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30 Ethical Considerations in Social Media - Mollie Elkman

Ethical Considerations in Social Media - Mollie Elkman

This week on the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Greg and Kevin welcomed Mollie Elkman, the president of Group Two, to discuss ethical considerations in social media. She shares her expert insight on all things involving home building and social media, with topics such as how social media has changed our world, and the ethics of targeting home buyers.


With a deep understanding of new home marketing and a forward-thinking approach, Mollie has helped continue to keep Group Two at the forefront of the industry for over 50 years. Group Two's cross-functional teams specialize in progressive strategies that build trust throughout the buying cycle.  By analyzing each builder’s unique market and product, the Group Two team is able to help bolster sales and impact the buyer experience as well as the builder's bottom line. Mollie has shared her thoughts with thousands across the housing industry, including business owners, builders, and sales and marketing professionals.

Transcript

[00:00:00] Greg Bray: Hello everybody. And welcome back to another exciting episode of the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine, 

Kevin Weitzel: Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse. 

Greg Bray: And we are thrilled today to welcome Mollie Elkman, the owner of group two. Welcome, Mollie. 

Mollie Elkman: Thank you. I'm so happy to be here with you guys.

Greg Bray: Well, we really appreciate you making time for us for those few people who don't know you yet. why don't you give us that a quick introduction of who's Mollie and the kinds of things you've been working on lately? 

Mollie Elkman: Sure. Hi everyone. so my name is Mollie, as Greg said, and I own group two group two is a full-service marketing company that works with home builders.

And I am a second-generation business owner. So I've really been in the industry. My whole life grew up as a little kid around builders all the time. And, yeah, I took over the family business and, we do everything new home marketing. 

Kevin Weitzel: So that's the business side of you, but what's the deep-down secret can, like you stack a whole bunch of quarters on your elbow and flip them into your [00:01:00] hand, or you traveled the world with, give us some insight to though the personal world about life.

Mollie Elkman: Oh, okay. So yes, I do love to travel. Although I have not traveled during a COVID time. what people don't necessarily know during COVID we actually just got a mountain home. So I, I definitely have like an outdoorsy side that people don't necessarily know about me. So we have, you know, we build a fire pit and we have, our cabin in the woods.

So we've been spending some time in the mountains, which has been really fun. And, yeah, that part of my personal side. 

Kevin Weitzel: Yeah. Thanks. 

Greg Bray: Well, Molly, I do have to say, as far as you mentioned being a second-generation business owner, I have to go on record and say that your father was one of my mentors. and, and somebody that, really helped me when I was a little younger in my process.

I know it, nobody would know how old I am. Right. But, you know, well, 

Mollie Elkman: he always asks about you. 

Greg Bray: Yeah. So, so I just [00:02:00] have to give a shout out to rich there just cause, you know, he's one that as I was getting started, I come from the technical side of, of, you know, programming and such and he helped me see more of the marketing view of the world, especially from the builder perspective, early on.

And I think I helped him understand why websites were important somewhere in there. I don't know. Maybe. 

Mollie Elkman: Definitely. So 

Greg Bray: that's, that's that's just that connection. And then, so I always had got a special place for group two in my heart, too, 

Mollie Elkman:  I appreciate that. I know it's weird to think about how long we've actually known each other.

Greg Bray: Yeah, it really is. And business has changed a lot since then. For sure for sure. Well, just tell us just a little bit more about group two and you know, more detailed the services that you guys provide. Just so we're aware of that. 

Mollie Elkman: So we work with builders all over the country, all different sizes. We have small custom home builders to very large production builders.

we are, we have multiple departments, so we do social media, digital, [00:03:00] every, everything that a builder needs to market. Their new home communities. So, I have a team of about 30 people and we're located in Philadelphia. We do have some team members in different locations and because we have builders everywhere and, um, yeah, we live and breathe, new home sales and marketing.

So, so, you know, I know like you guys, we can talk all day about this stuff and, you know, I'm excited to dive in with you today. Talk, I know we're going to talk a little more about social media and, and what that looks like. So 

Kevin Weitzel: group two is, you know, PR is a powerhouse in the world of marketing for home builders.

Do you work outside the home building industry? Are you exclusive in the home building industry? 

