7 Things Multi-Location Brands Should Be Doing in Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are immensely popular because of the platform’s powerful audience targeting capabilities. These targeting features are especially relevant to multi-location businesses, as they allow marketers to target specific audiences in each individual community around each business’ location. As mentioned in this research report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association, 32 percent of consumers say that Facebook impacts their purchase decisions.

The best way to make an impact on buying decisions is by targeting consumers in your community with localized social media ads, and using these seven best practices to optimize your campaigns. 

 

1. Incorporate both Boost and Ads.

Facebook has limited the reach of Business Pages to such a degree that it’s almost impossible to get your content in front of your audience unless you pay to promote it with Facebook Boost. Both Local and Brand Pages should be posting organic content regularly so the Page appears up-to-date and active. While most of your paid social budget will likely go to Facebook Ads, it’s important to dedicate some of your budget to Boost to ensure people see your posts.

 

2. Pay attention and optimize often.

Setting up a Facebook ad campaign involves dozens of adjustable variables and targeting capabilities, but the work isn’t done when the ad goes live. Every social media marketer should be monitoring ad campaigns and then optimizing the ads to make sure the budget is being spent properly.

To optimize existing campaigns, you can refine your target or scale your budget based on performance. One way to optimize across multiple ad sets is to set up an engagement campaign to build your base of warm leads; people who have engaged with your content. Then, set up a conversion campaign to target people who engaged with the previous campaign. Social media reporting tools like SOCi can give you the numbers you need to adjust spend and targeting parameters accordingly.

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3. Use conversion objectives.

Running an ad with the objective of “Link Clicks” or Landing Page Views tells Facebook to put the ad in front of people within your target audience parameters who are likely to click on the ad. However, just because someone is likely to click doesn’t mean they’re likely to convert; meaning make a purchase, fill out a contact form, request a quote, etc. If you run an ad with a conversion objective, Facebook will display your ad to people within your target audience parameters who are likely to convert, not just click.

4. Localize your creative.

Eye-catching visual content is an essential part of any strong social media strategy. According to Facebook’s advertising guidelines, images should be directly relevant to your product or service. What could be more relevant than the communities that your individual franchise locations serve? A franchise in Texas has a different target audience than a franchise in New York, and the ad visuals and messaging should be tailored accordingly.

Localizing your creative means making sure every Local Facebook Page has ads tailored to the specific location that you’re advertising. A social media advertising tool like SOCi allows marketers to use dynamic text and imagery to efficiently post localized ads across 10s or 100s of locations.

 

5. Take advantage of retargeting.

Facebook’s audience retargeting capabilities allow advertisers to target people who have already engaged with your business’ content. While targeting your ideal audience is tempting, it’s unlikely that you’re going to draw in new customers who are ready to convert if they have never heard of your business or engaged with its Facebook Page. You can retarget audiences based on a number of factors, including who views your videos, likes or comments on your posts, visits your website, fills out a contact form, and countless other actions. Building brand awareness through audience retargeting is key because this brings your brand top-of-mind for consumers, so when they’re ready to make a purchase decision, they come to you.

6. Consider every step in the customer journey.

With Facebook audience targeting, you can serve an ad to your ideal customer. However, some people have never heard of your brand and should be shown different content than people who have liked your posts or taken an action on your website, as the latter group is farther down the sales funnel. Multi-location marketing managers have to consider the different audiences around each location, plus break down each audience into the different stages of the customer journey. Best practice dictates that every multi-location business should use a mix of informational “learn more” ads and sales-focused “buy now” ads. Show the informational ads to people who have never interacted with your content, and show the sales-focused ads to people who have.

7. Protect against ad fatigue.

Ad fatigue refers to when a user sees an ad too many times. This happens most often when a large budget is used on a narrowly-targeted audience, which is why it’s so important to make sure your budget aligns with audience size. Ad fatigue also happens when you’re A/B testing two different audiences and they overlap. It’s often the case that one person can fall into both a retargeting audience and a lookalike audience. Advertisers can prevent this from happening by using Facebook’s audience overlap tool and excluding one audience from another when creating targeting parameters.

Facebook ads are powerful, but the platform’s algorithms are always shifting. By following these seven best practices, you can ensure your multi-location business is keeping up with the changes. Franchisors struggling to manage new paid social initiatives can find relief in the form of a social advertising platform like SOCi, which allows advertisers to see every campaign, account, and report in one centralized place.

Find out more about how SOCi helps multi-location marketers advertise on Facebook



The Relationship Between Facebook Targeting and Ad Fatigue

Facebook’s targeting capabilities empower property managers to put ads in front of their ideal renters. These powers come with a catch, however, as Facebook’s audience targeting features involve hundreds of variables that marketers need to consider with each ad campaign. Still, the ability to target specific audiences has helped convince 30 percent of marketers that Facebook delivers the best ROI among advertising platforms.

