LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional online network,
with 175 million members in more than 200 countries and
territories. It is used primarily for professional networking.
Users build profiles, which include professional, educational,
and personal information, as well as affiliations with professional and community service groups, associations, and organizations, and they form connections with other users to create networks. In addition to finding new connections through
existing professional relationships, LinkedIn members can
access an extensive search option, allowing searches by keywords, names, companies, schools, locations, and more.
LinkedIn also includes a Group feature, which allows users in the same industry or with the same interests to share
information and stimulate discussion. Groups may be open or
closed (requiring approval to join).
More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company
Pages, where companies can provide information about their
products and services, job opportunities, and company culture. LinkedIn users can “follow” companies to receive real-time updates on news and opportunities.
Cushman & Wakefield maintains a Cushman & Wakefield
company page (
www.linkedin.com/company/cushman-&-wakefield) to share major news with followers. The company also has a closed Cushman & Wakefield group for
employees, which provides a private space for professionals
to engage in industry discussion and share information and
allows C&W to gather feedback. Offices and service lines
have also created closed groups to share specific and local
information for recruiting and business development.
You Tube is a video-sharing website that allows users to discover,
watch, and share videos. Unregistered users can watch public
videos, and registered users can upload video content. YouTube
cites more than 800 million unique users each month, and 72
hours of video are uploaded to You Tube every minute.
While You Tube does not currently have business-specific
accounts, businesses can create public You Tube channels. YouTube acts as a great free solution to host online videos, which
can be embedded onto a company website. You Tube also allows videos to be made private, for use or viewing by a select
group of individuals.
C&W maintains a public corporate YouTube channel
( www.youtube.com/thecushmanwakefield), which features
corporate-produced videos and messaging and footage of
events, conferences, panels, and speeches. Other platforms
such as Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Yammer
all play a part in our overall social media presence. Each of
these has specific strengths and uses for aggregating and disseminating information. The landscape continues to evolve
and our global corporate marketing and communications
team is always looking at new ways to integrate these tools
into our platform.
Conclusion: What to Watch for as Social Media
Matures in the Commercial Real Estate Industry
Social media and Cushman & Wakefield’s adoption of this
technology is definitely still in its infancy. As C&W continues
to find applications for the largely consumer-based systems
within the industry, here are some of the keys to success and
important questions C&W employees are asking ourselves as
they move ahead with enhancing the firm’s digital footprint:
n Branding: How do we continue to use social media to
enhance our brand? How do we control our brand if our
corporate and local offices, as well as individual professionals,
all have 24/7/365 access to these platforms? While these platforms can be great ways to source and distribute ideas, without
a unified presence, our efforts will be ineffective.
n Crowdsourcing: How do we take the real-time feedback
we can receive from around the world and apply it to our daily
practice? Whom do we allow to take part in our forums, and
how do we control the information that is submitted?
n Fragmentation: How do we aggregate responses and attention in an increasingly diverse world, where people are being driven to check multiple sources at all times? With all the
screen time people currently devote to their daily activities at
work, how do we capture people’s attention?
Social media and the way it is used are constantly changing.
Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and LinkedIn are
pushing companies to redefine the ways they engage their audiences. They are creating transparency in the way companies interact with customers and, in some cases, their customers’ customers. Cushman & Wakefield cannot predict how social media will
be integrated into its daily work environments. However, social
media will bring a monumental shift to a monumental industry
and help to bring commercial real estate into the digital age. n
Glenn Rufrano is the President and CEO of Cushman &