Mollie Elkman: Yeah, so we're exclusive. And the home building industry, when I first came into the business, it was a different kind of organization when it was my dad's. He did a lot of very print, heavy marketing. when I came into the industry, I came in probably the worst time that you could come [00:04:00] in, which was during, you know, right before everything crashed.

Um, So for me having coming in, I had to be creative and I had to think of different ways for builders to market themselves without spending money. And that's really why I started to be interested in social media and how to utilize social media. to make those connections for builders. And when I presented it to my dad, you know, his eyes got big and he was like, I have no, no idea what you're talking about.

So luckily for me, he trusted me and he also liked. He was okay with me failing too because you learn from that as well. And, you know, luckily for us and for group two, there was a big demand for it. And social media still today is now very important for new home marketing. 

Greg Bray: What, what was it, Molly that you first saw back then with social media, where you said, Hey, this, this might work.

This might help [00:05:00] builders. Is there any aha moment that you remember that kind of went? We need to, we need to get the word out about this. 

Mollie Elkman: Yeah. I had a builder. Who became a great friend of mine who wanted to work with group two. And he said to me, half-jokingly, but really serious, can you put together a marketing plan where the, where the budget is $0 and you said, yeah, actually I can do that.

And this was before there were business pages. I mean, this was really when social media was still only a couple of years old and there were only personal profiles and, you know, there was blogging and video content, but it was nothing like what social media marketing has evolved into in the past, you know, decade-plus.

So, that was, that was that aha moment was, it was all about money. 

Greg Bray: Well, social media has become a lot more about money, but maybe we'll talk about that. And

[00:06:00] have you seen, have you seen builders just in general, their understanding of social media and their desire to be involved there changing grow, or is there still kind of this resistance of, I don't get it and I don't understand how that. Can help my company. 

Mollie Elkman: I actually think, I think most building companies that are successful know that they need social media.

I think a lot of builders don't want to know. The nitty-gritty and the details of what necessarily makes social media successful. And that's great for me. That's why we have such a robust social media because they know they need it, but they don't necessarily, we want to have to manage it and, you know, look at the analytics and really, um, change their messaging and their content and all of that.

So I do think that builders today know how important social media is. 

Kevin Weitzel: I researched builders all the time, looking for potential clients. And I see more often than not [00:07:00] a post from 2016 and then nothing. So I don't think that all builders are on that same sheet of music quite yet, but 

Mollie Elkman: no, I think that's a fair comment.

I think builders who do less than 40 homes a year, probably aren't necessarily looking at their broad marketing program, the way builders who are doing, you know, 50 plus homes a year. So there is also a size part of that because is really like the smaller builders, like every builder, but. You're wearing many hats and something has to give at some point.

And usually, the first thing to give is social media. So, that's why you see some of the, um, companies that are still on the smaller side. They're not necessarily giving it attention and. Quite frankly, you have to, that's how you get over that hurdle to go from, you know, 40 days 80, you know, that it's an important part of it.

[00:08:00] And unfortunately, when you are wearing so many hats, part of being a successful business owner and a successful marketer is figuring that out and figuring out how to use your resources, and, and get it all done. So 

Greg Bray: Mollie, you, you say that there's an increased understanding of desire. That it's important that I need to do it, but are we doing it well, are most of them that are doing it, doing a good job, or are most people just kind of throwing a post here or there or running an ad and calling that our social media campaign?

Mollie Elkman: Yeah. You know, it's so interesting because social media is changing very rapidly and, you know, I was talking about when I first started doing social media marketing in 2006. I mean, what that looked like there only it was organic posting. They didn't have the measurement tools. There was only personal profiles.

This was before business profiles. So I joke that you know, at one point I was a professional Facebooker. And today I couldn't never [00:09:00] me personally. I could not do what our social media department does. I mean, it is so analytical. It is so meticulous. It is so purposeful. It changes constantly. The algorithm is not always, the algorithm is always changing.

there are, there, it's a much more complicated topic that gets into politics and fake news and all these different things. Um, Social media has literally changed our world and it's beyond just the way we communicate and market. It has, it has really shifted a lot of, a lot of different things. just for humans in general.

Greg Bray: Yeah. There's, there's definitely been, I think, a growing. Understanding our concern, even from, from certain circles about the power that social media has to shape our society in our, in our direction of thought and things like that. 

 [00:10:00]where does that start to become an issue for those of us who just want to run some ads, you know, or who just want to get our message in front?

