In a world of technology where change can virtually occur overnight, it’s hard to determine what tools you need as a professional to keep up with market trends. It’s hard to comprehend doing business with a fax machine though I know a few guys out there desperately hanging onto it!
Social media platforms used on a personal level can be different from those used on a professional level. Without a proper presence, you can seem insignificant compared to those doing it very well.
As the Millennials and Gen X’ers become the decision makers in our world, social media presence will become even more important.
What are my choices?
Trying to figure out what social media I should utilize in the business of commercial real estate is not easy. Should I use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, or all the above?
Certain platforms for social media serve some businesses better than others. Barry and I have spent hours combing over the options and here’s what we’ve come up with thanks in large part to working with social media experts (of which I still do not count myself one).
Let’s face it, Facebook isn’t for everyone
I’m starting off with the first social media I don’t engage in as a professional. I think this can be highly effective for personal services and retail but less useful for what we do.
I use Facebook personally, as many people do. I believe marketing residential real estate or shoes can work well within this medium; warehouses and offices to tenants less so. I don’t see this tool being used by our industry and as such, I’ve chosen to leave it off my social media plan.
Tweet it out
I’ve been a Twitter user since May 2011. This is one of my favourite social media platforms.
Twitter is a great way to get a message out to people in a less invasive way than an email blast. It allows you to be punchy and have a personality, while putting your best professional message forward. You can prompt conversation and discussion in a way that puts your readers in control; they choose how or if they want to engage with you.
Here are the facts: there are 241 million monthly active users on Twitter and there are 500 million tweets sent every day. Are your clients using Twitter? I’d say likely so based on those numbers.
This social media platform remains elusive to me. But I believe it is coming along and Google’s over empowering presence in all things internet cannot be denied. I no longer search on the web, I google people.
Google+ says that 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Creating a Google+ page allows you to get “mapped” on their system searchable by home computer or mobile device. That feature in itself sold me.
Maybe it’s because I’ve spent more time in the other mediums and I feel more confident in them. Maybe it’s because I’m busy. I could provide more excuses but I need to spend more time getting into Google+ and I intend to.
I saw that on YouTube
Another great social media tool for us is the use of a YouTube channel. We are able to post video market updates and illustrate listings easily sharing the link amongst other forms of social media. A nice spin off of social media platforms is that they can drive each other.
Barry and I believe in this medium there is room for tremendous growth. Where we used to see standalone photos we will start to see the use of videos more frequently.
LinkedIn is the business network leader
LinkedIn was launched in May 2003 and has 277 million users worldwide including 9 million in Canada. Estimates say that LinkedIn currently recruits two new users per second. To say it’s powerful is an understatement.
We have done deals directly as a result of this medium. Clients were able to see who we were and what we had to offer before they made the call.
Which is a great segue into something to keep in mind: social media won’t replace a personal meeting or phone call. My ultimate goal in employing these tools is to have potential clients recognize my abilities BEFORE they call me. We will still need to chat. I don’t believe that required human touch will ever go away in our industry.
I think I’ll just sit this out
Most people have the attitude that they’ll wait until it becomes even more important to have a social media presence. I’ve found it to be an ongoing learning process. One which I’ll never arrive at if I’m not moving with the wave.
I’m still learning every day. There is much more to discover to utilize all these platforms. Am I missing any that you know of? Or do you know something coming up worth investigating? I’d love to hear from you.
Posted by Kelly Macsymic