Using detailed ad targeting, property management companies can narrow their audience to specific subsets of Facebook users. This target audience can be defined by a number of factors, including:

Property managers can use Facebook’s targeting capabilities to display ads to an ideal target audience of renters. If you have a large budget, consider using broad targeting parameters such as a Lookalike audience; a cross-section of people who have similar interests, behaviors, and demographics as those who already follow or engage with your property’s Facebook Page, or website viewers, if you have the Facebook pixel on your website.

It’s important to avoid getting too specific with audience targeting parameters if you’re working with a large budget. Narrow targeting parameters can reduce your target audience so substantially that the same users continue to view your ad, over and over again, which is defined as ad fatigue.

Facebook users who experience ad fatigue can sometimes go so far as to remove the ad from their feed. The user can select “Hide ad,” and Facebook will prompt the user to select a reason why they removed the ad. Users experiencing ad fatigue will select, “repetition” as the reason. Considering your target audience includes your ideal renters, you never want them to grow tired of seeing your ads. There are ways to avoid giving your audience ad fatigue, and they all have to do with the relationship between your audience targeting parameters, budget and creative messaging.

Adjust your budget to avoid ad fatigue.

Your Facebook ad will be shown as many times as you pay for it to be shown. That’s why it’s vital to protect your audience from ad fatigue by budgeting according to audience size. Using a large budget on a small, specifically-targeted audience will result in that audience seeing your ad too many times.

According to SOCi’s paid social media specialists, a smaller budget — approximately $20/day — is the ideal daily spend that property management companies should utilize to reach their target audience without oversaturating them with advertisements. For a small budget like this, you can use narrow targeting parameters. If you’re going to spend over $100 per day on Facebook ads, it’s best to choose broad audience targeting parameters such as a Lookalike audience or a retargeting audience.

Be wary of audience overlap.

Modern social media advertising strategies involve A/B testing different audience targeting parameters and comparing the resulting metrics and reporting. Problems arise, however, when one person falls into multiple audience categories. It’s possible for the same person to be targeted in a Lookalike audience, a retargeting audience, and a demographic-based audience. When this happens, it results in that person being shown your ad much more often than you want. This audience overlap can result in ad fatigue.

Facebook does have a tool that shows advertisers how much their various audiences overlap. You can use that to make sure your audiences don’t overlap and identify which audiences to exclude. Excluding one audience from another means that members of one audience will be removed if they meet the requirements of your other target audiences. For instance, you can have set up a retargeting audience that excludes people who also fall into your Lookalike audience parameters.

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Target audiences based on your sales funnel.

Best practices dictate that marketers should align audience targeting with ad messaging. A retargeted audience knows about your property already — because they’ve visited your Facebook Page or website — and should receive different ads than a Lookalike audience; which contains people who may or may not be aware of your community.

Before you identify your target audiences, break your property’s advertising down into two different categories; ads with a sales call-to-action and ads with an informational message for brand awareness. A warm audience — one that is familiar with your brand — should see the ads in which you’re asking renters to “sign today.” A cold audience — people who aren’t yet familiar with your property —  should see the ads which you’re asking people to “take a virtual tour,” or “view amenities.”

Brand awareness is key for these cold audiences because while they may not be ready to sign a lease, they are deep in their search for a new apartment. Deploying brand awareness campaigns can bring your property top-of-mind, which increases the likelihood that the renter will remember your property and reach out when they are ready to sign a lease.

With Facebook’s intelligent targeting, you can quickly identify your warm audience. Facebook’s Behaviors section allows property managers to target ads to people who have already been researching competitors’ properties. These users should be shown a sales-focused ad, as the users have been identified as already being interested in making a rental decision.

All these targeting features make Facebook an effective advertising tool, but it isn’t a “set-it-and-forget-it” platform. Audience targeting parameters and the accompanying trackable metrics require constant management for every ad account in a property management portfolio. A social media advertising tool like SOCi can help you target engaged audiences, launch ad campaigns and track the success of every property’s individual or grouped campaigns — all within one platform.

See how SOCi is designed to help property managers roll out Facebook ads



The Property Manager’s Guide to Reputation Insights

Can numbers tell the story of your property’s online reputation? Reading one review will tell you how one person feels, but the overall sentiment surrounding your community can only be understood by collecting and analyzing results from every review, every day. While most social media platforms provide reporting tools that show your overall engagement numbers and reach, the same cannot be said for the major review platforms.

For in-depth review reporting and reputation insights, property managers have to use reputation management technology. Here are some of the main data points to pay attention to when using reputation management technology, and ideas for how you can improve your overall online reputation across your property’s portfolio.

Total Count of Reviews

According to a research report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association, consumers need to see at least 10 reviews before they see a business’ star-rating as credible. Additionally, Google requires at least 5 reviews prior to showing them to the public. So, how can you increase your review base? One way is to ask for reviews, but different review platforms have different rules regarding review solicitation. Yelp doesn’t allow businesses to ask for reviews at all. Google prohibits businesses from providing incentives for leaving reviews. Most other major review sites such as Apartments.com are perfectly fine with companies asking for reviews.