How do we balance that? And I don't know, this is maybe getting a little too philosophical, but, but let's, you know, Interested to see what you think. 

Mollie Elkman: Yeah. So there was a time in the mad men era that did everyone watch mad men or no, like old school marketing in the fifties when, you know, advertising was this newer career were advertisers were looked at as negatively as like used car salesman.

I mean, it was not, some people looked at it as manipulative and persuasive in a negative way. And I think, um, you know, as a, as a country, we have evolved past that. I think people now, you know, don't look at advertising the way they did in the fifties, but what's interesting is some of those conversations are starting to come out.

I'm up again because of [00:11:00] the opportunity for manipulation. So what happens is when you're, when you have so much data available to you on each individual, there is an opportunity to go to cross that line from marketing to manipulation. And I think, I think targeted advertising is fabulous. I love getting ads that are specific to me.

I love, you know, I was at the beach this summer and I saw three women wearing the bathing suit that I bought on Facebook. And I almost wanted to go up to them and be like, I bought it on Facebook too, because yeah. You know, it just, it's part of the world today. But I do think, especially with elections and things that, you know, ethics, these are things that we do have to evaluate as a society and, and question because they're there its information in the wrong hands can be scary.

[00:12:00] Kevin Weitzel: Even misinformation in the wrong hands can be even 

worse because 

the, so if you look at two different platforms, I like to compare LinkedIn too, we have circle K's and we have QTS out here and QTS is the beautiful everybody's professionally dressed then circle K is the company where they just hire the lowest possible common denominator.

Anybody that's just willing to fill the seat to ring up your gas sale or your Slurpee sale or whatever. And I look at LinkedIn and Facebook, it's the same thing, but in a slightly different light, I don't want. What happened to Facebook rapidly and, and it's constantly evolving not necessarily, I should say it's constantly devolving.

I don't want that to happen to LinkedIn. Cause I use LinkedIn as a networking tool. I don't want to be sold to, I don't want to be, they manipulated their like Facebook has literally evolved too. And I think that there really needs to almost be legislation to bring, you know, to bring, pull that back.

Because, uh, I don't think that the home building industry is necessarily utilizing it platform to misguide or to manipulate [00:13:00] targeted ads or targeted ads when you place an ad, you'd want it to go to, you know, working women from 30 to 45 and, single mothers with this, or, you know, fathers that are, you know, earned this income or whatever.

targeted ads are targeted ads, but at what point is it to the point where they're creating algorithms just to literally twist and manipulate even your addiction to that screen. So it, and I don't think the home building industry is using it for that. 

Mollie Elkman: Yeah. I agree. The problem is it's also a time in the world where people are.

Not all people, but a lot of people want less government involvement. So you're set, you know, how do you have this new way of communicating? It's not regulated, but also at a time where people are saying, we don't want the government so involved in every single aspect of everything that we're doing. So it's, you know, it's kind of like this, there is like a dilemma there.

Um, and that is [00:14:00] because. We haven't figured it out yet. And right now I genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, I know some people are not going to love me saying this. I genuinely do not believe that we can have a fair election in this country. I don't think it exists. And quite frankly, whoever is elected either way.

I think there will be conversation around it not being a fair election for many reasons, no matter what. And social media has played a big role in that because of the number of data points that are available on individuals, as well as what content can change their mindset. So it's, it's a very, Interesting time.

And I think it, requires, the users to have a level of responsibility that can be hard to manage. 

Greg Bray: I think that's a great point about user responsibility, right. That, you know, I guess there's, there's that phrase yeah. Is out there that, and I saw recently that, [00:15:00] that if you're not paying for the product, you are the product, you know, this idea that the reason that these things are free to us as the end-users is because the advertisers are paying big bucks, you know, to, to.

Run those, I mean, Facebook is not free to operate. I mean, I know what servers cost and I know like, you know, internet access and the kinds of traffic they're, they're generating it's not free

. Um, so, so this idea that. You know, we're, we're all pretty comfortable with the fact that if I watch a show on TV, I have to take a break every few minutes to watch an ad because there was a lot of expense that went into creating that show that I'm watching.

Right. We're, we're kind of okay. You know, we deal with that. We're comfortable with that, but I don't know that we always recognize that with social media, the same way that that ad is why I get to use this, you know? And it's why it's there for me whether it's targeted or not somebody's paying real money and actually a lot of money for some people it's, it's turning to, everybody's got Facebook stock now and in one of their mutual funds, whether they know [00:16:00] it or not, probably.

