by Mark Bingaman
The Schottenstein Real Estate Group SREG) is approaching their Social Media efforts conservatively, and they’re doing a good job from a conservative standpoint. The bases are -- for the most part -- covered, the toes are dipped in the water, and I give them a decent C+ for their approach thus far to the medium.
This is, after all, a big brand name with a large footprint and conservatism has likely served them well. But, of course, it’s my job to champion Social Media, so champion it I will.
Because of their big brand name and humongous footprint, the opportunity is available to them to dominate in Social Media, should they choose to jump into it full throttle. And no, that does not mean jumping in recklessly. But there’s a lot of opportunity that’s being missed, and a company with the wherewithal in terms of staff and a couple dollars should not miss that gaping opportunity.
Let’s run down a few of the statistics. The main Schottenstein Real Estate Group Facebook page has 70 Likes. That minimal number is okay; this is just the corporate page and no one is going to have a “passion” for this element of the company.
However, they’ve also initiated a Schottenstein Apartments Facebook presence that serves as a gateway and customer service center for all of their apartment communities. This particular page does much better in the “raving fan category” with 489 LIKES, as of Tuesday afternoon, April 12, 2011.
The SREG approach here is excellent; the page is loaded with positive comments from residents, inquiries, and the occasional complaint, all answered and responded to by the page administrator. Additionally, SREG has posted a nice mix of information concerning the various apartment community events and activities, as well as pursuing engagement with their fans via lifestyle posts, like “Food cart/truck season is almost upon us. Who's your favorite mobile food vendor in Columbus?” and a link to a Columbus Underground story about that topic.
This page is exactly what it should be; lifestyle, community information and customer service. Nice.
The Facebook pages for the various, individual apartment communities -- like the brand new Hilliard Grand apartments -- and their condo communities are all well-maintained with sufficient content posted, but with only a smattering of LIKES. And not all communities have their own Facebook page, a definitive negative.
The only Twitter presence is for the main SREG entity, and that only has 257 followers. None of the apartment or condo communities have their own Twitter feed. The wasted opportunity here to market their properties and build a raving fan base is tremendous.
Only 3 employees on LinkedIn
So, What Would You Do, Mark?
Thank you for asking. Let me answer. If I were the Schottenstein Real Estate Group, or nearly any entity for that matter, I would be incredibly excited and pulling out all the stops to completely dominate THE most intimate, personal and one-to-one relationship and business-building tool in the history of mankind; Social Media.
I would make it my personal quest to ensure that 50% to 75% of those people renting apartments or buying condos from me were darned-well also my friends or fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter and helping me to market my properties to their friends.
I’d view Social Media as the tool for me to be forefront in the minds of potential residents on a daily basis. I’d be building my community both in the real world and online.
I’d build a network of community resident ambassador/bloggers who would serve as the resident face of each apartment community and showcase its strengths.
I’d be darned excited.
There’s a lot more I’d do.
But, I have to save a few secrets and techniques, after all.
Hopefully later this week, we’ll provide an interview with some of the folks involved in the marketing and Social Media efforts at SREG and get their thoughts on where the medium can or should take them.
Schottenstein Apartments on Facebook