MarketingTechnology

Snapchat’s business moves hold powerful marketing lesson for real estate

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Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

This column is all about helping real estate agents discover new technologies.

Beyond searching for the new, I look to uncover ways for you to leverage what’s already here.

Tumblr, for example, has been around a while. Its popularity isn’t waning, despite what Yahoo critics publish.

Used correctly, a social-savvy agent could land a good deal of new followers.

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As I cautioned in that review, the Internet socialverse is not shy about sharing content opinions. Going viral can work both ways.

Snapchat, the 10-second disappearing photo chat app, has also been gaining ground as a business tool, and I explored some ways real estate agents could be able to use it.

But I find more value in sharing with you a recent lesson Snapchat learned about just how sensitive the Web is to being given content it doesn’t ask for.

A new feature offered last year allowed for users to “Discover” branded content. It was a sales pitch, and users blasted the app Internet-wide.

The feature was its own tab, set aside from where users access their Stories.

Despite the criticism, which was as every bit vociferous as one could imagine Snapchat’s audience could be, the company doubled down. It moved the Discover feature to a more prominent screen.

Reactions have changed. For the worse.

The primary complaint is the app is “forcing” users to engage with branded news, content they’re not asking for.

Just a few weeks ago the app announced a plan that will enable advertisers to buy 10-second spots in user feeds for 2 cents per view. Cleary, Snapchat wants the business world to take notice of its immense popularity.

But should the real estate industry?

Would finding a way to market properties on Snapchat get the attention of the phantom millennial market?

It would be a risky endeavor.

There’s a strong lesson in Snapchat’s moves about the purpose of technology. And another about the nature of your online message.

In both cases, it’s a lesson about the value of being authentic.

Are you trying a new technology to sell more property, or simply to be the first agent on the block with an account? Are clients asking for something different?

This is why I warn about products that try to be too much, like a CRM also trying to be an email marketing tool.

In the effort to reach an audience via software — the goal of almost every technology investment you make — if you erode what works offline for the sake of what you can do online, your investment will show no return.

In terms of marketing, from listings to tweets, remember your audience. And, most importantly, listen to them.

Young, tech-addled professionals are hypervigilant in the protection of their mindshare; the wrong move with whatever fraction of that they’ve granted you can get you forgotten in a hurry.

In fact, in about 10 seconds.

Do you use Snapchat — and what do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

Do you have a product for our tech expert to review? Email Craig Rowe.


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