Still, our research shows that only one-third of business owners say that they don’t ask their customers for reviews. Best practice is to ask for a review immediately following a lease renewal, in person at community events or right after you complete a resident’s maintenance request. Additionally, be sure to make it easy for residents to leave reviews by including links to your review sites in your emails and prominently displaying the links on your property’s website.

Date Posted

Not only is it important to have a large volume of reviews, but that review base needs to be updated with new reviews nearly every day. Research shows that 85 percent of consumers disregard local reviews that are over 3 months old. On top of that, 40 percent say they only look at reviews that were written within the past two weeks. Whatever strategy you use to grow your base of reviews, make sure it’s designed to continually fill your review base with new reviews.

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Average Response Time

Negative reviews are a detriment to your business, but a strong reputation management strategy can turn negative reviews into a chance to build stronger customer relations. According to the aforementioned research report, 77 percent of consumers leaving critical reviews expect a business to respond. Not only that, but 40 percent expect a response within 24-hours. The best way to ensure you respond to every review in a timely manner is to set up a notification system. Technology solutions like SOCi will alert you when new reviews come in — on any major apartment review site — so your team can respond quickly.

Star Rating

SOCi’s research found that 68 percent of consumers want to see at least 3.5 stars before they’ll consider a business, and 52 percent say they need to see at least 4 stars. The best way to boost your property’s star rating is to address the issues that are mentioned in your negative reviews. Additionally, you can respond to all negative reviews to show your renters that you understand their concerns and sympathize with their negative experience.  You may even be able to turn a one-star rating into a five-star rating, as our research revealed that 89 percent of consumers show a willingness to change a negative review depending on how the business responds.

Reputation Sentiment

Reputation management technology like SOCi provides property managers with a clear picture of the sentiment surrounding reviews of specific properties. The feature filters through the noise, telling property managers whether reviewers are talking their communities in a positive, negative, or neutral manner over a given timeframe, and what, specifically, they’re mentioning.

Common Keyword Usage

Whether it’s your community’s amenities, the leasing staff or the apartments themselves, there are likely specific aspects of your property that people commonly mention in reviews. The best way to find out what people are talking about is to invest in technology that shows you which keywords appear in your reviews most often. Technology like SOCi will even show you the overall sentiment of the reviews that use these keywords, and dig deeper to show you the top positive and negative adjectives used with specific keywords. Monitoring the sentiment surrounding positive and negative keywords in your reviews empowers property managers to double down on the aspects that residents love about your property, and proactively correct any problems before they become potential issues for gaining new or retaining existing residents.

These are the data points that your property management team can use to track your online reputation. If you want to take it a step further and improve your reputation management, a reporting platform like SOCi can give you the tools you need to make positive changes within your community.

Discover how SOCi can help your property management company build a localized social presence.



How Your Brand’s Social Presence Impacts SEO

A strong social media presence can lead to greater brand visibility, brand recognition, and brand authority. While these factors don’t directly impact SEO in the same way as keywords do, they can still help your business’ website rise to the top of the search results page (SERP).

When examining the relationship between social media and SEO, it’s important to recognize that “social media signals” are the key factors that impact SEO. Social media signals include likes, reviews, shares, and links to your website content that are posted on various social media sites. To Google, these signals are indicators that a business is relevant and recognized.

According to a research report created by SOCi and The Local Search Association, Facebook had at least some influence on 52 percent of all retail purchases. We also know that Facebook Business Pages have at least some influence on SEO rankings. Here are the ways in which Facebook and other social media pages can positively impact your business’ SEO ranking.

Brand Visibility

In a general sense, brand visibility refers to how much exposure your brand is getting. In SEO terms, visibility measures where your business’ website is ranking on the SERP. High visibility means your site is at or near the top of the first page. Low visibility means it’s on the second, third or fourth page of results.

Here is what we know; Google crawls Facebook and other social media sites and displays the links on SERPs. For franchise businesses, both Local Facebook Pages and Brand Facebook Pages can appear in SERPs. Google will even sometimes display a business’ tweets right there in the SERPs.  According to the aforementioned research report, 39 percent of consumers who found a local business on social media made a purchase, which means those consumers must have moved from the social page to the website. When your business appears in search results — in the form of a social page or a website — it helps achieve better brand visibility, which ultimately drives traffic to your site.

Brand Recognition

Having a robust social media presence can increase your brand’s recognition, as those social pages provide even more avenues for consumers to be exposed to your brand. Increasing your brand recognition means more consumers will recognize your logo, remember the name of your company and know what products and services your business provides.

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter give businesses the ability to promote branded content such as blogs, articles and product updates. Pushing these pieces out to your social media followers can help you earn more website traffic, which can, in turn, help you rank higher on Google’s search results page and earn even more brand visibility.

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Brand Authority

Every business should be sharing website links on social media in the hopes that other social pages will share the posts. Link-sharing is a form of social engagement, similar to likes and comments. Unlike likes and comments, however, link-sharing can impact a business’ SEO ranking because it impacts brand authority.

