Social media

Lay Down the Law

Editor’s note: CCIMs share their strategies for managing an online presence in “Surviving Social Media,” which appears in the January/February 2011 issue of Commercial Investment Real Estate magazine. The following Web Exclusive supplement discusses user guidelines, an important but sometimes overlooked component of successful social media efforts.

Lay Down the Law: Social Media User Policies

Social media platforms have been around for several years now, but many businesses still have not established official user policies. “Right now, it’s the Wild West,” says Todd Clarke, CCIM, chief executive officer of NM Apartment Advisors in Albuquerque, N.M. And though it’s important to be quick on the draw, you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot. That’s why even solo practitioners should consider adopting a set of guidelines for their social media efforts.

“It’s mostly common sense,” Clarke explains. “For example, don’t post when you’re inebriated.” (If you’re prone to break this rule, try the Social Media Sobriety Test, a browser extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla FireFox.)

It’s also important to be succinct. Clarke cites Coca-Cola’s user policy, which includes guidelines such as:

  • be mindful that you are representing the company;
  • fully disclose your affiliation with the company; and
  • when in doubt, do not post.

Want to Learn More?

This spring, CCIM Institute’s Ward Center for Real Estate Studies will offer a one-day classroom workshop “Technology and Social Networking Tools for Today’s Real Estate Professional.” In addition to providing an overview of useful hardware and software, instructor Todd Clarke, CCIM, will help students develop a social media strategy through hands-on use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Rich Rosfelder

Rich Rosfelder is vice president of strategic communications for CCIM Institute.

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