multifamily and apartment industry

Social Media Marketing for the Multifamily and Apartment Industry

social media marketing facebookWhy should you care about Facebook? - If it were a country, it would be the 3rd largest in the world. It has more users than there are people in the US. Benefits to having an active presence on Facebook include: increasing your brand exposure and site traffic, creating buzz for events and promotions, building relationships, and so much more. Here are just a few things you should be doing with your community’s Facebook Page, if you aren’t already:

1. Run a social media sweepstakes.

Rewarding your current fans and enticing potential residents to “like” you is a great way to build the interaction on your Page. But what exactly do I mean by a “social media sweepstakes?" It’s simple really - a prize giveaway leveraging your social media profiles, especially Facebook.

I’m sure you’ve seen other Pages promoting giveaways before, but did you know that most of them are breaking Facebook’s Guidelines for Pages? You are actually required to use a third party app to manage any giveaway featured on your Page and my personal favorite is Woobox. For just $29 a month (per Facebook Page), you are able to run several different kinds of promotions, including sweepstakes.

Some of my favorite features provided by Woobox include:

  • Fan-gating - requires someone to like your Page before entering the sweepstakes
  • Entry page customizations - choose your page width (I like 810px wide), whether or not you want to enable Open Graph Sharing (I do), and what your pre-entry, entry, and post-entry pages will look like (I recommend having your graphic designer create a fun graphic to promote the sweeps with.)
  • Link to Official Rules and Regulations - choose between linking to an external page with your rules and regs, or enter them within Woobox (Yes, you do need these and I recommend having your lawyer write them up for you, just to be safe.)
  • Sharing - award additional entries to people who get their friends to enter and also who Tweet about the sweeps

As you’re planning your sweepstakes, be sure to have clear goals in mind. Are you just looking for more fans and followers? Or would you like more interaction on your Page as well? Are you interested in future promotional opportunities and lasting relationships with other local businesses? Ideally, you should focus on all of the above, but you certainly don’t have to. It’s up to you to decide what makes the most sense for your demographic.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your sweepstakes has to live entirely on Facebook; be sure to promote it across all of your social media profiles. If you created a graphic for the sweepstakes, be sure to pin it on Pinterest with a link to the entry page. Offer additional entries to people who tweet about your sweepstakes and come up with a fun #hashtag to help promote it. You can even use the same #hashtag to promote it on your Google+ Page! Last but not least, you should also write a blog post about the sweepstakes to post on your own website.

Figuring out the logistics for your sweepstakes should be the fun part. Come up with a theme and title that play up your region, neighborhood, or a unique feature of your property. Perhaps your apartment community is located on a metro line? Or very near a popular form of public transportation? Play that up! Invite your fans and followers to “take a ride” with you along the metro line, visiting different local businesses along the way. Giving other businesses in the area a pat on the back could lead to them doing the same for you, or maybe even an existing relationship for future events or promotions down the line. Partnering up with other businesses usually results in prize donations, (if you’re lucky), so, don’t be afraid to ask if they have any suggestions for prizes to be given away!

Lastly, I should point out that there are other apps to manage sweepstakes with, besides Woobox. You should also check out: Wishpond, Wildfire, SnapApp and PunchTab.

2. Post visually-pleasing updates.

Now that you have run a wildly successful sweepstakes across all your social media profiles and you have attracted tons of new fans and followers, what are you supposed to do with them? Keep them happy, of course! One of the easiest ways to attract eyeballs to your status updates, versus your competitors’ updates, are with visually-pleasing images and updates.

Studies show people are much more likely to engage with content that is visually pleasing such as photos or videos, rather than text-only content. “Forty-four percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media.”(Fast Company)

If you are wondering what you should post pictures of, here are just a few recommendations that seem to work well for me:

  • Is your property new? Post photos of construction updates before the building is completed.
  • Post photos of events that took place at the property - people love to see photos of themselves!
  • Post fun photos that people will enjoy seeing in the middle of their work day like cute kittens, funny dogs, and TGIF photos. Celebrate the things that people love to look at on the Internet! (cats, bacon, Ryan Gosling... the list could go on and on).

3. Ask your fans and followers questions.

People love to give their opinions - isn’t that what the Internet was created for in the first place? To be our own personal soapbox? Well, regardless, I have found that asking our fans and followers their opinion on something or to vote on a topic, has boosted engagement and interaction on our Pages. Here are some suggestions:

  • Try asking what your fans and followers favorite local restaurant is and why. This is another good opportunity to build relationships with local businesses near your community. Once the people have spoken, make it a point to tag the restaurants with the most votes in a status update (using the @symbol right before their name), and also make sure you’ve already liked their Page and are following their updates as well.
  • Ask other questions about the neighborhood or building. Any way you can entice your fans and followers to interact with your Page is always a good thing. Perhaps a new store or theater opened nearby? Ask them what they think about it. Or maybe your community is trying to decide between different types of fitness equipment to purchase for the gym? Who better to vote on these things than the people who will be directly affected?

Try implementing some, or all, of these tactics on your brand’s social media profiles and you’re very likely to start seeing a change in your number of fans and followers, as well as the interactions on your page. Good luck!

This is a guest post from Julia Niedzialek. Niedzialek is the Residential Marketing Coordinator at The Buccini/Pollin Group and manages all of the social media profiles as well as the blog for The Residences in Wilmington, Delaware. Julia is also the Communications Coordinator for the Delaware Apartment Association.  When she’s not trying out the newest marketing tactics and building buzz online, she enjoys exploring all that Wilmington (her home as well) has to offer. You can ask Julia a question, if you like, by emailing LiveWorkPlay@Wilmington-Lifestyle.com.