Brand authority, as it relates to social media, manifests itself in shares. If your followers share links to your blog posts — or see your post and decide to share your blog on their website — it helps build backlinks. These types of interactions signify that your content is engaging, respected and recognized by other industry leaders.

If Google decides that your business’ website is a leader on a particular subject matter, it means your website has authority. For example, SOCi is a social media and reputation management platform and our blog page is filled with articles on that subject. Since other websites link back to our content, the SOCi site has some authority in the eyes of Google.

Local SEO

While brand visibility, recognition, and authority are important, it’s the local search results that social media impacts the most. Local reviews on Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook can provide a bump to a local business SEO ranking, but accurate business information matters as well. Ensure each of your business’ social media pages has up-to-date local information – such as address, phone number, and hours of operation. This can be a daunting task for franchise marketers, who have to update information across every location’s Local Facebook Page, Google My Business Page, and Yelp page. Technology like SOCi can help franchise marketers accomplish this important step in the social media optimization process.

Learn more about localized social media marketing for franchise brands by downloading this guide. 


How Property Managers Can Respond to Reviews without Accepting Blame

It’s a question that every property manager wants the answer to; how do you respond to a negative review without accepting blame, yet still show empathy for the reviewer’s experience? This can be a sensitive issue, but it’s one that property managers and community directors can properly address while taking their legal team’s concerns into account.

Below, you’ll find a few best practices for responding to reviews without accepting blame. We’ve also provided property managers with a few templated responses that can be used to show empathy while encouraging the reviewer to move the conversation offline — away from the public eye.

Responding with empathy without accepting blame

It’s always good practice to show your residents that you recognize when they have a negative experience. However, that doesn’t mean you have to accept fault for their experience. Property managers can toe this line by apologizing for the negative experience — and not the specific issue — so as to avoid accepting any blame.

Additionally, try to move the conversation offline quickly by providing contact information and encouraging the reviewer to reach out. That will give you, the property manager, a chance to understand the details and merits of the issue so you can address them accordingly.  

Every property has a few issues, and it’s understandable that property managers would want to avoid talking about hot button topics that residents often complain about. Even if you’re hesitant to address certain issues, there are ways to phrase the response so that you’re following best practices and conveying what you’d like to say (or avoid saying). Nonetheless, it’s always best to get ahead of any negative conversation and show that you’re proactively addressing online concerns.

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Examples of appropriate review responses for property managers

The professional services group at SOCi manages review response for some of the top property management brands, and the team has provided a few response templates that will work for any property manager in need of response ideas. These templates can be used to construct responses that adhere to review response best practices while still abiding by the guidelines set forth by corporate/legal teams.

  1. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, [NAME]. Our team works hard to provide residents with the best support possible and we apologize that this wasn’t your experience. We’d like to better understand what happened and how we can make things right, so please reach out to us at [EMAIL or PHONE NUMBER].
  1. [NAME], we apologize for any misunderstanding. Most of our residents are highly satisfied with the support they receive from our team. We want to make sure this continues, so please email us at [EMAIL or PHONE NUMBER]. We look forward to connecting and turning your experience around.
  1. [NAME], we’re disappointed by your feedback. We’d appreciate the chance to go over your concerns and appropriate solutions so please contact us at [EMAIL or PHONE NUMBER]. We’re confident that we can turn your experience around, and we look forward to getting corrected.
  1. [NAME], your feedback is appreciated. It’s certainly not our intention to mislead our residents, so we apologize for any confusion. We’d be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have so please contact us at [EMAIL or PHONE NUMBER]. We work hard to provide our residents with the best support and we hope you will give us another opportunity to show you that.
  1. [NAME] we’re very sorry to read that you’re unhappy with your experience. Your feedback is what drives us to improve and given the chance, we’d like to look into the issues you’re experiencing. Please email us at [EMAIL or PHONE NUMBER] our team would be happy to assist you.
  1. [NAME], we’re disappointed that we didn’t meet your expectations during your time at our community. Rest assured that we’ve made improvements since then and we’re continuing to make great changes. If you’d like to speak further about your experience, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [EMAIL or PHONE NUMBER].

The tools of an effective review response strategy

As you see in the templates above, the general steps to review response are to thank the reviewer for their feedback, apologize for their experience, and tell them how you’re going to follow up. These responses will only be effective, however, if you tailor them to the individual reviewers. Be sure to use the reviewer’s name and mention specifics from the review when possible. Also note that these responses are worded to reflect a certain tone of voice, but the actual tone used in your responses should align with your property’s overall brand messaging.

Showing empathy is key because these responses will be seen by everyone who finds your property on a review site. Other readers will see your response as a reflection of the kind of service they can expect from your property management team. By using a reputation management platform like SOCi that’s built for property management companies, you can receive notifications every time someone leaves a review on any of the major review sites and respond within one, centralized platform. A research report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association reveals that 89 percent of consumers are willing to change a negative review based on the business’ response. So, staying on top of your reviews is key to maintaining the positive public perception of your property. No property manager wants to deal with negative reviews, but they do present an opportunity to change the sentiment surrounding your community.

