2009 ended with much skepticism regarding social media and its impact on multifamily. 2010 had its own share of debates but I think we can safely say the chatter has mostly died down and now there are some great folks digging in the trenches and plowing their way through to use available tools and sync them with their overall approach.
I have some thoughts on what was learned.
Having a Facebook page with your entrance sign as your profile pic was simply not enough. This is not an add water and stir recipe. We learned that a Facebook page takes time, it takes creativity, and it takes people…yes people from different levels of your company to make a social platform truly social.
We learned that data has its place. There is still some chatter out there on how you can measure your ROI when using social media, but for the most part it is now recognized as the tool to communicate, connect, and collaborate. Sometimes numbers just don’t tell the true picture.
Social media is a very inexpensive way to recruit for our property management team, communicate with residents, and collaborate as a company. If you want to pay attention to numbers, your cost savings from electricity to time and paper etc. should be measured.
What is yet to come?
Some folks disagreed with my opinion about Twitter’s use in multifamily, but I am still going to stick to it. I have engaged in numerous conversations with C-Level folks from different industries on Twitter throughout 2010. I am in hopeful anticipation to see if more C-Level multifamily jump on board. I am looking to see if more local Twitter lists will be optimized. Do you have a Twitter list for your town? You should. There are a lot of great Twitter tools that will help you connect with the local prospects that you want to come and call their place home with your community.
I anticipate a lot more sharing and conversation amongst us. I keep a close eye on many multifamily bloggers and there are times that I am a bit disappointed that there are so few comments. Great content and great thoughts deserves at least a thank you in the comment section. I hopefully anticipate that some of the insecurities and inhibitions will die down and more folks will express their appreciation for the hard working writers out there. I project that more will use the sharing toolbars to broadcast to their network what they are reading because sharing is caring!
Many companies began the path of embracing social media as a company not just on a community level. This will only increase and we will see a growth in property management companies bringing in industry experts for personal sessions to help them with their path. My only caution would be is that you need to check the content that is being presented. Over the course of 2010 I heard numerous complaints about receiving “fillers” for education as opposed to “meat and potatoes”. (shameless plug coming) Earlier this year we released our Social Media Basics course which was a huge help to our clients because it is meat and potatoes. (shameless plug done) There are lots of so called gurus who love to talk but may not have the clear applications you need to move forward. You need education that will help you hit the ground running. If it is in your budget I strongly recommend Optimization Summits. I have been twice and there is no doubt that you get the education you need that you can put into practice right away.
I would love your opinions on this topic. Do you agree with my statements? What have you learned and what do you think is yet to come? Please share in the comment section below.
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