Monthly Archives: April 2011

Quantifying success: Only you truly know when you are succeeding


Measuring success from social media marketing

Sure, we can point at someone like Donald Trump or Ted Turner and say, “here are two really successful guys.” Maybe they are, maybe they are not. How can it be said they are not?

Success is a very personal topic.

A few days ago there was a post by Yet Another Social Media Guru who was giving a formula for success via social media marketing. His list included a few “dos” and “don’ts” but it never really dealt with the heart of the matter: what are your goals?
Channel Distribution
In his short and elementary post he included a “do not” that many do and from which they enjoy a great amount of success. In his encounter with this author away from the post he did not quite admit his goal was to “get more comments and likes” but certainly alluded to that result. So this poses the question which begs to be answered: what are your goals and how do you measure them?

Quantifying success through metrics.

When advising a client, friend, reader, or listener on a social or marketing method an important first question is nearly exclusive to, “what are your goals and what is it you need to achieve to call this campaign successful?” Not one of them has said, “I need to get more comments and likes on my blog.” In fact it is widely anticipated the most common answer will be, “to make more profit”.

In order to recognize success one must first define success. That definition may be “to increase my orders by 30%”. If so the metrics are simple. Begin with the number of sales you have had on average for the same period and compare your results at the end of the campaign period. On the other hand if the definition is “to get 1000 likes during the period” there is nothing to compare to you simply use that one metric. You either garner 1000 likes or you do not.

Awesome Screenshot – my choice for quick and easy

For those of you still stuck in the archaic maze of Windows Explorer it’s time to switch. For those of you who use Firefox, Safari or Chrome here is a fast, simple screenshot extension you’re probably going to love. Having tried several I have come to use this on the most. Oh I use Jing, Evernote, and have tried a dozen or so extensions but this one is the first choice out of my tool box for 95% of my screen capture needs.

What I like about it

Unlike some extensions or third party apps it loads almost immediately. Click the icon, it asks if I want the visible page, a selected area or the full page. (Note for https it’s visible or full only, not selected area.) Once I have made my choice and performed any necessary tasks it opens in the editing window where I can crop, label, blur, draw shapes, lines, and choose how I want to save the file. I can save locally, online temporarily or online permanently. See Figure 2.

Figure 1

Figure 2

38,544 free royalty free pictures

Free Royalty Free Photos


Free image from

It’s the blogger’s bane. We know we need photos and images and we know all the stock photography sites have great selections. Even with the credits system who wants to spend a buck or two every time they write a new post on their personal blog? Relax, here is a bank full of images. Unlike some of the free image sites these are quite professional.


Screaming for dialog? Public Social Media Policy


@JennHoffman Banned for tweeting

Banned for tweeting

UPDATE: Jenn will be our special guest on Social Media Edge on Tuesday, May 24 so be sure to tune in live where all the fun happens!

No running. No smoking. No standing. No shirt, no shoes, no service. No skateboarding on sidewalk. No Tweeting?

In case you missed it actress Jenn Hoffman was banned from the Chateau Marmont for tweeting. But really was it “that” she was tweeting or “what” she was tweeting. And if it was “what” where is the line?

Seth Godin: Transparency dictator?

glass house

They used to say "People who live in glass houses" ...

Pointing fingers and casting stones

I do not regularly read Seth’s blog. I have not read Seth’s books. If someone quoted Seth to me I would miss it and think it was just their conversation. Congratulations to Seth for being popular and successful. I think that’s awesome when someone succeeds.

When people say to me “I don’t get social media” I explore to see if they really care to get social media or if they are simply being conversational or even flippant. So when I say “I don’t get the attraction to Seth Godin” it is an invitation for an education. In truth I have read some of his blog posts but have yet to see the attraction. Today was no different with the exception of the fact it inspired me to write about it.

Your online experience sucks because your advice came from a doosh

I am tech savvyGranted the chosen words do not make the classiest of titles but I may or may not have a bone to pick. In part I do but it is only from my personal experience and interaction with my clients and friends which inspired this short article. Surely I have trusted enough of the wrong people in my life. With today’s technology and the massive amount of information shared by our friends and others it is almost impossible, at times, to tell the difference between real trust agents and people who think they are correct just because they are writing.