So, you know, we're all on the other side too. 

Mollie Elkman: and this and this, the conversation of equal housing is only going to become more and more prominent. In the coming year. I mean, with everything that we've seen going on in the country, I'm in downtown Philadelphia and there have been protests here consistently, for equality, equal housing, um, all, all of this is going on in real-time.

And so when you take into consideration how specifically you can target through social platforms, it does lend itself to a little bit of doubt of. Is that right? Should we be able to target that specifically? I will say from a housing standpoint, we love targeted ads and we do, we have seen as well industry that Facebook has corrected some of those opportunities to over target, which I think as a marketer can be frustrating, but as a human, you see why the need for that is [00:17:00] there, 

 

 Greg Bray:  So let's just take a moment and talk about the upcoming 2020 home builder digital marketing summit virtual series. It's going to be starting on October 29th. 

Kevin Weitzel: And if you don't want to be a knuckle dragon mouth breather like myself, then you better register now. 

Greg Bray: That's right. I think it doesn't matter if you're an experienced chief marketing officer, or if you're brand new to the home building industry, we are giving you a chance to take your marketing and sales to the next level, by learning from the top home building digital marketing experts. 

Kevin Weitzel: You're going to be able to do more and sell more homes by learning from the industry's best. And when we say the industry's best, we mean it. We're talking Jimmy Diffee, Angela McKay, Bassam Salem, Spencer Powell, Dana Kovach, Chris Hartley,  Eric Martinez, Stuart Platt,  Greg Bray, a builder panel. And of course myself, Kevin Weitzel. 

Greg Bray: It's truly a star-studded lineup, Kevin.

And for that, tell him how much it's going to cost. 

Kevin Weitzel: $15,000. Now we're just [00:18:00] kidding. It's only actually going to be nothing it's free. So get your whole team together buildermarketingsummit.com. It's all virtual. So you can learn from your home, your office, or your home office. 

Greg Bray: We know you're busy. So we're trying to accommodate your schedule.

The home builder digital marketing summit virtual series will be two hours once a week on Thursdays for 40. 

Kevin Weitzel: It definitely won't wreck your schedule, but you'll still learn a ton of tricks that you can put into practice right away. 

Greg Bray: So go to buildermarketingsummit.com today and register and

remember it's free and now let's get back to the podcast. 

Molly, can you just go a little bit deeper there for those who may not quite understand what you mean by how the targeting impacts equal housing? You know? 

Mollie Elkman: Yeah. And this is just like general terms when you can target by any and this is not the case anymore, but in general, if you can target an audience based on yeah. Income, race, sex, what their job is, all these [00:19:00] different pieces of criteria, then that means you are handpicking who can be, who can live in your community. And that's, that is not a fair way for it to work. That is not how it works.

But when you, you know, Whenever you build a community, you do have an idea of who your buyer is and you have, you know, we have to make sure as an industry that everyone has the equal opportunity for housing in this country. I don't know if you guys have seen this on the news where you are, but right now in Philadelphia, there's an encampment about two blocks from my home.

Yeah. And it is the first-ever encampment that is protesting housing. And there are over 200 people intense and a public Parkway that are demanding that there are, there's more affordable housing here in this market. And this has never happened before. If it's not national news, [00:20:00] it will be at some point.

And I just, this, this conversation isn't going to go away in the next year. That's for sure. 

Kevin Weitzel: Capital B gets capital. So the rich get richer. I just, as a general rule because you, once you have capital makes capital capital earnings, capital, you know, somebody making minimum wage, can't just go, Hey, I'm going to go make some money in the stock market because they don't have any disposable income.

They don't have any extra income to do that. So the same thing happens with the market. So as in these popular markets, as the home prices keep increasing. And the cost of lumber costs of everything else keeps increasing the affordability becomes it does become an issue. So at what point as a society, do we stop disenfranchising?

Not socio groups, but economic groups just because they can now no longer, not only can't afford to buy a home but guess what? That just drove up rental prices too, because now rentals are being taxed to death. So now rental prices are through the roof and they can't even afford a rental. So at what point do we have to make some sort of [00:21:00] change?

You can't just send them all to Toledo where you can buy a house for 70 grand, 

Mollie Elkman: you know, can you really buy a house for 70 grand? 

