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Social Media

- Blog posts tagged in Social Media

Posted by on in Property Management
This post is also inspired by Jen Piccotti's contribution, “Resident Retention: Dare I Say It - Don't Believe the Hype.” Whether you spend 5 or 30 minutes a day, don't think for one minute that your social media marketing initiatives are free. While there are no out-of-pocket expenses, the opportunity cost of your staff's time is very real—so it pays to carefully measure the true cost of social media. For example, let's assume that you employ a property manager named Sue, whom you pay $50,000 per year. To simplify this example, let's assume the direct payroll cost is about $25 per hour. (And yes, since this isn't taking into consideration any indirect costs like benefits, equipment, or supervisory costs, it is far less than the true cost of Sue's time). If Sue spends 5 minutes a day on social media efforts, it's costing you about $50 per month. That is perhaps enough time to keep up with Twitter and Facebook, but it is certainly not enough time to write blog posts. If Sue is like I am, she is a good salesperson and manager, but wasn't an English major. If she needs to blog on behalf of the property, it will take her a significant amount of time to write it. (This post will take me 45 minutes when all is said and done). Even if you've told her to go find content that can be reposted freely, that will still take 10-15 minutes. If she adds a photo, that will...

Posted by on in Property Management
Mark Juleen posed the question, “Is 30 minutes too much to ask?” when it comes to site people devoting time to social media, in response to Jen Piccotti's post “Resident Retention: Dare I Say It - Don't Believe the Hype.” Whether the answer is 5 minutes or 30 minutes, without a way to monitor whether people are actually putting effort in, you'll have no way to know that social media tasks are being done in a timely, cost effective manner—let alone at all. Even in my own personal experience, social media is one of the first things I let slide on days when proposals, sales presentations, travel, and time sensitive tasks get in the way. I have a lot more flexibility with my day than the average on site person, and since I own my own business, I put in more hours than many. However, there are days when I don't even have enough time to pen a tweet (and believe me, it's not that I'm inefficient or lack commitment). As you roll out social media initiatives, don't forget to put a system in place to measure social media input. If you don't hit your social media efforts goals, these systems will let you know that it wasn't because people simply didn't do the work. Ideally, put technology in place that lets you monitor posts, comments, and mentions for all your sites from one login.  Ellen Thompson is a founder of 4Walls, as well as an investor in Postling.com, which...

Posted by on in Property Management
Between floor mats, sticky gas pedals, and some questionable braking systems, Toyota has not exactly had the best first quarter ever.  Working in an industry where I hear people complain about the online ratings being brutal, I'm sure that those of you who've felt the sting of Apartment Ratings can sympathize, at least on some level.  Cars, apartments, Walmart - Bad PR is always the same. (Except for Walmart... they deserve to wiggle on the hook a bit.)  Turning around a problem is all about how you react to it.  Did Toyota drop the ball on this one?  Okay, yeah they did.  Run away gas pedal = uber scary and media hype-ability.  It WAS bad.But they fessed up.  See, this is the part where you get to start turning the bad stuff around.  Denial is easy, but not productive and not helpful to your reputation.  A real step 1 is ALWAYS the same: Fess Up.  Toyota had to recall over 400,000 Prius Hybrids and the total vehicle recalls tallied around 8.5 million.  Expensive, but to save their brand, it was necessary.  They might have acted a bit slow for the needs of the immediate gratification American society, 55% of whom, according to a recent Gallup poll, aren't happy with the response time.Step 2: Resist the urge to tell people how they're totally blowing this out of proportion.  Look, I ran the numbers here.  We are talking about 19 unarguably tragic deaths in a span of 10 years, counted across 20 MILLION...

Posted by on in Property Management
  Recently I have been seeing a higher than usual number of virus infected machines.  These rogue spyware/malware Trojans that disguise themselves as security messages or attach themselves to downloads seem to be increasing. The worst among these, to me, are the ones that appear to be legitimate antispyware messages.  They announce you are "infected already" and want you to "click to agree" to be scanned immediately or purchase some instant cure.  Some of the most common names of late are Internet Security 2010 or XP Security 2010, or Antivirus Soft.  You may have heard them referred to as scareware or ransomware.Rogue Security Software: (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia):  is a form of computer malware that deceives or misleads users into paying for the fake or simulated removal of malware. Rogue security software, in recent years, has become a growing and serious security threat in desktop computing. More..   It got me wondering if we do enough to train and protect our staff against these threats.  As more companies accept social media as a means of networking and marketing, the lines between "work related internet" and "personal surfing" are suddenly gray.  Recently, One of my southern California properties emailed me to see if there was a way to "stop the ads from our antivirus program from popping up" on her computer.  Right away I knew there was a problem since we use an enterprise version of antivirus that doesn't expire.   After almost an entire day on remote support I finally was able...

Posted by on in Property Management
Not too long ago we talked about Twitter etiquette and now we have come to some thoughts on the practice of suggesting to friends to become a fan of a certain page.  Some balance really needs to be applied to how you go about building your fan base.  Lately I have been receiving repetitive requests to fan a page from the same individuals.  There seems to be almost no time span in between these requests.  I choose to ignore pages that I do not feel are something that would interest me and I wake up the next morning and the same request is there again from the same individuals and multifamily companies.  I know I am not the only one this has happened to since I see similar comments on the Facebook news feed regularly.  In my opinion it's just bad business overall.  I personally see nothing wrong with suggesting to your friends when you have opened a new page.  I have done it myself with the four that I operate for The Training Factor.  After that though it is my responsibility to let people know about these channels by other means.  These other methods will help you grow your following in a respectable and organic way.  Here are some bullet points that I have used and would love to see some others posted in the comment section below. 1.        Advertising that I have a Facebook page on our company newsletter. 2.       Creating a Facebook badge for our website and our blog. 3.      ...

