Listing on Social Media


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Todd Carpenter's presentation slides from the 2012 Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee/Multiple Listing Service Forum at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo asks the question, "Do IDX listings belong on Social Media?"

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  • Facebook and other social networks have revolutionized how people interact with other people. As of 2012, over one billion people participate in Facebook on a monthly basis.
  • And when a Canadian Hip Hop start is Tweeting with an eccentric Texas billionaire, it’s clear that there are no boundaries anymore.
  • So the MLS committee has felt an implied mandate to figure out how to build a roadmap for MLS’s and their participants to integrate IDX data into this powerful platform.
  • But after five committee meetings, dating back to 2009, there is no consensus on how to do it right.
  • So maybe the reason why the committee can’t agree on how to build a successful roadmap is that maybe they don’t belong there in the first place.
  • Last year, while while working at NAR, I drew this highly un-scientific pie chart on the reality of the PAG proposals to be voted on in the 2011 MLS committee meeting. If you’re not one of the 53,000,000 people who have not seen the Honey Badgers video, go take a look. It’s funny and more importantly, the kind of content that becomes highly viral. Just be careful, it’s not safe for work.
  • My point is, Facebook is not a place where people think to go when they are in shopping mode. In the last year, Nordstrom, JC Penny, Starbucks, Coke, Gamestop, Delta, !-800-Flowers and hundreds more have experimented with storefront apps on their Facebook page. All of them seem to have abandoned their efforts.
  • I went to Facebook to ask my friends if they buy stuff on Facebook. These are the typical answers I received.
  • If anyone could make a successful online store, you’d think it would be a company like Sears, but they do not sell on their Facebook page.
  • Neitherdoes IKEA
  • Or BOA
  • Or Charles Schwab
  • And even with 32 Million likes, Starbucks no longer offers their gift cards through their Facebook page.
  • The easy button does not extend to the Staples Facebook page.
  • Delta built a Facebook app that allowed consumers to book flights from their Facebook page. No one used it. It’s gone now.
  • So what’s the reason this fails? One reason is that Facebook has blown it when it comes to protecting personal information. Many consumers don’t trust them now.
  • And then consumers get these privacy notifications that imply that the app is going to take over their account.
  • But the really big reason is that it’s just not the place where people go to buy stuff. It’s a party, not a mall.
  • It’s not just shopping. Look at how Facebook “covered” the super storm. This was one of the most widely shared pictures.
  • And while the presidential candidates spent millions on their social media programs, it was the memes that got all the attention on Facebook.
  • And speaking of memes, McKaylaMaroney’s “Not Impressed” reaction to her silver medal created one of the most popular memes of the year, and was the most talked about Olympic story on Facebook.
  • Facebook just isn’t a place where people search for products.
  • Social networks are exactly that… social. They are a place where people connect with each other. In some cases, people will connect with a brand, but the relationship is more similar to how some people who buy Jeeps join a Jeep club, or how someone might get a Harley Davidson logo tattooed on their arm. They are more likely to be connecting with brands they already purchased a product from.
  • Put yourself in a consumers shoes, and I think you’ll agree. If you were going to buy a book, would you go to, or their Facebook page?
  • If you were going to buy music, would you go to iTunes, or their Facebook page?
  • If you were going to buy a car, would you go to, or their Facebook page?
  • I think we all have different opinions as to what site we’d say when shopping for a house.
  • I know which one I would choose, and no, we don’t have a real estate search app on our Facebook page.
  • One thing I bet we all agree on is that is wasn’t Facebook. NAR asks a similar question in their profile of homebuyers and sellers. Theirs lots of competition at the top, and some clear losers at the bottom.
  • Nobody has figured out a way to successfully sell stuff on social media through apps and online stores. How can the MLS committee responsibly build a roadmap when they, and everyone else have no clue how to, “activate new experiences based on the nature and the psychology of the relationships that define the network?”
  • We created a Facebook page for the association that now has over 100,000 subscribers. But it wasn’t because we had a fancy page with apps or storefronts. It was because we put out good content that people liked to share.
  • Content gets ranked by Facebook and shows up in the users timeline based on what kind of content it is, how strong the relationship is between the publisher and the viewer of the content, how many other people people interact with the content and how recently the content was published. Remember the Honey Badger video? That is the kind of content that earns the highest edge rank on Facebook. For a brand to compete on the timeline, they have to produce really engaging content.
  • But lately, Facebook has decided that posts from brand pages aren’t as likely to be engaging and they have pushed those posts down lower in user’s timelines. So even posting quality content is getting harder to broadcast.
  • One of my Facebook friends from Rhode Island gives a pretty good example of how to “market” on Facebook. He’s one of those Tech Savvy YPN types that works for his mom’s brokerage. Anyone else know Ron Phipps? Here, he posts a picture of the view from an open house he is hosting. He tells people what time he will be there and invites them to come say hi. It’s personal and as much about connecting with him as it is about selling the home. Facebook is for people. This is what can work. This doesn’t require the MLS Committee to lift a finger.
  • Even though it hasn’t happened yet, someone could come along and figure out how to successfully run a storefront on Facebook… or some other social network. I think it’s important for the MLS committee to allow those MLS’s that want to experiment with this to go try it. But providing a roadmap for doing it doesn’t make sense at this point. And the ability for all participants to opt out allows those who don’t see the point in marketing listings on sites like Facebook to keep doing business as usual.
  • If you’re an MLS that’s hesitant to jump into the social media mix, I’d be happy to chat with you about it. Or possibly address your membership. Shoot me an email with your thoughts.
  • Listing on Social Media

