Hang Out with Google+
Google+ received a lot of fanfare when it launched more than
two years ago. Since then, however, Google’s social networking site hasn’t
gotten nearly as much respect or ink as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even
Pinterest. And, understandably, many commercial real estate practitioners have
been cautious about the role of social media in their marketing and business
development efforts, particularly when considering less popular sites such as
Google+. But to ignore or dismiss Google+ as part of your social media strategy is foolhardy.
it might not be as pervasive as Facebook, Google+ is growing rapidly. The
number of active users on Google+ jumped by 33 percent from 2012 to 2013, and
there’s little evidence that that trend will slow down. In May 2013, Web
analytics firm GlobalWebIndex released data showing that Google+ had 359
million active users, making it the second-largest social network, behind
Google+’s upward trajectory and its backing by Google — which can’t be
overlooked — the social media platform can be an important marketing and
business development tool for commercial real estate professionals. Of course,
there are many ways a company or solo practitioner can leverage Google+. But
the following three reasons justify giving the platform a closer look.
engine optimization alone makes Google+ an important tool. Google’s search
engine ranks Google+ content high and often returns Google+ posts in
traditional search results. Delivering consistent and useful content should
help improve your position in Google search results.
for example, two multifamily projects located in highly competitive markets in
Virginia. The management company created Google+ accounts for both properties
and linked the accounts to the company’s traditional websites. Then the
management company began providing consistent and relevant content via Google+,
including event announcements, property photos, and resident profiles. Within a
month, searches for keywords such as apartment,
senior living, and all-inclusive
community returned not only the management
company’s traditional sites but also two Google+ posts on the first page of
search results. Simply put, your business is much more likely to be found on
the world’s top search engine if it has a Google+ presence.
Building Online Communities
many social media platforms, Google+ was designed for both business-to-consumer
and business-to-business networking. Google+ allows you to join or create a
variety of communities for those with common interests. A hybrid of Facebook
groups and LinkedIn discussion groups, Google+ communities can be used to
engage with others, build brand awareness, and showcase your expertise.
example, the Llenrock Group, a real estate advisory and investment banking
firm, created the Commercial Real Estate Finance community on Google+. This
group encourages discussion and networking among professionals in the
commercial real estate finance sector. Llenrock Group’s participation in the
community, which has more than 100 members, positions the company as a leader
in the industry.
communities and discussions for information mining also can be helpful when
compiling business development research. There are a number of existing
communities related to the commercial real estate market and investing on
the coolest Google+ features, Hangouts offers great marketing and collaboration
options via video chat. Hangouts can support video calls with up to 10 people,
and the calls can be broadcast to a much larger audience with Google+ Hangouts
on Air. Videos can also be saved to your YouTube account for further use. In
addition, you can create a platform in which to discuss the commercial real
estate market or host meetings with employees or colleagues.
companies use Hangouts to offer free webinars to current and potential clients.
These webinars can highlight your services and expertise while creating content
that can be posted on Google+, your website, and YouTube, which happens to be
the second most popular search engine. The Hangouts feature truly
differentiates Google+ from other social media platforms and underscores how
the platform can be used creatively for internal collaboration and external
these features, many companies are still overlooking Google+. And that’s
another great reason to use it. By taking advantage of this opening in your
market, you can help to differentiate yourself, like the management company
with two Virginia multifamily properties. It was the first in those markets to
link Google+ to its property websites, and it’s noticed a significant increase
in leads originating from online searches. By standing apart online, it’s been
able to get more potential tenants in the door.
Gray and Andrew
K. Ryan are co-founders and partners with
Commonwealth Partnerships, a marketing and consulting firm specializing in the
real estate industry. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and