Generation Z — anyone born in 1995 or later — is now hitting the rental market. Unlike millennials, who are considered digital natives, Gen Zers are thought to be social natives. Many of them won’t remember a world without social media.
So in order to get their attention, apartment communities need to meet them where they are: Instagram.
With 800 million users, Instagram can — and should — be a strong part of your multifamily social media strategy. But it requires more thought and planning than other social media platforms.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when devising an Instagram strategy for multifamily.
Take a creative approach.
A straightforward photo of a common area in your community or an available apartment probably isn’t going to make much of a splash. And besides, it’s probably what your competitors are doing. To stand out, look for fresh angles. Lie on the floor and shoot what’s above you. Adjust the camera settings on your phone — don’t rely on autofocus all the time, and avoid using flash. If you use a filter, don’t do so excessively, and try to stick to one or two filters only to create a consistent look for your feed.
Consider your hashtags carefully.
While hashtags are used on most major social media platforms, Instagram has integrated it into its search function. So in order for potential renters to find you easily, strategic hashtags are crucial. And when it comes to multifamily, location-based hashtags are very important. In December 2017, Instagram users became capable of following specific hashtags: If an apartment hunter is following #oldcityphiladelphiaapartments, for example, any post with that tag will show in their feed. But users can also mark a post with “Don’t Show for this Hashtag” if the content is not relevant, so make sure your hashtags match your content every time.
Look to User Generated Content.
UGC, as it’s known, is any form of content created by users about a brand or product. In the multifamily realm, it might mean it’s a photo of a resident hanging out by the pool and tagging the apartment community. You can even come up with a branded hashtag, which can work particularly well if you have a marketing tagline. Encourage your residents to use a specific hashtag (branded or not) so you can find their posts, then you can “regram,” or re-post them on your feed to boost engagement.
Use Instagram Stories.
This feature, introduced in 2016, allows marketers to put together multiple images and video clips into one longer chunk of content that automatically deletes after 24 hours. Multifamily marketers have a real opportunity here because while more and more are now on Instagram, fewer are using Instagram stories. This format would be ideal to tell the story of renovations being made to a building, a special event for residents, the day in the life of a leasing agent or maintenance tech, quick profiles on residents, or an open house or special offer promotion.
Keep engagement in mind.
Instagram Stories and engagement go hand-in-hand. You can create a poll the standard way or you can try using the new Emoji Slider poll, which lets users express how much they like or dislike something. You can use the new questions feature, which allows users to enter queries that you can reply to in a later Story. Or, you can keep it basic (nothing wrong with that!) and come up with a cute pet contest and ask your residents to use a particular hashtag so you can keep track of the entries.
The overall goal to keep in mind when it comes to creating a multifamily Instagram strategy is to create content that pulls people in rather than pushing out content in the traditional marketing sense. As always, Respage is here to help!