Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Media Atlanta Summary-Choose Your Direction

Last Friday September 25th, I had the opportunity to attend “New Media Atlanta” at the Georgia Tech Research Institute.  Chris Brogan was the keynote speaker and was surrounded by other speakers who had their own take, message, and experience to share with this audience.

The scene was quite intriguing.  The room where the conference was held was extra high tech.  Quite comfortable for everyone and a place to plug in your laptop, make some notes and enjoy the presentations.  The environment was totally the perfect breeding ground for the social media enthusiasts who were ready with their twitter accounts to share this information with the world.  On that day alone, 3719 tweets were recorded based on statistics from http://wthashtag.com/Nmatl

Trying to wrap up the key points from that day in a few paragraphs will be a challenge, but here I go.  Basically there is not a one size fits all standard of Social Media.  Every company has a different product, service, and customer that need to be engaged properly.  It does you little good to have 30,000 followers on Twitter and 950 fans of your Facebook page, when you have absolutely no dollars to show for it.  Social Media is just another aspect of any other marketing plan. You do not just jump in with both feet; you need to carefully study and measure to make sure your methods are providing the best effect. 

This really starts by “listening”.  Do you know what your customers or residents want?  Do you know what they are saying about you?  Do you have a message that will engage them, so that they want to come back and hear more?  These are just a few questions that are necessary when formulating a plan to add Social Media to your existing structure.  FYI-Horizon Realty made the list of examples of what not to do when using Social Media.  I don’t think we need to go down that road again.

One statement that stuck with me from Chris Brogan’s presentation was this; ask people “How much do I suck?”  In other words, be ready to take the good with the bad.  Social Media has made the world completely transparent.

The multifamily industry is starting to break into this frontier.  Some are trying it out on their own, and some are using experienced and skilled consultants.  Social Media can you show your dedication to Fair Housing Laws.  It demonstrates your commitment to customer service and resident retention.  The main point is to accurately measure your path.  Use strategic reporting to carefully chart your progress.  If after a business quarter passes by and you do not see the results, do not toss the plan into the garbage.  Tweak it and keep moving forward.  Social Media is not a fad, it is here to stay.

Written by Jonathan Saar The Training Factor

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