As Thanksgiving is upon us here at Haedrich & Co., one of the things that I’m thankful for is working with such a wonderful team of leaders with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. Among the many marketing items that our team has discussed since I took on the role of Marketing Director is our social media presence. I find this topic particularly interesting considering how it was an unknown trend in the marketing industry even a few years ago when I was in school for marketing. However, with the rise of mobile use and more consumers using social media, this is becoming an increasing trend.
Something that I find particularly interesting is that many of my colleagues and friends who started their careers much before social media have differing viewpoints on whether it is useful or whether it’s just smoke and mirrors. One particular colleague of mine tells me that I’m weird for posting a humorous picture of her in her Halloween costume in our office. I see her point. What does this have to do with commercial real estate? And the answer is not surprising. Nothing. This seems to challenge the conventional wisdom that says that every communication with the public should be related to the product or service that we carry. That’s mostly true, but I’ve found that many companies use social media to give the public a glimpse of their personality as opposed to using it as an advertising platform. In addition, it seems that users of social media are becoming more curious about who people really are outside their professional role and how they’re unique.
What I also find staggering is that 50-60% of small businesses don’t have a website. While I don’t have the statistics on how many companies utilize social media, I would not be surprised if this statistic is similar for social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. I won’t bother to give a conjecture as to why this is the case, as I think that would be a whole different blog entirely. But I think that regardless of one’s viewpoints on social media, companies are missing out on not having a social media presence. Clara Shih, the author of Facebook Era and social media expert portrays this necessity for a social media presence well with her statement “As more communications, photos, and event invitations move onto Facebook, to not be on Facebook altogether is to risk being left behind, similar to the people in the last decade who refused to get online or buy a cellphone. Certainly, if you don’t feel comfortable being on Facebook, you shouldn’t do it. But recognize the trade-offs. And even if as an individual you don’t want to share information on Facebook, you might still need to create and manage a Facebook presence for your business if that is where your customers and prospects are spending their time (Facebook Era 39).” Facebook is just one example of a social media platform; this statement applies to all other forms of social media as well.
So as for my stance towards the increasing trend of social media, I believe that having a presence is important. As I am still new to social media use in business, I admit that I can always be improving. But I think the key is at least having a presence. Clara Shih, the Author of Facebook Era expresses this when she says “Try to post something on a regular basis…your customers realize that you have a business to run and will respect as little or as much commitment you can make, as long as you are consistent (Facebook Era 279).” In regards to content of posts, I certainly do not deny the importance of having a professional image. I also think that it is important to relate my posts with the services we provide. But I also think that there is no harm in demonstrating an occasional post that demonstrates a fun-loving, professional culture. I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful company that has been a part of Redding for so many years. I look forward to continuing to explore how to use social media to strengthen the client relationships that have helped our firm be successful for so many years.
About Graham Reinhardt
Graham Joined Haedrich & Co., Inc as the Director of Marketing in 2013. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Azusa Pacific University in 2009. Upon graduation he moved back to Redding and worked in sales at NComputing, Inc. and Marketing for MD Imaging. He enjoys the creative process and assisting the agents in exceeding clients expectations. He is a licensed commercial real estate salesperson. Since this post, Graham has moved on to bigger and better things with an exciting move across country. Enjoy the East Coast Graham, we'll miss you!