Ways in which you have had success creating engagement.
I find that utilizing social media, as just that, SOCIAL, provides the ability to be more engaged. In my own experience, when you begin using your social media as a direct sales tool, posting floor plans, pricing, options to lease, it takes away from the intent of the platform….to be social. That in and of itself provides the engagement portion you need and want.
Don’t ignore comments on your posts or messages. Creating and remaining engaged means staying consistent with your own level of engagement! (Side note, not every comment requires you to comment, but at least like the comment….this isn’t a place for an entire conversation)
REMEMBER: Your active engagement on the social media platform plays into many algorithms meaning that as you engage, comment and like, your posts will also start appearing more actively in other’s feeds! Activity = engagement = exposure
Where do you find the content to post (How do you come up with the content to post?)
It’s a moment of inspiration really….is the dog that came to visit you in the office so adorable, post about it.
Did you get a new sign? Post about (i.e. some funny post about “I saw the sign…and it opened up my eyes…I saw the sign”).
New coffee flavor in the coffee machine, post about it in a fun and informative way.
You or one of your team members go to the new _____(restaurant, coffee shop, bar, bookstore……) take a photo or selfie and post about it and TAG THEM!
Do you have some epic move in swag? Post a photo of a resident using it.
*Also, it’s worth mentioning here, I follow MANY MANY other apartment communities on my personal pages from one side of the United States to the other….if you find one that is making magic happen on their page, FOLLOW THEM! See what they are doing right. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”….”
How do you make time to post consistently?
It’s a priority and a standard for us as a company. We are measured weekly on how many posts that we completed and it gets sent out to all the on-site teams. We are being held accountable to the expectation.
*There are many quick posting tools available such as SOCI or Hootsuite. I acknowledge their efficiency and suggest using during busy season. Always make sure “in the moment” posts are not ignored either!
What content can you post to attract prospects outside of vacant apartments?
The social media platform has always been in my mind, just that, a platform to engage, stay social, showcase your community’s personality (every property has a personality, SHOWCASE IT!) and less of a direct sales tool.
It is a sales tool in the way of showing off your personality, how your team and your residents have a good time, the resident events that you do, the community service that you do, the customer service that you provide. Maybe even some of the “hidden” perks of living at your community….those things that are not always incredibly obvious during a tour, but is important to living in your building (i.e. we did a really fun music video for “TRASH TRASH BABY” and while it is informational and shows off our convenient trash chutes….we made it fun AND….key word, SOCIAL!)
Advice for peers about social media?
Remember that you are building your brand and your personality on this page. What do you want your personality to be showcased as?
*See also Best Practices below*
How do you build your following for Facebook and Instagram?
There are several different ways to build your following, but, typically when I am beginning a lease up property, and it’s a blank slate I start with the following:
1. Find local businesses, companies, restaurants that are close by to your community. Pages that your residents would be likely to follow. FOLLOW THEM!
2. Find informational pages for your city, state, community that would be beneficial for you and your residents to follow. Stay in the know! FOLLOW THEM!
3. Figure out who your local SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS are and begin a relationship with them. FOLLOW THEM! If I tag you, will you tag me?? ……your goal is to BECOME the social media influencer in your community!
4. Invite people to follow your community on your social media platforms….it’s like asking for the lease…ask for the follow! We use it as a closing tool during any tour (in person, virtual or on the telephone)…..”if you want to know more about who we are and what we’re about, if you have an Instagram page, follow us!” (Please note, this is not always going to work….not everyone has an active social media page…)
5. We played BINGO and other games on our social media with prizes….which gives people an incentive to follow us on the platforms…they could WIN something!
Any Best practices?
Know your local hashtags and maybe create some of your own property’s hashtags, or company/branding hashtags. Use them consistently!
Examples of our local community hashtags: #dtws #underthestacks #myws #wsnc #innovationquarter #baileypark
Examples of our property/branding hashtags: #linkaptsiq #linkpups #linkneighbors #linkfriends #linkfun
On Instagram, when you’re tagging someone else, don’t just tag them in the comment of the post, make sure you are tagging them in the photo as well. This is where it will also attach to their Instagram page under their own tags section. When you know you’ve made it……..a social media influencer tags your REGULARLY in their daily posts. (Ours? Lotus Yoga and Krankies Coffee)
(3) Check your messages and respond to your messages!
If you want engagement, you have to be engaged and don’t ignore! In this day in age, some of the best marketing is occurring on social media!
(4) Steer away from controversial posts and opinionated posts!
If it would make you raise your eyebrows if you saw someone else do it….don’t be the one doing it. Social media is meant to be FUN and uplifting!
(5) Stick to local, small business, hometown businesses if possible – it helps with the engagement and relationship building (just because you’re next to Target doesn’t mean you should follow Target on Instagram and expect a relationship from them…..) Some of our best relationships and marketing opportunities have come from following local businesses and individuals in the community….the humans behind the screen are the ones you’re wanting to access
(6) Avoid drama….if a resident, prior resident, customer etc takes their frustrations out on your social media page – STAY COOL – don’t ignore it, but simply formulate a standardized response that dismisses the opportunity for drama but also reflects a caring response.
Are there some tips and tricks you would like share?
(1) I personally follow local businesses, restaurants, people, informational pages on my own pages. Each time I go to a new property, I start from scratch on my own page, clear out any likes/follows from the previous area I lived and start fresh! Following (and stalking) on my own page, keeps me up to date of all the local information I need, and sometimes what I find on my personal page, is not also found on my property’s page…..as algorithms are changing for business accounts vs personal accounts……stay in the know even as a community member, NOT just as community business person
(2) If you find yourself scrolling through your property’s Instagram page aimlessly….make sure YOU/YOUR PROPERTY, is also engaging with others……like the post, comment on the post, do your own level of engagement on other’s pages!!! Don’t just scroll, engage with your community!
the top 3 posts during/at the beginning COVID?
(1) The amount of likes and engagement on this one was a direct result of who was tagged in the photo and at the height of our local stay at home order. 98 LIKES and 8 COMMENTS!
(2) This one was the same…..it was all about who we tagged and was a fun photo to scroll through as someone just looking! 100 LIKES AND 3 COMMENTS!
(3) I mean, it’s a rainbow….who doesn’t love a rainbow, much less a double rainbow! Again, this was about who was tagged and just the FEELS of the moment. Remember, your’re posting a photo and writing words to incite EMOTIONS and A FEELING. 98 LIKES
(4) I added two more posts that had equal likes (74 EACH) because this is an example of being local, staying local and supporting local, which I mention below……one of these posts were our team at the local brewery eating the local pizza, the second one is a showcase of a local energy drink and local distillery that we partnered with. Each of these places has their own following and as soon as you TAG them and MENTION them, you’ve just managed to gain triple the exposure!!!!