Tips for Multifamily Marketers to Gain Better Social Engagement for Local Communities
Engagement on local social channels can often be a struggle for multi-family marketers because local properties don’t utilize social to their fullest potential or don’t have a content strategy in place. A low engagement rate on social media can result in missed opportunities for property management companies. Throughout this blog, we’ll take you through some tips your properties can implement into localized marketing efforts to boost engagement on social among local communities.
Communicate with Your Local Teams
One of the first steps your property management company should take towards boosting your local engagement on social media is to ensure frequent communication between corporate and individual property teams. Everyone should be on the same page when it comes to a social media strategy. How often do you expect your local properties to be posting on social media? What channels should be utilized most frequently? Is social media going to be managed decentrally at the local level, or a hybrid between corporate and local? These questions should be decided on before you begin building out your content strategy.
Similarly, there should be clear responsibilities among all parties before getting started with a content strategy. For instance, are there specific guidelines that should be followed when drafting a post? Will there be an approval process for new content? How can corporate help create branded or designed content for the local properties to share? If the line of communication between corporate and the local property teams is open, there is more of a chance that your local social channels will be utilized more frequently – this opens the opportunity for engagement online.
Once you’ve started the conversation around the importance of social engagement, it’s time to begin teaching the property managers or others on the local teams how to utilize social media.
Teach Property Teams How to Utilize Social
It’s essential to keep in mind that many local property managers or leasing representatives aren’t trained in digital marketing. When you’re asking your local teams to participate in local social media efforts, it’s essential to equip them with the tools needed to succeed.
An easy way to ensure that all of your local property managers and other team members are on the same page when posting and engaging on social media is to create a guidebook for them to follow. The guidebook could include tips from the beginner level, all the way to expert. The guidebook can include it all, from how to log into your social media accounts to how frequently the pages should be monitored to scheduling content and tracking its performance to common responses to comments or other engagements. Tracking performance is essential to understanding how your engagement has increased over time.
While a guidebook is one way to teach your properties how to utilize social media, you can also have an online training series including short videos that take property teams through social media basics. It’s important to remember that these property managers already have a lot on their plate, so keeping it as straightforward and easy as possible is critical. You don’t want your property managers to see social media as a chore but rather as an opportunity to increase engagement and ultimately leases and retention.
Build a Strong Content Strategy
After your property teams understand how to utilize social media, it’s time for the fun part! Building a content strategy that will engage your current and future residents and boost your properties’ visibility is vital. When creating a content strategy, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Create branding guidelines
There are specific guidelines that every property team member under your portfolio should follow. For instance, there are a few basic things that should be consistent across your local social pages. Each local social page should have some variation of your company’s logo as its profile picture to help with brand recognition. A consistent naming structure for your pages is essential as well. And including brand-approved imagery of each specific property for your header image is key.
2. Develop a response strategy
There should also be conversations about what you expect in terms of responses. How quickly do you expect the local property to respond to a comment or a review on one of your local social pages? Recent data has found that 70 percent of consumers turn to social and review sites for customer care issues. Is there an approved list of responses or an approval hierarchy that your local property owners can follow when responding to these customer care issues? Typically, a strong response would be timely, address the problem or concern, and include personalization.
If you’re looking for industry benchmarks when it comes to responding to reviews, our Q3 2020 State of Multi-Location Marketing Report can help. For instance, the average review response rate across Google, Facebook, and Yelp in Q2 2020 was 42.9 percent. While your property management company should aim to respond to as many reviews as possible, meeting the industry standards is a must.
3. Provide ideas for the types of content to post
Developing a content plan with your local teams will help ensure your properties have an ideal mix of both corporate and localized content on social channels. Corporate can create monthly or quarterly content plans with brand-approved posts, and each property can supplement that strategy with hyper-local posts. After all, we found that localized content leads to 12x increase in engagement.
Localized content can include, but should not be limited to:
- Special promotions that are running at a specific property
- Upcoming (virtual) events
- Changes in operations that have occurred due to COVID-19
- Photos from your property
- Relevant location-specific news/updates
- Highlights of happy residents
- Features of your local team members
When you have a robust localized content strategy, your residents and prospective residents will feel that you’re making an effort to speak directly to them. If they can trust your property, they will, in return, be more likely to engage with it. The cycle then continues. The more people that engage with your property management company, the more people continue to see it as a trusted source, and your leads and leases will continue to grow.
4. Use an approval workflow
It’s natural for corporate to want some control over your social media efforts at the local level, which is where approval workflows come in. Through an approval workflow, local property managers can schedule their content, but it allows corporate to review it first. SOCi’s social media management solution is an excellent example of a product that includes an approval workflow for property management companies.
SOCi’s social media management solution empowers enterprise and local teams to publish localized content, manage content libraries, respond to social engagements, and analyze performance — all within one powerful platform. Corporate, regional, and local teams can plan, share, and manage all aspects of their localized social strategy effortlessly.
Now that you have the tools necessary to build a strong local social media strategy, you’ll be able to gain better engagement among your local communities. If your residents and prospects see that you’re taking the time to develop localized content and engage with them, they will be more likely to remember your property when deciding where to do live. While SOCi can help you boost your localized social strategy, we can strengthen other aspects of your localized marketing efforts as well. SOCi is the all-in-one platform for multi-family marketers. For more information on how SOCi can take your property management company to the next level, request a demo today!