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Rent just hit an all-time high… again

With more and more renters feeling the affordability crunch, there seemed to be some light on the horizon recently with the steady rise in rents appearing to finally slow down over the last few months. Nevermind. As it turns out, rents are still going up and just hit an all-time high, again. According to the Census data, the median asking rent during the third quarter was $1,003, an increase of $52 over the second quarter and an increase of $91 over the same time period last year. (Click to enlarge. In the Northeast, the median asking rent rose from $1,134 in the second quarter to $1,210 in the third quarter. The largest year-to-date increase is actually in the South, where rents have climbed from $907 in the first quarter to $973 in the third quarter, an increase of $66. Rents in the West have also risen, from $1,345 in the first quarter to $1,382 in the third quarter, an increase of $37 this year. So, despite falling in the Midwest and the Northeast, rents went up in the South and West, and all that added up to a $49 increase in rents this year. The median asking sales price for homes is going up as well.

9 Tips to Manage Your Business Reputation With Social Media

Don’t limit yourself to the top five social networks either. Simply Google ‘social networking websites’. How to Use Social Media to Manage your Reputation Social media is powerful, but it isn’t a magic bullet. This will help your customers—and Google—identify your social media accounts. Before deciding on your official handle, make sure you can use it on several social platforms. You’ll need to post regularly to show Google that your profile is active and relevant to your brand. Properly handling customer complaints takes empathy and understanding. Never, EVER delete customer posts. Tell Your Story Your social profiles give you an opportunity to share your brand’s positive narrative, so don’t just use them to sell your products and services. Using social media to monitor brand sentiment, engage with your followers, and promote your company’s social good takes time and resources.

Understanding How Millennials Respond To Your Marketing Efforts

How do you market to a generation that lives and works differently than any other generation before it? That’s the challenge that digital marketers are currently facing when it comes to grabbing the attention of the generation known as Gen Y, the selfie generation, the always-on generation or, the term most commonly used, millennials. Here’s what we know about millennials. Millennials are expected to be America's largest generation by 2019, which means they make up a fair share of the marketing audience. Millennials shop differently than past generations. The millennial generation knows how to take advantage of technology to get the best quality for the best price. I’ve also learned that millennials are social media mavens. When they have a great experience with a product or service, they’re happy to let their peers know about it on social media. Millennials have caught on to the idea that most stores will price match, so they have come to expect it. Businesses that actively support and promote a greener economy will get millennials to take a breather from scrolling and learn more about what the company has to offer.

4 Ways to Apply Data Science to Social Media Marketing in 2018

Particularly for social media marketing, data science promises a lot. From advanced analysis of social media activity on branded content campaigns to create insightful user personas via social media listening, to complex data patterns made easy to understand via visualizations, to overcoming the perennial problem of ad fraud in advertising ecosystems, data science has potential applications that significantly improve social media for brands. It’s disappointingly common for people to use data science when they actually mean data analysis or analytics, and that’s not exactly right. Moving beyond word clouds with data-science-powered tools Word clouds have been trusted tools for social media marketers to analyze social conversations and understand what’s being discussed. BuzzGraphs, for instance, show you how words are linked, and which words are most frequently used. Based on the frequency of keywords observed, marketers can identify the most commonly discussed topics in social conversations. Such analysis can then group people together, separating weakly connected groups. Visualizations make it practical for marketers to understand these stories and generate insights that can massively improve social media marketing. Data-science-backed tools can transform how brands conduct market research using social media data. Social media listening platforms can allow marketers access to global conversations, bringing together large data volumes, capturing customer opinions and trends and feeding the data to a brand’s specific market research campaign: Begin with social media listening for researching a central topic.

