By Stefanie Hahn
The two major players in the location-based check-in game are currently Foursquare and, simply because of the size of the network, Facebook. You are probably already a member of Facebook, which is really how Facebook will beat Foursquare in the end. Maybe.
Let’s start with the basics … If you haven’t heard about Foursquare yet, don’t worry. There are still plenty of people not sure what it is or how it works. In a nutshell, Foursquare is one of a few mobile networking sites that allow you to broadcast you location in the world and interact with others who are nearby. It was designed as a game, but has become more about social media than it is about play. Here is a cute video from the Foursquare folks describing the service in their own words.
I resisted Foursquare for quite a while – mainly because I didn’t really feel the world needed to know where I was at every moment and also because I didn’t really see the value in playing along. Then in February there was a whole debate about the “please rob me” sites popping up that told people when you were somewhere else – that was a bit creepy too. In the end, however, I signed up because I recognize when something cool is coming along. Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
Let me start with this: I don’t work and am not receiving any money for this post – unless Google offers it. And to be honest, I have labored against the “mighty one” for years. But here we sit in 2010 and my mind has started to wonder about where the “G” will take the world next.
There have been hushed whispers – and some not so hushed – about Google’s plans and how they are going to impact the real estate market.
The world-wide mega-mart one-stop super MLS? Huh? What? Sorry, I wasn’t going there.
The evolution of social media is in the location-based technologies. Foursquare is supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread in 2010. Then why is it that when I’m sitting in Columbus, Ohio, there are only a handful of updates coming through my stream? Ahh, they’re on Yelp right? Hmm … no.
So where are they doing their location based searches. That’s right. Google Maps.
On June 21, I created a Google Map for my DelawareOH365.com travel site for all that happens in Delaware County. As I write this early in the morning on July 17, that single Google Map has recorded more than 8,000 map views. And I’m the only one posting information – and sporadically, I’ll admit – to the site. What if I opened this up to all residents – or fans – of Delaware County to share their favorite points throughout the county? Continue reading »
By Laura Rubinchuk
Unlike the old playground version of Foursquare, when you had to keep the ball within boundaries, the online/mobile version actually encourages you to venture out and explore new areas and venues…oh, and meet new people.
Foursquare gives you points for every “check-in” you make, and gives you more points for new venues. You also can collect badges, for example: “Super User” for checking in at 50 different venues, “Local” if you check-in to the same place three times in one week, and even a “Crunked” badge for checking-in to four different venues in one night (yes, I have one…call me a social butterfly if you must).
While entertaining to keep track of your friends (i.e. stalk, let’s be honest), the real reason I got hooked on it was when I heard the founder, Dennis Crowley, at Inman Connect in New York talk about the marketing implications of check-ins. For areas that allow billboards, think of the demographic information they can collect when they want to target a certain area for a particular product – they have thousands of check-ins and user information (male/female, age, etc. etc.) to base their decisions on where to spend their marketing dollars.
So how can Foursquare help your real estate business? Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
I was just getting used to the concept of sharing my Facebook status with folks other than my family and friends when Twitter came along a couple years back.
Then came 2009; the year of the citizen journalist; the year near-instantaneous sharing of events, pictures, and Web-links with your friends/family/clients/anyone in general became the new norm. It was the year Twitter went from being a “thing” to a verb, akin to Facebooking and Googling. It was the year Twitter broke into mainstream use, and it’s not looking back.
On deck for 2010? With the recent proclamation of Foursquare.com as the “Next Big Thing,” the broadening use of social media outlets as an initial consumer search tool, the recent additions of Twitter “tweets” and Facebook “status updates” in Google/Bing search returns and the expectation of the new-consumers’ need for immediate communiques, it’s clear: the time is now for the use of real-time, hyper-localized use of social media as a business tool.
Essentially, what you did/saw/read today isn’t as relevant anymore as what you ARE and WILL BE doing/seeing/perusing right now, and it’s that concept that will rule in 2010. Foursquare (for example) linked to Twitter and Facebook helps you share just that. So, how else will we need to address this new mind-set shift?
Empower yourself. Get to know how the newbies Foursquare and Gowalla – upstarts that are driving this new real-time/hyper localized mentality — work. Learn how they integrate with your Twitter and Facebook profiles on both your laptop and mobile phone, it’s literally as simple as starting an account. It’s the power of these updates that will rule this new social media landscape.
Real-time relevant content. Content is still king, and relevancy of that content goes hand in hand with it. Become the “Mayor,” a la Foursquare, of your open house and link it to Facebook status updates. Rave about a new listing you previewed on Twitter and Gowalla and link it to your Facebook Fan Page. Become a neighborhood specialist by touting the newest restaurant or shop by “checking in” and giving a shoutout while there — better yet, partner with that business and raise the presence of both yours and theirs online. Add a Twitter feed (perhaps one comprised strictly of new listings once active, complete with hashtags?) to your website and link it all together for SEO happiness. The development of these tools opens a world of opportunity to reach our to friends, fans, and peers in real-time.
Don’t panic. Many of the SM rules still apply: know your audience/demographic, determine the all-important type of message and frequency of broadcasting that will apply to them, then follow through. Treat it like an old-fashioned marketing campaign — seriously! — and don’t over-complicate it.
Be mindful of the noise you’re making. Unless your friends, fans, clients, and prospects like hearing about your real estate biz 24/7, (chances are, they won’t) don’t over-do it. While, there’s no better CRM tool than social-media, listening, interacting, and watching for behavior change is going to be the best way to use these tools. If not, we better start watching for the “Death Knell of SM as a Business Tool” as the next big thing in 2011.
Nobu Hata is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis, and a founding member of the Minneapolis YPN group, the YoPros. Visit his Web site at www.nobuhata.com.