Learn more about empowering your team with modern reputation management tools



The Facebook Housing Discrimination Lawsuit: What You Need to Know

Property management companies, take note: The Department of Housing and Urban Development has filed charges against Facebook for housing discrimination — escalating the company’s ongoing fight over discrimination in its ad targeting system. The charges build on a complaint filed in August, which found that there is reasonable cause to believe Facebook has served ads that violate the Fair Housing Act.

It is important to note that although a lawsuit has been filed, at this point in time, there has been no judgment made or fault found against Facebook or any other parties. Facebook — as disclosed in its advertising policies — has prohibited advertisers from using its tools to discriminate against people. Over time, the social media giant has proactively removed over 5,000 different targeting options including the option to exclude specific ethnicities and religions to help minimize the risk of this type of abuse. In its advertising policies, Facebook also asks advertisers to ensure they comply with various applicable laws when using the Facebook platform and its various advertising and targeting features.

Despite these moves, the area that remains under review is the issue of automatically optimized advertising or “automated ad rules.” The concern here is that even though an advertiser might set up an ad to more broadly reach all types of people/audiences, automatically optimized ad delivery systems, like Facebook, could eliminate certain people seeing the ad due to lack of engagement; a feature which was intended to eliminate ad waste and increase ad performance.

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How SOCi is Supporting Property Management Marketers

SOCi recognizes that the recent Facebook ad targeting lawsuit has caused concern throughout the real estate and property management communities. As specialists in the property management industry, we understand the sensitivities around this type of news. That’s why we’re sharing the ways in which we offer support to property management teams, and the methods we take to protect property management marketers from liability.

SOCi’s Self Serve Platform (Do It Yourself)

SOCi has partnered with Facebook and Instagram to offer our clients access to certain proprietary social media advertising features like Boost PLUS that allow a business to distribute content (which may or may not include an offer) to a specific audience or set of audiences based on a host of targeting factors including location, age and/or gender. These tools are intended to help property management marketers reach new audiences in manners otherwise unavailable. However, while Facebook will continue to monitor, restrict and even remove content and advertising that they feel is in violation of their ad policies and or applicable laws, it is important that marketers remain informed of and in compliance with applicable discriminatory laws when setting up and enabling such targeting.

We encourage all property management marketers to review Facebook’s Advertising Policies, including those on discriminatory practices, and to ensure their teams understand the best practices for advertising on Facebook.

SOCi’s Creative Services Team (Do It For Me Services)

SOCi’s Professional Services Team (Creative Services) boasts more than 100 years of collective social media and digital marketing expertise. Creative Services currently produces content, responds to reviews, and places advertising on behalf of thousands of property locations. In so doing, the team has a very strong awareness of — and is in strict compliance with — the applicable laws that prohibit discrimination against groups of people in connection with offers of housing, credit, etc. Our writers, editors, and paid media specialists have been trained on fair housing rules and ensure that our targeting for multi-family does not discriminate against anyone by age, income, race, gender, zip code or religion. In addition, Creative Services proactively reviews its organic social content for the same criteria.  

We understand the complexities involved with new and changing technologies and the challenges of keeping up to date with the latest platform and legal policies and guidelines. As a trusted marketing partner, we are committed to being a resource for property management marketers and their teams and will continue to stay abreast of any major marketing developments or changes.

For more information about SOCi’s capabilities, please contact the SOCi Team.

The ROI of Facebook Boost

Facebook’s Boost feature is easy-to-use, highly-customizable and one of the best ways for multi-location businesses to get in front of more consumers. As with all forms of advertising, however, marketers are still trying to figure out how to measure the ROI of Boost.

Before we explain how you can measure the success of a Boost campaign, let’s identify what you can do with Boost. Facebook’s Boost feature allows you to pay to increase the reach of a post; the more money you put behind the post, the more people it will be shown to. You can also Boost for engagement; meaning you will be charged based on how many likes, shares and comments the post receives. Boost is a way to show your content to more people — but it’s only effective if you can show the right content to the right people.

Below, we’ll explain why Boost is preferable to traditional advertising methods, how to measure the ROI of Boost, and what you can do to improve your Boost campaigns.

Facebook Boost vs. Traditional Advertising Methods

As Gary Vernerchuck mentions in his recent blog, there are notable cases of modern, successful brands achieving success by taking advantage of underpriced advertising technology such as search ads and social media. Examples include Amazon, Wish and MVMT Watches. Gary V also points out the flip side of this equation – some Fortune 500 companies are losing market share while spending their advertising budget on traditional advertising methods, like TV and magazine ads.

Social media advertising can get your content in front of your most engaged audience, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising methods. Consider the difference in cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) between social media advertising and traditional methods. In Q1 2018, the CPM for Facebook advertising was just $11.20. Compare that to the $57 CPM for direct mail, $28 CPM for broadcast TV and $16 CPM for magazine advertisements.

Another reason to invest in social media ads is the fact that the advertisements are both clickable and trackable. It’s difficult to track the ROI on a print ad or a TV commercial; it’s easy to see exactly how many people see your ads and engage with your content on Facebook.

