A Profitable Social Business Journey at Homes.com
Guest: Erica Campbell Byrum
Data and Persistence Pays Off
In another hugely insightful interview recorded on location at the popular social marketing conference, Social Fresh East, Erica Campbell Byrum, Social Media Director for Homes.com and ForRent.com shares their journey from newbie to a social media monetization strategy. Erica was a speaker at Social Fresh East. She sat down with me to share her social business journey.
Photo source: Anthony Quintano
Erica oversees the social media brand strategy at Homes.com and ForRent.com, as well as the operational workflow in their social media service offering to real estate and multi-family professionals. In the early days of social, dating back to 2006, Erica couldn’t even access social media platforms because IT blocked access. Over time, as Erica started to demonstrate value in using social, she requested social media access for the entire company. Erica saw the potential of social media for the Homes.com brand, and persistently drove a plan to create ambassadors at each of their 65 offices. Erica’s persistence eventually paid off, getting buy in from the CTO to unblock access to social media channels and her plan began to accelerate.
C-Suite Buy In
Convincing her executives that social media had serious potential required a lot of data and persistence. Erica reported actual results through relatively minimal effort and resources. So, she asked for more resources. As her team’s results continued to grow, she slowly won the executive team’s approval to keep going full speed ahead. Eventually, Erica recommended a monetization strategy for social. It took two years of Erica’s persistence to convince management to launch a new service offering called FRSocial, that now three years into it, is very successful, as measured by revenue contribution. Now, Erica has established trust with the c-suite as the monetary results are proven. It was all made possible through intense study of the data, and consistently presenting data driven results to the management team to win support for Erica’s plans.
“Our senior leadership team has been really wonderful in adopting this ever-evolving space and understanding the role of social, how it plays and how it’s positioned us as a thought leader in the business to business side.”
– Erica Campbell Byrum, Director of Social Media Homes.com & ForRent.com
Advice for Beginners
For businesses still early in their social business journey, Erica recommends reviewing case studies in your industry as well as your competitors. She recommends presenting the findings to management as real world use cases for social in your business. Erica also recommends taking your boss to an industry conference to get them inspired to experiment in social. That’s exactly what Erica did and it made a big difference.
Erica’s accomplishments at Homes.com and ForRent.com, which are attributable to her persistence and business acumen, are very admirable. The results speak for themselves. As Erica points out in our video interview, it’s not an overnight process. Catch the 4.5 minute video interview at the top of this post for the full story.