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How to Leverage Free User-Generated Content for Apartment Marketing & Social Media

Creating and curating content for apartment marketing and social media can be time-consuming, costly and involve using a lot of creative capital. Many apartment communities simply do not have the resources to employ an entire marketing team, so staff often have to multitask.   Property managers are sometimes responsible for far more than just marketing; their duties can involve graphic design, social media, resident event management, lease up programs and more. Due to the multi-tasking nature of these positions, focusing a lot of time and energy on content is practically impossible. However, curating content from tenants or staff isn’t nearly as strenuous on time or resources. An article written by Bill Gates all the way back in 1996, titled Content Is King, emphasized the value of content far before Internet marketing ever took off.  Many of Gates predictions came true and content has reigned supreme in online marketing. The average Internet user consumes a large diet of content; but also produces content as well – this user-generated content is an often-overlooked area for apartment marketing content curation.   User-generated content is extremely valuable for several reasons, most importantly being that it resonates better with users and develops a better brand image. User-generated content also appears more genuine and authentic. Consider some of the following stats:   1.     Bazaarvoice found 86% of millennials say that user-generated content is a good indicator of the quality of a brand. 2.     Adweek discovered that user-generated content results in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns or w......
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Great Use of Instagram by an Apartment Community

 

I absolutely love this use of Instagram for an apartment community!  

 

Recent Comments
Guest — Alicia
Happy Bday I hope you had a great time.
Thursday, 20 April 2017 23:49
Rommel Anacan
I like this one!
Monday, 24 April 2017 21:47
Guest — Alicia Perez
Awwww thank you sooooo much
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 08:48
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Insta-Marketing with Instagram

Insta-Marketing with Instagram
Insta-Marketing. As in, marketing you can implement instantly. Who doesn’t love (and need more of) that?   Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular social networks of today’s highly digital era and it’s actually a fairly easy platform to learn, even for today’s most social media challenged individuals (no shame here - everyone has to learn sometime, right?).   So when it comes to multifamily marketing, what can you actually do to improve your marketing on Instagram and why should you be doing it? Well, a group of savvy marketers recently learned exactly this at the Multifamily Social Media Summit 2017. We heard from Sue B. Zimmerman (also known as THE Instagram Expert). You can find and follow her on Instagram by searching for her handle, which is: suebzimmerman     Here’s what she taught us...   The Why: Instagram has more than 600 million active users Instagram has “less noise” than other social platforms (more simplistic approach with photos) You can use photos to “tell” your story (and your customers will most likely help you tell your story too, through their posts) It’s quick. Posts require little more than uploading a photo and incorporating some hashtags It’s easy to toggle between Instagram accounts (for example, if you have a personal account and a property account) Instagram is focused on mobile (helloooo that’s where our customers are) Instagram is visual (which is exactly what we want to be in this business) You can get qualified leads through this platform (she’s seen it happen)!......
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Dear Gabby: Instagram…really?

Dear Gabby: Instagram…really?
Dear Gabby,   Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, AND Instagram! I can’t seem to catch up with all of the social media platforms that are out there. I just started Snapchat at my community… is Instagram really necessary? I mean, what would I even post on there? Please help… I don’t want to fall behind, but I am just not the hippest gal on the block.   Sincerely, #ReluctantGrammer   _________________________________________________________________________   Dear #ReluctantGrammer,   First off, a round of applause to you for having a Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat for your community! Usually I get a lot of questions about social media in general, so it is a breath of fresh air to have someone who actually lives in the post-2004 world.   As a property manager, it’s your job to find different and fun ways to connect to your residents and perspective leads. One of those fun ways to connect is Instagram! I know it seems like a lot of different platforms but you have to think about it in that on each platform you are hitting different types of people… all of them are potential residents.   Instagram is very popular with millennials and while some of them are still living with their parents, you need to target the ones that are looking to rent. Not only that, but start getting ready for Generation Z because once they head off to college, they will be using Instagram to find off-campus housing… duh!   You should use Instagram as a place to share phot......
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The Numbers Are In: How Facebook and Instagram Advertising Changes the Game for Apartment Marketers

