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Our social media news roundup features new announcements in social media and clever advertising, and tells you what it means for real estate agents focused on getting a higher ROI on their digital investment.

This week we look at Twitter ad subscriptions, the rise of Whatsapp, the next era of Facebook’s Messenger, Groups for Facebook Business Pages, LinkedIn analytics attempts, and big-brand Augmented Reality.

1. Twitter is Testing a Monthly Ad Subscription Model
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Twitter is trying out a subscription service for automated content. This move has essentially no precedent among social networks. The service (currently in beta and invitation-only), “automatically amplifies your tweets and profile” for one month at a flat rate of $99. The flat rate also accounts for access to analytics, so that users can gauge the additional quantity (and quality) of reach and engagement generated by the campaign.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

If this service survives beta and becomes accessible to the general public, it’s going to remove a whole lot of the friction for real estate agents and brokerages alike on the social media app. Lots of agents spend way too much time tweeting into the ether (or paying someone to do it for them), without the backbone of a serious social media campaign to get a real high ROI. While Twitter in general isn’t your best bet for a good ROI, it could set a precedent for other, better social media platforms (like Facebook) to provide automated campaign boosts. And for those who are busy doing deals and don’t have time for ad campaigns, we’ve got you covered.

 

2. Whatsapp Eclipses Snapchat
whatsapp stats
Facebook wins again – its 8-year-old messaging platform Whatsapp just hit 1 billion daily users. Its iteration of Snapchat Stories – Whatsapp Status – is also doing remarkably well, with 250 million daily active users (compared to the 166 million daily users of the Snapchat app in general). Whatsapp Status is basically a clone of Snapchat Stories (and Instagram Stories) – it lets users post a photo or video as a status update, which then disappears after 24 hours.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

Whatsapp’s somewhat surprising rise as a competitive messaging platform is a darn good opportunity for real estate agents who have been building up their CRM. We’ve been using SMS for campaigns for a while now, and seeing good results. We also lean heavily on Messenger for our clients’ FB pages, ads and landing pages. Whatsapp works as a kind of middle ground between SMS and something like Messenger, as it’s phone number-based. While Whatsapp doesn’t have the chatbot capabilities that Messenger does, there is nevertheless huge potential – due to the fact that you can send a message to anyone whose phone number you have – to target leads via mobile, and even send them to a specific mobile-focused campaign, like Facebook Canvas.

 

3. Facebook Ups Its Messenger Game Again
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Facebook just launched Messenger Platform 2.1, an update to the social media site’s current messaging platform. The update boasts features like built-in NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming – for better communications skills), seamless payments flow (an easier way to pay via Messenger), extra Facebook Page buttons and more. What interests us in particular is the handover protocol which uses built-in language processing to detect information and meaning in message text before sending the messages over to a bot. Put simply: this new version of Messenger is going to allow for bots to become a whole lot more sophisticated.

What This Means for Real Estate Marketing

We’ve been making bots for agents’ Facebook Business Pages for a while now. So naturally we were giddy (ok, almost) to hear about these updates to Messenger. Chatbots are an agent’s best friend (second only to us, obviously), and any software changes that allow for better language processing are good news for all of us. Moreover, this update follows on the heels of Messenger’s announcement of plans to expand ads beta on a global scale – granting advertisers the opportunity to create targeted and customized ad experiences in a Messenger window. Look for Messenger ads coming from our team soon, and let us know if you’d like us to design one for you.

 

4. Two New Ad Campaigns Show How Augmented Reality is Becoming Mainstream

What with the compelling rise and fall of Pokémon Go, the proliferation of Snapchat-like filters, the launch of Apple ARKit, Augmented Reality is proving to be something of a tech industry stalwart. So much so that big consumer-centric brands are starting to catch on. At the beginning of July, Acura set up a racetrack in California and got four influencers to race around the course in an actual car while wearing AR helmets. The helmets overlaid a “reality” that made it appear will be intrigued by its application almost no matter what. Take cues on analytics from L’Oréal’s as though the drivers were careening through a jungle and a snowstorm. The “race” (the cars zigzagged slowly across the track) was livestreamed across Twitter, YouTube and Facebook – the video reached 3.58 million people. Watch the whole video here, and check out 11:42 for the start of some driving. Beauty behemoth L’Oréal is similarly jumping on board AR, albeit in a slightly safer way. The brand has a multitude of AR apps that let users “test out” hair and makeup products on their selfies, which they claim has provided them with a treasure trove of data related to both on and offline sales. The company’s chief digital officer noted that the apps have “impacted our sales significantly.”

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

L’Oréal and Acura respectively provide interesting models for ways in which AR can be used for marketing and branding real estate. Take cues on livestreaming, viral video, and experiential marketing from Acura’s foray into AR. There’s still enough novelty to the technology that people AR apps. Imagine using AR to help potential buyers imagine inhabiting a space, and then leveraging the accumulated data for future sales. Some things to think about: How can you integrate AR into your marketing campaigns? How can you curate different kinds of digital interactions with your brand? What can you learn from the correlation between “trying something on” in AR and purchasing it in real life?

 

5. LinkedIn Finally Tracks Browsing Behaviour
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LinkedIn is in the process of launching LinkedIn Website Demographics, a tool to help brands and marketers leverage data via the professional network. The new feature will serve a similar purpose as Facebook Pixel, providing code that users can add to their websites to see who is visiting them. While Pixel drives conversion tracking and helps create custom audiences, Website Demographics only provides website audience analytics. Given LinkedIn’s history of being pretty damn useless for marketers and job-seekers alike, a move in the direction of better analytics is always a good one.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

We’ve been watching raptly as LinkedIn intermittently tries and fails to become advertiser-friendly. As an agent, should you have been using the professional network for your brand before this update? No. Should you start spending time on it now? Honestly, the answer is still no. This new tool has value, but not so much value that you should be focusing your marketing energies on LinkedIn, when you could be getting a much higher ROI (and more sophisticated analytics) from Facebook. Did we mention we love Facebook?!

 

6. Facebook Lets Business Pages Have Their Own Groups
facebook groups interface
Facebook just rolled out Groups for Pages, a way for users who follow a Page to participate in “super fan clubs” affiliated with the Page. Just in case you live under a rock, Pages are official platforms for businesses and public figures, and Groups are online spaces for discussion and collaboration among Facebook users with related interests. It makes a lot of sense for Facebook to have combined these two facets of its user experience. This will allow businesses to not only support “fan clubs,” but also cultivate dialogues and interactions with their brand.

What This Means For Real Estate Marketing

Savvy agents and brokerages run Facebook Groups for their neighbourhoods, and some also have Business Pages. Being able to link the two is going to be a good move for your brand. And, with the new possibility of asking qualifying questions before letting people into a Group, there’s an opportunity for cultivating the perfect audience to target with real estate marketing. Visitors to your Page will be able to see right away how you’re involved in your community, and know how to interact with you and/or benefit from your access and resources. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and create a Group Now.

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