Social is Marketing … Not Sales
This past week I attended the Colliers Office Market Conference East in New York City with approximately 300 of my colleagues from around the country. I had no less than 30 of our office brokers come up to me and initiate a conversation about my social media presence. The comments and questions ranged from I follow you on twitter, subscribe to your blog and can I pick your brain about the social effort I am about to start? As you would expect, more than one person asked how much time do you spend on social? My response was the same as it always is, somewhere between “30 minutes and 2 hours per day.” Some people just can’t comprehend that I would spend that much time with online effort, but my answer is that social is my primary marketing tool.
However, this shouldn’t be confused with sales. I sell like every successful commercial broker does, “face to face“. Social is a marketing tool to establish a personal brand, increase visibility and differentiate myself from my competition. Marketing is intended to create more sales opportunities whether its done online or with more traditional methods. The fact that so many people came up to me and introduced themselves is in itself a testament to the power of social as a marketing tool. This gave me the opportunity to get to know many of my colleagues that I didn’t know prior to the conference. The same holds true for prospects in Houston as all I am looking for is an opportunity to get face to face and that is when the sales effort begins.
More Conversations … More Sales
So my point is don’t view social media as a sales tool but rather a marketing tool. Social gets me into conversations and I have found my online presence gets me into more conversations in which I don’t have to spend near the time talking about what I do or my qualifications, but rather focus on their specific challenges, real estate needs and objectives. We are all looking for more sales opportunities and more conversations equals more sales. This is sales 101.