Kevin Weitzel: Yes, sir. Can you buy a 1945 tutor? 2000 square foot for 70 grand. 

Mollie Elkman: Well, there you go. Everyone. 

Kevin Weitzel: Mass migration in Toledo. I 

Greg Bray: know Kevin just be aware that you've killed our chances for circle K sponsorship.

Now you've killed our chance first for Toledo sponge. I mean, come on. Let's let's 

Kevin Weitzel: I'm telling you, man, if you go on, go on. Go on Zillow or Trulia sometime. And just look in the, in the, uh, in the market of Toledo, it'll blow your mind, the giant McMansions you can buy for pennies on the dollar. 

Mollie Elkman: Right? And, and as the opposite of that, go look at, you know, some of these bigger cities.

I mean, I'm in probably the poorest big city in the country is Philadelphia. You look here and the homes, I mean, to be in a neighborhood with a good school, they've home started a million dollars. [00:22:00] It's just, it's really, It's an interesting time for our country. And I think beyond just housing, housing is definitely a big part of the conversation, but, I don't think it's is gonna be solved obviously either way.

We have some big issues here, but I do believe that part of why the country is so divided is, is partially because of social media. So what happens is every time you like content. If you are fed more content, that is like that content. So, um, my roommate college, for example, I'm not going to name part, but I'm going to tell this story.

She has everyone seen the viral posts about Palm Beach County and the people who, or like protesting, wearing masks. They're very extreme to one side. it's. It's been on the national news, just because it's very extreme. So my roommate from college is one of those people. So I know from the comments on her posts, that all the people who interact [00:23:00] with her posts are agreeing with her.

So all she is seeing is affirmation about what she is putting out there. Like, yes, you're right. You're right. You're right. You're right. And she's getting fed that same feeling of your viewpoint is the right viewpoint and she's not seeing the other side. So what's happening is most people who are more like in the center, at least like me, I'm definitely more centered.

It's it's like, we're not part of the conversation. The conversation is all the way to the left and all the way to the right it's become so extreme. And social media has played a role in that. 

Kevin Weitzel: Well, it exacerbates it, you know, I'm a centrist, you know, I, I'm an obviously former Marine, so my second amendment rights are there.

You know, I'm also a, a subject of a single mother, whole household. So I'm all about that working mom and a woman, the right to choose, yada, yada, yada, however you take it. My social media feed. And then I've got a good friend, who you guys all know? I'm not gonna mention any last names or anything, but I've got a good friend, who is a far-right.

[00:24:00] So far, right? That it makes me look like the farthest left hippie on the planet and I guarantee you, even if we were really similarly low yolk with the companies we go to and the products we buy and even economically from the same income bracket, I guarantee if you look at our Facebook posts are not a Facebook post of our Facebook feeds they're night and day.

I guarantee you, you're not going to see my typical, you know, love the earth content on his feed. Whereas on his, on his, you're not going to see my kumbaya stuff, you know, and it is focused that way. And it's 

Mollie Elkman: entirely, I always tell people, like, if I could give one piece of advice, like when you have, you know, how you see people all the time like if you vote for Trump, defend me, or if you don't believe that black lives matter, delete me right now.

Or if you don't believe in XYZ the worst thing you can do is disconnect from people who have a different opinion, because that is what is making this divides. [00:25:00] So big is because people like my old roommate from college or only seeing that her, her viewpoint is right. Her viewpoint is right. And she keeps getting fed that.

Whereas if she had more people. Who she didn't defriend who have a totally different point of view. She would get more balanced feedback. I have to say, I didn't use to do this, but now every single time I check the news, I check CNN and Fox and it's like a comedy. I mean, the same story told so ridiculously in two different ways.

And, but by reading both, I'm able to pull out. The F the story that I want to believe, or that I think is the real story. And let me tell you, it's ridiculous on both sides. Yes, 

Kevin Weitzel: absolutely.

Greg Bray: And to your, to your point a minute ago, Molly, this idea of as a first step, helping people understand just how this works.

Just, just even the fact that [00:26:00] you don't realize you're in an echo chamber almost. Uh, and, and if you suddenly realize it. Then you can start to do something about it. Just, just understanding how those algorithms work and why you're seeing what you're seeing. It's not some random article that gets put in front of you.

