UPDATED: March 25 1:39 p.m.: As a rhetorical device, repetition is used for emphasis, often to ramp up an audience’s emotions. On social media, it can make you look like an earnest robot.
“Our neighborhood continues to grow!” 1407 Broadway has declared on Twitter more than a dozen times since November, linking to a story by The Real Deal about a new hotel coming to the Garment District. The account, @1407bway, has guided its audience to the “elusive, perfect donut” five times and has pointed out that the “world is changing every day with new#technology” on 10 occasions.
Last year the building’s marketing team, led by Nickerson PR, launched what it billed as an aggressive social media campaign to highlight Shorenstein Properties’ $30 million renovation of the building and attract a new crop of young, tech-inclined tenants. The idea, as TRD detailed in October, was to enliven what had been a “sleepy” commercial building and connect it with its surrounding neighborhood. What’s emerged, however, is a series of generic, rah-rah tweets reused — often more than five times — mixed in with some shout-outs to neighboring businesses and plugs for the building’s available leasing space.
The account also occasionally recycles tweets used by Center Plaza, a Shorenstein-owned building in Boston that also counts CBRE and Nickerson as part of its leasing and marketing teams, respectively.
Bridget Kelly, director of client engagement at Nickerson, said that the tweets are repeated to assure that they reach the maximum number of people possible and work to reinforce the building’s brand. Shorenstein is looking to attract entrepreneurs and tech tenants, so the team posts inspirational quotes and tech-related news, she said. Repetition is a common social media marketing strategy, she insisted, as is using evergreen content to draw a diversity of users.
“Coca-Cola doesn’t spend their resources to run an ad once and only once,” Kelly said, who noted the account has nearly 2,800 followers and 1,000 likes and retweets. “I would almost liken content placement to that kind of marketing strategy. In everything we’re doing we’re hoping to give a personality to the building.”
(After the story was published, Nickerson provided the following chart detailing their campaign:)
Never mind that the personality that emerges is akin to a millennial avatar of Jimmy Two Times, minus the swagger.
Obviously, @1407bway isn’t the only social account that recycles content. According to Peter Shankman, a social media and digital marketing expert, repeating posts is fairly common among marketing teams that realize a social media presence is necessary but fail to establish a real connection with their intended audience and simply churn out content.
“It’s pretty sad. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon,” Shankman said. “People get on social media, and then realize that they have to do something.”
Another property with a similar Twitter campaign, RXR Realty’s Starrett-Lehigh Building, also sometimes repeats itself (the building REALLY wants a Snapchat geofilter), but it tends to focus on information pertaining to the building and its tenants. When asked about 1407 Broadway, Shankman said that using the same content over and over again isn’t valuable to the audience and doesn’t necessarily boost a brand.
“Having an audience is a privilege, not a right,” he said. “I could stare at the mirror and say how awesome I am, but who’s listening?”