It’s no big secret the past two years have been rough on Facebook. Concerns over user data, a litany of legal proceedings, and predictions that newer networks threaten its kingly status have all plagued the social media giant – so much so that one could be forgiven for doubting Facebook’s future as an apartment marketing platform.
But according to results from a recent Multifamily Insiders social media survey, and stats from Pew Research, that doubt would be misplaced. In fact, it’s becoming more and more clear that Facebook – along with its Instagram subsidiary – will continue to be one of the most valuable multifamily marketing tools for years to come.
Here’s our take on why that is, along with our view on the state of Facebook management for apartments in 2019.
Marketing professionals have warned Facebook’s time on the throne was limited ever since the social network unseated MySpace in the mid 2000’s. And every year, countless Chicken-Little’s reiterate this claim.
But here’s the thing: The numbers don’t match these predictions.
Facebook is still the most popular social media site on the Internet. Nearly 70 percent of Americans have a Facebook account, and two thirds of those account holders use Facebook daily.
Claims that Facebook is no longer “young and hip” are also highly exaggerated. Roughly 50 percent of American teens use Facebook. And the 25 – 34 demographic (a crucial base for apartment marketers) represent 35 percent of Facebook’s ad audience.
Furthermore, the network most favored to overtake Facebook among younger generations is Instagram, which is owned by Facebook! Add all of these stats together, and it’s easy to understand why not a single respondent to Multifamily Insider’s survey stopped using Facebook in 2018, whereas 28 stopped using Twitter and 13 stopped using Pinterest.
No matter which way you cut it, Facebook dominates the current social landscape – among key apartment marketing audiences – and is poised to continue doing so in 2019 and beyond.
Now that we’ve established Facebook still has our attention, let’s consider its various uses for apartment marketing.
Advertising and Lead Generation
After paid-search, Facebook is probably the best tool for generating leads online. This is mostly due to its treasure trove of user data, which makes it easy for apartment marketers to target qualified leads with custom messaging at an affordable price point. Facebook is also a great re-marketing platform and can be used to target prospects who had previously visited your website, keeping your community (and everything they loved about it) fresh in their minds.
Review and Reputation Management
Facebook reviews have always played a major role in apartment reputation management due to their high visibility both on the network and in search engines. The newest iteration of the reviews tools (Recommendations) makes Facebook an even greater reputation management resource, giving communities an easy way to identify strengths and weakness via tags. You can read more about that in this post from August.
On top of having various uses, Facebook is also extremely effective at everything it is used for. In fact, 86 percent of respondents in the recent Multifamily Insiders survey claimed to have generated a lease through Facebook. That’s fairly impressive, and probably explains why 87 percent of respondents pay to advertise their communities on the platform.
How to Best Manage Time on Facebook
With its various uses and proven track record, it’s easy to see why apartment marketers want to devote so much time to Facebook management. Multifamily Insider survey respondents, for example, spent an average of five hours each week managing social accounts for just a single community. Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day, which means Facebook can rob us of time we could use to lead tours, help residents, and conduct other on-location tasks.
The good news is that platforms like Respage make Facebook management for apartments a breeze, allowing you to have a fantastic social media presence without spending too much time behind a screen. Respage simplifies Facebook by making it easy to find and share content, schedule posts, and respond to comments. We also offer fully-managed Facebook and Instagram advertising services, allowing you to take advantage of one of the best advertising technologies available without doing any of the heavy lifting yourself.
The numbers make it clear that Facebook reaches an audience that apartment marketers want to target. It’s also quite clear that its advertising tools bring real results. And as we enter 2019, Facebook will continue to play a large role in your apartment marketing strategy.