DISCLAIMER...PLEASE, understand that I am IN NO WAY trivializing an illness that has caused close to 6,000 historical deaths since its discovery in 1976 or the 50% mortality rate of the disease...once contracted, or the panic that the prospects of a global pandemic can cause.
OK, now that I've added the wimp clause above...truly, people, WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL? There are, according to the Internet (which must mean that it is true), at least five other infectious diseases far deadlier than Ebola...malaria kills around 6,000 people every TWO DAYS and respiratory infections, such as influenza, kill around 6,000 people EACH DAY. Ebola has killed 6,000 people in 38 YEARS.
You may be wondering...OK, WHAT ON EARTH does the Ebola virus have to do with social media marketing for commercial real estate? Indulge me for a moment and I will explain.
Social media marketing has the WOW FACTOR compared to other forms of conventional commercial real estate marketing...signage, brochures, direct mail, email marketing, cold calling, etc. These conventional forms of marketing have proven over time to be EFFECTIVE, BTW...social media, not so much. Even though MANY other infectious diseases are deadlier than Ebola, the OH MY GOD factor of an Ebola epidemic has paralyzed our nation with fear and has dominated news headlines.
The percentage of commercial real estate practitioners that ACTUALLY USE social media marketing is a trickle in the sea of many...ala the number of Ebola cases in the US vs. other infectious diseases.
Write an article or a blog post around the FIVE BEST uses of commercial real estate signage and you will hear the collective snore from around the globe, but a post on Social Media marketing racks up the hits. Fashion a study of FIVE WAYS to avoid tuberculosis and the indifference will be deafening. Provide an Ebola update...and the WORLD listens.
Fortunately, social media marketing for commercial real estate will not kill you...unless of course you tweet or video tape yourself giving brokerage advice while driving...OOPS!...only did that once, for the record.
Ok, so IF in fact you agree with the premises above (WOW factor, miniscule %, MASS interest), then what is the cure?
For me, it's simple. Treat social media marketing as a PART of your marketing...not the ONLY way you market. ENGAGEMENT should be the goal of any social media marketing campaign...not the number of leads that the media can create for you. Like a pandemic of global proportion, the right content can GO VIRAL and create a BUZZ unlike any other form of media. If you doubt this for a moment, consider the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS that dominated the social media airwaves last summer...OR Duke Long's list of the Top Ten Most Influential Online CRE People of 2014. If you've never heard of either, that is OK..just return to making those cold calls and wash the phone receiver after each use :)
By: Allen Buchanan
Principal | Lee & Associates
Follow Allen on Twitter @allencbuchanan
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