Social media has created a significant shift in how we communicate with one another. It has become the great digital equalizer; small and large companies alike can build their brands, expand their businesses and connect with clients on a level playing field.
Traditional marketing in the past was both slow and expensive. Social media has changed this dynamic in extraordinary ways. Now consumers have a public voice. Did you have a great experience at a restaurant? Share it on Yelp. Do you love a certain sports team? Share your passion on Facebook or Instagram. Clients, colleagues, and even those you do not know can quickly become your biggest advocates or your greatest critics.
The broader CRE community is finally learning to accept social media, leveraging it strategically to host real-time conversations, build brands and grow businesses. While companies are using social media platforms in some capacity, Twitter is considered one of the most expedient channels for direct communication with customers. Despite well publicized concerns over stock value and maintaining user activity, 78 percent of Fortune 500 companies had corporate Twitter accounts in 2016. In addition:
- There are 310 million monthly active Twitter users
- A total of 1.3 billion accounts have been created
- 80% of active users access the site via mobile
- 83% of the world’s leaders are on Twitter
Even with rumors of its potential decline, Twitter is like a charming introvert – difficult to understand on the surface, but complex and interesting on the inside. As a late adopter, I am learning this firsthand. However, it gives users the greatest ability to tap into people outside of their networks and to expand connections.
Since Twitter is a social networking and micro blogging site that enables users to send and read tweets limited to 140 characters each, it may seem that selling or discussing real estate is an impossible task. Nevertheless, #CRE is a popular hashtag that results in hundreds upon hundreds of posts ranging from available properties to trending commercial real estate news.
With the endless streams of posts, how do you stand out and have an account that people want to follow? The content of what you post is going to be a major factor in becoming a notable CRE professional that others want to follow.
One useful way to think of Twitter and other social media outlets like LinkedIn is to imagine you are at a conference and you enter a noisy room full of people – each involved in some level of interaction. Your goal is to present yourself successfully, collect information, grab the attention of experts, and make new connections.
In this regard, social media is no different from the conference. Your goals are the same. It’s all about relationships. Act like you would in the real world and let your personality and expertise shine.
Finally, keep in mind that most social media updates are not being done on a desktop computer. Instead, they are made on a smartphone or tablet. Everyone has downtime at the airport or in line at the coffee shop. Wait time has become smartphone time, which in turn has become social media time. #justdoit #cre