A Property Manager’s Guide to Social Media


With the digital climate we live in and the increasing popularity of conducting business online, utilizing social media has become essential for brand awareness and promotion. From marketing vacant units, to showcasing what life’s like in your community, to keeping your current residents updated; social media is a great cost-efficient way for property managers to build a reputable online presence that’s reflective of their business.

Nearly everyone is on social media in some capacity nowadays. The key is finding which platform best suits your business goals and provides access to your target audience. Each social media platform offers different features and benefits and we are here to break those down for you. This article will introduce the four major social platforms—Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. By taking the time the time to understand these resources, you can be confident in deciding which platforms to invest your time and effort into.

But before diving into the individual platforms and their capabilities, it’s important to first understand general tips that are applicable for all platforms so that you can better optimize your strategy.

Stay on target
Although there will be an overlap, each platform has its own unique audience. Be sure to tailor and target your messaging for the audience that’s consuming it. What works on Twitter might not be as effective on LinkedIn. Finding the right voice is imperative to the success of your efforts.

Consistency is key
Each platform has its own algorithm and requirements; establishing a consistent schedule will be essential for your posting strategy. Finding what days and times your audience is most active on each social channel and how often you need to post will help boost engagement and ensure your content is seen.

Pay attention to trends
A hashtag trend or hot topic in the industry is a great way to join a larger conversation. Local and world news is also crucial to stay up-to-date on, as you will want to be considerate of your content.

Visuals are vital
It’s proven that including images and videos in your posts will draw more engagement. When scrolling through their feed, a viewer is more likely to stop and watch a visually appealing video or read a concise graphic vs. plain-text posts. You can review photo sizing requirements for each platform here.

Facebook

Facebook is the world’s largest social media network. With the ability to reach more than two billion people, chat directly with followers, and share any type of media, Facebook is a must-use for companies of all sizes. The diversity of shareable content on Facebook makes it one of the most useful social media platforms. Facebook’s audience is broad, with a user age range of 13–65+, though the most frequent users fall between the ages of 30–49.* Education levels are lower on Facebook compared to LinkedIn and locations are more evenly spread between urban, suburban, and rural.*

While still maintaining a professional demeanor, Facebook provides a more relaxed environment that is meant for videos, photos, gifs, and yes… maybe even a cat video. Finding a balance between entertainment and information is the key to Facebook content. Some great content suggestions include home tips and recipes, articles regarding local news, community event information, and high-quality photos and videos of your units and property. Facebook also provides the ability to create groups that can serve as a more direct way to communicate information to your residents.

Instagram

Instagram is an incredibly visual platform that has grown around aesthetically pleasing photos and videos that display personality and emotion. The goal on Instagram is to provide a brand “experience” to followers in order to tell a larger story through visual communication. Businesses that intentionally develop and curate a brand style perform the best on Instagram. Using specific filters, colors, graphics, and hashtags can build a story and assist with brand recognition. Instagram stories are another way to reach larger audiences and highlight less significant pieces of an overall brand story that may not require a full post. Stories are also a great way to engage with customers/followers and provide an open line of communication through direct messaging. This platform particularly resonates with younger audiences as a way to quickly consume and view information.

Hashtags are an important aspect of Instagram. By using the right hashtags in posts, you can ensure that your content is seen by a like-minded audience beyond your followers. User demographics show this platform is more popular with younger generations and only 35% of people 30–64 are using it.* Instagram is also more popular in rural locations in the U.S., compared to the urban demographic of LinkedIn and Facebook.*

Content suggestions for your Instagram audience include: showcasing the lifestyle of your community, sharing high-quality photos and videos of units and properties (can be a full post or stories), sharing employee spotlights so your tenants can get to know your staff, and promoting engagement through weekly polls and questions.

Twitter

Considered a miniature blogging platform, Twitter is all about keeping it short and sweet. The 250-character count keeps messages concise and direct. Focused on timely content, Twitter has become the place to get news with trending topics and hashtag conversations. It’s a great platform to keep your community updated with short posts, quick news, links to external sites, as well as delivering an additional customer service resource through Direct Message. With that being said, the average life of a tweet is 24 minutes, therefore Twitter will require more frequent posting while still maintaining quality content. Using one to three hashtags is the most effective way of getting your posts to a larger audience. Thirty-eight percent of Twitter users are between the ages of 18–29 and are more likely reside in an urban or suburban area.*

TikTok recently emerged onto the scene and has been fully embraced by Gen Z—this video sharing social network was originally intended for talent videos related to dancing and lip-syncing. These videos can be directly shared to other major platforms, the most popular being Twitter. Tiktok could be a great way to creatively share fun videos of your community and quick tours of units and then quickly share them to your other platforms.

LinkedIn

Last but not least, LinkedIn is the online equivalent of a professional networking event. Pages, whether for an individual user or a company, are extended resumes that generally include backgrounds, interests, education, and professional skills. As the most business-oriented platform, LinkedIn is great for building a brand, connecting with experts in a particular field, and generating new business leads. For property management specifically, you likely won’t be promoting your property to potential tenants, but owner prospects may certainly be searching for details about your operation on this platform. LinkedIn is also a great resource for keeping tabs on industry trends and to engage with like-minded property management professionals.

User demographics for LinkedIn show the platform is most popular with people between the ages of 35–55.* Fifty-one percent of users have also pursued higher education and live in urban or suburban areas.* Generally, a more professional and direct tone is used when writing posts on LinkedIn. It can also be helpful to use from one to three hashtags in a post in order to engage in a larger professional conversation.

Social Media is here to stay and will continue to be part of our everyday lives. Adopting the best platforms for your business and embracing creative content will have your brand established online in no time.

*Demographics information from SproutSocial.

By Megan Wolfe