50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Learn From in 2018

Each year I pull together a list of influential voices that are engaging on social networks around the topic social media marketing. Why are these people influential? While working with influencers transfers influence by association, helping others become influential is when earned influence really skyrockets. In this year’s list of Social Media Marketing Influencers there are many people who demonstrate this kind of helpfulness and I am encouraging those influencers as well as our community of readers to nominate up and coming social media marketing leaders. Ranking data sources and scoring: For the ranking, this list leverages a combination of data points including: Relevance – A score that indicates how influential a person is to a specific topic based on the keywords you provide. Tyler Anderson @tylerjanderson CEO / Founder at Casual Fridays Presenting: Winning With Influencer Marketing: What Top Brands are Doing Now Samantha Kelly @tweetinggoddess Owner of Women’s Inspire Network Presenting: How to Convert Twitter Conversations Into Customers Ian Cleary @iancleary Founder at RazorSocial Presenting: 9 Content Marketing Tools to Drive More Traffic to Your Website Mari Smith @marismith Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, Bestselling Author Presenting: The Future of Facebook: What Marketers Need to Know for 2018 and Beyond Mike Stelzner @mike_stelzner CEO and Founder at Social Media Examiner Presenting: Social Media Marketing in 2018: What the Newest Research Reveals Andy Crestodina @crestodina Strategic Director at Orbit Media Studios Presenting: Building Better Mousetraps: A Content-Driven Approach to Conversion Optimization Bernie Borges @bernieborges Advisory Board Member at OneMob Presenting: The Secrets to Getting Employees to Engage on Behalf of Your Brand Alex Khan @1alexkhan CEO at Attractive Media GmbH Presenting: Mass Seduction: Proven Techniques to Engage and Build Your Audience Peg Fitzpatrick @PegFitzpatrick Director of Social Media + Marketing at Kreussler Presenting: How to Use Pinterest to Drive Long Term Traffic Chris Penn @cspenn Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications Presenting: Seeing Into the Future: Predictive Analytics for Social Marketers Michael O’Neal @inmikeswords Host of The Solopreneur Hour Podcast Presenting: Becoming an Interview Master and How it Can Massively Grow Your Podcast or Livestream Brian Solis @briansolis Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group Presenting: The Past, Present and Future of Social Media Park Howell @parkhowell Founder and President at Business of Story Presenting: How to Invest in Brand Storytelling to Earn the Greatest Return Nicky Kriel @nickykriel Social Media Consultant & Social Media Strategist at Nicky Kriel Social Media Presenting: How to Use Twitter Data to Improve Your Content Marketing Melanie Deziel @mdeziel Brand Strategy Consultant and Speaker at Mdeziel Media Presenting: 5 Branded Content Best Practices From the World of Journalism Andrea Vahl @andreavahl Social Media Consultant at Andrea Vahl Presenting: Facebook Ads Strategy for Small Businesses Jay Baer @jaybaer Founder at Convince & Convert Presenting: How to Prove Social Media Works to Skeptical Managers Steve Dotto @dottotech President at Galileo Consulting and Producer of Dotto Tech Presenting: YouMake YouFortune on YouTube: Making Money on YouTube Ann Handley @marketingprofs Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs Presenting: Creating Better Content in Less Time: 5 Real-World Writer Secrets Lee Odden @leeodden CEO at TopRank Marketing Presenting: How Content Plus Influence Equals Results: The Confluence Equation Guy Kawasaki @GuyKawasaki Chief Evangelist at Canva Presenting: Achieving Social Media Success by Defying Conventional Wisdom Shaun McBride @Shonduras Owner Esports/Shonduras Inc Presenting: How to Influence Influencers: The Creative Process John Jantsch @ducttape President at Duct Tape Marketing Presenting: How to Grow a Highly Profitable Consulting Practice Without Adding Overhead Jessika Phillips @jessikaphillips Relationship Marketing Evangelist, President at NOW Marketing Group Presenting: Relationship ROI: How to Grow Your Business by Focusing on Repeat and Referral Relationships John Lee Dumas @johnleedumas Host of the EOFire Podcast Presenting: How to Grow Your Podcast Audience and Fuel Your Business Roberto Blake @robertoblake Owner at Create Awesome Media Presenting: Mastering and Measuring YouTube Analytics for Video Marketing Shep Hyken @Hyken Chief Amazement Officer and Owner, Customer Service Speaker and Expert at Shepard Presentations Presenting: How to Turn Social Customer Service Into a Marketing Strategy Jasmine Star @jasminestar Owner at Jasmine Star Photography Presenting: How to Create 30 Days of Instagram Content in a Single Day Bryan Kramer @bryankramer Keynote Speaker, Emcee and Event Host at PureMatter Presenting: How to Humanize Your Social Brand for Better Conversions Brian Peters @brian_g_peters Digital Marketing Manager at Buffer Presenting: How to Build and Maintain an Authentic Community on Instagram If you want to follow all 50 of these fine folks, then check out the speaker list on the SMMW18 conference schedule page. What about non-digital influence? Big Questions About Influencer Lists & Influencer Marketing: How do you find the right influencers? Here are the details: How Content Plus Influence Equals Results: The Confluence Equation Thursday, March 1st at 4:10pm Room: 32AB Content marketing and influencer marketing are hot topics for marketers all over the world as two of the most promising strategies for attracting, engaging and converting ideal customers. How do you best measure influencer and content success?

Four Easy Ways To Grow Your Business With LinkedIn

Target specific, professional audiences and decision makers. LinkedIn’s advertising capabilities allow you to use filters like industry, company size and job title to target specific types of individuals -- ideally, the individuals most likely to engage with your brand, service, product or message. LinkedIn recommends targeting audiences of at least 50,000 people for sponsored content and text ads, and at least 15,000 for sponsored InMail. With this, you can promote your articles, e-books and other forms of digital content to LinkedIn users directly. To get the most traction from you sponsored content, you should: • Use the targeting features, such as skills and job titles, to show your content to the types of professionals you want to reach, rather than a general audience. These ads allow you to increase the visibility of your company’s offers, which can (ultimately) lead to more business. This is a win for marketers since lead data is likely accurate and high quality, and it is a win for users because now they don’t have to spend the time filling out all the fields in a contact form. I’ve found LinkedIn to be an ideal place to source new employees for two reasons. The first reason is you’re able to reach the exact types of professionals you need by using the targeting options mentioned earlier, including job title, experience level and skill set. It’s an ever-growing network that’s helping all types of businesses win in their industries.

