By now, I am sure you have heard all about social media. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google +, Instagram, blogs. The list goes on. We know that companies use social media to market to consumers and understand the impact that it can have, positively or negatively. But how does social media fit in with business-to-business (B2B) companies, especially in commercial real estate? Some experts will say that CRE isn’t a social media industry and that relationships are largely built on networking, emails, and phone calls. Why this is true, social media is reshaping how relationships are formed and how networking occurs.
Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons why social media works for CRE:
- It’s all about who you know, right? Social media allows new relationships to form by connecting on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
- You can network in a matter of seconds instead of having to drive from meeting to meeting or be on the tied up on the phone all day. It’s easy to search for companies or people and link together on sites like LinkedIn.
- Social media is the home of your future clients. About 90% of millennials have a profile on a social networking site and this generation accounts for close to 80 million individuals, outnumbering the previous generation by about two million
- You are able to easily monitor and market to your competitors
- Getting to “know” your client before meeting them by checking out their LinkedIn profile, learn something about them, or see who they are connected to, and use that to your advantage in the meeting
Now that you are intrigued and rethinking your market strategy, you might be wondering how it can specifically boost your business. In Joseph Klem’s Social Media and Commercial Real Estate blog, he talks about five ways B2B companies are using social media.
- Executive positioning – demonstrate your firm’s thought leadership by sharing their speeches and white papers via blogs, video, etc.
- Sales and Marketing – promote your properties and connect with prospective buyers, investors, or tenants.
- Human Resources – Using it to screen candidates for jobs. Also, candidates screen you, so be sure your company has a page and/or profile on these sites, and keep it current.
- Market Research – use social media to listen to your audience by using tools such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite, or Hubspot to track who is visiting your site and how they are finding you.
- Community Relations – many firms, especially in the multifamily market, use social media to raise awareness for community relations efforts and corporate giving.
Gone are the days where social media is just used for companies to target consumers or push a product. Now, it is a must for B2B companies just like CRE to jump on board and run with it!