Are you going to Social Media Marketing World?

Social Media Marketing World is one of the premiere conferences catering to Social Media Marketing practitioners. #SMMW brings together the most well-recognized names in the industry.

If you have a question about how to leverage social media for your business, then this is the conference for you. I hope to see you in sunny San Diego!

Social Media Examiner – Industry Report 2014

Michael A. Stelzner, Founder of the Social Media Examiner developed this 50 page report on how Social Media is being adopted by industry and marketers. Here are the highlights.


Major findings

Here’s a quick summary of our primary findings:

• Marketers place very high value on social media: A significant 92% of
marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, up from 86%
in 2013.

• Tactics and engagement are top areas marketers want to master: At least
89% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best
ways to engage their audience with social media.

• Blogging holds the top spot for future plans: A significant 68% of marketers
plan on increasing their use of blogging, making it the top area marketers will
invest in for 2014.

• Marketers want to learn most about Google+: While 54% of marketers are
using Google+, 65% want to learn more about it and 61% plan on increasing
Google+ activities in 2014.

• Podcasting on growth trajectory: Only 6% of marketers are involved with
podcasting, yet 21% plan on increasing their podcasting activities in 2014—a
more than three-fold increase—and 28% of marketers want to learn more about

• Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most important social networks for
marketers. When forced to only select one platform, 54% of marketers selected
Facebook, followed by LinkedIn at 17%.

• Most marketers aren’t sure their Facebook marketing is effective: Only 34%
of marketers (slightly more than one in three) think that their Facebook efforts
are effective.

• Original written content is most important for social media marketing: A
significant 58% of marketers stated that original written content is the single
most important form of content, followed by original visual assets (19%).

The above summary is merely a taste of what’s in this report.


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CENTURY 21® Announces Social Platform with Google and Videolicious

C21SocialXchange_ICON2Today at the CENTURY 21® Global Conference in Las Vegas, I’m pleased to report that we announced the details of the C21 Social Xchange, our suite of social media tools and advertising programs. I have been working on this suite of tools to get ready for launch at global conference for the last 18 months. It is great to see this vision become a reality for our brokers, agents, managers and staff.

Below you will find quotes from our news release as well as a short video clip from Sam Sebastian, Director, Local, Google.

Through an industry-first licensing agreement with Google, a co-marketing agreement with Google AdWords, and a comprehensive licensing agreement with Videolicious, the C21 Social Xchange combines a comprehensive social media marketing, communications and advertising tool suite for CENTURY 21® System professionals.

“The C21 Social Xchange empowers our independent sales professionals to easily build relationships and grow their sphere of influence,” said Bev Thorne, chief marketing officer, Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “Real estate is a people business, and today many business relationships begin online. CENTURY 21® agents are the only real estate professionals to benefit from such a partnership with Google, a recognized leader in relationship marketing.”

“CENTURY 21 continues to be an innovator in online marketing,” said Sam Sebastian, director, local, Google, Inc. “We brought this unique combination of tools and programs to the CENTURY 21 System because of their forward-looking marketing strategy. I am very excited that Google tools will play a role in helping CENTURY 21 sales associates to remain on the leading edge of online marketing and advertising.”

Released News:

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Will G+ Dominate Social in 2014?

Google Plus has been live for over three years now and as of December 20113 it had over 550 million users* on the network. For comparison sake, Facebook has 1.19 billion users** and its mobile business has been growing rapidly; however, its user growth rate has slowed.G+ Circles Image

So, will G+ supplant Facebook as the world’s most dominant social network? Well, according to G+ expert @RebekahRadice, blog post, “Google Plus vs Facebook: Why G+ Should Dominate Your 2014 Marketing Strategy,” G+ will become a much stronger player in the social media space. I strongly encourage you to read the post in its entirety as it is well thought out and includes quotes from other thought leaders on this subject.  Key quote:

Google+ is Google. Google is search. Search is where people go to buy. Buying is what makes your clients money, which they then reinvest in your services.”

In my humble opinion, Facebook has a great deal of functionality that enables and fosters community building. This is great for businesses and sales professionals who plan to manage a community and foster business via long-term relationship building. This will require time and an ability to generate engaging content that inspires and generates ongoing conversation.

Google+ is much more for brands and business who want to be found online. And…given the growth of online shopping, this objective continues to grow in importance for every business.  G+ in its present form does not have the robust feature set as Facebook.  This definitely gives Facebook an edge in community building and management.  However, G+ continues to improve and the fact that it is Google provides an inherent value that Facebook cannot match.

The bottom line:  I believe brands, businesses and individual sales professionals need to have business pages established on both platforms. Currently, the networks serve different purposes with Facebook serving as more of a CRM tool for customer incubation and G+ providing an edge in search.  I don’t believe there is an either / or answer to the question of whether you should market your business on Facebook or Google+, but you must understand the differences, understand your business/marketing goals and spend the time / money that is appropriate for you on each platform.  Oh yeah…G+ is launching social ads.

Now, to answer the question of whether or not G+ will dominate social in 2014? Yes, I believe it will grow more rapidly than any other social network. No, I would not expect it to “dominate” social. There are way too many smart app developers and start-ups in No. Cal., Boston, Austin and many, many other cities around the globe creating an entirely new Web environment every day, but as my Advanced Writing professor taught me…draft attention-grabbing headlines.

Bonus thought: Regardless of how much time you dedicate to Facebook and/or G+ this year, make sure everything you post, design, develop is done with a mobile audience in mind.  The growth of mobile and the volume of content consumed will only increase in 2014 and beyond.

For tech trends in real estate, make sure to read: from our good friend @tracyweir


Century 21 Real Estate Franchise Office Opens in Manhattan

Leveraging news via Google Plus is very important for brand marketing.

Recently, Inman News ran an article regarding Century 21 Real Estate opening up offices in Manhattan.  The headline and editorial were good, but not great.  This where you as a marketing professional have an opportunity to make a real difference for your brand.

Times Square

While our real-time marketing efforts have gained a lot of positive attention over the last several months, (see Brand Channel interview with @BevThorne) these efforts require a great team effort between agencies and internal staff.  However, when news like the new CENTURY 21® franchise, CENTURY 21 Metropolitan, opening in Manhattan drops, G+ has opened the door for internal marketing staff to play a significant role in not only re-positioning the headline, but also adding artwork to enhance the value and appeal of the digital content. This is not a nice-to-have component of brand marketing in 2014, it is a must-have!

In this case, I was able to add my own photography, create my own headline and rank just beneath the story by Inman at the top of the Google search rankings when searching Century 21 Opens in Manhattan.  Bottom line, by understanding the value of visual content, quality copywriting and Google Plus, you can make a big difference in how your brand story is told.

Let me know how you are using G+ to tell your brand story.

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