Earlier this week, I had the pleasure and privilege of participating as a panelist on social media at an event held by the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of REALTORS® (NICAR). Joining me was Brian Basilico from B2b Interactive Marketing – who happens to know a lot about using social and digital media, AND he is extreme fan of bacon. Score! (BTW, you can follow him on Twitter via @bbasilico) With about 35 or so commercial REALTORS® and their guests in the room – Brian and I took questions for the better part of an hour – sharing our thoughts and perspectives on how this segment of the industry can utilize social media to build business. What I learned is that for many commercial practitioners there is still a lot of apprehension about how to get started, the time involved to manage, and how to leverage social networks.
BUILD YOUR BRAND
Creating a LinkedIn profile, using Twitter to engage in conversation and share knowledge, or whatever other network or digital space you choose – you must remember the content you put out there reflects you and the brand you are building. Provide relevant content that is meaningful. But always remember, it is o.k. to let a little of your personality come through. After all, that too is part of your brand.
LISTEN TO THE COMMUNITY
It’s not all about you. Plain and simple – listen. Make connections with people in your small communities, and think beyond geographic boundaries. For example, if you do industrial, follow the #industrial hashtag. If your business is in Fargo, ND – you’ll want to make sure you are following or connected to other business leaders, civic organizations and other community groups in Fargo. Seek out people that you share something in common with your business and connect to them.
BUILD RELATIONSHIPS “IN REAL LIFE”
Social networks may create the connection or spark the relationship – but it takes real life experiences and time to build a relationship that may – I say “may” because there are no guarantees – lead to sales, profit or growth for your business. The technology of social networks enables you to spread word of mouth, and your message faster and to a broader audience than ever before. It is still up to you – a human being – to create meaningful conversations and develop a long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnership.
If you need help – we’re here for you. Connect with me and I’ll point you in the right direction or help you take action to get started. One great resources is NAR’s e-PRO course; while not specific to commercial real estate, it does offer a very strong overview of social media, the basics of getting started and some very helpful tips and tools.
- Check Social Media Network Username Available With Knowem (ghacks.net)
- Network! Integrating Your Social Media Sites with Your Website (platinumvoicepr.wordpress.com)
- British under-35s are more influenced by brands than friends on social networks, says study (thenextweb.com)