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Madison Marquette, one of the pioneers in the use of social media to promote malls and shopping centers, has launched a site dedicated to best industry practices. You can check out the site, called Center Social, here. It has a section dedicated to surveys and reports outlining who is using social media and how, as well as sections on best social media practices for the retail real estate industry, case studies and expert advice on the topic (as of now, most of the experts appear to be Madison Marquette executives).

Since Madison Marquette does seem to be successful in using social media to promote its centers (for example, it shares its RetailStar competitions on YouTube), this might turn out to be a valuable resource for other landlords. The key would be to offer information that is very concrete and tailored for the industry. In reading advice on how businesses can best take advantage of social networking sites, I often see very generic advice along the lines of "Engage with your Customer." But my guess would be that landlords are looking for more concrete examples of how they can get shoppers to become their center's devoted Facebook and Twitter fans and then make those fans want to come in for a visit. A story we ran last year detailed some successful strategies, including Facebook contests that held the promise of thousands of dollars in free goodies and called for familiarity with the center in question.

How about you? Have you found expert advice on using social media for retail properties useful? What kind of information would you like to see on Madison Marquette's new site?

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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