Finding new content day in and day out can be challenging. But if you want your apartment’s social media pages to engage residents, you need to stay on top of things. Make your job easier by following this 4-step process to finding and posting content your renters actually want to read.
Step 1: Consider Who Your Renters Are and What They Like to Do
No two residents are the same. Every person in your community has different interests and different tastes. Still, it’s likely that most have a few things in common. And identifying this common ground is the first step in finding content your renters will enjoy.
If you’re a property manager and you personally know your residents, then you have an incredible advantage when it comes to identifying and understanding the demographics of your community as well as the things that peak the interest of your renters.
Apartment marketers who don’t work on site aren’t as lucky. They have to do a bit of research to learn about their core audience. If you don’t work on the property level but do manage social media for apartments, ask yourself the following questions:
- Where is the property located? Is it in a city or a suburb?
- How old is the typical renter? Do the age demographics swing younger, older, or is it a mix?
- What is the relationship status of the typical renter? Are they single or in a relationship? Does the community have a lot of families with children?
- Is the typical renter financially well-off? Can they afford to spend money on luxury purchases or experiences?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of what your renters want to see on social media. For example, if your property is located in Philadelphia and caters to millennial singles with a higher income, you might consider sharing stories about upcoming concerts, restaurant openings, or street festivals in the City of Brotherly Love. On the other hand, if your property houses a lot of families – and all other demographics remain the same – you may want to mix in a few stories about kid-friendly activities or a local babysitting company (for date night!) in Philly.
Step 2: Find Stories That Match Your Renters’ Interests
Once you know your renters’ interests, it’s time to find content sources that cater to those interests. You may believe that on-site property managers are once again at an advantage here, as they likely know about what’s happening in their city or town. But the fact of the matter is that residents will have loads of interests that property managers don’t follow, so on-site PMs will have just as much research work as off-site apartment marketers when trying to discover new content.
Fortunately, finding relevant content isn’t that hard if you know where to look. In fact, if you’re willing to put in a little bit of time and effort into an initial setup phase, you can get relevant content will come to you. Here’s how go about automating that setup
Use Google to Identify Local Businesses and Organizations
Google is one of your greatest resources for finding local businesses and organizations. In order to search for local businesses of all kinds, just follow the “Business Type + City Name, State” formula when conducting your search. Sticking with the example provided in Step #1 of this article, that search might look something like “Restaurants in Philadelphia, PA” or “Concert Venues in Philadelphia, PA.”
Build a Database of All Relevant Local Businesses
After conducting your search, build a database of business names and their corresponding website URLs in a spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. To stay organized, we recommend placing the business names in one column and the website URLs in another column. It’s also a good idea to create a new sheet for each business type so that restaurants are on one sheet, concert venues are on another, and so on.
Identify the Social Media Profiles of All Businesses/Organizations in Your Database
While logged into your apartment’s social media pages, go through the spreadsheet and click on each website URL. If you are directed to a website that has icons for the businesses’ social pages, click the icons to connect with and follow the businesses on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Admittedly this will take a bit of time upfront, but it will also save you a ton of time in the long run.
Organize the Social Media Profiles Into Lists
Following every business in your city will transform your Twitter timeline and Facebook newsfeed into pure chaos. To tame the beast, create lists that separate pages by category. If you don’t know where to start, read our quick guide on how to create social media lists for instructions.
Check Your Lists Regularly for the Latest Content
Once you’ve organized all your pages into lists, you’ll want to check those lists regularly and share or retweet relevant content with your renters. Try to pick one or two posts/tweets from each list. That way you cover all of your bases so that every renter sees at least one post that he or she likes each day.
Bonus Tip: If you find yourself sharing content from one particular business over and over again, reach out to the business owner and let them know. They’ll be grateful for the referrals. And it may just open the door for exclusive deals between your apartment community and the business.
Step 3: Create a Content Calendar to Save Time
Scheduling your content ahead of time is an absolute must. Otherwise, you may find that your daily routine is constantly interrupted by social media marketing micro-tasks. And that makes it really hard to concentrate on larger goals!
Many apartment marketers believe that content calendars are all about timing. That is to say, more people will see a certain post if you publish it at this time of day, so you must publish your posts at these exact times to get this result. But that social media strategy isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
The ideal time to post varies across each social platform, industry, region, and audience. Furthermore, it seems as though these “ideal times” change twice every year. So while you’re more than welcome to use those times as a guideline when starting out, we encourage you to experiment, measure, and refine.
Although the time of day you should post content varies for every community, there is another rule about timing that few people consider. Specifically, the time between when you post about a certain event and the time at which that certain event is set to occur. People typically plan on going to concerts weeks or months ahead of time, so it doesn’t make sense to only post or tweet about a performance a few hours before showtime.
In order to create a content calendar that works, regularly check your social lists for upcoming events and figure out the opportune times to share news about those events. For example, if you find out on Monday that a local restaurant is having a special on Friday, schedule a post about it on Thursday. (Monday may be too early in the week for making weekend plans, and Friday may be too late.) An even better idea is to schedule several posts about the event.
Step 4: Analyze Your Results and Refine Your Approach Monthly
The steps above provide you with a solid framework for building an engaging apartment social media strategy. However, it’s important to remember that the best marketing requires consistent refinement. Each month, review your social marketing campaigns and ask yourself the following questions:
- Which post received the most engagement on each network? What elements (topic, language, imagery, etc.) may have influenced that engagement?
- What type of post (restaurant posts, concert posts, etc.) received the most engagement? Which type received the least?
- Who is interacting with your page or profile most often? Is this person currently a renter?
- What type of engagement are you seeing? Are people sharing/retweeting your posts or liking them? Are there comments or replies?
- Have any posts or tweets generated a click to your website? Can you create a similar post/tweet and receive a similar response?
Answering these questions will help you perfect your strategy and establish new and improved social media marketing ideas for your apartment community.
Dazzling your renters with a highly relevant social media presence has a number of advantages, from retaining residents to building new leads. By following the steps outlined above, you’re sure to create a memorable social identity that people won’t hesitate to follow.