The low CPM of Boost is comparable to the early days of search advertising, an advertising method that was underpriced initially because marketers didn’t know how to take advantage of the newest form of advertising. Those savvy marketers achieved results with search advertising, and early adopters of Boost can do the same. According to one company’s example — Case Study #3 — spending just $5 in Boost can result in more than 750 new people reached. While marketers might not be used to paying for reach or charged for engagement on social media, the reality is that social platforms are evolving and marketing strategies should follow suit.

Boost is more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods, but it’s also more visible. Boosted posts appear right on user’s news feeds; displayed to consumers in a familiar environment instead of in the back of a magazine or in between songs on the radio.

Businesses see the most ROI from Boost when they treat it as a campaign to generate soft leads; potential customers who have shown a propensity to engage with your content. Of course, getting your brand in front of consumers who are likely to click requires that you leverage Boost’s powerful tools; audience targeting and free content testing.

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Audience Targeting: The Key to Realizing ROI

Boost is easy to use, but not limited by simplicity; Boost allows for audience targeting based on location, gender, age and interests such as pages people have liked, ads they’ve clicked and apps they’ve used.

The default audience targeting for Boosted posts is, “family and friends of people who like your Page.” This audience is fine if you’re posting newsworthy content about your company, but your sales-focused posts should be targeted towards a specific audience such as, “men age 18-24 in San Francisco who are interested in [your industry or product].”  

Facebook also offers “engagement retargeting,” which means you can target Boosted posts to people who have liked, shared or commented on your previous posts or advertisements, thus ensuring that you’re advertising to the people who are most interested in seeing your brand. You can Boost the post to an audience of, “everyone who engaged with my page” or narrow the audience based on the type of engagement. Lastly, be sure to save these audience targeting parameters so you can A/B test them.

Boost’s audience targeting feature is especially important for determining the ROI of your paid efforts. You can save money by identifying the audience that’s most likely to be receptive to your content. Instead of paying more to Boost your post to a massive audience, you can pay less to Boost it to a specified audience.  

This type of hyper-specific targeting — to a warm audience, nonetheless — sets Boost apart from traditional advertising methods. You can test these different audiences in much the same way that you test different messages and imagery.

The Advantage of Free Content Testing

Boosting gives you the ability to test different types of messaging and imagery to see what earns engagement — before you actually pay to Boost the post. Most Boosted posts begin as organic posts on Facebook, which cost nothing. Organic posts are only shown to people who like your brand’s page, and have interacted with your content, but Boosting an organic post will display the content to a much wider audience – that you choose, no less.

The best approach for boosting content is to determine which content is earning the most engagement, and then make edits to that content to optimize it for Boost. Common edits include adding a CTA, creating trackable links or changing the language to better connect with the specific audience that you’re targeting.

When selecting which posts to Boost, you should also consider your marketing objectives. One company saw success Boosting posts about new product launches, generating $2,400 in sales after spending just $20 on Boosted posts. That $20 earned the brand page more likes, hundreds of engagements, an even improved the organic traffic on the brand website.

If your goal is website views, make sure there’s a link to your site in the post. If you want to promote a specific product, make sure that Boosted post has a link to that page, or build that product info into the post itself. Determining the ROI of your Boosted post depends entirely on your objectives.

Measuring the ROI of a Boost Campaign

As with any marketing method, Boost only shows ROI when there is a clear strategy and measurable objectives. One part of your strategy should be setting parameters regarding which posts to Boost. At SOCi, it is our recommended best practice to Boost only the top 10 percent of your posts based on audience engagement.  Facebook Insights — or other social media reporting technology solutions — can show you which posts meet this criterion. Boosting the top 10 percent of the most engaging organic posts will ensure that your best content is reaching the largest percentage of your targeted audience.

Engagement metrics can be used to determine which posts to Boost, but they should not be used to judge the success of your paid Boost campaigns. Facebook measures likes, comments, shares and page views, but as a marketer or business owner, you have to use those measurables to determine the success of your social media marketing. As a business owner, you’re probably more concerned with website visits, cost-per-impression and number of leads created.

To ensure you’re able to track the success of your campaigns, be sure to create unique URLs for each Boosted post so that you can trace the ROI of each post to see which posts are achieving your goal of increased website traffic or landing page visits.  

Marketers are seeing ROI with Boost because of how affordable it is, especially when you compare it to traditional advertising methods. With a minimum spend of $1 per day, Boost is as cost-efficient as it is effective. The two most notable features of Boost — audience targeting parameters and free content testing — make it a valuable tool in any marketing arsenal.

Watch our latest webinar to learn more about how to start Boosting posts

The State of Social: Localized Content Takes Center Stage

As social media continues to become a more significant part of the consumer journey, new features are providing businesses with ways to engage customers and create brand ambassadors on a more personalized local level.

Social media platforms are providing a growing list of features and functionalities such as reviews, recommendations, social conversations, and local business Pages that fuel what SOCi has come to call localized social marketing.