social-advertising-infographic-nobranding.png  Advertising on social media is all the rage these days. In fact, it was the most talked about apartment marketing strategy at the AIM conference last week. To help multifamily professionals gain a better understanding of this marketing medium, and why it’s building so much buzz, we highlighted some impressive statistics discovered in a small sample of our Paid Social Advertising clients. Take a look at the infographic above for a quick glance at how Paid Social Advertising for apartment communities is working for other multifamily professionals. Or, for a more detailed explanation of this marketing medium’s benefits, check out the findings below. The Reach of Facebook and Instagram Advertising Our sample study shows that apartment marketers can reach more than 31,000 people each month through Facebook and Instagram advertising. Of course, these numbers were based on an ad spend of just $10 per day. The more you’re willing to spend, the more impressions you’ll receive. The Facebook and Instagram Audience Facebook and Instagram are extremely popular among Millennials, so it makes sense that 70 percent of people reached by our sample ads fell between the ages of 25 and 34. This is great news for apartment marketers, as Millennials also happen to be more interested in renting than any other age group. However, it’s important to remember that Facebook and Instagram ads have the ability to hone in on any age group you want to target. So if you’re marketing a 55+ community, you can modify your ads so that they only dis......
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5 Things NOT to do on Instagram

5 Things NOT to do on Instagram
According to the Pew Research Center, 26% of all online adults use Instagram. The photo sharing network is even more popular with younger adults, with 53% of adults aged 18-29 using Instagram. Why should you care? Because your current and prospective renters are using Instagram, too! Want to reach more renters on Instagram? Here are five things NOT to do. Post Images That Are the Wrong Size Let’s get back to the basics here, folks. Instagram photos are square. If you attempt to post a rectangular image, the photo will be cropped. That means a key element of your photo may get cut off. Post images that are 640 pixels wide by 640 pixels high to ensure your photos look great on all devices. Make It All About You Yes, your apartment community is a wonderful, beautiful place to live. But people will get bored if you’re constantly posting pictures of your apartment building. Instead, mix things up to keep your audience engaged. Keep things interesting by posting photos of: Resident events Staff Pets that live in your community The surrounding community, such as restaurants and parks Ways you’re supporting the community, such as a photo of a canned food drive you organized in your apartment community Forget to Post So you’ve created an Instagram account. Great! But that’s only the first step. If you don’t post regularly, people will lose interest and will stop following you. Make a commitment to post on a regular basis. Once a week is a great place to st......
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6 Ideas for Using Popular Instagram Hashtags

6 Ideas for Using Popular Instagram Hashtags
Tagging your apartment community's Instagram photos with relevant hashtags can be a great way to boost the reach of your posts. Looking for ideas to incorporate popular hashtags into your Instagram posts? Read on for six ideas to get your creative juices flowing! #dogsofinstagram (or #catsofinstagram) Snap photos of your four-legged residents (ask their owners for permission first) when they're out and about around your community. Or, ask your residents to submit photos of their pets, then choose one pet photo a week to post on Instagram. #food Snap a photo of that great new Mexican restaurant near your apartment community. Or, take a photo of your delicious burrito from that great new restaurant! #motivationalmonday Get your followers pumped up for the week ahead by posting a great motivational quote. Use a free tool like PicMonkey or Canva to stylize the quote. Here are a couple quotes we love: "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." –Thomas A. Edison “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt #spring It might not feel like it in many parts of the country, but spring is just around the corner! Snap photos of things around your community that remind you that spring is on the way, such as: Blooming flowers Residents grilling out Your staff preparing to open the pool for the season #style Snap a photo of your newly decorated club room or a model unit that is especially eye catching and stylish. #fitness Take a picture of your newly r......
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4 Tips for Effectively Using Hashtags

