Entrepreneurship, Marketing and the Interwebs

Blog by JP Zeni

RE2social and socialbots

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I’ve decided to tag team a new post by discussing two topic – The first is my most recent project that we just launched today called RE2social and the second is the growing trend of automated robots trolling around in social media called socialbots.

RE2social is a an application that we’ve created that allows Realtors to automatically post real estate listings from MLS.ca and real estate news stories to Facebook and twitter accounts – R-eal E-state to Social Media. Essentially, we are allowing Realtors to automate a great deal of their social media presence by pushing out relevant and compelling information to their followers and fans. Creating a greater degree of communication between themselves and their network RE2social allows Realtors to keep themselves top of mind with their potential clients.

The reality is that most people know at least 3 or 4 realtors and when it comes time to buy or sell their home they’re likely to use one who has created the deepest personal and professional connection. So, we’ve designed RE2social to help Realtors very easily (virtually zero work involved on their end) create those deeper personal and professional bonds by leveraging the fastest and most underutilized (from a business perspective) form of communication – social media. We do this by integrating their listings and relevant real estate news with twitter and Facebook accounts designed for the purpose of improving their networking.Not only do we push out updates about listings but we’ve also created a custom Facebook application that allows users to browse and view listings right from the Realtor’s Facebook fanpage. In my opinion this service could easily replace existing Realtor websites that are really nothing but an online calling card with a rich, communication and connection driven online presence that drives true value for Realtors.

While RE2social is an automated solution for Realtors to drive business online and building a base for the Realtors to interact and build deeper connections in the internet space at large we are seeing other more sophisticated robots called socialbots as discussed here that not only push content online but actively mimic human behavior. This is a really fascinating development that could significantly influence human behavior and opinion. While the author of the article discusses the implications that this might have in the political arena my first thought was how could this be utilized for businesses. There is the obvious ethical dilemma around creating a bot that imitates a human and it would be easy to think of ways that a bot could attempt to manipulate people for marketing purposes. However, I’d be more interested to think of scenario’s where bots could be used to build bridges between people and foster inter-connectivity that wouldn’t necessarily happen organically. Perhaps it would be able to link people of similar interests or other commonalities together … the commonalities could be anything from an interest in watching a particular sports team to a hobby to having survived cancer.  In this way a socialbot could be a catalyst for building social groups that could have easily formed organically but needed that extra little push.

Curating the creation of social group via a socialbot is one thing but the real question is how can you influence that group once you’ve helped to artificially create it without diving into a darker shade of the moral grey.

 

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Written by jpzeni

March 29, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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