It's something that because of what you have looked at in the past or liked or whatever the algorithm thinks, Oh, they'll like this too. And you know what? The algorithms probably pretty accurate in that sense, but it's. Not good to only see things you like all the time. 

Mollie Elkman: That's so true. So, you know, we were talking a little bit earlier about the Netflix documentary, or I don't even know if it's classified as a documentary, the social dilemma.

And one of the people who is on that is the person who invented the like button. And he said, we invented this thing with the intent of spreading happiness and spreading joy, and now it's become. [00:27:00] Part of the algorithm. So every time you like something it's telling the algorithm more and more about you and all of a sudden you're going to see more content like the content you like.

And I think sometimes people don't realize that is that every single thing that you do online, none of it's really private. It's all, you know, becoming part of data points that. Show who you are. So, you know, the concepts of that are really interesting. And then you had mentioned earlier, you know, they're designed to be this rabbit hole and what happens is they're designed to keep your eyeballs.

So, you know, I, I recently, and my kids are not happy about it, but I recently decided that we're done with YouTube. For them, because for them, what happens is another video starts and it just keeps going and going and going, and there is no end. Yeah, 

Kevin Weitzel: guilty.

Mollie Elkman: It really is a rabbit hole and it's, [00:28:00] it's confusing.

And, and kids, I, you know, I talked about the responsibility of the user before, and that's the part that weighs heavily on me as a parent is children. Adults can't manage the responsibility of social media. So how can children manage it? 

Kevin Weitzel: Adults have regressed, especially when you look at the polar opposites of politics, adults have regressed to childlike behavior and just their verbiage and their decorum, and it's disturbing.

And what's what was what I've found some poignant in that, in that video. Cause I watched it myself as well. was that none of the experts. And these are all founding members of Uber, of a Facebook of Twitter, have a Pinterest. None of them allow their children to utilize social media at all. there was one gentleman on there and I don't remember which company was with.

He said that he thinks the minimum age to even have those social media accounts should be 16. Um, you know, because it's so devastating, the guy that I not on that show, but on a different program, [00:29:00] the gentleman that developed the like button, I actually saw him well up because he saw the social ramifications that it's having on young girls, especially in a disproportionate manner, of suicide rates, of cutting incidents of them having to see a psychologist.

I mean, he was literally welling up. Because of what he sees that his little tiny little invention is like a button, what it's created to young girls really in, in a bad way. 

Mollie Elkman: Yeah. I mean, we're going to see the first generation of people who grew up with social media. So social media, I joined in 2004. I joined very early.

I remember I was in college. and one of my friends from a different college, we were talking and she said, Oh, does your school have the Facebook? Cause it was still the Facebook. and I thought she was talking about, um, like an online platform of a school directory. Like that's what it made me think of is like each person's [00:30:00] face and a school directory.

so I, I definitely have been on there for a really long time. I don't know where I was going. I lost my train of thought. Yeah. I don't know. I love, let me ask you this. 

Kevin Weitzel: So Facebook. Yeah, because obviously, you know, the big bear in the room, that's where everybody kind of goes, but where else should home builders?

We'll get back to the home builders topic here. Where else should home builders be looking at? Besides just the Facebook? Because it actually started off being the Facebook. They dropped the the, and now the Bay old baby boomers. I'm talking about the banana peel. Next to a six-foot hole in the ground, maybe boomers, those people still call it the Facebook.

So yes, I'm right there with you, but we should home builders be looking where should they be concentrate. 

Mollie Elkman: Yeah. So it's really where buyers are, are online. And we know that you know, I heard someone say the other day that, Oh yeah, your buyers aren't on LinkedIn. That's not true. Just like you were saying earlier.

You [00:31:00] love LinkedIn and you don't want to be served ad there. And it's a different kind of platform. Um, but buyers are on LinkedIn. So the social strategy for a LinkedIn compared to an Instagram or a Facebook is very different on LinkedIn is where you present. Your most professional side, it's okay to share education, articles, industry information.

It's a, it's really meant to position you and your organization as the industry expert. It is not to try to like have informal ads or, or conversations on your feed that some of the other social platforms have evolved into. So really buyers are everywhere online, but how you engage with them has to change depending on the platform.

Kevin Weitzel: I like to see like when I'm on, when I'm on LinkedIn itself and I'm getting served information about a whole Mueller, I like to see their social impact pieces. Like [00:32:00] when Kevin Oakley went down to Guatemala, or I know that you've traveled to Africa yourself, you know, I'd like to see those stories about how you're positively impacting our earth, how you're positively impacting the downtrodden of society.