The SOCi platform was built for localized social marketing, and we’ve compiled droves of data detailing how consumers engage with businesses on a local level. That data comes to life in our latest Q4 2018 State of the Market report, featuring SOCi platform data from Q4 2017 to Q3 2018.

In the report, we identify patterns, determine trends and share best practices in building a localized social marketing strategy. Before we get to the report, let’s talk about why localized marketing matters, who is using it and what kind of content is working on a local level.

Why does localized social marketing matter?

As part of social media’s continued evolution, consumers are liking, sharing, and reviewing businesses near them. Those local reviews matter; in a research report that SOCi created with the Local Search Association, we found that 52 percent of consumers have passed up a business because it didn’t have, “enough stars.”

New locally focused features —such as Facebook Local Pages — are enabling consumers to leave reviews for local businesses. As a marketer for a multi-location business, you can create one Facebook Business Page for your overall brand and individual Local Pages for each of your business locations. According to another report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association, these Local Pages experience twice as many impressions as corporate Brand Pages and nearly 72% of all user engagement on Facebook.

The importance of localized social marketing cannot be overstated. Local reviews affect your business’ SEO, purchase decisions and allow local businesses to remain relevant in a digital era while competing with the online and offline retail giants of the world.   

Stay up to date on social media trends and the latest SOCi news. Sign up today.

Who is already using localized social marketing?

According to the Q4 2018 State of the Market report, 48,000 local social profiles, and more than 19,000 review site profiles are managed on the SOCi platform each month. After analyzing users on the SOCi platform, we found that localized social marketing is especially important for multi-location businesses in property management, marketing agencies, retail, food and beverages, and medical industries.

Among these multi-location businesses, Facebook is the dominant platform for localized social marketing with 4x the amount of profiles and pages under management on the SOCi platform than we see on networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. This is largely due to the fact that Facebook has the unique ability to create multiple Local Pages in addition to a corporate or Brand Page.

That doesn’t mean you can ignore the other networks. Google is deprecating Google+ while investing in new local-focused features such as Google Posts and Google Q&A. Instagram is also enabling localized marketing with its new in-app local business profile pages — a feature that’s not yet available to all users. No matter what network you’re using, you’re going to want to develop content that attracts engagement from local consumers.

What kind of local content drives engagement?

Not all engagements are created equal. In the Q4 2018 State of the Market report, we describe the difference between high-value and low-value engagement. Through its recent algorithm changes, Facebook has been limiting the reach of content that receives low-value engagement such as likes. That’s why it’s so important for social media marketers to double down on the content that receives high-value engagement, e.g., localized content. In the Q4 2018 State of Market report, we explain what localized content is, why it outperforms other content and share examples of businesses using localized content to earn high-value engagement such as comments, replies, and shares.

The Q4 2018 State of the Market report also outlines best practices for multi-location marketers, including strategies for responding to reviews as quickly as possible. Response time is everything, and the sense of urgency to respond quickly will only get stronger moving forward. What is the best way to keep up with the emerging localized marketing movement? Download the report and inform your marketing strategy moving forward as both multi-location businesses and social media platforms go local.

Learn more about localized social marketing by downloading the Q4 2018 State of the Market Report



Customer Care for Today’s Property Managers

It’s time to start thinking of customer care as a critical component of your marketing strategy. Your property’s reputation is a key factor for potential residents when they’re trying to decide where to live, with 94 percent of renters reading reviews during their apartment search. If your community’s star-rating is too low, the potential renters might not even bother reading the reviews before eliminating your community from consideration. In fact, according to a research report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association, 68 percent of consumers won’t consider a business unless it has at least 3.5 stars.

When residents come across your communities, they should see reviews and ratings that reflect well on your properties. There are a few different ways to create a positive sentiment around your communities, even if you’re already dealing with negative reviews. Below, we’ll explain how a proactive approach to customer care can help you control the narrative around your properties, and get ahead of negative sentiment before it goes public.

Make sure your strategy is all-encompassing

No customer care strategy is complete if it doesn’t account for search engines, social media platforms, and review sites. In the property management world, all three of those online spaces are now destinations for ratings and reviews. Google has Google My Business and Google Q&A. Facebook has Facebook Recommendations — formerly Reviews — and general comments that residents post on your property’s pages. Ratings and review sites such as Apartments.com, Apartment Ratings and Yelp are always going to be hotbeds for both positive and negative sentiment surrounding your communities.

The only way to monitor and respond to reviews on all these sites is by equipping your team with powerful reputation management tools. A technology platform like SOCi will allow you to see and respond to every review from one birds-eye point of view.

Stay up to date on social media trends and the latest SOCi news. Sign up today.

Grow your base of reviews

Before you can respond to reviews or analyze the sentiment around a property’s reputation, you’ll have to garner a bank of reviews for your community. According to the same research report, consumers need to see at least 10 reviews before they see your star-rating as credible.

