Social media has become main stream and as some Media guru said: every media is becoming social. Late studies found that social media is becoming a higher percentage of total digital marketing budgets and will continue to rise over the next three years. In fact, it has grown at such an alarming pace that many industries are finding it difficult to join the bandwagon called social media marketing. Many believe they have to, but are afraid to take that first step. This is especially true for real estate property managers. What exactly do property managers have to do with social media marketing? Should they use social media to accumulate new customers or is it just a brand building tool? Well, here is what social media marketing for property managers is all about.
The Big Picture
So you took the first step and signed yourself up for some social media sites and started marketing yourself and now you’re waiting for the traffic to start rolling in. You’ve done your research about social media marketing and everyone tells you to find followers. So you did, and now spend precious time feeding consistent updates to users regarding current vacancies. Why isn’t it working for you then? It’s primarily because people on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter seldom pay attention to anything that sounds like a sales proposition. These platforms are meant for talking about ideas, interesting tidbits of information, and conversations on various topics.
But let’s not forget, property management is completely different than for example a restaurant or a movie theater. Therefore updates and ‘sales pitches’ to followers does not correspond well with either of these two sites. Moreover, users who are already within your circle are already your clients and may not have an opportunity to provide repeat business for at least a year or two (depending on the length of the contract they signed with you). Social media measurement isn’t always about the math and the metrics (whatever they are .. reach, engagement and turnover to future customers, community growth, revenue) should ALWAYS roll up to business metrics in some way. The question then arises, how do you, as a property manager, engage users through social media marketing?
Things to Do; Places to See
Rather than just feeding the users with vacancy updates or property advertisements, property managers should post interesting stuff about the locality and neighborhood in which the properties are located. Developments within the area, attractions, pictures, and videos should do the trick. The users will automatically register these properties in their minds and may decide to move in themselves or recommend to do so to others. This will also benefit people that already live in that property; perhaps they did not know about the upcoming event, new service offerings or maybe a hot special at the local gym. This is actually quite common with so much going on in peoples’ lives. The more fun that someone has in that area, the more this satisfaction will be expressed to friends and family, which could lead to future business for you.
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How the Game is Played
This will also help in branding your services. If there is a satisfied customer, ask him or her to write a testimonial for you through Facebook. Even if they do not have a Facebook page or account, they can just email you their positive thoughts and you can post it on the property’s Facebook page or send off a Twitter message. If your customer allows you to use their name, then that is even better. You then can easily market it by tagging people in it or just by sharing it with others.
A Constant Flow
Facebook now also allows page administrators to create custom pages on this immensely popular site for free. Try to be as creative as possible in this regard. Announce referral rewards and competitions, take surveys, and piggy back on the buzz created. Of course, the page needs to be updated at least once a day so that users and fans do not feel left out and so you show fans/customers or potential customers that something new is always happening. There is nothing better than fresh content, information, and news! At the end of the day, social media measurement is about change management. We need to change the way we think, communicate, behave, persuade, lead and act when rolling out and planning for social media measurement; which is a very small component of a more broad social business plan.
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