A version of this article first appeared on Updater.
Social media is an inherently measurable marketing method because of engagement metrics. Property managers can use these metrics to track the success of social media content — platform statistics show which tactics are working and which tactics need work.
Consider: Which posts are receiving comments? Which posts are being shared? Which posts sit out there with zero engagement? In terms of engagement, localized content has the greatest impact on social audiences. This is especially relevant for multi-location businesses.
Facebook gives multi-location businesses the ability to capitalize on the localized social trend — empowering marketers to create one Business Page for the corporate brand plus individual Local Pages for each business location. If we look at data pulled from the SOCi social media management platform, we see that 72 percent of audience engagement happens on Facebook Local Pages as opposed to Brand Pages.
Localized social content is especially important for property managers because a property’s location is often one of its key selling points. A recent survey showed that 81% of renters consider location is an important factor, with respondents in some markets saying it’s the most important factor.
Social media marketers are constantly hearing about the importance of posting “quality content.” That phrase doesn’t refer to high-resolution images or the well-written copy, though both of those are important. Quality content refers to content that provides value to your audience. Here are three examples of what that looks like for property management companies.
1. Posts about local resident events
Whether it’s a pool party with local food trucks or a happy hour at a nearby brewery, posting about these resident events helps build a sense of community at each property in your management portfolio. This content provides value to your followers, it’s shareable and it’s likely to receive comments from people tagging their friends to invite them to the event.
2. Updates about neighborhood events, festivals and restaurant openings
Your property’s Facebook Local Page can be a resource for followers hoping to stay up to date on everything happening in their community. It’s hard to cut through the noise on residents’ social media feeds, but these types of informative, current posts can help you grab their attention while giving them up-to-date information to share with their friends.
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3. Content that leverages local micro-influencers
You can harness the power of influencers without having to find a local Instagram celebrity. Examples include highlighting the resident of the month, profiling a member of the leasing staff, and reaching out to local businesses to develop co-marketing partnerships. The resident, leasing agent and local business might not have massive social media followings, but they can share your post with the followers, likely local, that they do have and expand your base of impressions.
So, why does this kind of localized content work? One reason is that it carries with it a sense of exclusivity. You’re not showing your followers the same content that every other property page is showing. Each property’s page should be all about the neighborhood, nearby businesses, and local events that matter to that property’s residents. Of course, that content should also adhere to brand standards set forth by the property management company.
The best kind of localized social content approach includes a blend of property-specific content and management company content that has a local spin.
The Hybrid Model for Social Media Management
For property management companies managing a portfolio of dozens or even hundreds of properties, it’s imperative to develop a social media strategy that empowers local property managers while ensuring consistency and brand standards across the portfolio.
A decentralized model requires that each property manager post their own social content without corporate oversight. A centralized model requires that the property management company handle social media for every property in the portfolio without input from the local property managers. Neither model achieves the goal of combining brand standards with local input, but a hybrid model does.
Using a hybrid model of localized content requires coordination between the local property managers and the social media managers at the corporate level. The advantage of this model is that each property gets localized content that also has consistent branding and messaging that’s been approved by corporate.
When done well, a localized strategy can be implemented across a property management portfolio — giving each property the ability to create customized content while still adhering to brand standards that come from the corporate management level.
Developing a social media strategy goes beyond the structure by which you create content and approve posts. It extends to the goals that you’re trying to achieve for each phase of your localized social marketing.