The Property Manager’s Guide to Local Social
With 1 out of every 3 minutes consumers spend with media on a social network and 78 percent of purchase decisions influenced by social media, making your presence known on these platforms is now more critical than ever. As a multi-family marketer, navigating the world of localized marketing can be tricky, especially for local social media.
You may question how often you should post, what type of content your residents or potential residents will like, and how to incorporate content from corporate. You’re in luck because we have answers for you! Within this blog, we’ll cover all things local social and explain how you can leverage it effectively to put your local properties in the spotlight and win more leases.
Develop a Content Strategy
One of the first things you need to do when getting started with local social is to develop a content strategy. As a property management company, all of your local properties must be on the same page regarding a content strategy. How often are you going to be posting per location? Which social media channels are you going to focus on? These are questions to answer right off the bat.
Data from our 3rd Annual Localized Marketing Benchmark Report found that Facebook and Google My Business (GMB) are the two most important channels to leverage when considering the frequency of local social posts. Not to say that you shouldn’t also leverage additional social channels, but if you had to choose where to focus your efforts, Facebook and GMB are essential. The report dove deeper and looked specifically at benchmarks that property management companies currently meet regarding local social.
For instance, on average, property management companies post seven times a month on Facebook and two times a month on GMB. Similarly, property management companies have an average of 51 percent of their local properties posting on Facebook and 40 percent on GMB. If your property management company isn’t meeting these benchmarks, there is room for improvement. If your current posting rate is on point, good for you! There are still opportunities to enhance your efforts.
While posting seven times a month on local Facebook pages is excellent, you should aim for three to four posts per week if resources allow. When it comes to the percentage of local properties posting, 100 percent should be the goal. Even if you’re already meeting the industry standards, why not push your property management company to be the best? With content strategy expectations set, it’s time to start thinking about the actual content.
Maintain Brand Guidelines
Before we get into the types of content that perform best among current and prospective residents, it’s essential to understand that brand guidelines are a must when developing content. Property management companies should consider the following best practices:
- Voice: Is there a specific tone you want your local properties to leverage? Some companies might prefer a more formal style, while others may like something more conversational. As long as it’s consistent, either option works.
- Profile pictures: All of your local properties should have similar profile pictures on your local social channels. Do you want all of your local properties to have an image of the actual property as a profile picture or include your corporate logo?
- Content imagery: Think about what types of images you’d prefer your local properties to use. Some property management companies may choose lifestyle imagery, while others prefer more branded images. Again, consistency is vital. It’s also important to consider including pictures from your local properties so prospective residents can get a feel for the property before they tour.
- How you engage with users: We’ll get more into this later. Still, your property management company should be consistent when responding to comments or questions you receive on your local social pages, along with responding to ratings and reviews.
Your target audience should be able to recognize your local properties as a part of your larger property management company, regardless of where they find you on local social. It’s why brand guidelines are essential and can help ensure that all local properties are on the same page before creating any local social content.
Create Engaging Localized Content
After you’ve established brand guidelines among your local properties, you can start the process of creating localized content. When developing local content, it helps to understand what types of content drive the highest engagement. Our Localized Social Content Guide does precisely that. It breaks down the best engaging content types for local social and provides you with examples of each. The guide found local content that tends to perform best includes:
- Community based/local stories
- Cute or funny content
- Feel-good stories
- Stand out content
- Short videos – less than 30 seconds
- Authentic imagery that’s not overly produced
If you’re having trouble getting started, try an idea listed above. For instance, a community story that highlights a resident would be great. Similarly, if you received a rave review from a resident, share the positive press on your local social media channel. While those previously mentioned ideas drive the highest engagement, you can test other types of content as well. For instance, if you have a fundraiser or event happening at your local property, spread the word on your local social channels. If you’re adjusting your leasing office hours or starting a major renovation or update, you could highlight this on local social as well.
You must test various types of content and see what works best for your target audience. Keeping track of your performance is critical and can help you decide what performs best and what interests your prospective residents.
Interact with Residents Online
After you’ve mapped out your content plan, you can start focusing on engaging with your residents on local social channels. Residents crave a local connection, and your property management company can provide it. Your property management company should monitor local social channels and engage when users leave a comment, send a message, or share your content.
This type of engagement shows consumers you care enough to take the time to respond to them, and it also proves that your local properties are actively utilizing local social. Like brand guidelines, it is crucial to set expectations for interacting with residents online. Are there specific types of comments or messages that warrant an immediate response? What steps are you taking to personalize your responses? These are things to ask yourself before setting expectations. The same goes for responding to reviews. Your local properties will likely receive reviews on local social channels, and you must acknowledge and interact with the reviews. For more information on responding to local reviews, check out our blog on the topic here.
While interacting with residents is necessary, we understand it can be challenging with various local properties and different property managers for each location. That’s where SOCi comes in. SOCi’s streamlined reputation management software allows users to view every action taken on reviews and monitor social media activity. Now, your local, regional, and corporate teams will always know which reviews and social engagements are addressed and which ones still require attention to ensure the prompt responses consumers expect. There’s no excuse for not responding to reviews or social engagement with this exciting tool.
Now that you have everything you need to build a winning local social strategy, it’s time to get started. Whether your property management company is just beginning to explore local social, or you’ve already found great success in it, there’s always room for improvement. For more information on how SOCi can help you manage your local social and all other aspects of your localized marketing strategy in one solution, request a demo today! It’s time to level up your localized marketing efforts and become a leader in your industry.