Is your office building or company on Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Should you be? How do you get started? These are questions that many communications professionals in our industry ask every day.
Social media has dramatically changed the way we communicate, network, consume news, brand ourselves and our companies and share information with friends and stakeholders. However, many commercial real estate professionals struggle with whether or not they should engage in these channels.
Some advice to consider: Take a small first step and learn more.
Later this month, I will be presenting a workshop at the BOMA International conference, along with our public relations partner, Reputation Partners. The topic is “Devising and Executing a Social Networking Program: A BOMA/Chicago Case Study.” We’ll address the foundations behind social media, as well as ways to launch a program from the ground up.
We’ll share our key takeaways from the BOMA International conference in a later post, but in the meantime, we wanted to preview some of the ways social media can help property managers and affiliate companies.
- Engage Your Tenant Base: More than likely, many of your tenants are using these applications. Facebook and Twitter both afford an opportunity to heighten tenant engagement and communication. By leveraging video, images and tenant testimonials, you can effectively highlight the unique attributes of your building, your tenant relations program, community involvement and your amenities.
- Position You/Your Company as an Expert: On social networking channels, there’s a niche for everyone; you just need to find it. Each property management or affiliate company has a particular expertise, and social media can be an effective and measurable way to promote your insights and perspective. Further demonstrate your expertise and heighten engagement by asking questions, responding to others and inspiring conversation.
- Network and Engage with Influencers: Depending on your key audiences (e.g., prospects, referral sources, city officials, etc.), social media enables you to network and engage with influencers in an informal, yet effective way.
- Address Misinformation: Whether we like it or not, rumors often flood the marketplace. Social networking channels can help you address misinformation and set the record straight in real-time.
Of course, any business executive is going to ask: What is the ROI of participating in social media? Ask social media guru Erik Qualman, and he’ll reply with a sobering prediction: The return is that your company will still be around in five years.
Check out Qualman’s recent video about the social media revolution, and let us know what you think. We think these statistics are pretty astounding, and we’re convinced the social media revolution will take a firm hold in commercial real estate. Your property and company should be part of it.