Posted by on in Property Management
I know I'm dipping my toes into dangerous waters here, but I think it's time we take a good, hard look at the data surrounding social media and the hype associated with it. I fear I may be taking my life into my hands, but we've got some new data to work with that may start some very valuable conversation - so to me, it's worth the risk!The industry marketplace is filled with seminars, tutorials, podcasts, chat rooms and articles on how to get the most out of your social media marketing strategy. There is no denying that our culture is embracing social media in a variety of aspects of life, however, the data is currently showing it has not gained enough of a foothold in the rental housing market to be an effective leasing or community-building strategy. Based on data from SatisFacts’ 4th Quarter 2009 Annual Resident Satisfaction Surveys, when asked “When you rented at this community, what sources of information did you use to find out about the community?” only 1.24% of residents identified social networking sites, such as Facebook or MySpace…and Twitter was not identified by any respondents.In addition to being promoted as a way to find new prospects, social media/social networking sites are also receiving a lot of attention and focus as a great way to build visibility and community among residents and prospects, the reality is that residents prefer to be contacted by email or cell phone. Respondents to the SatisFacts Annual Resident Satisfaction Survey...

Posted by on in Property Management
Our social media customers often need to build their fan bases from scratch, so we came up with a list of tips to help them. Here are 5 tips you can implement with no out-of-pocket costs. 1. Put Facebook and Twitter links to your property pages on your website. On property specific websites, put the link in the header of every page. On sites with multiple properties, put the link on property-specific pages. Surprisingly, we've met a lot of resistance from client website vendors and in some cases, link requests have been flat out denied. Don’t take no for an answer. 2. Put Facebook and Twitter links in your email signature. If you can put html in your email signature, you can add links to your social media services. My email signature has icons that link to my Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages as well as my blog. However, you may also want to consider using text links instead of image links, as some users suppress images in their emails. It's up to you. There is no “right” answer. Need help? Just contact me and I'll send you a sample code. 3. Put Facebook and Twitter names on printed materials. As you replace your business cards, brochures, and other printed materials, consider integrating your social media contact information. You can print your profile names or direct people to links on your website. 4. Get your prospects to fan you. About 1/3 of the folks touring your community will be future residents, but...

Posted by on in Property Management
February’s units Magazine did a nice article on the topic of deleted Facebook Pages and I wanted to expand on the discussion here. This is link to the original units Article: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naa/201002/#/36 (I love this new electronic version).  The article discusses the fact that businesses, including apartment communities, should create Facebook Pages rather than Profiles to keep in line with Facebook's Terms of Service and protect against Facebook deleting the profile.  We also know of apartment communities that lost their Facebook (Fan) Pages because the Facebook Page was associated with an employee’s personal profile and when the employee left the company, they deleted the page.  Facebook currently does not allow you to move a Facebook page to another profile so once it is attached to a personal profile, it is there for good.   We advise our clients to create a Facebook Page for their business that is not attached to any profile. Facebook does not make that easy. When you set up your page they try to make a personal profile go with it, but it is better to avoid doing so.   So before you expand your efforts building your fan base to your Facebook Page, you might want to confirm that you’ve created a page that has a good chance of standing the test of time....

Posted by on in Property Management
Apartment employees access to social media You will hear it again and again in 2010 – what started out as a simple and subtle tap on the window has become a crashing of such proportions that you can not ignore it anymore. Business as we know it has changed and like it or not social mediums are here to stay. The question for the coming year is, will you embrace change [embrace engagement] or will you be comfortable with irrelevance? Harvard Business Publishing posted a story titled: The Uber-Connected Organization: A Mandate for 2010 In it, Jeanne C Meister and Karie Willyerd bring notice to a number of companies embracing business as it relates to social media. They really drill home the point of access and I would like to expand on that in the context of the apartment industry. Apartment employees access to social media We have all heard of NetNanny and other Internet site blocking technologies used to cut off access. Meister and Willyerd suggest that, “Firms spend millions on software to block their employees from watching videos on YouTube, using social networking sites like Facebook or shopping online under the pretense that it costs millions in lost productivity, however that’s not always the case.” I suggest, in lieu of the monies dedicated to blocking initiatives, it might be time to re-imagine your culture and spend some of those monies enhancing your employees experiences. One inexpensive example, image turning your employees loose to use Multifamily Insiders – a social media mecca for great ideas...

Posted by on in Property Management
  One of my favorite resources for great information is DigitalBuzsBlog.com.  I am currently developing outlines with detailed  'how to's" for using New Media Marketing,  including the policy suggestions for my clients. Want to see what Coke is doing? Check out this blog on Coke's newly released Social Media Policies. You will find a link to download the 3 page document with the entire contents of  Coca-Cola's new social media policies. Coke does business in 206 countries and collaborated with their Ethical Compliance, Legal and Marketing teams.   It is nice to know that Coke just released their's, maybe we aren't so far behind. It's also nice to know they were able to keep it simple. Coke created a Social Media Certification Program as a first requirement to any team member participating as a Spokesperson. You can see the 10 Principles for Online Spokespeople listed in the blog.What department is responsible for developing  your company policies?Do you have a company "code of conduct" ? Will you involve legal to approve your final draft?Are you engaged without policies in place?Has your company created a position to manage your online brand and oversea social media policy and strategies?Do tell . . . [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6R161hDAH4&feature=player_embedded 444x250]...