As Press Officer for Miller Commercial, the subject of Social Media regularly crops up in conversations with clients. Business people who previously dismissed the use of Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin are beginning to realise their opinions are making them look like Luddites.
No business wants to be perceived as lagging behind, so we all set up company accounts on all manner of social media sites. However, in the rush to embrace the trend before our competitors, we generally forget to formulate a marketing strategy.
The results of a survey of 1,000 companies by Business Network International (BNI), published this week, shows three quarters of business owners have been "put off" companies that have 'misused' sites such as Twitter and Facebook to sell their wares. BNI's National Director, Charlie Lawson, says "...this showed small companies with various social media profiles and accounts are still far from understanding how the medium works best".
This can also be said of Real Estate businesses. Social Networking sites are littered with updates by Estate Agents relentlessly Tweeting links to hundreds and hundreds of properties that they currently have on their books. It doesn't work! Ask yourself "would you, an estate agent, follow a Twitter account if you wanted to buy a house, office or shop?"
Anyone that is serious about buying a property or business will not follow an Estate Agent on Twitter to achieve their goal. If using the internet to aid their search, they are more likely to use a website like RightMove, or navigate directly to an Estate Agent's website.
Most people who follow Estate Agents on Twitter are either fellow Estate Agents, or have some involvement with the industry.
So, focus instead on using Twitter to grow your brand and build relationships with other agents and property enthusiasts, by Tweeting something useful - something you yourself would bother to take the time to read. Show you understand the bigger picture by referencing articles and links and ask questions to gain insights.
Some agencies are providing links to good resources of information e.g. important industry news on their feeds.
Followers don't need to know what sandwiches you had for lunch, but they might be keen to know about a big deal you've sealed, or some new legislation that affects their business.
Miller Commercial now has more than 200 followers on Twitter. That number is made up of local and national media; trade press; Estate Agents; clients; retailers; accountants; solicitors; councillors and other related businesses. Engaging in conversations with these businesses and individuals keeps us, and our followers, abreast of what is happening in the world of Commercial Property.
Want to find out more? Follow us on Twitter @MillerComProp