NEW ORLEANS, LA - With over 1.5 billion daily searches performed on Facebook and over 2 billion daily searches on Twitter, social search is quickly gaining ground to the over 3.5 billion daily searches performed on Google. With those astounding statistics, it’s now more important than ever to optimize your social media profiles so that your prospective residents have the ability to find your community on search engines as well as social platforms.
Not all social media platforms are a good fit for the multifamily industry, but you can start with claiming and optimizing your profiles for the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Once you claim your profiles, you must provide as much information as you can. Make sure your business name, address, phone number, and links to your website are consistent across all of the platforms and match the information on your website. Also, you need to choose the most appropriate categories for your Facebook page and Google+.
Kerry W. Kirby, CEO of 365 Connect, a leading provider of award-winning marketing, leasing, and resident technology platforms for the multifamily housing industry explained, “NAP (name, address, and phone number) consistency is critical across all of your social media channels. It is important to look at your community’s website as the hub of all relevant information while regarding your social media pages as your distribution system for that information. You can maximize the impact of your social outreach through integrating your social media channels to your website.”
Once you achieve NAP consistency, you will want to write enticing descriptions for each of your social profiles, using relevant keywords. A thorough understanding of your prospects and the market will come in handy. Think of words that people may be using to search for your community and make sure to use them throughout your description. If you need some ideas, you can use a tool like Google Keyword Planner for keyword research. On Twitter, you have the ability to hashtag your keywords in your profile, giving your community’s profile a boost when people are using the keywords in their search terms.
“Well written content is key when optimizing your social media pages. It is important to create content that speaks to your end user. After you create this quality content, it is also vital to inform both the end user and search engines that you are an apartment community. Without clear content describing what your community provides, you can easily end up indexed in the wrong category,” Kirby elaborated.
Next, be sure to add as many branded photos as you can. The more pictures you upload, the better. You must focus on the quality of the images. You can upload hundreds of pictures, but if they aren’t appealing or compelling, prospective residents will not be impressed. Put your best foot forward, and whenever it is possible include several interior and exterior photos of your community. Adding photos of your management and leasing team to Facebook and Google+ would also be a great idea.
However, the most important step in optimizing your social profiles is having your business verified on Google+ and Facebook. Having a verified Google My Business account (Google’s dashboard for business) is crucial to local SEO and will have a direct impact on your property’s rankings in local search. This verification proves that you are the rightful owner of your community’s Google+ Business Page and will increase your trustworthiness with the search engine as well as on Google+, making it easier for your community to appear in search results. On Facebook, the verification seal also imparts credibility and boosts your chances of showing up in prospects’ search results and feeds.”
Kirby concluded, “The fact remains that social media has impacted your community’s organic reach and will continue to do so. The key to having a viable search marketing strategy is to determine whether or not it functions synergistically with a strategic social strategy. The first step in providing your community with the boost it needs to compete on Google and in the search results of popular social platforms is a robust and complete social profile.”