By now, most industry experts understand that social media is a crucial part of any long-term marketing campaign. With billions of users across the world, and with many users that are actively looking to spend money, social media creates boundless opportunities for businesses of all kinds, including those that are involved in the real estate syndication space.
But while most people can clearly see that social media is needed, identifying this need is really just the first step of completing a broader campaign. After all, in many cases, having an ineffective social media presence could likely be worse than having no presence at all. People not only want to see that you have an active presence in the digital sphere, but they will also want to see that you are contributing to the public discourse in a meaningful way.
What this “discourse” might entail, naturally, will depend on the type of work you do and the type of people your enterprise hopes to attract. In some cases, this discourse might be related entirely to the business aspects of commercial real estate investing. People will want to know your thoughts on changing interest rates, the proliferation of new housing models, and how your firm specifically selects properties and projects to invest in. In other cases, however, this discourse might take a different form. Politics, personal stories, and popular culture might all be a part of your social media presence.
In order to know where your firm needs to get involved and begin contributing to this broader conversation, you will first need to know who your target audience actually is. If your investors are typically older, wealthier people, your tone and topic selection will need to be much different than if your investors are typically younger, urban professionals who are willing to take larger risks. Your verbiage, the things you talk about, and the kind of content you put on each of your channels will all contribute to how your company is perceived and where your company is most likely to succeed.
Knowing what to say—and how to say it
If your company does little more than simply “jump on” to whatever has been trending or try to replicate what comparable firms are doing on social media, you will not be so much a thought leader as a thought follower. To really have a major impact in the digital world, you will need to take some chances. Say something new. Say something interesting. Say something that your target audience has not heard before and, perhaps, will make them pause for a second and think. And the surefire way to do this is to be authentically you, discussing topics as you see them, unabashedly through your lens of experience will set you apart from the crowd and place you in a leadership position.
Now, your content doesn’t need be overly complicated or philosophically deep. But being original, honest, and maintaining a consistent personality can really go a long way. With each new post that you create, you are moving your brand image in some direction. Some posts will push your brand ten steps forward to where you want to be, and others might move you just one or two. Regardless, this brand movement is inevitable—even refusing to take part in a specific, broader conversation will be a statement of its own.
With myriad social media platforms currently being used, you will quickly find that your firm has many different ways to express itself. LinkedIn can be used for professional messaging, Twitter can be used to provide quick snippets of information, Facebook can be used for just about everything, and other platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, can all be used in a very niche way. While the exact content you post on each of these platforms can vary, coordinating your messaging so your firm’s “personality” remains consistent will still be very important.
Your company is more than just a list of assets, liabilities, and equity; it is a highly, personalized entity of its own, and one that people—ideally—will turn to in order to learn more about a specific topic. Suppose there is a sudden change in the real estate industry, or there is a change in the economy as a whole. Will your business be one that is actively helping your prospects digest and understand this change? Or will your business be sitting on the sidelines, perpetually waiting to make a meaningful contribution?
Success on social media takes courage and a willingness to be proactive. If you can understand your target audience, understand what this audience is expecting from your brand, and understand how each platform can be leveraged to advance your brand, you’ll know what to say—and you’ll also know how to say it.
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, click here.