When creating a social media strategy, property management companies must consider unique challenges that aren’t addressed in standard digital marketing strategies. These issues are driven by the complexities that come with effectively managing and scaling efforts across tens, hundreds or even thousands of properties.
A localized social marketing strategy is effective because it delivers at both the management company level and the individual property level — providing a consistent portfolio brand presence across all social platforms while creating a uniquely relevant local presence for each individual property.
43 percent of residents say they’re likely to interact with apartment communities on social media. Localized social marketing strategies take advantage of residents’ propensity to engage on social by creating a sense of community, thereby giving residents a reason to renew.
Here are five examples of localized content that, when used as part of a localized social marketing strategy, can help encourage residents to renew.
1. Host resident events and post event-related social content
Every property should host resident events to help residents meet neighbors, make friends, and build a sense of community. Smart property managers take this a step further by taking pictures at the event and using them in organic posts.
Here’s an example of an organic social strategy that leverages events:
The social manager creates an event calendar and posts it on the property’s Local Facebook Page. They post about every event in the days leading up, and encourage residents to tag their friends to invite them. After the event is over, the social manager posts pictures from the event and tells residents to tag themselves and their friends.
All this social engagement helps accomplish three things. First, the increase in engagement helps to increase organic reach on future posts. Second, the posts and pictures show prospective residents that the property has a strong sense of community. Third, the events themselves bring residents together and give them a reason to renew their leases instead of finding a new place to live.
2. Post localized content that leverages local businesses
Local businesses — and their followers — can help properties increase the reach of organic content while integrating the property into the surrounding community. Residents are less likely to leave a property that feels like home; and one that partners with local businesses to provide happy hours, free meals and food trucks on-site. The social posts that accompany these offerings can earn engagement as residents share the posts with friends or comment on the posts to ask about specifics for each local business partnership.
Stay up to date on social media trends and the latest SOCi news. Sign up today.
3. Keep the property management brand top-of-mind
Some residents may be loyal to the property management company rather than the property itself. From the management company’s perspective, keeping a resident within the portfolio of properties may be more important than keeping them at a specific property.
Posting management-branded content across each property’s social channels will help keep the management company top-of-mind for existing residents. However, without supervision and oversight from the corporate management company, there is a greater possibility that local property managers post rogue content that may reflect poorly on the management brand as a whole.
Using a hybrid management model ensures that each property’s social posts are aligned with the voice and brand of the property management company. With this model, the national management brand provides a baseline amount of management for all properties. Individual property managers can opt into additional opportunities to further tailor the approach to fit the needs of their local residents.
This differs from a centralized social management model, in which the corporate team posts content for each property — ensuring consistent messaging but sacrificing localization. The hybrid model also differs from the decentralized model, in which each property manages its own social presence independently — ensuring authentic localized content but sacrificing brand consistency.
4. Use property-specific pictures and copy
Facebook provides property management companies with multiple Local Pages for each individual property in addition to a corporate Brand Page for the corporate management company. According to a research report created by SOCi, 72 percent of social engagement happens on these Local Pages.
Using a hybrid approach to localized social media management means never having to sacrifice authenticity for consistency. The authenticity comes from local teams who share property-specific photos, floor plans and tailored review responses. The consistency comes from the corporate property management team, who provides oversight for these social posts, branded content templates and review response approvals.
5. Leverage user-generated content
User-generated content is a powerful tool when used as part of an overall effort to retain residents through organic posts. Just as a well-attended event shows residents that your community is friendly and welcoming, user-generated content shows your followers that people care enough about your community to engage with it on social media.
Examples of user-generated content include positive reviews, posts that tag the property as the location, and photos taken at property events or of the property’s amenities (such as the pool, gym, or dog park). Every property’s social media manager should be on the lookout for these types of posts on Facebook and Instagram, and share them when appropriate.
The five examples mentioned above should be used as part of an overall social strategy that leverages the power of localized social marketing while still giving the management company control over certain aspects of each property’s social presence. For more detailed insights into localized social marketing, download SOCi’s Property Playbook for Localized Social Marketing