Social Media 101 for Property Managers


 


This post is Part Four of our Four-Part Marketing Series. This sequence of articles dives into four key aspects of marketing your residential property management company. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking to take your marketing to the next level, this series will provide you with actionable insights and takeaways.


Just like your website and online advertising, social media is another pillar of building your digital curb appeal. Unlike those channels, which are primarily tools for filling vacancies by getting your units in front of potential renters, social media offers more opportunities to actually connect with the people living in your community—beyond just empty units. Just like the name suggests, it gives you the opportunity to be social and engage with your community.

Social media marketing is a proven method for growing brand awareness and connecting with your target audience. For property management companies, making a name for your property is essential for attracting new prospects. Whether it’s advertising your units, showcasing your staff, or giving a behind-the-scenes look at what life at your property could be like for the viewer, the opportunities to grow your digital community are endless.

Facebook…Twitter…Snapchat…where do you even begin? I know you’re busy with an endless list of tasks on your to-do list, and the last thing you’re probably thinking about is social media. If you have a team or staff member who focuses on marketing, this is for them.

There are a variety of social media channels to work with, each featuring different formats, styles, and benefits. What works for one property management firm might not be what’s best for you. We’re here to keep things simple and introduce three different channels you should consider investing resources in to help build your property management brand.

 


The Social Media Rule of Thirds

Quick side note before we dive into the platforms themselves. It’s important to know the “Social Media Rule of Thirds.” The Rule of Thirds is a simple way to make sure you’re sharing content that engages your audience, rather than constantly shouting at them about yourself.

  • ⅓ of your social content should help grow your business (this can be advertising your available units)
  • ⅓ of your social content should share ideas from others (this is curated content— we discuss this more below).
  • ⅓ of your social content should be engaging with your audience

It’s easy for companies to forget this simple rule and focus solely on posting their vacant units. Remember, it’s called social media for a reason. You wouldn’t spend all your time at a party talking about yourself, would you? Be sure to share valuable information from other sources and interact with your audience on your social media channels.


 

Facebook

Monthly active users: 2.23 billion

The most common use of social media by property owners and managers is to fill their units, of course! Utilizing social media channels, especially Facebook, makes it extremely easy to post details about your property to your community. You can attach photos, videos, and links to your website or to an ILS listing. Facebook posts are extremely shareable and can be a good way to get listings in front of prospects. By utilizing your social channels, your online community (your staff and current residents) can easily share vacancies with potential renters.

Added Value

Another part of your social strategy could be to add value to your residents’ and prospects’ life through the content you choose to share. This could be things like home organization tips, new or easy recipes to help your residents in the kitchen, and even what’s happening locally. If there is a hot, new restaurant opening in the neighborhood, be sure to let your residents know! Is your city hosting a food festival this weekend? Is the local sports team kicking off their season? Share this news!

If your operation is lean and you don’t have the time to create content on your own, no worries! This is where curated content comes into play. Curated content is where you re-share other people’s posts and articles that are relevant to your audience. This saves you significant time in the creation phase, helps you follow that “rule of thirds” we mentioned above, and still helps you deliver valuable information to your community. To find information to share, think about the sources you rely on. For living tips, turn to places like Apartment Therapy or Tasty. Chances are, if you find an article interesting or informative, your residents will, too. For local news, start with your favorite outlets—as these sites will be up-to-date on the latest happenings in your area. You can also identify one or two local bloggers who cover food or nightlife in your city.

Private Groups

The number one social media trend to watch according to Sprout Social is private groups. For property managers, especially in the multifamily space, you can utilize this function to create a private group for your property. Not only can you share community updates and ongoing events with your residents, but this resident-only group can help act as a community town hall if any issues happen to arise. A private group made up of your residents also helps you get important updates and information to your community.

Speaking of private groups, are you part of the Rent Manager User Forum? This private Facebook group is for you to discuss the program with each other; share tips, tricks, and best practices; ask questions; and network with your industry peers.

 

Instagram

Monthly active users: 1 billion

Instagram is different than other social media networks because it’s strictly a visual platform—showcasing photos and videos, rather than written messages as the main focus. Still, Instagram can be a good outlet to grow awareness about your community.

Behind-The-Scenes/Community Events

A good way to think about Instagram is using it to give potential residents an inside look at what life in your community is like. You can use the platform to advertise your available units by posting high-quality imagery and video walkthroughs. But you can take it a step further and use Instagram to advertise the atmosphere of your community. If you host various events throughout the year, showcase those experiences by capturing photos and sharing them on your community’s profile.

Staff Showcase

Because of the visual nature of this platform, an easy thing to mix into your content is “Meet the Team” style posts. This can help foster a deeper connection in your community between your staff and your residents. Every other week, post a photo of a different employee and match it with a brief overview of their job responsibilities in the community and a few fun facts about them.

#Hashtags and Locations

Making use of hashtags and location tags helps your content become more discoverable by your targeted audience. For example, say you manage an apartment building in Cincinnati’s Over-The-Rhine neighborhood. When you post a photo of one of your available units, you might use the hashtags: #Cincinnati #OverTheRhine #ThisIsOTR, so that anyone who doesn’t already follow you might find you by looking through those specific tags.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

Similar to curated content, UGC is photography that people from your community have taken that you re-post on your account. This can range from beautiful photos of your city or neighborhood to photos within your property itself—by your pool or of their individual unit. Encourage your staff and residents to share their photos with you, and consider making it a contest to drive social media engagement. Ideas for social contests could vary from residents sharing the way they’ve decorated their units, to a “Pet of the Month,” where residents can submit pictures of their furry roommates.

 

YouTube

Monthly active users: 1.9 billion

The video sharing platform is the second largest search engine behind Google. For property management professionals, you can use YouTube as another avenue to share video tours of your properties.

Video Tours

Not using video tours as part of your marketing yet? Well, you might want to consider it. Going beyond just posting photos of your units, giving prospects a video walkthrough helps your potential renter better imagine themselves calling your property “home.” Not to mention, it saves you and your staff time so you can focus on other prospects.

 

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