So, you’ve set up your apartment community on social media. You’ve started posting great content on Facebook, you know how to engrain yourself within the local Twitter community, and you’re optimizing your Instagram posts with killer hashtags. The problem is, the content you’re serving up isn’t being consumed by actual residents.
While spreading brand awareness and delivering value to the people of the local neighborhood are great and all, it’s important to get your residents to interact with you in the digital space as you build relationships with them in person. Not only does this make them feel more connected to you and your brand, but it can also increase the chance that they renew their lease. And I’m all about resident retention. So, how do you boost resident engagement on social media? I’ve got some ideas.
1. Tell Your Residents You’re On Social Media
This one might seem like a no-brainer. There are a number of different ways to create awareness about these social channels where residents can jump on exclusive deals with a local bar/restaurant or just to get a behind-the-scenes look at the daily lifestyle that’s happening at your community. Create a snazzy flyer like IMT @ The Domain did that you can pin up in high foot traffic areas of your community (elevators, walkways, common areas, etc.), and stick inside the move-in packets that you hand out to new residents. Another great way to let people know about your social networks is by pasting links to each one in your email signature. Now, during your correspondences with current residents and future residents, they can see right away that you’re on social.
2. Create an Official Hashtag For Your Next Resident Event
People love parties, and people love to take pictures at them. How about tapping into that demographic by offering up a really cool prize that your residents can enter to win by snapping an Instagram picture and using a specific hashtag that guarantees an entry? It’s easier than it sounds, and your residents will more than likely do it, especially if the juice is worth the squeeze. Creating a specific hashtag also allows you to sift through this plethora of resident-generated content and engage with your residents by liking their posts or leaving comments. This is Engagement 101 and if you need help with this, then you know who to call.
3. Organize a Resident Photo Contest
This is similar to the previous example, but can be utilized outside of the event space. Land a $100 gift card to the hottest restaurant in your town, and instruct your residents to snap a photo of the apartment community and post it up on your Facebook Timeline. Not only will this create more user-generated content for you, but it will also prompt additional stories in Facebook newsfeeds that help spread your apartment community’s name around. Another option is to perform this same kind of contest on Twitter and Instagram but using hashtags or mentions. Pick the winner at random or go by how many “likes” their entry received. Pretty simple, eh?
4. Have Residents “Like” or “Follow” You on Social To Get An Exclusive Deal
This one can be done a couple different ways, but the goal will be achieved nonetheless. Establish a partnership with a local business and secure a resident-only deal, like a two-for-one or a percentage off, and have residents “like” or “follow” you in order to get it. Sure, they can “unlike” and “unfollow” after, but if you’re posting great content that they care about, then why would they want to unfollow? This one is all about exposure and creating awareness. If you want to get future residents involved, you can set up a deal where they get their application fee waived if they follow you on social during their tour. That extra $50 or so dollars is enough to get people engaged, wouldn’t you say?
5. Share Content from a Resident and Make Them Feel Like a Rockstar
Sometimes you’ll stumble upon (or proactively find) residents that have posted pictures from your community that showcase the lifestyle appropriately. If you can find a resident that posts photos of the community very frequently, get in touch with them via social and “like”, “comment”, “share”, and “regram”! If you encourage them to post more and make them feel like a rockstar of the community, then they will be more than willing to oblige. Don’t just sit back and let people engage with you. You need to go out and engage with them. Doing so will continue that relationship building between your community and that resident which will hopefully keep them a resident for some time. There I go with that resident retention thing again.
These are just a handful ways to get your residents attention and get them active with your apartment’s social media initiatives. Once you get these into your digital workflow, you’ll begin to see the difference in quality engagement. Remember: deliver value, be fun, and be human. Oh, and be patient. The ROI will come.