What do A-list celebrities, global corporations, and local businesses have in common? They use the power of social media marketing to boost brand awareness. Over the past decade, social media platforms, like Instagram, have become a preferred way of communicating and advertising by businesses and individuals alike. Originally launched on iOS, Instagram has since become one of the world’s most-used social media apps across all devices. Today, the photo and video sharing app boasts over one billion active monthly users and handles over 100 million uploads per day.
With its photo and video sharing capabilities, Instagram has become a welcomed avenue for marketing brands of all sizes. Because Instagram is a visual platform, it offers apartment marketers an easy, user-friendly way to establish brand identity in the digital sphere. Featuring filters, stickers, and other editing tools, Instagram will not only allow your business to solidify its place in the current market, but it will also help you to showcase the personality of the property and the people behind it.
Though its users span several generations, Instagram is particularly popular amongst members of Generations X, Y, and Z – or, Gen-Xers, Millennials, and Gen-Z. According to a recent study, nearly 46 percent of Generation X use Instagram. 59 percent of Millennials are active on the platform, as are 73 percent of Generation Z. What’s more, usage has shot up in response to the pandemic. These days, adults under 35 are spending at least 40 percent more time on social platforms, including Instagram.
Instagram’s large user base is also very receptive to discovering new brands on the app, with approximately 200 million users visiting at least one business account daily. If that statistic weren’t impressive enough, 83 percent of users turn to the platform to discover new products or services, and another 80 percent base their purchase decisions upon a brand’s Instagram presence. These numbers could explain why engagement rates on Instagram are nearly double those on Facebook!
Other than being a marketer’s dream due to its widespread use, Instagram also offers businesses a way to solidify their standing with major search engines, like Google. Though social media presence is not officially considered a Google ranking factor, there’s no denying that well-maintained social media pages work to enhance your community’s online reputation and can influence search engine algorithms. For example, if an Instagram user decides to visit your apartment marketing website directly from your bio, this is deemed favorable by search engine crawlers.
Now that you know more about the many benefits of using Instagram for your marketing strategy, there’s just one thing left to do: determine what your community should post. As with other marketing initiatives, the answer will largely depend upon your goals and objectives. If you’re building a brand for a lease-up community and want to reach full occupancy before opening your doors, for instance, Instagram is a great platform for posting progress photos, welcome specials, and other valuable leasing information. Your community may also use Instagram to raise brand awareness by distributing sponsored posts, which blend seamlessly with your end-user’s organic feed and lacks the overtly “salesy” tone that modern consumers tend to reject outright.
You should also consider posting walkthrough videos of available floor plans, or property photos highlighting unique amenities and design details. Your content can center on the community’s management team, too, and encourage users to virtually “meet” key employees at your property. Don’t forget to try Instagram’s Stories feature, which allows you to upload ephemeral content that only lasts for 24-hours. If you’re hesitant about planning content for two different feeds, just remember that one-third of Instagram’s most viewed Stories are posted by businesses.
When it comes to tracking the success of your Instagram campaigns, you will be relieved to discover that you don’t have to hire a marketing analyst to do the work for you. Like its sister site Facebook, Instagram’s business pages feature a built-in analytics dashboard, which detail need-to-know metrics, like follower trends and engagement rates. Simply check the “Insights” tab directly on your page anytime you’d like an update. If you operate through Facebook for Business, you’ll also have the option of linking your Facebook page to your Instagram account, allowing you to take advantage of many free management tools that are designed to help brands, like yours, make the most of both platforms.
When it comes to establishing your brand, few social media apps are as effective as Instagram. With its vast, global user base, user-friendly posting tools, and insightful analytics dashboard, Instagram is a natural fit for apartment marketers, who are looking to attract new residents and solidify their reputation within the competitive multifamily market. For a simple way to connect with prospective and current residents during a time when everyone is living their lives spaced six feet apart, set up a business page on Instagram and watch your community‘s reputation flourish and occupancy boom.
Kerry W. Kirby is a global entrepreneur, technology innovator, philanthropist, and the founder of 365 Connect, an award-winning technology firm within the multifamily housing industry. Over the course of his career, Kerry has been the recipient of an array of highly acclaimed awards, including the esteemed Louisiana Governor's Technology Award. He has been named to the Silicon Bayou 100 List of most influential entrepreneurs for nine consecutive years and has received a prestigious Titan Entrepreneur Award for his technological achievements. An acclaimed speaker, author, and award-winning podcaster, Kerry has appeared on the BBC Digital Planet program, NPR News, and various media platforms and outlets. He has contributed to an array of articles and studies on the convergence of technology in the rental housing industry.
Kerry serves on the Board of Advisors of Rainbow, a national nonprofit organization that provides service-enriched housing programs for affordable housing communities across the country, as well as the Board of Advisors of the Multifamily Women’s Summit, an event that allows women to strengthen their expertise, influence, and professional network in the multifamily housing industry. He is Chair of Technology Initiatives for the Multifamily Innovation Advisory Council, a private, members only group focused on assisting owners and operators of multifamily communities identify pain points and explore innovative solutions that will drive change across the industry.