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Three Questions to Ask About Your Social Advertising Strategy

Social advertising in the multifamily industry requires some unique considerations. In contrast to many other short, transactional consumer buying cycles, the consumer journey in the multifamily industry averages 90 days. However, during the extended time period that a prospect is on the market, their intention to find a community is hyper-focused. 

Your multifamily community's social advertising strategy is aimed toward targeting these high-intent prospects, showing them timely ads, and quickly following up on leads. But how do you make sure your multifamily community isn't wasting time, money, or resources in your social advertising investment? Here are three questions you should be asking yourself about your social ad strategy.

1. Are you targeting the right audience?

Facebook has changed how it manages data, removing the ability to target ads with demographic information like age, gender, or zip code and, instead, pushing for other companies to facilitate access to consumer data. In order to target ads to in-market customers on Facebook, some companies now work with advertising partners with access to first-party data (for more information on the difference between first- and third-party data, check out this post). 

Multifamily communities who work with advertising partners with databases of first-party data are able to focus their advertising dollars and run more effective, targeted campaigns. Since first-party data comes from firsthand industry sources, social ads are targeted toward engaged prospects. Non-targeted social advertising is like throwing up a billboard - you can hope some in-market prospects will see it, but you may have also wasted money showing it to mostly non-in-market audiences. 

To earn the best ROI on your advertising investment, consider working with a partner who uses first-party data to ensure your advertisements land in front of an audience who you know needs your services.

2. How much time are you spending creating social ads?

Once you have access to an in-market audience, you want to be able to create and place live advertisements as quickly as possible. If your community needs to fill vacancies, every delay can cost you leads and leases. 

If you work with an agency for social advertising, the ad process usually involves back and forth conversations about images, collateral, copy, and revisions. The process can take a significant amount of time for property managers and staff, ultimately delaying how long an ad takes to go live.

Some social advertising partners are automating the historically painful process. Consider working with an Internet Listing Service (ILS) that can initiate an automatic ad creation process using the property listing. The listing data is typically the most thorough and updated channel for a community's marketing team. Linking social ads and listing data also means that ILS updates are applied to ads in real time, removing manual, multi-channel communication. 

An ILS partner already has the infrastructure to receive data like name, address, starting rent, and images at scale and integrate them to create advertisements. This partnership can automate the ad creation process and streamline how your community gets live ads in front of prospects.

3. How easy is it to follow up on your social advertising leads?

After all of the effort to place your social ad in front of the right audience and make an engaging and relevant ad, the final reward is capturing a lead for your community. But the biggest challenge for many multifamily communities is the leasing team following up with these prospects while they are still in-market and willing to engage.

If your community is using automated ad building, updated in real time, consider working with a social advertising partner that can track and deliver social ad inquiries in real time as well. Most multifamily communities use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or Property Management System (PMS) that is integrated into different ILS and other lead-generating activities.  By working with a partner that uses a PMS-integrated social lead delivery structure, your team can use the live updates to quickly follow up with prospects.

This integration not only speeds up the lead delivery process, but it also solves for the attribution puzzle, clearly differentiating what leads are produced through social ads. Leads submitted through a social ad can be automatically attributed to your social advertising investment, enabling better reporting for the ROI of your ad dollars. 

Optimize Your Social Strategy

Your multifamily community wants to spend social advertising dollars wisely. By targeting in-market audiences, efficiently creating advertisements, and streamlining the lead delivery process, you can optimize your social advertising budget and put your ads in front of the right eyes - saving yourself time, energy, and resources in the process.

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