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7113 Three Chopt Road, Suite 204 | Richmond, VA

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I was skimming through my issue of Virginia Living magazine recently and found myself motivated to try some of the restaurants that were featured in their annual ‘Best of’ list. Realistically, I am not going to drive to Warrenton or Roanoke to get a burger – but the list did get me thinking about the power that lists/awards/rankings have on consumers. We are instinctually driven to products or services that have been “credentialed” by an outside party.

As anyone who is involved in the real estate or A/C/E industries know, a project – no matter what the size – involves a variety of moving pieces. It takes skill and a great deal of planning to effectively execute and construct a public or private building, transportation project, etc. One thing that has added to that complexity is public involvement. Since the start of the Great Recession, hundreds of projects across the Commonwealth have been stymied due to an influx of interest in real estate projects. From apartment buildings to major mixed-use communities, everything that seems to come to the table nowadays is subject to scrutiny.

The notion that word of mouth and referrals are marketing gold has been a well-understood reality for decades. As these movements have been steadily migrating online, even sectors that seem immune to online reviews are feeling the effects. Take the role of online reviews for senior living communities. Whether independent living, assisted living, or nursing homes, potential residents and their loved ones are looking for guidance online. The best guidance can come from existing residents and their positive reviews can serve as a critical marketing tool.

B2B companies have been slow to embrace the benefits of social media. In a 2012 report by McKinsey Global Institute, only 13 percent of professional service firms indicated that they saw any value to using social media. This is a dangerous perception which could end up costing those firms significant opportunities. We would like to discuss our top four reasons as to why social media should be an essential component of any professional service firm’s’ marketing strategy.