#KeepingCRESocial by Sarah Malcolm: It’s Official... There’s A Dark Side of Social Media, Even in Commercial Real Estate
BLOG POST BY SARAH MALCOLM, CHIEF DIGITAL STRATEGIST AT THE NEWS FUNNEL
Social media has consumed the human race. We are all aware of the persistent role social media plays in life and in business. Many agents are talking about social media marketing as the hip new way to promoting everything from vacation rentals to shopping centers to CRE blogs. We most often talk about all the good it does--connecting companies with clients, advertising, and directing traffic to websites, for example. Social media is having an impact. Sadly, not all of these impacts are positive.
The Dark Side
The dark side of social media needs to be revealed and brought up in more discussion. Digital drama and unintended consequences for clients, brands or businesses are lurking in every platform and in every industry. You’re probably thinking to yourself “Give me a break. How dramatic can commercial real estate be?” Well, in addition to the straight up dodgy content out there, social media in general comes with a slew of psychological effects. And they aren’t always pretty.
Social media, in particular, Facebook, have five themes that are regarded as stressors: 1.) managing inappropriate or annoying content 2.)being tethered 3.)lack of privacy and control 4.)social comparison and jealousy and 5.) relationship tension and conflict. Would you say this is anything close to a healthy interaction?
Mobile technology has brought about a need for a new way of thinking, as well as new methods of managing data in an ethical manner. It is important the commercial real estate sector puts guidelines in place based on a thorough understanding of future benefits and drawbacks of using social media, why they matter, and how they will impact consumers, the economy, and society.
Nobody should target clients on the market via social media, using psychology tactics and playing dirty for the purpose of adding pressure and closing on the sale. If you believe what you’re selling is anything but the perfect investment for your client, I’m sorry to say but that’s engaging in unethical business and does not create a sustainable market. Avoid crossing over to the dark side. Set guidelines for marketing and make sure everyone agrees to follow.
That’s not to say using psychology in advertising will send your real estate business to hell. If you’re backing something you believe in and are trying to reach the appropriate audience, please do! But first, it’s critical to identify the changing conditions where consumers welcome ad-personalization and data-driven messaging. In order to protect and respect your potential clients, strategies require ongoing, continual research as new technologies emerge, devices become more connected, and privacy perceptions evolve. Focus on content that is honest and interesting--what you really believe to be important to your customer.
Protecting your Reputation.
The Age of Social Media gives power to consumers, who use social media for consumer activism. Search results give a lot of weight to reviews. A big problem is there is no verification whether or not the information posted by the reviewer is true. Things can be tough on the streets of the internet. How can you rise above all the negative energies floating around social media? It’s simple. Be kind. Be honest. Be yourself. You will get noticed. By taking steps early you can protect the reputation of your business if and when it comes under attack.
The moral of the story is you need to know your boundaries. Consider every move on social media. Is it adding to the turmoil that is inherent on these platforms, or are you working within an ethical framework? Even so, understand that social media can be harmful. Try adopting practices that allow you to have more personal interactions with your clients, to get the pair of you away from social media and into the present moment.
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Need help with your social media strategy? Contact Jen@thenewsfunnel.com to learn more. We manage some of the BIGGEST brand’s social media in CRE and more importantly WE GET RESULTS. Can I get an AMEN!?
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