Saturday, October 19, 2013

Don't use Social Media for Commercial Real Estate...IF

I provide Location Advice  to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California...AKA I sell and lease commercial real estate for a living and have since 1984.

I recently started following The News Funnel on Twitter which morphed into a sign up for their service...it is free by the way...and has resulted in the inspiration for this post.  Thank you Lindsey Kacher! The post is available here, as well!

I can hear the collective..."wait...I thought this was "don't" use social media? Ummm...he just sited an engagement through social media...what's up"?

Well my friends, that is the large word "IF".  You may be a commercial real estate dinosaur...

IF you don't care to engage with other #CRE thought leaders on industry "what's ups"

IF you have an established practice and there is NO chance that could EVER change (think 2008)

IF you would rather cold call for new business than have "them call you"

IF your thing isn't CRE inspiration, education, entertainment, or content consumption (you never read a newspaper or watch TV)

IF you prefer sign calls (do those exist anymore?)

IF you believe an "on-line presence" is a gift from Amazon.com

IF you want to be invisible to your clients AND new prospects

IF you can contact ALL of your past clients enough by calling them

OK, you see where I'm going? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you should ignore social media marketing for your commercial real estate brokerage practice. If, however, you believe that there is some merit to this "on-line" stuff...read on.

What's the best way to get started? Slowly! If you've never been to a backyard BBQ, don't make a White House state dinner your first meal away. Social media is about engagement. Each platform has its own language. YOU'RE NOT SELLING, here...you are listening, learning, and when you believe you can "add to the conversation", make a contribution.

What social networks are most effective? The one(s) where you can "find your voice". Some very successful #CRE social media marketers simply aggregate other's content. Others are serial bloggers...via You Tube or a written platform. There is no "correct way".

What's a good content strategy? One that is "sustainable"...like that green friends? Choose a strategy that will allow you to post, comment, or curate consistently.

How do I measure its effectiveness? When you get that first re tweet (thanks Linda Day Harrison, Bridget Willard and Matt Smith), that first comment on a group share on LinkedIn (thanks Howard Kline), when someone "likes" your business page, when your blog page-views reaches 500,000 (How's that feel Coy?), When Howard Kline invites you to be his guest on CRE Radio, when Duke Long calls and says..."hey I'm coming to SoCal, any chance we could grab coffee?...and then you appear on one or more of his Top Ten Lists!, when The News Funnel contacts you and ask you to guest blog...when you realize that you are not a voice in the wilderness...that someone is listening! Notice I didn't mention money. That's right! If money is ALL you care about, go manage a hedge fund.

What's the next big thing in Social Media? Who knows? I leave that up to my friends at the News Funnel...If I follow them, they will tell me.

Leave the dinosaurs to Fred, Wilma, Barnie, and Betty.