The learning curve

The learning curve
Marketing in today's workplace looks a lot different than it did just a few years ago. 
For years, Steve Fineberg, President of Steve Fineberg & Associates has been on the cutting edge of real estate marketing through his multi-faceted print, radio, signage, and expo platforms.  However, just a year ago Steve realized that there was a new technology platform that was sweeping the nation - social media.
I had an opportunity to visit with Steve this week and have him share his insights on how the digital shift in today's marketing has effected his plans to reach the public.
"I kept reading and seeing information on the different social media outlets:  Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Linked-In, but I didn't know if the reach of those programs in an industry like real estate would really make a difference.  In fact, social media in itself was completely foreign to me," Steve Fineberg.
How did you decide that social media was worth investing in?
"I read enough and listened enough to realize that social media is where the eyes and ears are of this upcoming generation of buyers and sellers, much more than ever before.  In the past it was newspapers, print media in general, and signage.  Now, to a very large degree the best reach is weighted toward the Internet.
I began observing both regionally and nationally the shift of marketing dollars to websites.
What has been the largest challenge in making the switch to an Internet-based marketing strategy?
"Understanding and learning the differentiation between each social media outlet - realizing that one specific social media program isn't for everyone.   I am still learning. Not everyone is on Facebook or Twitter or has interest in reading blogs.  Determining what the best use of time and money  for each one of those sectors is, and having a consistent outpour of information in each area allows us to capture a specific demographic for the different types of real estate that we market."
What advice would you give to other companies who are considering switching to a web-based marketing strategy?
"The path I have taken, and it has served me fairly well, is speaking with a lot of people involved in web strategy:  people who sell various aspects of it, who research it, who service different components of it.  Then, from of all my discussions and questions, I have attempted to work with those people in the key areas that offer the highest returns and pairing those areas with people who offer the most expertise in a given field."
What has been the most surprising thing you have learned through this process?
"Internet based strategy is really like a big salad bowl - you have all these different components that make up the overall strategy between the website, discussion boards, social media programs, search engines, blogs, etc.  They are all linked to this one strategy and we have to pick out the best ingredients to meet our specific needs. 
I am excited to see the results in six months to a year from now, and some of that result will not be from what we do, but from what the market nationally, regionally, and locally does.   However, I think our efforts will result in a greater amount of activity, than would have been the case had we not taken up this new challenge.  I am so excited."