Serving my time as a tech blogger back when, I developed a "talent," if one can call recognition a talent. Being able to look at anything online and very quickly determine its value - at least reasonably well - is a function of evaluating so many websites and etc. If I am good at anything, it is this recognition of value. Well this morning I ran across a refreshing little entity called MyTechOpinion. The news is, for the online real estate professional, MTO should be in every tool box.
Social media has supposedly changed the landscape of business, and it has, to a degree. As my old friend Brian Solis would put it; "social media has fundamentally changed the way businesses and customers interact. What has not changed is the half hearted methodology human being turn to out of laziness or wanting a quick buck. Broadcasting on Twitter and Facebook, as a cheap effort to gain visibility. As we all know, most human beings will try and find the easy way out - but a few, a very few, put in the genuine effort. This is what impressed me about the effort being made at MyTechOpinion. Let me encapsulate for you.
When you find someone interesting on Twitter and you add them, what do you expect? Wait! Let me tell you what I expect. I expect either a marketing madness mediocre mouthing of meaningless "me" engagement - Ooooor - No follow, at best very late reciprocity. Do you feel me? Yesterday I went on a mission to hook up with the 50 most influential real estate tweedy birds in the world - can you guess which ones are really engaging? The list is a subject for another article, but the driving force behind MTO, Nicole Nicolay, is less a broadcast bull horn - and a lot more genuinely connected. "Thanks, here I am, let's talk."
I alluded to my super powers of deduction early on in this article. After thousands of twitter messages, a good one gets your attention. Then you click on that little link to confirm your suspicions, right? Whisked away to a blog with a clear message, "we are about tools for hooking up online." MyTechOpinion is funny, informative, crisp, and a departure from your ordinary info blog, especially real estate relevant info. The screens I provide show a crew who knew what to create to differentiate themselves.
Knowing what you are doing. Really knowing how to engage people in social media or on the sidewalk is a cultivated skill. A good example of this idea is revealed via MTO's Facebook account. It is a good example of how to effectively utilize a channel. Why? Becuase engaging on Facebook or Twitter is not about how many fans and followers you have, it's about how "genuine" and really connected you are. MTO does not have 5,000 Facebook fans, but the articles on their blog get 40 Tweets and as many "likes" consistently. People are reading MTO's stuff - that's socially engaged.
Okay, before we get all teary eyed over MyTechOpinion's skill at influencing peeps, let's slap ourselves back into reality. MyTechOpinion is a business after all. The reader should be aghast now, thinking; "But they seem so altruistic and helpful." Well Nik Nik (Nicole Nicolay's nickname) and the two fellers are, and herein rests the lesson for wanna be social tycoons. Genuine friendliness and skill shines through on the Internet far more than you imagine.
Okay enough flowery praise for MTO, go check out their WordPress excellence if you are a real estate person in need of a blog, and/or consult them about ramping up your social engagement, I do not think you will be disappointed - always look for helpers who have demonstrated what they are selling you. This is the best advice anyone can give you. Ask anyone selling you anything; "Why don't you practice what you preach?" Examine the post below by Nik Nik.
Examining the team at MTO it's fairly easy to see the "why" of their unique approach. Reggie Nicolay is Director of Social Media at Dale Ross' Realtors Property Resource, a wholly funded arm of National Association of REALTORS® - he had better know his business. The reason you will probably love MyTechOpinion's blog layout and tone is that Chad Johnson is a WordPress design madman and one of the founders of the group's AgentEvolution - a one stop shop to ACME rocket your online insertion and engagement (getting your firm online and wired). And last, but in no way least there's (Nicole Nicolay) Nik Nik, named one of the top 5 Masters of social networking - and for very obvious reasons, tops amongst all real estate gurus in the field.
To sum up, it's not all that often we wake up and get all impressed these days. Especially not where web celebs and networkers are concerned. To be honest, even some of the best of them are full of sheep dip. For a tech analyst and blogging animal like me, the excellence bar has been raised several notches to be honest.
Is MyTechOpinion perfect? No; the contact page is a form (which I detest) - okay, I asked my partner to help evaluate the blog, we both agree it's perfect - now there's a first, Phil Butler shuts up about a website. Any way, of course no one can evaluate absolutely the peeps behind even a series of websites - Nik Nik and her team could be Resident Evil in reality. The point is, where digital branding is concerned no one would surmise this - these people at worst are experts at what they do, and are at best maybe the finest online presence in the real estate sector.
How's that for a "how to engage" for all those non-following real estate tweeters? Get your game on dudes and dudettes. I leave the reader with the other side of creativity from Nik Nik, talk about animated. You can also glimpse Reggie hard at work leveraging the investment and property world from his home command condole.
@Phil Thank you for your kind words. The pressure is now on for us to live up to your stellar review.
FYI... We're working on that contact page. It is definitely the weakest link.
Chad, you are more than welcome. It was actually refreshing seeing people who know what they are doing and maintain a good spirit about doing it. Let me know any time you guys have news man. And thanks for stopping in.
@Phil- I cannot think of anyone who's REALLY taken the time to ever do quite an extensive write up of our site and efforts on the Web like you have! Thank you for showcasing YOUR talent in identifying our strengths. MTO is TRULY our passion, we've never monetized our blog or accepted any of the requests to advertise...yet this blog has enabled us to continue sharing our passion and afforded us numerous business opportunities. I know that many marketers mean well but succumb to the dark side or DIRECT marketing side...but that's just not our style, never will be! So, for anyone out there trying to ROCK the RE.net....education, relevancy, practicality...and passion are the name of the game! 😉 ROCK ON PHIL...and again, THANK YOU!!!
@NikNik, I knew I would see this comment first thing this morning NikNik, and I bet you know how I knew too. For the peeps reading this that do not, some truly in a conversation catches every nuance, the body language, the slightest tick that contributes to the communication - it is in this way (and only in this way really) that we understand one another.
I knew I would see this comment because you are always listening - the notifier or a tweet, or the bushes rustled and something said was heard. I thank you NikNik for proving me right. You guys are doing an extraordinary job - it is mine to scrutinize things for people, I made it my job. Thanks for taking the time to come by and comment, we so look forward to the superb information you put out. Holler any time.
I completely agree with you. I find myself disappointed after clicking on many short links on Twitter just to find some useless self-promotion and frankly I myself am a culprit of this. However I have been following Nik Nik for months and always find useful information and I can't remember ever being disappointed at any of her posts. I now regularly check their blog I have to admit I always scan for her tweets.
Exactly Monica, the biggest reason so many were initially turned off by Twitter was just this, it became a bunch of marketers - marketing to - the market leaders, and vice versa. There are some, as indicated in this article, who use these tools properly, and end up providing value. Without value, even entertainment, no one will follow for long.
I'll keep 'em coming! 😉
@Monica, Thanks for taking the time to express. Since the very first time I used Twitter I felt like I was in one of those old chat rooms, only a more confusing one. Marketing your wares is okay, but Spamming can be defined by the "quality" of information thrown at people, just as well as the "quantity and methods" - Twitter SPAMS me most of the time. As for NikNik and her crew? These peeps know how to do their job correctly - period.