4 Tips for Effectively Using Hashtags
Here’s a little piece of trivia to wow your friends with: Technology expert Chris Messina is credited with “inventing” the hashtag on Twitter. Here’s a snapshot of when the hashtag was born.   Chris was definitely on to something. Hashtags are a great way to find information you’re interested in, so it’s no surprise that they’ve been adopted by other social media networks, including Instagram, Facebook and Google+. As a brand, using hashtags can be a great way to increase the reach of your social media posts. But only if you use them correctly! Read on for four tips that can help you more effectively use hashtags in your social media posts. Do Your Research Research what hashtags are popular on the social media channel you’re using. For example, if you’re on a Twitter, a good place to start is the “Trends” list on the left side of the home page. This site identifies some of the top hashtags on Instagram. Incorporate Appropriately In addition to finding out what hashtags are being used, find out how they’re being used. For example #notguilty was trending on Twitter after Casey Anthony was found “Not Guilty” of murder. Entenmann’s jumped on the hashtag bandwagon with this tweet, which came across as insensitive and unprofessional. The lesson here? Don’t use hashtags just to use hashtags. Instead, understand what they mean and only incorporate them when it makes sense. #Don’t #Hashtag #Every #Word Ever noticed how some people seem to hashtag just about every word in their social posts? Not only is this annoying, but it comes across as desperate and unprofess......
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Connecting with Renters on Instagram

Connecting with Renters on Instagram
This week, Kevin Systrom, the CEO of Instagram, announced that the photo sharing platform has officially surpassed 300 million users, making it even more popular than Twitter (which had 284 million users as of the third quarter of this year). My guess is that a portion of those 300 million users are your current and prospective residents. So, how can you better connect with these renters via Instagram? Check out these four tips. Make it a ConversationSocial media is about dialogues, not monologues. If someone comments on one of your photos, respond to them. If someone follows you, follow them back and start a conversation by commenting on one of their photos. Post RegularlyIf you have an inactive Instagram account, it's like not having an Instagram account at all. Post fresh content regularly (try once or twice a week to start) to keep your followers interested. Add Some VarietyDon’t just post images of your community. People will get bored and stop following your account.  Instead, mix things up! Post photos of your staff and their creatively decorated desks to show off your great company culture. Snap photos of your residents’ pets (with their permission, of course) so folks can see you value your four-legged residents. Upload pictures from your last resident event so prospective residents can see how fun it is to live in your community. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination! Use HashtagsIncrease the reach of your posts by incorporating relevant hashtags. That way, if a user is searching for a specific hashtag, you......
Recent Comments
Mike Whaling
I've seen that Instagram can be huge for apartments, and it seems to be underutilized at this point. Have you seen any good exampl... Read More
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 09:44
Faith Hinz
Honestly, I haven't seen any good examples in the multifamily industry. If communities added a contest component to branded hashta... Read More
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 15:39
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The Next Wave in Video Marketing For Your Property: Hyperlapse


I am a huge fan of video for marketing apartments, with one of my favorite companies being ShowMyProperty.tv, and now, there is another tool that you all will definitely want to check out!  The system is called Hyperlapse, developed by Microsoft, and will be an amazing way to create time lapse videos of the areas around your communities, or possibly even within your communities.  This video explains the process, and I hope you can see the possibilities of creating videos for apartment communities:

I had actually had this blog waiting in the wings for a week or two because Hyperlapse wasn't available to the masses.  But now, Instagram has created a new app that allows you to create your own Hyperlapse video!  Here is an example:

 

What do you think of this as a tool for marketing an apartment community?

Recent Comments
Misty Sanford
I love the idea! There are so many ways hyperlapse can be used at the communities. And, it feels real.
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 14:27
Brent Williams
I agree! I'm tempted to go do some test videos just to how well they would turn out.
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 16:12
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