Over the Thanksgiving holiday, an Obama campaign strategist spoke in detail on TV about how the president’s re-election campaign used Facebook effectively. Could this idea, with modifications, be applied in marketing and selling fractional real estate?
The president’s re-election campaign used “a new Facebook app” to stunning effect. Facebook account holders who supported the president could grant his campaign access to their Facebook account. The campaign could then invite, on their behalf, five of their friends to send out a “chain letter” asking recipients to:
- Vote for Obama
- Donate to the campaign and
- Email a similar letter to five of their friends
Reportedly, this initiative was enormously successful both in vote getting and fund-raising. The political strategist said that a letter arriving from one’s friends was far more persuasive than one the campaign might initiate.
Now, I’m familiar with “harmless” apps—like those providing birthday greetings—requesting access to the birth dates of my Facebook friends. But the ability of political operatives—of any stripe: red, blue, purple or green—to set off an out-of-control “viral” campaign is quite another matter. It doesn’t feel right.
This practice must be legal, or someone would have raised a major ruckus by now. It also seems to compromise the privacy of some recipients of the letter—especially the privacy of those farther down on the chain. Then, again, we haven’t heard about protests there either.
Still, this tactic raises a number of unsettling questions:
- Does this app have a name?
- Who can use this app? Is it (or something comparable) available to anyone in any venture or only to big-time operations playing with millions of marketing dollars?
- Does the app itself belong to its developers? Or, does the app belong exclusively to the entity that hired the developers who wrote the program [i.e. the president’s re-election campaign]?
- Is this app—or any software similar to it—for sale to anyone in politics, in business or in any other field that hopes to send out a viral message?
Bottom line fractional marketing questions:
Apps aside, can this concept—in modified form—be applied successfully to marketing and selling fractional real estate? Is this the marketing wave of the future? Or is it just an isolated case?
In re-reading the preceding paragraph, I suddenly recalled the image in the thumbnail at the top of this post.
It’s a recreation of the one I had seen in the first book on sales that I had ever read. The year was 1980. The book is still in print (revised). It is the classic Mastering the Art of Selling Real Estate. Its author is the internationally renowned sales trainer Tom Hopkins. The image represents the ideal sales context:
Two people meeting Belly to Belly.
In summary, we have presented above two extreme ends of a marketing and sales continuum—from “Highly Modern High Tech” to “Classic No Tech” (except, perhaps, for a phone call to schedule the meeting).
As 2012 draws to an end and fractional marketing plans for 2013 become final, where does your company stand along this continuum? Are you implementing the newest social media bells and whistles or are you sticking to classic, “tried and true” strategies? Let us know.
P.S. And, if you have additional info on that Facebook app, please fill us in.
David M. Disick, Esq. helps fractional real estate developers secure financing. He is author of Fractional Vacation Homes: Marketing and Sales in Challenging Times and the free Special Report, Seven Crucial Ingredients for a Winning Financial Presentation. Both may be ordered on his website. Disick consults with clients in the US and abroad. Contact him at: http://www.TheFractionalConsultant.com.