouTube after discovering that their ads were making money for videos that contain hate-speech or support terrorism – Youtube is stepping up both its technology and advertising game. Its latest feature doesn’t directly address these advertisers’ concerns – and YouTube creators claim to have lost ad revenue in the wake of the controversy. However, thanks to a new Youtube feature called Super Chat, live-streamer viewers can now pay $1-$500 to have  their comment featured prominently. The New York Times reports one live-streamer netted $4,000 after receiving 250 Super Chat messages in his 90-minute live stream.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

This is a large-scale acknowledgement on behalf of Youtube of the growing prominence of live video and its role in marketing. And now you know that it doesn’t just make good marketing, but can actually pay.

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