My 13-year-old daughter provided me with a raw lesson in digital rights management yesterday. It is a pretty simple lesson really – do not let others build their business using your content, at your expense.


Like every 13 year old, Social Media is a thing. 13 is the minimum age to open an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Kik, and SnapChat. You need to be 18 for YouTube, but a 13-year-old can sign up with a parent’s permission. For those of you who know me well, you know that my daughter already has a social media following that is the envy of even the largest real estate firms in America.

Today, my 13 year old has just under 10,000 subscribers on YouTubeSparkles 1 and more than 1.1 Million Views. Contrast that with Century 21 – 4865 Subscribers, 450k views. RE/MAX is edging her out with 13,000 subscribers and 1.9 Million Views.

One of the stunning observations here is that many brands – Franchise Brands, Brokerage Brands, MLS Brands, and Association of REALTOR® Brands cannot get the people that work with them to subscribe on social media. It begs the question, why would a consumer have interest if a real estate agent does not?

The Official Century 21 Instagram page has 7449 followers and many of the posts to not eclipse 50 likes. My 13 year old has 14,000 followers and her average post gets 500 to 900 likes.

Does Content Sharing Work?

My daughter is in the entertainment industry, and is the Dancer of the Year for a National Dance Competition. She has booked some episodes on prime time TV, but has not been a series regular. She has attracted the attention of some advertising companies like DanceOn.

DanceOn asked if they could post a recent video that my daughter did on their Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram channels. When you are 13, that is an exciting moment. DanceOn has 258,000 followers on Instagram last night. In 10 hours, the video had 5465 likes on 22,000 views. You would think that she would get some Instagram followers from that – but she did not. They linked to her account the right way and everything. Pretty disappointing.

DanceOn posted the video on Facebook where they have 658,000 followers. In 24 hours, her video attracted over 50,000 views. My daughter got fewer than 5 new followers.

DanceOn has 598,000 subscribers on YouTube with 300,000,000 views. Again, my daughter got no lift from them using their content.

What Does This Have To Do With Real Estate?

Brokers send their digital assets to Advertising Companies like DanceOn every day. They call them Zillow or whatever. It’s paid marketing. Those companies amass huge followings of more than 50 Million visitors a month. They deliver less and less value every day while charging more and more. By most key performance indices like traffic to broker websites or leads, a yard sign does a far better job. The strategy of Listing Syndication is failing more and more every day. Hopefully our industry will wake up to that some day soon.

As For Social Media….

I am beginning to think that brands need to do a better job on social media today. It’s non-paid marking but your content needs to improve. Brands should recruit celebrities with strong social media followings to pitch for them. Case in point, the Elizabeth Banks video for will hit 5 million views today. has 9200 YouTube followers and 50 million views. They probably would have performed even better if they had hired a friend of my daughter’s – 16 year old Jordyn Jones – 664,000 followers on YouTube, 91 Million views. 2 Million Followers on Instagram! My daughter’s Agent in Los Angles – Brady, Brannon, and Rich, has a digital department that can connect you with Online Celebrities. For less than $1000 you can book talent that will bring social media engagement.

Look Before You Hire!

When you are making business decisions to pick a vendor or hire a staff member or agent – be sure to look at their social media accounts. If you don’t like what you see, you should probably stay clear. Social Media is a baseline for reputation management today.

Need a Strategy?

Too many brands have ineffective strategies. I know the unfortunate truth of how much some Franchise, Broker, MLS, and Association Brands are spending on social media. They are doing the right thing, but the outcomes are off the mark. They underperform a 13 year-old. As for Advertising companies like DanceOn or Zillow – Brands should be architecting ways to release themselves from that bondage. It all started out well and good, but today’s pay to play requires results – and those are disintegrating at a rapid pace.

Call WAV Group. We start with an audit then help you build a strategy that works. WAV Group Communications is a full service agency offering Public Relations, Content Creation, and Social Media strategy.