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Twitter and the Changing Face of Mass Communication

In order for any firm to be successful, they will need to work within the current parameters of communication.

As we have seen in pretty much every industry imaginable, the need for efficiency has consistently been a driver of change. In the world of mass communications, where information—an intangible, yet valuable product—needs to be distributed to a large audience, efficiency has consistently been what has enabled countless firms to develop a competitive edge.

In years past, it would often take days—or even weeks—for a message to be distributed. Relying on the post office, on rigid time schedules, and on other barriers to distribution caused the news and other critical pieces of information to be slow-dripped to the masses. But, as we move further and further into the information era, it is clear that this old paradigm has been changing. No longer do people need to wait until the next day to know what is going on; no longer do they need to wait to know what someone important is actively thinking. With Twitter and other extremely efficient mediums for distributing information, the most important news and thoughts of the day can be immediately accessed by anyone.

Of course, the so-called “Twitter revolution” has not come without its share of drawbacks. The 24-hour news cycle has indeed oversaturated the information market and, frankly, made it difficult for many people to determine what is true and what is most important. But regardless of these drawbacks, there is no denying that our world has clearly changed. The “masses”—and even many niche markets for information—are no longer demanding lengthy reflections on world events that are delivered weeks after the fact. By then, the mass media will have already moved onto something new. Instead, they want digestible bits of information as quickly as possible. Everything else, it seems, is simply superfluous.

New expectations, new strategies

One can debate the pros and cons of this transformation of media all day, but regardless, it is clear that these changes are likely permanent, meaning that in order for any firm to be successful, they will need to work within the current parameters of communication. Even a sophisticated real estate syndicate can benefit from using Twitter and other social media platforms, especially when raising equity capital

When utilized correctly, Twitter is one of the most effective platforms for a sponsor to establish himself as a thought leader. While amassing a considerable following will take some time, sponsors who are both very active (multiple tweets per day) and capable of providing information that prospective investors will find useful can eventually position themselves as the ones shaping the industry. By controlling and contributing to the active flow of information, a developer can quickly position himself as a leader of a much broader conversation. And if a given firm decides that Twitter and social media isn’t the “right way” to reach a niche audience, well, unfortunately for them, there will almost certainly be at least other competitor who will.

The need to maintain a thought-leading, active Twitter account is part of a much broader need for diversifying communication and marketing strategies. Twitter, at least among real estate syndicates, will only occasionally be the reason an investor chooses to partner with a specific sponsor. But the purpose of Twitter is not to immediately close a deal—it is to increase exposure to a new audience and, simultaneously, establish the credibility needed to close a deal in the future.

Hashtags, which connect a specific tweet to a corresponding topic, are one of the most effective ways for even a small Twitter account to immediately gain exposure. Suppose the Federal Reserve suddenly decides to cut interest rates. Naturally, this will have an immediate impact on many different real estate projects and there will be many people, both accredited and non-accredited, interested in learning more. A firm that uses a hashtag such as ‘#FedRateCut’ will immediately connect itself to a pressing, relevant, and fast-moving story. If the firm can beat others to using such a hashtag, and if that specific hashtag is eventually trending, its status as a thought leader can be further reinforced.

Success on Twitter, as you will find anywhere else, is something that undeniably takes time. Nobody, save for a few celebrities, can amass a following of 100,000 people overnight. But as your campaign grows and you continue to demonstrate your value, you can create a permanent impression in the mind of potential investors. Not only were you the first to inform them about a Fed rate cut, but you were also the first to inform them about a new FHA bill, a new tax incentive for investors, and plenty of other breaking news stories.

In the move towards efficient communication, the use of a platform that emphasizes conciseness, immediacy, and relevance is something that is far from surprising. While Twitter is not without its flaws, it creates a system in which those who are willing to proactively contribute to the broader conversation can expect to be rewarded.

Adam Gower Ph.D. is an authority in content marketing and online communications for the real estate industry. He has more than 30 years and $1.5 billion of transactional experience in commercial real estate finance and investment. Today he builds best of class digital marketing platforms for private clients so they can raise more capital online and provides online courses for those who want to do it themselves – all at GowerCrowd.com and learn more about how to syndicate real estate projects online using Twitter and other social media platforms, click here.

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