Sometimes you have to spend time to save time. This holds true for many aspects of the commercial real estate business, and brand building is certainly no exception. It is well worth your while to invest some time in making others familiar with whom you are and what you do. One very cost-effective way to do this is through use of social media.
Used strategically, social media can have a big impact with a small investment of time. It’s the nature of the beast for information to be quickly shared among an ever-widening audience, often through the likes and shares of others. Once information has been posted in the right forum to appeal to a wide audience, dissemination goes on autopilot.
Social media tools are widely used in CRE, with Facebook reigning as the current top dog. Results of a national survey published in 2014 showed that it is the most-used social media tool in CRE. As you might expect, other important platforms are LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. You don’t have to make use of all of these, but it is true that these tools are more powerful when used in combination. The sum is often greater than the parts here.
Whatever platforms you decide to utilize, there are ways to optimize your results. To make the most of social media efforts, there are several easy tips to keep in mind.
Something that a lot of people don’t know is that there are six different page classifications from which to choose on Facebook:
- Local Business or Place
- Company, Organization, or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Band, or Public Figure
- Cause or Community
Ensuring that you choose the one that’s appropriate for your purposes can get you connected with the people you’re looking to reach. There are also metrics built into Facebook that can help you track basic activity:
- Overview- a one-week summary of page activity
- Likes –shows the growth of site fans
- Reach –the daily number of people reached by the page
- Visits –tells where the visitors are coming from
One of the most useful elements of this site is access to Groups. Joining these can put you into contact with a large number of like-minded people. They are likely to be sharing information that’s useful to you and to in turn be interested in information that you may share.
Participating in group discussions often opens the door for new connections and can generate some name recognition among potential partners and clients.
This site can be seen as the visual equivalent of Facebook, and is extremely popular in CRE. In fact YouTube and Facebook are quite complementary, with information constantly floating back and forth between the two. An example of this is the following statistic: every minute on Facebook, 323 days worth of YouTube videos are viewed.
Remarkable! –And once you’ve set up your account, uploading a video takes very little time. The reach of your information, and its potential to spread well beyond your widest network is tremendous.
Twitter has over a billion registered users, and news travels faster here than on any other social media platform. It’s the most mobile-friendly of the social media, which makes it a great vehicle for reaching millennial audiences. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when using Twitter for business.
- Consider your username carefully. Seek a balance between distinctive and professional.
- Identify a purpose for your Twitter account, and keep your messages focused. This is the only way to stand out in the vast sea of tweets.
- Use keywords when you set up your account, to increase your reach. Try Google’s Keyword Planner to get started.
Once your social media presence is established, there is a range of services available that will help you to manage your accounts and examine the useful data they can generate. This is where the real payoff can develop, as you aggregate these data with other sources to create targeted and efficient social media strategies.