The real estate industry is full of sudden tech advisers, tech consultants, social media experts … pick a title. Most of them are simply users of the technology and perhaps have a solid understanding of how to use the technology for a benefit or to achieve a goal. They have never actually, successfully created, measured and managed much more than their own account – if that. Others are simply looking for fame and will publish anything they can think of to get more comments, earn more points or score some favor as they reach for the stars.

Why I am investing my minutes into this article is because their advice can, and does, hurt some of you. Oh I don’t expect to get too many likes, tweets, comments, or reblogs from this article. It’s not pretty, it’s not open minded, it doesn’t extol the virtues of someone with more Klout than I. There is no idol worship and there is finger pointing and name calling. Call me the Chris Christy of Active Rain today. It is not my goal to be named the most influential, most quoted, most reblogged, most anything. My solitary goal is to urge and convince you to think, investigate, question, and prove what you are believing even if you read it on a well known blog or heard it from the big keynote at a big event from a well known expert.

Theory is great. It’s also fragile and breaks easily. We all need theory at some point to get us started. Fortunately for the wise the days of theory have usually past by the time we impletment a new tool, new method or new practice. For the pioneer there is theory which we usually write about as theory rather than edicts on a topic with which the are only vaguely familiar which only serves to deceive and confuse the reader.

Practical experience rules the real world. Because bloggers, real estate agents turned tech experts or Facebook moguls, have no need to meet any qualifications you can find an amazing amount of them. Even ones you know barely know how to use email can be heard speaking on the frightening aspects of Facebook security and privacy, how to game Twitter, how to write a blog everyone will comment on, or some other, equally exciting topic at local and national events.

Inspect the data. If someone tells you, for example, Twitter is a waste of time. First, don’t believe them. Second, make them tell you exactly why Twitter is a waste of time. If they have an account with that little silhouette for an avatar, have 8 followers and follow 11 people that will explain it. On the other hand if they have 10,000 connections, have tweeted a few thousand times and still say it’s a waste of time – ask them how they qualify why it would not be a waste of time.

Sometimes it’s a matter of expectations. If you expect to start a Twitter account, add 10 friends, push your Active Rain posts to Twitter and maybe “check in on your tweeple” about once a week – yes. Waste of time. Likewise if you sit in front of your computer or on your iPhone 10 hours a day Tweeting about Hollywood, politics, what you ate for breakfast, or similar and expect to be selling houses as a result … probably not working out.

2 tools to harness Twitter keywords

“How can you keep up with Twitter?” It is a question often answered at social media and tech sessions probably around the globe but definitely all across America. And, in deference to those who will want to add that there are better tools let’s start by saying, “okay”.

There are many tools available for monitoring the Twitter stream and to even mention them all here would be a waste of your time and likely an impediment to your further reading. We are, therefore, limiting our indulgence to a mere two. One live and one which notifies us via email. Furthermore it does little constructive to share the tools with you without identifying a method of use. So first the tools then the method.

Monittor for live stream Twitter harvesting

Live stream watching with Monitter


For those who have a staff or the time to sit and monitor a live stream for keywords we will present monitter. If the keyword you are watching is very broad like “golf” on a Sunday afternoon or “Lady GaGa” during the music awards you will have your hands full. Because Monitter allows you to search for phrases that may be a better choice.

Monitter allows you to spy on multiple keywords at one time similar to other third party applications that allow 2 way interaction but this one appears to have a much lower consumption of memory. It’s free, there is nothing to download, it runs in your browser.

Cloud storage for free

Free cloud storage, 5 GB

Can’t decide how much memory to get on your pad or slate computer? Wonder no more, here’s 5 GB for free …

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive

You have probably heard of DropBox. In fact I have pushed it for a long time as a favorite and I have the 50 gig account (which is completely full). Now at the same time I have had an Amazon S3 account since December 30, 2007 where I have stored massive amounts of data for about $5 per month – First 1 TB / month of storage used $0.140 per GB. In my case that’s about 35 GB.

If I switched to reduced redundancy the price goes down even more – First 1 TB / month of storage used $0.093 per GB so about $5 per month for 50 GB. Compared to DropBox that’s about 1/2 price … sort of.