Social media has played a critical role in the world of business and has fundamentally transformed the ways we interact with others, especially in commercial real estate. The best social media strategies will take place across multiple platforms. By adjusting your tone, your messaging, and the type of content you are sharing with your prospects, you can effectively use each of the “big four” social media platforms to help attract new partners and new investors and reinforce your brand.
Social media itself is not so much used to sell to or upsell specific parties. Instead, it is mostly used to demonstrate your strength, continuity, consistency, and authority. Without an active social media campaign, prospective investors may not consider your brand to be legitimate—after all, if you aren’t willing to take the time to show people who you are and who you aspire to be, why would they assume you are somebody they should trust with their money?
Fortunately, there are a few things that almost anybody can do to help enhance their social media presence. Being consistent with your branding, engaging with your audience (which might include answering questions in the comment section), and providing valuable and actionable resources will all help build the trust and attention you need to succeed.
A look inside “The Big Four” platforms
In real estate, and most capital markets, the value of diversification is well-documented. It rarely makes sense to put all your eggs in one basket—whether this means investing in different markets, different types of properties, or even just multiple properties, diversifying is one of the most time-tested strategies for decreasing asset-specific risk.
In social media and digital marketing, diversification remains just as important. It’s not enough to simply establish a Facebook page and make a few posts each month. You’ll also want to establish yourself on other platforms as well. The “Big Four” social media platforms, for real estate investors and those who finance them, include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. By coordinating a campaign across each of these platforms, you will be much more likely to achieve the results you’ve been hoping for.
Adam Gower discusses the Big Four social media platforms with Emily Johnson, content manager at crowdfunding platform, GROUNDFLOOR:
Facebook, as the most widely used social media platform in the world, has myriad tools for real estate professionals to help promote their brand and start a wide-reaching campaign. Pictures, statuses, videos, and direct messages are just a few of the tools that allow you to communicate with others in a relatively informal setting. The Facebook Live features can—and have—been used as an effective platform for real-time fundraising. Contrary to what many people might assume, this platform can be used for so much more than interacting with your friends—it provides a digital medium where your brand can build and develop a personality of its own.
LinkedIn, by comparison, is strikingly similar to Facebook, but is geared towards business professionals. The platform is undoubtedly the most “formal” of the Big Four, which tends to be attractive to many sponsors and investors (some of whom are a bit skeptical of the other platforms). A well-targeted LinkedIn campaign can make it easy to connect with the other parties you are searching for. This can include sponsors, investors, employees, agents, banks, and countless others. Here at GowerCrowd we find that the majority of ours and our clients’ organic website traffic comes from LinkedIn.
Twitter and Instagram, on the other hand, are more informal. Twitter is primarily used for communicating short, concise messages. Instagram is used for sharing photos and videos, which can be extremely valuable for photogenic campaigns as many real estate projects are. While the posts on these platforms will be different than the long-form content you are likely to find on Facebook and LinkedIn, they still provide a valuable opportunity for further establishing an accessible identity.
Ultimately, none of these platforms is necessarily “better” than the others. Each platform will appeal to a different audience and do so in a different way. But if you are crowdfunding a specific real estate project or looking for a deal to invest in, you will want to cast your net as widely as you possibly can—by excluding yourself from just one of these platforms, you will be narrowing your pool and limiting the possibility of finding the sort response you need.
Running an effective campaign will also require plenty of trial and error. Even if a strategy has been useful for a comparable business in the past, that does not necessarily mean it is the strategy that is right for you. However, with the ability to create an unlimited amount of posts and content, it will be easier to keep track of which forms of communication work and which are not as effective.
Maybe your business thrives from high-energy, live fundraising sessions on Facebook. Maybe, what works best for you will be using Instagram to help showcase a new property to your network of possible partners. Maybe, a multi-faceted approach will help your business get the results it needs. You can’t be sure which is best until you are willing to try.
Adam Gower Ph.D., builds digital marketing systems for real estate professionals who want to find more investors so they can raise more money and do more deals. He is known as the creator of the Investor Acquisition System, and combines a lifetime of experience in real estate investment and finance with best-of-class digital marketing tactics, techniques, and strategies to help crowdfund real estate syndications. Find out more in this new book, SYNDICATE or at GowerCrowd.com