To wrap up our three-part series on increasing resident satisfaction, we are going to talk about how to make social media work for the multifamily industry. Most property managers understand the value of social media in marketing to reach potential residents. Far too many overlook social media as a valuable tool for connecting with their residents. Today we will provide some examples of strategies you can use increase resident satisfaction through social media.
Increasing Resident Satisfaction using Facebook
Facebook boasts the most widespread group of users among all of the available social media platforms. It has the ability to offer the most information and provides an open “forum” for conversing with your residents and potentials. Many properties have Facebook business pages and may be posting occasionally, but the majority are not using Facebook (or most of social media) to its full capacity. Property managers often find there are simply not enough hours in the day to maximize the full benefits social media has to offer.
Why and How?
Facebook business pages improve your online presence because they are indexed by search engines, making the chance of your business showing up in a Google search higher. Secondly, a Facebook business page allows for tracking of statistics like how many people viewed your posts or “liked” something on your page. While there are ways to advertise your property on Facebook, market your apartments, and make your business page work well, Facebook is also the perfect platform for increasing resident satisfaction.
Here are some strategies for leveraging the social aspect of Facebook to provide better customer service and increase resident satisfaction:
Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s
Make sure your page is complete before expecting results. Many businesses forget simple Facebook procedures like completing their business listing profile. This means making sure all your relevant information is updated and correct when you update your “Page Info.” It sounds simple, but often gets overlooked! Promoting your business page to your residents is also a great first step. Tell residents to “like” your page, so you can later use your page to its full potential, reaching your target market.
Reach Residents with Engaging Content
- Once your Facebook business listing is complete, it remains the best place to boost your image.
- Post frequently but don’t overdo it. 1 time per day or several times a week is enough. Facebook business pages are not like personal pages, people do not expect them to be updated hourly.
- Vary your posts. Post interesting content. Things that are useful or funny get shared 3X more often than informational posts. Posts with photos or something graphical have a better chance of being seen.
- Respond to user posts on your page effectively. Give information when necessary. Answer questions and be helpful!
- Set a standard of social media communication. Current and future residents will notice and it will increase your positive reputation.
- Someone leave a negative comment for you? Be kind, answer any questions and mitigate any angry posts quickly. Apologize and use your general “people skills” to tell them that you are happy to talk, simply call the office or come in for a visit. Do not get into a war of words online for everyone to see. Respond quickly and positively and you’ve not only solved a problem for a resident but have proved you are attentive and caring.
- Have an event coming up? Invite residents via your page, and tell them to invite friends as well. This may earn you some new Facebook page “likes” as well as possible future tenants.
- Want to brag about your staff? Feature a profile, share photos and let people know what makes you great.
2. Promote Community
Continue to generate “likes” by reaching out to other businesses in the community. Grow your network on social media and make it a resource to your community. The adage “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” goes a long way on social media. For example, if you were to reach out to a local coffee shop and cross-promote with a “residents get a dollar off a drink” type of deal, this can all be promoted via your respective Facebook pages.
Increasing Resident Satisfaction Using Instagram
Another perfect social media platform for those in the multifamily industry is Instagram. Many property managers prefer Instagram for its ease and simplicity. It’s not as cluttered or crowded as Facebook and Twitter and provides syndication across several social networks with its hashtag abilities. Visually speaking, it’s an effective marketing tool for apartments, as you can offer a virtual photo or video tour of your property. It’s also an effective way to increase resident satisfaction in its capabilities to show off your fun and social side. Host a resident photo contest, promote your amenities and services, and promote your events.
Here are some great examples of multifamily community Instagram accounts:
Increasing Resident Satisfaction Using Snapchat
Snapchat can seem like an obscure social media platform for apartments, but it can be highly effective at connecting to your target market. Its largest group of users are aged 34 and younger… prime renters! Basic uses could include apartment tour videos or showing off your community’s amenities.
Get creative and promote events or offer specials. Residents can also help promote your property. Increase activity surrounding your brand by hosting a contest for residents to create a Snapchat about your community. Either way, Snapchat allows property staff to have some fun, show some personality, and thus connect with residents, leading to higher resident satisfaction.
Increasing Resident Satisfaction Using LinkedIn
Often overlooked in a social media marketing campaign is LinkedIn. However, there are several uses as a property manager that will help improve your reputation. First of all, as a multifamily professional, joining a LinkedIn group of others in the industry is a great way to make connections and share ideas and get advice. Secondly, the more connections you make, the higher the chances you will find your next great staff member.
Finally, connecting with residents themselves provides you another avenue to build a relationship. For example, noticing when a resident gets a promotion or a new gig provides an opportunity to reach out with a congratulations. This goes a long way with building rapport/network and making residents feel connected.
Increasing Resident Satisfaction Using Twitter and Review Sites
In the multifamily industry, Twitter and apartment review sites remain the number one place online where reputations can be made or broken. People love to air grievances online, and if your property is not on Twitter, they’re essentially complaining about you behind your back.
Negative comments or reviews on Twitter and other review sites can be addressed directly by properties that have an online presence. Publicly and positively responding to complaints on these platforms goes a long way with resident satisfaction, as Twitter users especially, expect to directly interact with businesses. Interactions with customers on these platforms are not always negative, either. Like Facebook, Twitter can be a great place to promote your property and events and like Instagram or Snapchat can incorporate photos or video.
In conclusion, the goal of using social media is to improve relationships with residents in order to lead to retention and referrals, promote the property and increase online visibility. All of these require a lot of time and energy. Busy property managers who know that social media is the key to increasing resident satisfaction often delegate these tasks to professionals. No matter what, it is clear that those in the multifamily industry need to utilize the full benefits of social media to lead to happy residents.