Ello, Hyper, Snapchat, Facebook, Yik Yak – there are so many platforms nowadays for staying connected on social media. If your kids have a smartphone or computer, they almost certainly have at least a few social media profiles and talk about them constantly.
It can be overwhelming to get the different ways that people are connected online all the time, but what if these social media platforms were used effectively in commercial real estate, too? What could you accomplish by connecting to new audiences through unconventional means?
Growing up always online means that social media comes naturally to my generation. It’s how we keep in touch with friends, read the news, learn about interesting topics, and even follow organizations we like. In commercial real estate, these three underutilized social media platforms could be a game changer for connecting to the next generation.
Snapchat Isn’t Just For Kids
Snapchat doesn’t make sense. Snapchat pictures are only there for 10 seconds or less, Stories last for 24 hours before disappearing, there are all sorts of selfie filters you can choose – it’s confusing. I know. But I still use it, and you should consider it, too. According to Bloomberg, Snapchat surpassed Twitter’s daily users in June 2016 at 150 million users per day.
Residential real estate has started to utilize Snapchat, but few – if any – commercial real estate organizations use Snapchat well. Here are 3 ways you could use Snapchat effectively:
– Branded Geofilters: Create your own “Geofilter” for your properties. Customize the filters for big events to encourage your tenants to engage with you and spread the word about your event to their followers. Here’s an example from Make Offices Clarendon Launch Party:
– Tenant Communications: By connecting with your tenants, you’ll be able to better engage them and understand what they care about most. You can chat with tenants to get to know them on a personal level and even have them submit work order requests via Snapchat.
– Creating & Sharing Company Culture: You can post Snapchat Stories of different events on your property, use it to introduce your team, and share what you do on a day-to-day basis.
Here’s an example of a Snapchat Story we made of our office.
Instagram More Than Property Listings
While Instagram has had a slower adoption rate than Snapchat, it’s been around much longer and has a broader following. At 500 million monthly users, Instagram is a popular way to share photos in a news stream format – and one your tenants are likely using!
People don’t want to constantly be pitched with advertisements – that material has been relegated to late-night infomercials. Instead, people follow a company’s social media channel to learn more about an interesting organization and to be entertained. By speaking to both desires, you can create a more fulfilling social media experience.
MVNY Property Management has a great Instagram account with several thousand followers and a specific target market. Here’s what makes a great Instagram account:
– Event announcements and highlights keep followers coming back to hear about the latest events and fun posts.
– Highlights of new developments & projects in the area.
– Random posts of interest – yes, sometimes they should be totally random.
– Self-promotional plugs are infrequent and avoid sales language.
Using Facebook To *Actually* Engage Followers
When it comes to social media users, Facebook still reigns as the social media leader. With 1.71 billion active monthly users on Facebook, there’s no wonder why it’s common practice to create a Facebook page for your company.
However, few companies use it well. They often use Facebook as another channel to post an advertisement; but really, how many people go on Facebook to find the “ads of the day”? Instead, real estate groups should seek to engage users on Facebook as a two-way communication channel.
Lincoln Property Company’s Facebook Page is more than a promotional tool. They actually ask their followers to engage with them on Facebook. Right after the explosion of Pokemon Go, Lincoln shared photos people submitted with Pokemon they had found. From articles on how to clean your kitchen appliances efficiently to fun company outings, Lincoln Property Company shares a wide variety of content for their audience to keep them engaged and interested. Here’s a photo that Lincoln Property Company shared a few weeks ago:
So what makes a successful Facebook page?
– Share content people actually want to consume.
– Ask people to submit their own content; it’s a two-way street.
– Create shareable content – videos and photos perform particularly well.
– Help your audience solve their problems, not yours.
Currently social media is a largely untapped resource for commercial real estate. While the industry is a business-to-business market, remember that people make deals, not corporations. By connecting with people on a more personal level that resonates with their emotional values, you can be the leader that bridges the gap to reach more people and draw in more deals through newer channels.