Social Media And Real Estate: What Works
In 2016, finding an established company without a social media presence is virtually impossible. Studies show that somewhere between 81% and 97% of all businesses in the US use social media as a form of marketing. But how can CRE companies capitalize on the trend?
Though the focus of social media has primarily been from businesses to consumers, B2Bs can (and should) now communicate effectively through social channels.
Instead of thinking in terms of businesses and customers, think in terms of consumers. B2B and B2C really aren't that different anymore when it comes to social media, CBRE senior communications specialist Emily Fraser (center at a CBRE Habitat for Humanity volunteer day) tells us. "We're all consumers of information."
In the business space, social media performs a couple of different purposes: brand and business awareness, relationship building, listening and conversing, and—of course—converting.
Byron McCoy (standing) and Garrett Marler (sitting) at Younger Partners use social media, namely Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, to market their properties, such as DFW Business Center and 3200 Airfield East. The brokers recently created Facebook business pages for the properties and post photos and updates. Pushing content for properties that have recently undergone changes the public might not know can be an easy—and free—way to raise awareness.
Goodwin Commercial Real Estate CEO Pam Goodwin uses what she calls commercial real estate's big four—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube—for building relationships with people and connecting with brands. She researches a person or client prior to meeting to find ways to connect. (Did they go to the same college? Do they have friends in common?) LinkedIn is a real-time Rolodex, Pam tells us.
CBRE uses Twitter to listen to conversations within the industry. Emily tells us it shares research to join in on topical discussions and therefore asserts itself as a thought leader.
Building success with social media requires more than setting up accounts. These thought leaders share their best CRE social media tips.
Emily recommends crawling before running by using Twitter to follow topical conversations. Listen to what other industry professionals have to say about a given market or trend, then join in.
Talk To, Not About, Other Businesses
When posting about clients or brands, make sure to tag them, Garrett says. Pam (above on a recent trip to Croatia) has great success connecting with others by talking to/tagging brokers, owners and operators. Especially when sharing new or exciting news, others will want to reshare.
Everyone Loves Videos
Videos are by far the most engaging type of content on all platforms of social media. Pam suggests posting short video tours of a property or Q&As with higher-ups spearheading projects.
Just as you might share personal details about your life in a business meeting, post the occasional photo of your fishing trip or that hilarious thing your young daughter said. Emily says CBRE folks who do this are seen as more relatable to their clients.