Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Social Media and the property industry

For those of you who use Twitter you'll know that RT stands for "re-tweet". It's a way of spreading interesting news across the internet in seconds.

Today saw a flurry of RT's over this article on a website called Techcrunch. In it the author senses that social media is beginning to alter the way that the property market operates.  It's well written, interesting and worth a read.

Last November I posted a link to a report on the use of social media within commercial property, published on behalf of the RICS.  This too is worth a read.

There's something immediate and tangible that hasn't really been discussed yet though.

It's the ability to use social media to set a corporate "tone of voice" and to allow big corporations to differentiate themselves.

What's the difference between JLL, CBRE and DTZ?  Don't know....nor do I. Because if you took their logos off their corporate ads, literature and websites you'd be hard pushed to know who's was who's.

The same goes for PWC, KPMG and E&Y (getting fed up of the initials yet?).

Now, I've been in the board meetings and I know why this is.


Publishing a report & accounts.....for goodness sake don't inject any personality into it in case one of our institutional investors objects to it.

Publishing research....keep it dry or people won't take it seriously.

PR campaign....bugger the true state of the market, keep on message and always highlight these three points (copyright Alastair Campbell, 1997).

Get my point?  Well, social media and blogging in particular can change all this.

If any of the six sets of initials above published a blog then shareholders, clients, potential clients, competitors and staff would all have different expectations (and higher tolerance levels) than usual.

It's a chance to inject personality and charisma into your brand.

Humour, market comment, a softer tone of voice perhaps even some truth.

Of course there are plenty of potential pitfalls and it would be easy to destroy a brand. But it can't be beyond the wit of man to put procedures in place that ensure social media enhances and humanises your other marketing efforts.

Need a brilliant example of what I mean? Click here.


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