    1. 1. Listing On Social MediaTodd Carpenter, Sr. Manager of Industry Engagement@tcar on Twitter |
    2. 2. So many people… 1,000,000,000 Active monthly Facebook users
    3. 3. And everyone is talking to everyone…
    4. 4. The question you’ve been trying to answer… How can we structure our IDX policy to allow for display on social media.
    5. 5. The question you’ve been trying to answer… How can we structure our IDX policy to allow for display on social media.
    6. 6. The question you might want to answer first… Do IDX listings belong on social media?
    7. 7. Just My Opinion…
    8. 8. Nobody buys ANYTHING on Facebook.
    9. 9. Do you shop for anything on Facebook? “I asked my daughter, who is a freshman in college, she responded: No. And no." - Jim Duncan “The closest I came to buying something was an ad for a new record for a band I liked. And then I researched/bought it on iTunes.” - Nobu Hata “Never even crossed my mind....” - Jay Thompson “the only time I would go to to buy something is for Facebook ads” - Katie Lance
    10. 10. Sears practically invented mail order…
    11. 11. You can furnish your whole house at Ikea…
    12. 12. Can you apply for a loan on BoA’s page?
    13. 13. Trading stocks on Facebook? Not with Chuck.
    14. 14. 32 million likes… no lattes
    15. 15. Seems like selling on Facebook would be easy.
    16. 16. Book a flight on Delta’s page? Not any more.
    17. 17. People don’t trust Facebook storefronts
    18. 18. And then there’s those dang privacy notifications…
    19. 19. It’s not you… it’s Facebook
    20. 20. Hurricane Sandy Coverage Sandy Gangnam Style
    21. 21. Political graffiti on Facebook
    22. 22. Biggest Olympic story on Facebook
    23. 23. Just My Opinion… People use Google to find things. People use Facebook to find people.
    24. 24. Just My Opinion… Listings are things. REALTORS® are people.
    25. 25. If you were going to buy a book..
    26. 26. If you were going to buy music…
    27. 27. If you were going to buy a car…
    28. 28. If you were going to buy a house…
    29. 29. We’re all a bit biased…
    30. 30. What NAR’s 2012 PHBS says…
    31. 31. Brands give F-Commerce an “F” “Essentially, F-commerce only gets an “F” because brands used Facebook as yet another digital catalog for selling products and not as a platform for activating new experiences based on the nature and the psychology of the relationships that define the network.” -Brian Solis, Social Media Consultant
    32. 32. You can succeed on Facebook
    33. 33. How Facebook ranks stuff
    34. 34. Facebook has their own agenda…
    35. 35. How the Tech Savvy YPN’ers do it
    36. 36. Hey, I could be wrong…
    37. 37. Thank You.Todd Carpenter, Sr. Manager of Industry Engagement@tcar on Twitter |