Everyone in the multifamily housing industry knows that happy residents require stability, and renewals serve as a sign that your renters are enjoying your apartment community. The more residents you have renewing their leases, the less you need to concern yourself with filling vacant apartments. Better yet, these contented residents will recommend your property to their peers. This role of resident-as-advocate is a fundamental idea that has blossomed in the age of social media marketing. The concept is simple: your satisfied renters, past and present, are your most powerful promotional tool.
To begin building a strong social media presence, you need to encourage residents to identify with your brand by linking their social network to your property. A renter who follows you on social media offers a direct connection to their network, granting you with the visibility needed to improve leads. Their decision to like or follow you on social media also positions them as a direct advocate of your brand.
Younger generations crave the proverbial “put your money where your mouth is.” Instead of paid ads and catchy jingles, they want to see your business accurately represented on your social media channels. The positive aspect of this 21st century expectation? You can cater to a new demographic of renters while authentically marketing your community online at the same time.
Being Responsive is Key
Responding to the questions, comments, and concerns of your residents in a timely manner is arguably the most important rule you can adopt in your social media marketing strategy. For example, if a resident decides to post negative feedback on your page and you leave it unanswered, it not only affects your relationship with that particular person, but an unmet complaint also sends a negative message to anyone who visits your social media profile.
The best way to stay on top of your responses is to create alerts for any mention of your brand on social media. There are highly effective social media management tools available that allow you to monitor your respective social media pages, property name, and relevant hashtags across multiple platforms. Staying aware and up-to-date of what’s being said about your community online keeps you from missing any posts and allows you respond quickly.
Just keep this in mind: for many residents, social media is the first place they will go to address such issues and complaints. The modern renter is aware of the power of social media in defining your business’ reputation, and you should be too—it’s a public space that adds an audience and addressing the needs of your prospects or residents can strengthen you brand as much as your silence can damage it.
By taking the initiative to reply to resident issues on social media, you’re providing quality customer service that will keep your renters happy and encourage them to renew their leases. In an online landscape where user reviews can contribute significantly to a company’s success, this strategy is just as effective as a paid ad campaign.
Residents Take Comfort in Information
One of the strongest marketing methods to emerge in the age of social media is content marketing. The goal of content marketing is to engage with your audience, offering them relevant, valuable information instead of pushing a straightforward sales pitch. It’s an interactive approach to promoting your apartment community and is dynamic enough to serve both prospects and residents. 90 percent of modern organizations use content marketing to increase their lead flow, and studies show that it generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing. It’s the way of the future, and social media is the ideal platform for this innovative approach to marketing.
Content marketing requires some creativity, and a good place to start is by highlighting your neighborhood. Informing your online audience of different social happenings, popular dining spots, or the best nearby attractions not only speaks directly to your residents, but it also promotes your community’s location. It’s a great way to offer above-and-beyond service to residents, allowing you to broaden your online presence as you network with local businesses.
Another way to engage with your audience is by posting all community announcements on your social media channels. These days, it’s not enough to just put up fliers or drop them in a resident’s mailbox. The modern renter is constantly on-the-go yet always connected online; therefore, posting important information about your property online ensures that your message will reach community members as soon as it’s convenient for them. With 90 percent of users accessing Facebook from their mobile device and 82 percent of Twitter users doing the same, you can use social media to keep your community up-to-date with any maintenance issues, emergency announcements, or community happenings.
If residents become reliant on your social media channels for vital community information, they will habitually visit your brand’s online pages. It’s a modern convenience that is easy to provide, and every resident that follows your profile connects your business to a wider audience, increasing your web traffic and bolstering online engagement. It truly is a win-win partnership with property manager and resident working in harmony.
Create a Tight-Knit, Online Community
Your business is more than just a collection of apartment homes—it’s a community that your residents want to feel a part of, and your online presence should reiterate that fact. When used effectively, your social media presence embodies a sense of community, welcoming potential renters and strengthening the satisfaction of your current residents simultaneously.
Building a community atmosphere online can be as simple as sharing information regarding community activities and organized events, or holding a “like to win” contest through social media. Offering residents something special such as a gift card for a local restaurant or popular boutique in exchange for sharing a post or following your social media page can boost your social media presence by leaps and bounds. Your renters will respond to authentic, interesting posts, and the more creative you are with online contests, the more engagement you’ll get. The added bonus? It will increase resident satisfaction ten-fold and give them something to look forward to on your social media channels.
Highlighting residents who take part in your community’s events or win contests is another great way to strengthen a sense of community online. Posts that feature your renters will expand your brand image beyond your company logo, property photos, and floor plan images. Just make sure you always get a resident’s permission before posting their picture!
The bottom line for an effective social media presence is simple: the more communication you have with your residents, the better. Your social media channels have the potential to provide renters with the modern and memorable customer service they seek and can go a long way in retaining your current residents! With all your engagement documented and displayed online, taking care of your current renters is also synonymous with generating new leads for your community.