Connecting with the Most Active Site Selectors on Social Media

December 5, 2014

As the Internet rises as the leading source of information influencing perceptions of an area’s business climate, it is increasingly important for economic developers to engage target audiences online.

With this in mind, as part of the 2014 Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing survey, DCI asked site selectors and corporate executives to indicate which social media channels they currently use for business purposes.

Just as 2011 data revealed, LinkedIn is the most widely used social media outlet for business, with 74% of all respondents selecting this option, followed by Twitter with 24%.

So where to start? Here are a few quick and easy ways to begin engaging with some of the most active site selectors on social media:

STEP 1 – Join LinkedIn Groups

Joining a LinkedIn group is a great way to connect with and engage in conversation with site selectors and other real estate professionals. Closely monitor group discussions, and if you feel that you can add value, chime in as a way to connect and establish yourself as a resource in the industry and for your community—just be sure to avoid being overly promotional. To get started, consider joining some of these key industry groups:

  • Site Selection Network – With the tagline “Where Economic Developers and Site Seeking Companies Go to Meet,” the Site Selection Network is a key resource for economic developers and site-seeking companies alike to ask questions and make connections.
  • Corporate Real Estate – This group serves as a network for CRE professionals engaged in every aspect of the corporate real estate industry. With a whopping 126,295 members, the group even has its own website.
  • Site Selection Professionals – CRE – This community of 2,592 corporate real estate and economic development professionals is the only public group on the list.
  • Site Selection and Corporate Real Estate Pros – This group includes 4,788 corporate real estate, site selection, and economic development professionals.
  • CoreNet Global – This group for CRE and workplace professionals, service providers and economic developers touts more than 8,000 members, who include 70% of the Fortune 100 and nearly half of the Forbes Global 2000.
  • ED-Related Groups – While you’re at it, make sure that you’re also involved in the economic development communities on LinkedIn. Groups like Economic Development Professionals, Economic Development 2.0 and Economic Development Leadership are great resources for economic developers to share ideas, ask questions and access networking opportunities.

STEP 2 – Connect with Site Selectors on LinkedIn

As economic developers, we know that the importance of building relationships with site selectors cannot be overstated. You should have the foundation of a relationship with a consultant before connecting with them on LinkedIn, but once you have, use this tool to engage in conversation where appropriate as a way to maintain the connection. Here are a few site selectors who are particularly active on LinkedIn:

renzasJames Renzas
RSH Group
Chairman of the Site Selectors Guild Advisory Forum Committee
Owner of the Site Selection Network Group
garnerJay Garner
Garner Economics, LLC
Owner of the Site Selectors Guild LinkedIn Group
DEANDean Barber
Barber Business Advisors
Active industry blogger
Brian FrenchBrian French
Principal Advisor
Site Selection & Corporate Real Estate
Frequent LinkedIn Group commenter 

STEP 3 – Engage with Site Selectors on Twitter

Another way to build rapport with site selectors is to engage with them on Twitter. A strategic comment, retweet or favorite can put you on their radar and create fodder for continued conversation. If you’re not sure who to follow, here’s a list of some of the most active site selectors on Twitter. Not to mention, many of these consultants Tweet relevant economic development news throughout the day, so they are a great resource to stay on top of the latest industry trends.

Coy Davidson Coillers International Site Selection Economic DevelopmentCoy Davidson
Senior Vice President
Coillers International
Paul Formichelli Jones Lang LaSalle Site Selection Economic DevelopmentPaul Formichelli
Commercial Real Estate Broker & Adivsor
Jones Lang LaSalle
John Dues Bingswater Site Selection Economic DevelopmentJohn Dues
Vice Chairman
Michelle Mcomerford iggins Lacy Shapiro & Co Site Selection Economic DevelopmentMichelle Comerford
Industrial & Supply Chain Practice Leader
Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co
Dean Barber Site Selection Economic DevelopmentDean Barber
Barber Business Advisors LLC
Gregg Wassmansdorff site selection economic development NGKFGregg Wassmansdorf
Senior Managing Director
Global Corporate Services
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Jeremy Neur CB Richard Ellis Site Selection Economic DevelopmentJeremy Neuer
Senior Vice President
CB Richard Ellis
John Long Shore Global Location Strategies Site Selection Economic DevelopmentJohn Longshore
Global Location Strategies
lloydChris Lloyd
Senior Vice President
McGuire Woods Consulting
Jay Garner Economics, site selection, economic developmentJay Garner
President & Founder
Garner Economics, LLC
PECKGenerra Peck
Vice President
McGuireWoods Consulting
Thomas Gola Site Selection Economic DevelopmentThomas Gola
Legation Street LLC

Now that you have completed steps 1-3, you’re on your way to connecting with key site selectors on the two most popular social media platforms for business. Happy networking!

Written by Jordan Robinson

Jordan Robinson is an Account Director in the Economic Development division at DCI. Since joining the company, she has managed strategic media relations and marketing campaigns for both domestic and international clients including Charleston, Puerto Rico, Thailand and Scotland.

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