In case you missed it, Facebook announced some drastic changes yesterday.
These changes will prioritize your friends’ posts, images, and videos so that they appear higher up on your newsfeed, where you are more likely to see them.
And while that’s all well and good for you as a user, it could cause some problems for you as an apartment marketer.
You can’t prioritize one thing without letting something else slip behind. In this case, posts from business pages are the things that are slipping behind. And because all apartment communities have business pages rather than personal profiles – at least, if they’re doing things right – this update means that apartment page posts will receive fewer views.
What’s Facebook Up To?
In his official statement, Facebook Engineering Director Lars Backstrom stated that “keeping [users] connected to the people, places and things [users] want to be connected to” is the intention of the update.
There’s certainly some truth to this statement. After all, if users start having trouble finding posts about things they care about, they’ll likely stop using Facebook.
But let’s not pretend that’s the only motivating factor.
Mark Zuckerburg didn’t become the youngest billionaire in the world because of his taste in fashion. He became a billionaire because Facebook is a gold mine of advertising dollars. And it looks like the social network is finally going to cash in on some of its potential…by charging business pages to promote their posts.
That’s right: Even though Facebook is supposedly making this update to improve user newsfeeds, it only applies to organic posts.
How Will the Update Affect Apartment Marketing Strategies?
Facebook is now a pay to play environment.
Sure, apartment communities that have extremely engaging posts and a huge audience will still be able to reach organic newsfeeds.
But boosted posts are becoming more and more necessary.
If you want to promote your apartment community on Facebook, you’re going to have to set aside some funds for paid social ads.
Fortunately, that’s not really a bad thing.
Paid social ads have a lot of amazing features. The advanced targeting options allow you to reach users you otherwise would have never reached, and these users are seriously qualified leads. They’re also relatively cheap when you compare them to similar options, like Google PPC Ads (though we should mention that Google PPC reaches potential renters at a different stage of the buying process).
Is Your Business Page Obsolete?
We want to clarify that in no way does this update make your business page or your organic strategy obsolete.
There are still plenty of reasons to post to your Facebook page and maintain an organic strategy.
First off, you likely have a ton of people who regularly visit your page to learn about the newest things and events within your community. These people are interested in your page regardless of whether or not it shows up in their newsfeeds.
Furthermore, you still want to interact with your current renters and prospects. Your Facebook page is a great channel for sharing information. It’s also a great place to respond to reviews. If you prioritize your paid efforts and let your organic strategies fall to they wayside, it could cause a loss of trust among your renters.
At the end of the day, this update may cause a lot of headaches across the multifamily industry. You’ll have to work twice as hard in order to do things right and meet demand and expectations. But for those apartment marketers who are willing to adapt, it could represent a major opportunity.