While social media is a powerful tool for multifamily marketers, it requires constant vigilance to remain on the cutting edge of the paid social space. What worked last year may not work now, as new features emerge and renter preferences evolve. One thing remains true; renters love using social media to find apartments and 43 percent of consumers say they’re likely to interact with an apartment community on social media.
We’re still in the first half of 2019, but multiple new features have already emerged that multifamily marketers must be aware of. Below, we highlight four updates that can help your multifamily management company invest social media dollars wisely.
Dynamic Images and Ad Copy
For property management companies with large portfolios, it can be difficult to create tailored ads for each property, at-scale. Some management companies hire an agency to create each property’s ads, which can be costly and time-consuming if each property in the portfolio is billed separately. Other management companies may let individual properties create their own ads, but this approach fails to leverage the resources at the corporate management level.
With dynamic images and text — a feature provided by SOCi — property management companies can create one set of Facebook Ads that update with property-specific photos and dynamic text which changes based on the property’s address, city, or neighborhood. This streamlines the localized ad creation process, allowing management companies to maintain corporate oversight while still empowering properties with local ad campaigns.
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New Video Ad Reporting Metrics
Facebook users pay attention to video ads for 5x longer than they do static ads, and marketers are taking notice. In 2018, nearly ¼ of all U.S. video ad spend was spent on Facebook. Now, Facebook is giving marketers more insights into how users watch videos.
The new Facebook Video Performance Card reveals how long users watched your video, whether or not they reached the part of the video that contains your key message, and the viewing times for different segments of the video. For instance, 50 percent of views might reach the first 10 seconds of your video before clicking away, with just 25 percent of views reaching the 20-second mark. You can use this information to optimize your creative. What is it about the 10-second mark that causes 25 percent of viewers to stop watching?
Different Ad Objectives for Different Properties
Facebook ad objectives allow you to optimize ads for specific goals. For property management companies, some useful ad objectives include:
- Brand Awareness
- Page Likes
- Web Conversions (using Facebook pixel)
- Lead Generation
- Web Traffic
- Video Views
Multifamily companies with a diverse portfolio of properties may want to consider setting different ad objectives for each property. A social media advertising tool like SOCi allows management companies to create one ad — updated with dynamic images and text for each property — with different objectives for each location. Here are a few examples:
- A brand new property uses brand awareness ads or web traffic ads to create awareness in the community,
- A struggling property uses web conversions ads or lead generation ads to fill vacant units, or
- A recently-remodeled property uses video-views ads to show off new amenities, or web traffic ads to send users to the amenities page.
Another News Feed Algorithm Update
Facebook’s latest algorithm update specifically changes the potential reach of organic content, but in doing so creates even more of a need for multifamily communities to use Facebook Ads.
Facebook will now be surveying users to find out which content they find to be most engaging. For Business Pages, this means that click-bait organic content will see a decline in reach if the audience doesn’t respond favorably. If your page’s organic content isn’t seen as engaging, you could experience a decline in organic reach. In the aftermath of Facebook using these new signals to determine which posts appear higher up in the News Feed, there are now two ways to reach your audience;
- Create more engaging content.
- Use Facebook Ads to ensure your message reaches your audience.
Option A is difficult to achieve. While your properties’ Pages must continue to post organically in order to maintain a social media presence, it takes a specific content strategy designed to elicit engagement to even reach 10 percent of your Page followers. Facebook Boost should be used in conjunction with an organic approach in order to maximize the reach or organic posts that do perform well.
Option B is more straightforward. Facebook Ads are unaffected by News Feed algorithm changes, can target specific audiences of people who are looking for apartments, and — according to 30 percent of marketers — offer the best ROI among digital advertising platforms.
The complexities of property management marketing create the need for a localized approach to social media advertising. Even if a management company has both the time and resources to invest in ads, those ads will only be effective if they’re created with the individual properties in mind. A social advertising tool like SOCi can help property management companies integrate local expertise and deploy 100s or 1000s of ads from a single platform.