Social media is in the fabric of everyday life. Are you using social media to brand or promote your apartment complex? If done right you can engage your residents in the social media effort and get positive testimonials. Read: Free advertising. You could increase your retention rates and allure prospective residents interested in your buzz.
You may already know about Eric Brown of Urbane Apartments fame. Under Brown’s leadership the company started a resident-written blog recommending favorite local destinations and events. Urbane Apartments has a social networking site exclusive to tenants. Of course, they also have active YouTube, Facebook and Twitter profiles. The traffic to these sites has doubled and tripled even though the Urbane Apartments complex only offers 300 apartments in total. Impressive, right?
How to create an online community
So, what amazing content drives traffic to these social media sites? You may want to check out Condescending Corporate Brand Page for pitfalls. You already know the glossy, disingenuous feeling to avoid. People want real information they could use in their daily life, not thinly veiled advertisements. For example, who do you think serves the best cup of coffee in town? Explain the why of your opinion. Use your voice.
Tapping into resident participation means creating an online community all about the residents, all about their world. What do the residents care about, want to know and want to share?
Keep your media feed authentic, useful and fun. Profile a local baker whose passion is chocolate cake, recommend a dry cleaner that doesn’t eat buttons and highlight a safe place to walk your dog. Ask questions to start conversations but make them good, real questions. Engage residents about their favorite local gems and ask them to share.
Hip, community-driven and media savvy is the branding Urbane Apartments has now and you could replicate that success. Sure you could! Keep publishing your updates in a consistent manner, daily or weekly. Remember to focus on community locations and events. Reach out and ask for participation from residents.
How to get your residents involved
When your residents move in give them a welcome gift bag with some token items to make them feel at home. In the bag include a card with the addresses of your social media sites. Display your addresses in the lobby or anywhere else residents might take notice. When you send out an email to residents, create a social media optimized email signature.
You could easily get a QR (Quick Response) Code, the code that smartphones can scan. Put that code up in poster form anywhere in your building. Utilize the code on promotional material, your front door and the lids of coffee cups. Okay, I don’t know if the lids are possible but get creative. Put your code where people are really going to see it. That QR code will take anyone right to the social media site of your choosing. Use it.
Keep it foremost in your mind that the entire world, present and future, can see what you post on social media. Permanently. When residents post complaints or get obnoxious, and they will, then you need to respond to the complaint in a quick, professional, business-like way. Criticism is not always a bad thing. See it as an opportunity to shine.
Always take the high road and rise above. You will earn immediate respect for keeping your cool, addressing the issue raised and resolving the problem to the best of your ability.
Based on a study from the Neilson Norman Group only 1% of your social media users participate regularly. 9% engage occasionally and 90% of the community is just reading and observing, not participating at all. That is a huge percentage. You should always remember the silent 90% in the background assessing your posts and your reputation.
Your reputation is evolving. That is the up side and the down side. Social media is a tool but like any tool you should use it wisely. Make your posts genuine, fun and engaging. Pay attention to your audience and ask them to participate. Your time and effort using social media to promote your apartment complex will be rewarded.
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