Here at Silverback Social we’re students of social media. We also love to share the wealth of knowledge that we’re exposed to as a result of being at the tip of the spear in social media. Recently we stumbled across the amazing work that CBRE is doing in social media, particularly Instagram. That’s right, CBRE, the world’s leading commercial real estate service is crushing it in social media. So we thought, wouldn’t it be cool is the worlds best social media agency and the worlds leading commercial real estate service sat down for a chat to better understand just how they’re dominating Instagram.
Answers are given by Andy Garrett | Senior Director of Global Marketing and Larry Koestler | Digital Marketing Manager CBRE | Americas
1) As the world’s leading Commercial Real Estate service and investment Company, you guys are obviously already successful. When did the need for moving to a platform, such as Instagram, emerge?
Andy Garrett: So much of our success has been about pushing into new areas and uncovering opportunities. In the world of commercial real estate and amongst B2B companies, Instagram is really still in its infancy. It’s been a platform dominated by B2C brands and power-users. But we saw an opportunity to shake things up a bit.
Instagram has presented us a unique opportunity to demonstrate the elasticity of our brand, transcending the B2B and commercial real estate space and becoming a meaningful part of the consumer conversation.
Larry Koestler: Real estate plays such a huge part in all of our lives, both professionally and personally. Instagram has really been a great way for us to celebrate this impact, focusing on the art and science of structures from around the world and the people inspired by them.
2) Has there been considerable growth in your business as a result of the company’s Instagram? What is the ultimate goal—growth or increased engagement? Do you believe these things must be mutually exclusive?
Andy Garrett: For us at CBRE, Instagram is first and foremost about inspiring our people, our stakeholders and our audience groups. The early success has been both exciting and tangible, manifesting itself in the growth and engagement of the account.
3) How do you gauge which content your audience will enjoy the most?
Larry Koestler: We’re a global company, with offices in every major market and over 44,000 employees. That provides us the benefit of curating from an amazing pool of content to feature in our posts. Whether it’s stunning views of some of the world’s most iconic structures or a behind-the-scenes look at our new Workplace 360 offices, our audiences have responded in the most positive of terms.
4) What has your most popular Instagram post been? Why do you think that this particular post was so successful?
Larry Koestler: To date, our most-engaged post has been a photo of an amazing digital signboard at the Sydney Airport created by our CBRE Sydney team.
Andy Garrett: I’m thrilled with that post. It celebrates the imagination and creativity of our teams and shows the level of camaraderie and collaboration we have here at CBRE. Our team in Sydney did an amazing job with this and it shows the power of creativity to allow ideas to spread beyond their original jurisdictions. I’m very proud of our team in Sydney.
Larry Koestler: I think people responded so well to it because of the pride it instilled with our people and for those that work with us around the world.
5) What would you say to someone that did not believe that social media was an integral part of expanding various aspects of their business?
Larry Koestler: Social media has long since shed the tag of being a trend or curiosity. Today’s modern companies must look at social media as a core component of their marketing strategy. It represents a channel where barriers have been eliminated between organizations and their audience, allowing much more relatable and accessible interactions.
6) When you first decided to “storytell” your company through Instagram, since your competitors didn’t think to use that platform before, were you hesitant or doubtful that it would have a negative effect and if so, what precautions did you take?
Andy Garrett: Great stories should be told, regardless if those around you are telling their own or not. We believe we have a really great story to tell and we feel Instagram is an amazing place to do it. The buildings, clients, cities and people we serve everyday around the world inspire our story and it’s built on a 100+ year history that is rich and varied. It’s a story we are proud of and thrilled to be able to share in an organic, exciting way.
7) What other initiatives or ideas do you plan on having in the future to make sure you stay well ahead of your competition?
Koestler: There is so much we want to do on Instagram. We have really passionate people from around our organization constantly sharing ideas. So we’ll continue to keep our eyes and ears open, acting thoughtfully and purposefully to continue innovating and reaching our audiences.
8) What are the specific goals and purposes that your company uses the Instagram platform?
Andy Garrett: Instagram has been an amazing way to tell our story and connect with our people, stakeholders and audiences around the shared passion of real estate. We’re going to keep having fun and connecting with our audiences and continue shaking up the notion of what Instagram could be for B2B and real estate companies.
Andy Garrett | Senior Director of Global Marketing
200 Park Avenue | New York, NY 10166
T +1 212 984 8185 | M +1 805 895 6828
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Larry Koestler | Digital Marketing Manager CBRE | Americas
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If you have any additional questions for Andy and Larry, please ask them in the comments section below.