This past week I was able to moderate a group of commercial real estate marketing professionals. The group was set up to get insight and feedback into the state of digital media and specifically social media and it’s use. The questions were obvious and at a later date I may dig a little deeper into the groups conversation. What became very apparent to me was the need to be able to communicate how a it should work within an organisation.
Thinking of social media as a separate effort will lead to failure and a serious waste of time. Social media is simply an overlay that must be applied to existing business functions including marketing, customer care, e-commerce, search, HR, internal systems, legal, etc. The C-suite should understand this and ask to see specific plans to achieve business results through collaboration and smart planning. Being “good at social media” shouldn’t be your goal. Weaving social media into the fabric of your company and making your business truly social in nature will be much more valuable.Executing that goal…now there is a topic for discussion.
Many companies most of which are outside commercial real estate have accelerated success by creating a funded internal group to lead social media across all business functions. Early adopters including Dell and Coca-Cola are good examples. This group should be centrally funded for a minimum of two to four years depending on the size and complexity of the company. Part watchdog, part consultant, part teacher, and part project manager.
In the early days of social media, one single point of view or idea takes hold and usually it comes from the strongest voice or presenter in the room and most likely it will be PR or marketing. Companies that want success will need to move past thinking about social media as solely a marketing discipline, and mandate a presence from other departments. A multi-disciplinary approach is the key to success. The social leader for the company should have a solid business background, a strong handle on technology, a flair for engaging consumers/clients, and must work across the business to build a killer team.
Most companies wait too long before asking how each potential opportunity will be measured. Don’t be fooled into believing that social media “listening” is the same as program measurement. Be sure the C-suite understands what is being spent, why, and what the benefits are. Different business functions, including marketing, PR, sales, and customer care, are all measured differently.
Social media doesn’t change the basics of running an organization or its functions. It simply provides a new (and often more efficient) way to deliver on your message.
There may be many other places that this information may be available. Sitting in a room full of commercial real estate marketing professionals compelled me to think more about their incredibly important place not only within their organisations but within commercial real estate.
They are organisational commercial real estate and social media.