The social media channels are filled with so many interesting people from all walks of life...not just those of us who bleed commercial real estate. Certainly, there are many interesting commercial real estate people as well, from all parts of the globe. As an example, I got a note from a CBRE broker in Bejing who had seen my Tuesday Traffic Tips and used them in his practice...not sure how my mid-south accent translates into Bejingese, but I was flattered.
So, just how do you create engagement in the social media world?
First a metaphor. Social media is like a gigantic networking mixer. Everyone is invited, everyone can have a voice, you can decide who to tune in and who to tune out, and what time of day to attend...because the mixer is raging 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Engagement. Below are several ways to get 'er done. Here goes...
Listen before you speak. Ever been to a live event and you're having a nice conversation with someone and another person approaches, takes no account of the existing conversation and proceeds to dominate? Yes, we've all been there. Social media is no different...except you can simply disappear and the dominant has no idea you are gone. Do yourself a favor, listen before you barge into a conversation.
Have something of value to offer. Let's think here. Surely we have more to offer than our current deal set up? How frigging boring! Find an article, create a video, pin an event, accept an Ice Bucket Challenge. Remember the content should educate, entertain, or inspire.
Don't try to sell anything. HUGE NO-NO! No one wants to be sold. Throttle it back a notch or two.
Be authentic. Auto responses, DMs on Twitter asking for you to like their page, follow their blog, come to their son's Bar Mitsvah...seriously? Folks like to engage with REAL people, with REAL thoughts and perspectives, with REAL ideas, and with REAL responses. Also, be careful how much of the engagement you outsource...I would say 90% should be you...not your millennial assistant.
Be consistent. Using the mixer analogy. When you meet someone, start a relationship, and they vanish...it's tough to regain the magic.
Offer gratitude. I try to thank EVERYONE who follows me on Twitter. I believe I do a pretty good job. But also, if someone takes the time to RT your stuff or comment on a blog post...THANK THEM by responding.
Take the on-line relationship off-line. Duke Long, Coy Davidson, Linda Day Harrison, Howard Kline, Matt Smith, Lindsey Kacher, Michael Griffin, Amber Watrous, Michael Beckerman and I all have either met in person or had in depth phone conversations or interviews. A couple of us have shared meals or coffee with our wives. If you connect with someone, don't be afraid to take the next step and actually TALK to them...in person...what a concept!
By: Allen Buchanan
Principal | Lee & Associates
Follow Allen on Twitter @allencbuchanan
Be sure to follow Allen's blog as well, featuring his well-known Tuesday Traffic Tips
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