5 Ways Blockchain Technology Will Change the Way We Do Business

The growing consensus among business leaders and entrepreneurs: The future of blockchain technology will be about a lot more than Bitcoin. Blockchain tech will impact every major area of business from accounting to operations, and there's evidence the revolution has begun. Here are five ways blockchain technology is disrupting the way we do business, with sometimes sweeping changes. Accounting is the textbook case study for a business field that stands to benefit from blockchain technology. Blockchain tech can more effectively manage all of the above. Advertising and marketing. Information technology and cybersecurity. Management and operations. The system allows professionals to take part in a new economy for photography, secure payment for licensing their work immediately when sold and offer their work on a secure blockchain platform. Blockchain technology is changing how companies do business in other staid industries, too.

Why Relying Solely on Social Media Marketing Could Be a Disaster for Your Business

As your trusted digital marketing consultant, I'm here to tell you: Don't trust the hype. Since he didn't own the information of his fans, there was nothing he could do. The panacea to being so susceptible on social media hosting sites is simple -- build your email list. How to capitalize on email By now, I hope we're on the same page -- email isn't sexy, but it's worth it. The first place your website should do this is in the upper middle half of your site's homepage (right above the scroll). On average, we currently collect upwards of 50 emails a day. I know that as a user you hate them, but the data is clear -- pop-up email opt-in boxes work. What to offer so web visitors give you their email address When it comes to creating eye-catching and compelling email opt-in boxes, I advise you to focus on building highly targeted offers that your visitors would want. If you're a business, the lowest hanging fruit to collect your visitors' email is by offering a discount code that requires users to give you their email. The goal is simple: Offer visitors a good reason to give you their email and later follow up with an offer for them to make a purchase -- but before you can send them inbox offers, you'll need their email.

Social Media Marketing Benchmarks: What Works & Where to Focus

Social media marketers, how are you feeling? Read: Death of Facebook Organic Reach = New Opportunities for Influencer Marketing #2 – More Posting Doesn’t Equal More Engagement The highest post frequency on Facebook is in the Media vertical, with an average of over 10 posts per day. That’s right at the industry average, and seems to be the threshold on most platforms for how much an audience wants to see branded content. The engagement rates for Instagram are above the 1% mark, with some verticals seeing over 3%: While Twitter has an average engagement of .046%. In the end, their Twitter engagement was far higher than engagement on any other platform. The user doesn’t control what they see, and neither do brands. The reported engagement rate on LinkedIn is .054%, lower than Facebook but higher than Twitter. These benchmarks can provide a starting point for the next iteration of your strategy. To make sure your train keeps rolling, focus on just a few high-quality posts per day, boosted with paid ads on your most valuable channels. Need help mastering social media marketing?

Urban Institute calls out shortfalls in federal housing assistance

The Urban Institute recently published a new report saying federal housing assistance programs aim to ensure recipients have decent, safe and affordable housing, however it claims new policy changes have left these programs falling short of their goals. In the report, the Urban Institute suggests a need for a serious review of affordable housing policy with a focus on developing a stronger evidence base before attempting large-scale changes to federal housing assistance programs. The company created the chart below to demonstrate that as housing stability decreases, the need for other public benefits and systems increases. Click to Enlarge (Source: Joint Centers for Housing Studies of Harvard University, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Urban Institute) But the Urban Institute claims that despite the strong need, there are still “shortfalls” in federal housing assistance. “Despite this array of options, housing assistance programs do not come close to meeting the actual need. The chart below shows that currently, only about 20% of those who need federal assistance receive it. Click to Enlarge What’s more, many of those on waiting lists for voucher programs will need to wait more than a year, and more than half of those needing voucher will be put on a waiting list. Click to Enlarge “In a time when only one in five eligible renter households actually receive federal assistance, any reduction to federal funding for public housing or vouchers threatens the well-being of millions of low-income households,” the report said. “The administration’s proposed budget cuts and many of the other proposed reforms to housing assistance—minimum rents, rent increases, time limits, work requirements, and others—are not new, but the evidence on how these changes have or will affect the availability of housing assistance and the livelihoods of those eligible for it remains scattered and thin.” “And there is little discussion of the fact that most of these proposals assume that recipients are able-bodied adults capable of work; increasingly, however, most are elderly and disabled,” the report continued. “What we do know is that housing assistance plays a critical role in stabilizing low-income households and promoting positive health and educational outcomes.”


How to Survive the Social Media Midlife Crisis

Twitter and Facebook are only 12 and 14 years old, respectively. More importantly, the people who use the platforms are asking tough questions: What am I getting out of my time spent here? Social media is in crisis right now. How Does Your Social Media Marketing Make People Feel? Connecting with your brand on social media should make a person feel better. Here’s something to make your day a little brighter.” Connecting with your brand on #socialmedia should make a person feel better. No one opens their Facebook app saying: “Gosh, I hope I have some satisfactory brand interactions today.” People use social media to connect with other people — you want to see if your high school best friend had her baby, check out your uncle’s kitchen remodel, or see pictures of your parents’ second honeymoon. How can brands be more social on social media? Is Your Brand Connecting with People Your Audience Trusts? Need help with social media marketing?