Social media isn’t all fun and games. It takes brains too.

Principal Consultant , David Allison Inc.
  • Nov. 21, 2011

One year ago, Old Spice saluted its reach of one million Facebook fans with what Adfreak referred to as an “explosively awesome image.” Awesome indeed. The fiery explosion, the powerful No. 1 finger salute, the soaring eagle wings, the laurels, the tall ship – the image is a feast for the eyes. And the additional message to fans is as equally, well, awesome:

“One million of you have entered into a sacred club. The Club of the One Million Old Spice Facebook Fans of Old Spice Sacred Club. Congratulations. Please enjoy this heart-shaped explosion and eagle ship as a token of our gratitude.”

The public absolutely loved it. (Indeed, they still do – the Old Spice Facebook page today is nearing 2 million ‘likes’.) Comments like “epic” and “I think my brain just exploded from the awesomeness” and “I feel pressing the like button isn’t enough to justify the awesomeness this picture deserves” riddled the page.

Talk about social media with brains.

It’s the kind of integrated social media campaign that we in the real estate industry need to get better at.

Old Spice diligently and carefully reached out to, and built up, fans and followers through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. They planned their social media campaigns in a way that allowed people to become personally invested in the brand. They made the audience feel like they were part of the creative process.

Real estate developers should work to do the same.

Yes, selling houses is different than selling deodorant and aftershave, computers, pharmaceuticals, travel – all sorts of products and services. But we still need to keep with the times. And that means using social media technology to change the buying experience.

For short-term campaigns, maybe just some Facebook ads are all you need. For longer-term sales programs, a more robust approach is probably in order – one that includes a full Facebook page. And certainly development company brands themselves could benefit from a smart social media presence regardless of what sales efforts are in-market at any given time.

The point is this: while you may never get to a million awesome fans of awesomeness, these tools are not going away, and neither is the collaborative two-way conversation model that they represent. Your development company and your development projects might be able to ignore all this for another year, maybe two, but your involvement in these channels is inevitable. If you start now, you can learn how to do this along with everyone else. If you wait, you’ll be the new kid at the back of the class when you finally get involved, and you’ll be playing catch up. So, seize the day, and sure, start small. But start now.



David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

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David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more




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