Using social media is a great way for companies to reach out to and connect with their clients. In the realm of apartment rentals, multifamily companies often use social networking tools, such as Facebook and Twitter to advertise and contact new and current tenants.
There’s a new social networking tool out there and already its generating a great deal of buzz. The tool is Google+, and though it isn’t certain yet how its introduction to the social networking market will affect established tools, a company that wants to keep up with the latest in technology should definitely be aware of what it is and what it does. Especially because, as Mashable estimates, Google+ has already amassed 10 million users in two weeks!
Google+ can be used by anyone with a google account. It allows for a profile to be set up, with pictures and links, with an interface similar to that used by the latest version of Facebook. Once the Google+ account is set up, updates, advertisements and notes can be shared with the people in the account-holder’s network.
The main feature of Google+ is that it allows users to easily and privately arrange contacts into circles. Each contact can occupy any number of circles, so a large multifamily organization can create circles for say, residents at a few different locations, employees, and even competitors. Google+ allows for a couple of levels of contact, one in which the two contacts follow one-another, like “friending” on Facebook, and one in which one contact follows the other, as in Twitter.
The other feature of Google+ is the +1 button. This button functions like the “Like” button on Facebook and also promotes the dialogue box so that it floats higher in the stream. While it isn’t necessary to accumulate +1′s, they will increase a company’s visibility.
Though Google+ allows people to quickly sort through their contacts and keep in touch with both good friends and new acquaintances, it doesn’t allow for direct contact any more than Facebook does. Google+ social networking is a mostly passive activity. Status updates and ads can easily be posted, but they have to appear in a contact’s stream in order for that contact to view them. Of course, just like in Facebook, the stream will consist of all the updates from a person’s contacts, though unlike in Facebook or Twitter, those contacts can be very easily filtered. There is a good chance that people may chose to view the streams of their friends and family more than streams that include companies or people that they don’t know personally.
Though Google+ launched originally without allowing corporate profiles, this is soon to change on a limited basis. In the meantime, if you want to begin thinking about adding a Google+ page to your property’s social media outreach, we may assume that rules that apply to other branches of social media apply here. That is, a company that wishes to connect with people through a social media tool such as Google+ will need to make sure that the content they provide is consistently interesting or entertaining. A series of posts linking to a homepage or an advertisement won’t cut it in the new social media network; it’s all to easy to hide a contact from view. While a company may have thousands of followers, this doesn’t mean that each of them are reading the content. In order to remain visible in this new network, companies will have to offer something special to their followers.
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