The Resident Connection, Video Posts

Call me an optimist …

11 Comments 20 April 2011

… but I don’t think there has to be a social media bubble that bursts.  This isn’t about spikes, it’s about brand growth.

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  • Slow and steady can bring a lot of value to any brand with regards to social media. The more friends we cultivate on Facebook, the more followers built up over time on Twitter can yield more value in having the right followers and the right friends that you can engage with. Not really a contest as to who has more, just do you have the right connections, and are you engaging with them to bring value to your brand and company. Great observations Mark.

    • Thanks for the comment Alison. I like online marketing because it continues to build up. Much different than just running campaigns.

  • I really feel there are certain barriers that get tangled up when people make decisions in their use of these online tools. There is business and there is personal and often those lines cross and make people step back for a moment. I still have active discussions with people over time management and time invested which can become blurry. I agree with your theory of the spike concept. All the flurry of activity and conversation goes away when the sun sets and you have to wake up the next morning trying to come up what is next. When you view it from a long term perspective you have much more of a plan that can be adjusted as you see the impact. A thought provoking post. Thank you

    • JS, excellent point about work and personal potentially creating some of the conflict. For me it’s always been about online marketing as a whole. It’s not just about social media alone.

  • Stall Points or Tipping Point.

    I think, like you implied, that there is a point where the advancements and or the small fixes/tweaks that yield big results stall or slow. The incremental changes get smaller and smaller even though the commitment remains the same and or intensifies. Viewed as a downside then people begin to front load for the let down and slow exit from the stage. Read: they build in a easy exit under the guise of it’s not worth all the effort that I have to put in. Conversely, viewed as a upside then people begin to really dig in and prepare for the next fifty miles of the endurance race. Read: they go Payton Manning or a little closer to home Seth Godin [his blog presentation has barely changed over the years] on the game.

    Speaking of Payton, you referenced him in one of your posts about a year ago. As I recall you wrote about his absolute commitment to every aspect of the game of football. As such he is in a league of his own. In this case, I think that is the difference maker between professionals and people who blog for a hobby and or to keep there skills sharp or their knowledge base ripe. Read: not for business purposes or to sell their goods and services.

    To bring it back to my perception of your thoughts in this post; the veterans of this game [I use that word in the kindest of senses] are at that point where minute incremental gains are the reward for tons of time, energy and wherewithal. I think we are seeing the beginnings of the Payton Mannings, the Michael Jordans, the Tiger Woods; the true students of the game segmenting themselves from the crowd. It’s the best parts of the 80/20 rule playing out right before our eyes.

    Okay – I am little all over the place with that but hopefully it adds a little value.

    Hope the balance of your week rocks!


  • Anonymous

    Hi Mark, Bravo for optimism!
    So, here is a little different take, I think that there really is a bubble due to many flawed strategies that businesses are applying that they likely will not see any measurable result, or at least not a quick result, such as some of our past facebook verses a blog banter.

    I don’t think that we have really seen any spikes in our digital marketing efforts, or at least not measurable ones, however what are starting to see, more so this year than ever before is velocity from the momentum. We just crossed (775) posts and (2,015) comments in our Urbane Way blog, which now provides our apartment portfolio with an on going supply of rich SEO and search for our leasing web site to create an over abundance of leasing leads.

    So, it seems to start to snowball at some point, where your efforts start to create a compound return. All of this is just part of the overall strategy of Building Our Own Branded Media. I would assume that you and Mike are starting, or will see like results. It just takes consistency and time.

    That said, it starts to allow you to think and expand your Digital Footprint to other “channels” as you have said. We are working on launching an Urbane Radio, where we will be able to add voice over stuff (and some crafted commercials) between music and we will live stream that music into each of our lobbies and entries at our apartment communities and exterior at the sidewalk level as well. We are also in hopes to add the Radio Music Player to our Partnership Marketing, partners web sites. It just becomes a different type of content.

    Lastly, this whole platform becomes a garden of opportunity for Partnership Marketing, however it has taken a few years to get to that point, so folks looking for the “spikes” or quick return may become disappointed.

    At the end of the day, and looking back, we are all transforming our marketing effort, or at least part of it to think like and behave Content Publishers in lieu of Apartment Marketers.

    • I agree with what you’re saying Eric. I still don’t think there is a bubble. Maybe it’s more like a Seth Godin “Dip” that many companies may choose not to push through. In the end it’s all online marketing, and it will continue to evolve whether or not companies are on or off the ship.

  • Spikes happen all the time. Take a look at major household brands. Even brands like coca-cola saw fan growth on its FB page of 71.33% or Subway with nearly a 200% spike in FB fan page growth over the last 6 months… each of these household, near commodity brands did this while ALREADY having MILLIONS of fans on their page. It is called executing something (a product offering, a promotion, a connection) that delivers a spike. All channels, be it a TV promotion, print ad, direct mail, experiential campaign to social media campaigns can create spikes. They just need to be executed. I think fundamentally some in the apartment industry simply haven’t been programmed to “want” to build such campaigns. Why? Two major reasons. Because they are reliant on non-branded methods to drive their “benchmarked” numbers that will give them their “benchmarked” conversion rates which appeases all levels top/down, so spikes aren’t necessary. Two the dollars to drive a spike are risky on budgets that at the top are quite big, but when diluted back down to the community, are quite small. So those that have their jobs on the line based off budget performance, simply wont run such spike-driven types of campaigns, and will instead run with status quo. And that drives the negativity and apathy towards marketing. So, my point, social media pundits simply need to get off the horse and buggy of slow growth and/or thinking that social media is too hard/difficult/etc and instead jump on the rocket ship and start remembering that we are here to build spikes with organic growth stabilizing us between those major growth points.


    • I agree, spikes still happen. Not trying to say they don’t and aren’t a part of an overall strategy. I just think people are getting hung up on social media campaigns and these spikes being their success story. Social media can and should have a success story beyond the spikes, but having spikes is the traditional way to look at it so most people view it that way. And, of course, if these campaigns aren’t very successful or don’t show immediate ROI then people get stuck in “the dip” and likely quit.

      As for your two points for the apartment industry, I think you are close. There definitely is a fear hanging out there about the expense. For some reason many are more comfortable spending hundreds or thousands of dollars posting listings right next to their competition. I believe people need to just get more creative with their budgets. Why not pool dollars together in their portfolio for the overall management brand?

      Really appreciate the comment. I think your point may come from a more traditional advertising type of perspective, but that definitely pushes the idea for why apartment companies need to start looking at things from other angles than the safe and status quo industry suppliers. Good thoughts!

      • Agree 100% on your last points. The gobs spent on antiquated business marketing/ad models as the resource choice to market is farcical. Those that scrutinize those dollars and the returns need to look at other means to reduce, if not eliminate those costs with more brand-palatable solutions. A paradigm shift is in the wake, they need to see that’s it’s here, approachable and quite executable.


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