Luxury real estate marketing is a people to people business at its core.  Most of the top luxury real estate marketing professionals have succeeded because they understand the importance of maintaining in-person face time in the read world and consistently staying in touch in meaningful ways.  Many of the market leaders that we have consulted or interviewed for our article series, 50 Top Luxury Real Estate Markets in the USA, spend a minimum amount of time in the virtual arenas of Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, etc.  

The Facebook IPO is debuting tomorrow.  Among all the excitement and predictions of astronomical valuations and financial gains for its investors, some interesting data has emerged about the actual effectiveness of using Facebook for attracting a loyal audience of raving fans.  Our research has revealed that the global marketing community is questioning the validity of  social media’s promise of value for business: “word of mouth on steroids”.  

For example, Dr. Karen Nelson-Field from the University of South Australia’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, says, 

“Many brands moved quickly onto Facebook when it emerged as the new frontier for reaching an audience but it has since proved a challenge to engage with those who claim to ‘like’ them.”  

In her 6 week study of the top 200 brands, she found, that the reality of spreading news “like wild fire” is theoretically possible. However the reality shows that most links are shared with not more than 5-10 people. Furthermore she adds, 

“The huge legions of Facebook fans, it turns out, are not so actively engaged with the brands they once “liked. Less than 1% of brand fans on Facebook have any type of active involvement, bringing those huge numbers down to earth”. 

Dr Field concludes that, “Facebook is an important part of the marketing mix , we simply encourage marketers not to spend a disproportionate amount of time and money trying to facilitate engagement or drive loyalty when we know that’s not going to happen with the push of the ‘like’ button.”

 It’s time to spend more time in the real world and get back to basics. There is no getting around the fact that in -person face time and keeping in touch in meaningful ways works!  In Part 2 of this series we will discuss why real face time out-markets Facebook for business, according to our research.


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