You know, the people that are just aren't able to sometimes even help themselves. 

Mollie Elkman: Yeah. I think that's an, I think that's great. And I think that's part of because you are a humanitarian and just you in general, I do think that it also can come across the opposite way. I have seen builders attempt to show their charitable work where it is come across as, 

Greg Bray: bragging,

Mollie Elkman: not even bragging, like yeah, but like, Oh, like, look at what we're doing, like using that, using that to market themselves as the good, you know, people. And I think that there is a, there is a line there where it doesn't feel authentic and I, you know, I think it's great for people to [00:33:00] do great work, but you want to make sure that if you are sharing that it, it is for the right reasons and that it doesn't cross over that line.

Does that make sense? 

Kevin Weitzel: It does. I think the line for me is the styrofoam check. When I see a great big styraphom from cheque, that's just there for a photo op I've T I've shut down. I don't care. I don't care. That's charitable. if you have to have a great big check that says, look at me, look what I'm donating, but to say, Hey, here's me with a shovel digging a fricking water well, and Uganda, um, 

Mollie Elkman: I agree that's cool. I, I do like that. I, you know, what was making me think of it specifically, and I won't say the builder, but there's a builder who kind of uses this angle of bit of like, Oh, we give back, we give back. And they it's like, they take pictures of them and their whole family, like a top of mountain talking about.

All the good that they're doing, and they're all like dressed perfectly and, you know, there not relating to their target demographic at all. All [00:34:00] right. it almost comes, came across as like an elitist kind of. Look at us, we're traveling the world, saving the world in our polo shirts. 

Kevin Weitzel: Well, and I agree with you.

So what kind of key elements would a builder want to include in those social media posts? You know, is there anything specific that you can just kind of, you know, just as, a guide, a one, two, three kinds of thing that you need to have that you shouldn't be missing out on having as part of your social media campaigns?

Mollie Elkman: Social media in general or specific to charitable? 

Kevin Weitzel: Just specific to in general. Yeah, just in general, like where is the unsophisticated builder? Where are they missing out by not doing anything? What could their first steps be? 

Mollie Elkman: what I see with sophisticated builder, social media content is too much content then that is we,  do that.

We're having a meeting, we're doing this, and not enough. You know, continued education, not enough, um, [00:35:00] value to who is value to the person, seeing the content. So like, if you're just posting listings, if you're just talking about, you know, a picture having your morning coffee and bagel, that's that really doesn't add to the life of whoever is consuming that content.

So I think that's a great place to start is by asking yourself, how does this add to. The life or the day of who it's intended to get in front of. And if it doesn't have value, then it probably shouldn't be posted. So 

Greg Bray: Mollie, when you, when you think about social media, at least for me, I kind of have two categories.

One is the organic postings, the, the information I'm putting out there, the other is actually running the paid ad campaigns. Can you maybe. You know, maybe draw some contrast between those two and how we have approach those as separate kind of. 

Mollie Elkman: Yeah, they re they really are separate. the paid side of social is much [00:36:00] more aligned now with, you know, Google ad words and, and digital marketing.

Whereas your organic search, I find to be much more, content-driven, more like creative strategy and messaging. So, um, there is a big divide and I would say a lot of builders who are first getting started on social media. Start with some of the organic content to kind of get a feel for what their audience is engaging with.

but really in today's world, you have to put money behind all of your content. it's unfortunate, but that's, you know, it's gotten to the point where you do have to, put, put dollars behind what you're doing. The good news is that you can see the results of that spend, which, um, make it. More rewarding.

So it definitely is an investment and it is an investment when done properly. You will see a return on that investment. 

Kevin Weitzel: Now I see a major [00:37:00] problem with advertising right now, especially when it comes to social media. I'm a pro I was born in 71. So I miss those really tacky, you know, used car salesman commercials, you know, like, come on down to crazy.

Yeti's you know, those kind of, those kinds of commercials, you don't do  I love those commercials. I literally have, have developed my entire way of living. Speaking, based on those commercials, because that's what I learned from, I learned from those guys that are like, you know, I guarantee you that ain't no bull, you know, those kinds of guys.

do you think that it would be a lead balloon for home builders to utilize some of those just off the wall tactics or the States? Just stick to the vanilla? The here's here's the way we do things. 

