While social media as a business development tool is gaining more widespread acceptance among commercial real estate professionals, there are still plenty of skeptics and people that have given it a try with limited success. Here are three simple tips for achieving the elusive Return on Investment (ROI) with social media.
More Social Less Media
What would happen if you went to a traditional networking event and spent the entire time passing out business card or brochures without really engaging people and getting to know them? The biggest mistake I see commercial real estate professionals make when they are new to experimenting with social media is to spend the majority of the time sharing their self promotional messages. The moniker is social media not social advertising. Should you treat social media efforts strictly like an e-mail marketing campaign it will not be effective. When you attend a traditional networking event you ask good questions that stimulate conversation in order to get to know people and develop some rapport. This approach works well online as well. Try following up with your best online connections with a phone call.
Create Your Own Content
Curating good content without question has value, but creating your own content is what distinguishes you as an expert in your niche. I see many commercial real estate professionals posting links to the same popular mainstream media articles that everyone else is sharing on social media sites. A well written blog post or whitepaper that educates your clients or potential clients is way more effective than a tweet about the big transaction that has already been shared a hundred times.
Be Consistent and Methodical
Social media is no different than traditional networking or prospecting. Should you only make one cold call per week or rarely attend a networking event, then chances are you are earning no significant return on your time for that limited effort. Social media is no different than other business development activities in that it takes a consistent and methodical effort over time to pay off. So you spent a couple days’ here and there on Twitter and LinkedIn and nothing happened. Surely it must be a waste of time. When is the last time you made a cold call and got through to the decision maker on the first try and a week later secured the account?
I believe the sound principles of business development online are much the same as they are offline. What makes online so attractive is the breadth of its reach and the ability to scale your presence.