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Using Social Media to Market Apartments - GoogleJuice

Here comes everybody

Above is the clever title to a very brilliant book written by Clay Shirky and I think it relates to a movement that is happening in the multifamily space. I have noticed more and more major players, as of late, using social media to market their apartments. And, it seems like with every passing hour I am reading a new press release, blog post, tweet or Facebook update about someone trying their hand at it. All of which I think is great news for the multifamily space; that is as long as we have the real end game in mind.

The truth behind it

I think it’s important to mention that the chief aim of an operator using social media is not to create value for the end user. Sounds crazy, I know but it is true. And, over the coming months as we see this flood of new users entering the space some of us have occupied for years, you will hear common phrases like; creating value for the resident or prospect, creating customer evangelist, creating value as perceived in the eyes of the consumer and joining the conversation, just to name a few. In all fairness these are very important statements and should be front and center in your approach to social media. But, they are not the goal. The truth behind it is that the more content you create, whether it be about your apartment company, specific apartment community or otherwise, the more you drive your Googlejuice.

What is Googlejuice?

This is the best definition I could find on the fly [source]

googlejuice1

GoogleJuice is the ethereal substance which flows between web pages via their hyperlinks (in both directions!). Pages with lots of links to them acquire much GoogleJuice; pages which link to highly juicy pages acquire some reflected GoogleJuice. (do they? who says?) The level of GoogleJuice in a page thus reflects how well connected it is, and thus, in our world where LinksAreContent, how good it is (well, sort of). Google uses the term PageRank in-house to mean the score that they give to each web page. When it was google.stanford.edu, Google search results included a small graphic indicating how much PageRank each page has. Now that search results no longer include PageRank (unless you have the google toolbar), people use the term GoogleJuice to mean “the mysterious quality that causes pages to come up high in a Google search.” The GoogleSearch engine was the first SearchEngine to measure the levels of GoogleJuice in each page; it sorts its results accordingly, presenting the ones with the most juice first.

The short version: the more you link to others and the more others link to you, the more relevant you are and thus the better your chances to show up on the first page of Google when someone is doing an apartment search. There is a reason why all the major ILS’s dominate this space. I think Apartments.com is likely the best versed at it; with Rent.com and ForRent.com being a close second. [These are just my opinions based on some random searches I did this morning]

What is your chief aim?

At the end of the day nothing trumps a remarkable product, a memorable experience and out of this world customer service. But in the world of marketing apartments using social media they are but drivers of GoogleJuice. Using blogs as an example - it really doesn’t matter if your blog is about your specific apartment community or every business within a five mile radius of that community or both - if you fill it with amazing content and relevant links and people find it remarkable enough to link to then you are on your way to accomplishing the real goal.

Have a compelling week to come.

M

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

OK, this is really funny. I just said something similar to Lisa in response to a comment she made on my post regarding UDR. [url]http://www.multifamilyinsiders.com/home/index.php/myblog-admin/Can-you-Digg-it-Twit-this-ILS-yeah-we-have-one-of-those..html[/url]. You're right on with this Mike thanks for sharing!

  Mark Juleen
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

M,

Hope you had a great vacation.

This is fun stuff...

M

  Mike Brewer
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

My business is called 30 Lines because I saw how much of an impact social media sites and other online tools can have on search engine results ... you literally can own the first three pages of results for your keywords if you keep at it and use the tools available to you effectively.

That said, it behooves all of us to use social media sites as part of a compelling, memorable experience for our customers. Why? Because then we benefit from the fact that our residents can add a lot more juice to the punch bowl.

Just for stirring up the conversation:
Excellent Property Management Blog and Cool Indianapolis Apartments

  Mike Whaling
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Ooooo! I wonder what kind of GoogleJuice that link just created?!!! Thanks Dr. 30 Lines!

  Mark Juleen

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