Having a high-volume of reviews is important for getting potential renters to consider your community, but reviews are also relevant for the all-important SEO rankings. Google scans reviews for keywords just as it would any other content on the web. These reviews give Google information about your community, so the more reviews packed with key phrases, the better. The reviews don’t have to just be on Google My Business, either. If your residents are more comfortable writing reviews on Yelp or Apartments.com, that also helps with SEO. Google pulls reviews from across the web, and features them on the Google Knowledge Panel. So, when someone searches for your property, the populated reviews expand far beyond Google itself.

There are many ways to build your review base — such as sending a personal email after a resident comes into your office or having links to your review sites on your website  — but you want to avoid doing anything that might cause a lot of reviews to be submitted all at once. This kind of mass review solicitation can be flagged as suspicious by Google.

Finally, you don’t need to worry about only receiving negative reviews. While it’s commonly assumed that residents only leave reviews when they’re upset, SOCi research has shown that consumers are more often motivated to leave a review based on a positive rather than a negative experience, by a factor of more than two to one.

Respond quickly and sincerely

Not only should you be responding to every review, but you should be doing it quickly and with tailored responses. This is best practice for responding to both positive and negative reviews, but is especially important for the latter. Going the extra mile with tailored responses shows the reviewer that you took the time to read their review, understand their complaint and are taking steps to remedy the situation. Even something as simple as using the reviewer’s first name can make a big difference; SOCi’s proprietary research shows that 89 percent of consumers are willing to change a negative review based on how the business responds.

Of course, the ideal reputation management strategy allows you to get in front of potential negative reviews before they appear next to your properties’ names on review sites or social platforms. A technology like SOCi — with reputation insights, sentiment, and competition — can help you identify issues at your various properties so you can adjust accordingly.

Find out why SOCi is the perfect tool for property managers.



The Property Manager’s Guide to Social Media Metrics

Is your property’s social media strategy designed to work hard or work smart? Social media is an inherently trackable marketing initiative, and each platform produces metrics that can help shape your strategy. At the same time, there are plenty of metrics that can be misleading if you don’t fully understand what they’re telling you.

Social media can help keep residents engaged, inform potential renters about apartment availability and grow your presence in the surrounding community. Below, we’ll tell you about a few common social media metrics and how you can use them to adjust your property’s marketing strategies. Whether you’re tracking your social media metrics on individual platforms or through a social media reporting tool like SOCi, your property’s marketing will benefit from the understanding of what each number signifies.

The Difference Between Reach and Impressions

Impressions are the number of times your post was displayed in front of a user, but the stat is a little misleading because users can see one post multiple times. Reach, on the other hand, only accounts for unique views. Reach tells you the total number of people who saw your post — impressions tell you the total number of times the post was seen. Reach can apply to organic content, paid content or the total between the two. If you Boost a post, you’ll be able to see how much reach that post got on its own, how much reach it got after being boosted, and the total amount of reach; the sum of the organic and paid reach.

If your goal is to build brand awareness, you’ll want to pay attention to the reach your posts receive. By analyzing your organic reach and comparing it to your paid reach, you can see whether it’s worth spending more to increase your impressions and reach.

Stay up to date on social media trends and the latest SOCi news. Sign up today.

Comparing Low-Value and High-Value Engagements

Engagement tells you how many people directly interacted with your post by clicking, liking, reacting, favoriting, commenting, replying, viewing a video or sharing the post.

It’s always beneficial to track the percentage of people who engaged with your posts compared to how many total people saw your post. This should tell you whether or not you’re creating content that’s engaging and relevant.

Of course, some types of engagement are more meaningful than others. High-value engagement comes in the form of comments, reviews, and shares — actions that take a bit of effort on the part of the audience. Simple actions like clicks and video views take less effort and are classified as low-value engagement. Facebook is limiting the reach of posts that receive low-value engagement, which is why it’s so important to double down on content that results in high-value engagement.

The Meaning of Fans and Followers

On Facebook, people who like your page are called fans. People can also choose to follow your page by clicking a separate button. That follow button has a drop-down menu, which gives the user options like, “turn on notifications for this page’s posts,” and “see this page’s posts first.” On Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, your audience is simply referred to as followers. With reporting technology like SOCi, you can keep track of your total number of followers/fans, new followers/fans and week-to-week follower/fan growth.  

Having a lot of fans and followers is preferable, but a high number doesn’t necessarily lead to future growth. According to recent research, people who like Facebook business pages don’t start spending more or changing their buying habits. Also, someone liking a page doesn’t make their friends or family more likely to sign a lease at your property.

If someone likes your property’s page on Facebook, it’s likely that they’re an existing resident. Your follower/fan numbers tell you how popular your community is, and how many loyal, engaged renters you have, but there’s no guarantee that a high number will lead to more signed leases. The way you’ll reach potential renters through social is through proper spending and targeting for Boosted posts or social advertising.

In the competitive world of property management, social media metrics will show you exactly where your community stands. A powerful, nimble social media strategy will take these metrics into account and enable you to adjust accordingly. A flexible social media tool like SOCi will provide you with the metrics that matter for your property, so you can see what is working and where you can improve.

Find out how SOCi can power your property’s local social media marketing.