This past weekend while visiting with my sixteen year old daughter we happened upon the subject of her grades. I am proud to report she is still a straight “A” student while taking honors classes and is ranked in the top five percent of her class. We all know the “report card” is how we measure performance in our education system.
I embarked on a full commitment to integrate “social media” into my commercial real estate practice about 90 days ago and it is time for my first report card.
Course #1: My Blog
My first blog post was on September 6th 2009 and to date I posted 42 entries, an average of around 14 per month. I have had 11,026 visits to my blog page with 19,551 page views. I have received only 3 comments to my articles posted on my blog.
I have received for the most part excellent feedback from clients and colleagues that are visiting my blog.
Course #2: Twitter
My tweets are almost exclusively business related typically with a link to an article related to business, commercial real estate or social media. Occasionally, I will tweet something related to my personal interests but not often.
To date, I am following 1,886 accounts. I am followed by 1,929 and have been acknowledged by 59 tweople on twitter lists. I try to follow everyone who follows me, with exception of spammers or people promoting MLM or Network Marketing opportunities.
I have developed some rewarding-on line relationships with individuals engaged through Twitter ranging from colleagues in my company from other office locations around the country to people in Houston and all over the world outside the commercial real estate industry.
Course #3: Facebook
I have had a personal facebook account for about a year and a half, and I use it quite often to communicate with friends. However, my facebook business page has proved more challenging. To date, I have 33 fans on my facebook fan page. Among those 33 fans, 19 of them are crossovers from my personal facebook account, and while a few of them are potentially candidates for my real estate services or referral sources, some of them are just fans because they are personal friends.
My facebook fan page seems to have the least traffic and level of engagement of all my social media sites. I have much room for improvement here.
Course #4: LinkedIn
Linkedin the most “business accepted” of all my social sites has 234 connections. I believe I have done a better than average job with my profile with the tools and applications LinkedIn offers. I have joined numerous groups and have posted new stories in the various group sites. I am not as consistent with posting information and engaging people as I am with Twitter. My sense is I get fairly consistent traffic to my blog site from my Linkedin account
The point of my post here is really the all important question “What is my ROI?” I am unable to account for any new business as a direct result of my social media efforts. There have been a couple of referral opportunities from social media engagement that have not panned out. I am not discouraged by this fact, as I expect the social media efforts to take time to convert into actual sales and understand it is difficult to measure the impact social media has on ongoing business relationships and community that are developing. The real estate business is a highly relationship driven industry and social media perfectly compliments creating new and enhancing existing relationships. My sense is my social media efforts is increasing the exposure of my “personal brand” and to some extent my company, which is already an established brand.
One of the primary goals of my social media efforts was to provide on-going value to my existing client based by providing relevant information in regards to commercial real estate to assist them in managing their business. My opinion is that if I am able to achieve nothing more than that, then my social media efforts have been a success. I will admit I have lofty goals, to be the most influential commercial real estate broker in social media or as Gary Vanerchuk would say “Crush It”. All in all, I guess not a bad start.
Now it is your turn, what grades would you give me? Also, I welcome your comments and suggestions on how I can improve my grades.