Mollie Elkman: Okay. That's that? I love that question. So I think that that could potentially be a fun way for a builder with a very specific personality.

Like you personified as a builder that would work for that brand. I think for most builders that wouldn't necessarily fit their brand, but yeah, that, I mean that, that it. I see what you're saying. [00:38:00] So there are some basics of marketing, one being, you know, you repeat things a certain amount of times, um, the colors, you know, all these things.

So do you guys remember that? commercial for head-on? It was like, they kept repeating it over and over, and it was the most annoying commercial with them when they did the analytics on it, they realized like, It was totally successful, whereas like no user would have thought it was successful, but they just kept repeating the product over and over again.

So this is where we kind of cross over into the psychology of, the people who are being exposed to your content. Like they may not like the commercial, but it actually is effective. They may not like it. Isn't effective. So really doing that, like AB testing, going back to, you know, the ads versus organic that Greg was talking about, it's really important because even though everyone who's listening is in housing, you're in different markets, you have different product, you have different buyers.

So the message [00:39:00] that resonates is going to be different. Well, 

Kevin Weitzel: the thing that I really liked about what you just said is that you said that I could be personified. So just so any homebuilders of listening, I am for hire, I'm willing to wear a polyester suit and I'm willing to wear cowboy boots with a, you know, white patent, leather hat.

I'm willing to do whatever it takes to sell your homes. 

Mollie Elkman: I love it. You're going to get some calls. 

Greg Bray: I'm going to, I'm going to go register some domain names when we're done here, just to protect those from Kevin Wietzel cowboy hat.com or something. I don't know 

Mollie Elkman: you a sample. Can we get you to do a sample of that?

That we can post with this, with this podcast? 

Kevin Weitzel: I can, I can almost. Verbatim reenact the beetle juice, you know, add 

Mollie Elkman: full costume and listen. That's how people are gonna listen to this episode. Is that, yeah, let's 

Kevin Weitzel: do it. Maybe we'll do that. Make it happen next time we have you on we'll we'll maybe we'll shoot that little commercial and we'll go video instead of podcasts.

Greg Bray: Well, Mollie, we want to [00:40:00] be mindful of your time, cause we know you're busy and have a lot going on today. Just to just a few other questions though, as we kind of kind of wrap up one thing I would. I really want to touch on is how do we measure success in a social media environment? What is the goal? I mean, we, we, the idea of, Oh, I got this many likes or this many comments or this, you know, that's, that's nice.

It's a measure, but is that really the goal? How do we, how do we find success? 

Mollie Elkman: There's one goal selling homes. That's it? That is the only goal. If, if you're not selling homes, something is broken. So, and that goes for all marketing that goes for your, you know, ad words that goes for your social. It goes for anything in a sales environment, anything you put in front of a potential buyer.

The objective is always to sell homes. I don't care if you have the most amazing social media page and 8 million people are interacting with your content. If they're not buying your homes, who cares. So to me, that is always the [00:41:00] goal. And always, um, you know what you're looking at to see the effectiveness of everything you're doing from a marketing perspective.

 

Kevin Weitzel: well, that's the goal. What's your one piece of advice that you give to that fledgling marketer or new home sales, you know, hire that has to, that's assigned to get some social media campaigns going. What's that one piece of advice you'd give that new, that new employee, 

Mollie Elkman: a new hire, that one piece of advice would be that there isn't one thing.

There are a lot of different things and you have to try a lot of different things and you have to, really get to know who your audience is and your buyer. So there isn't one thing. That's the advice. 

Greg Bray: Well, Mollie, I think we could keep going for a long time. You know, this has been great. And if anybody is interested in continuing the conversation with you, what's a way that they can get hold of you and connect.

Mollie Elkman: Sure. So our website is group two.com and my email is M elk men@grouptwo.com. 

Greg Bray: All right. Well, thank [00:42:00] you again so much, Molly. We've we've loved the conversation. Definitely have three or four subtopics. We could probably explore in, in more detail another time, but thank you everybody for listening. Please join us again.

Next time on the home builder, digital marketing podcast. I'm Greg Bray with blue Tangerine. 

Kevin Weitzel: It was a pleasure, Molly and I'm Kevin with Outhouse. 

Mollie Elkman: Thanks.

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