Just when most of us have gotten fairly comfortable with using Facebook and Twitter to reach out to and engage our target audiences, there are a couple of younger players on the scene who have captured the attention and extreme loyalty of both Millennials and the up and coming Generation Z.
According to Bloomberg, an estimated 150 million people use Snapchat daily, while Twitter only has 140 million daily active users. And Forbes says that 37% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 – 24. On the Instagram side, Hootsuite reports that this social platform has 300 million monthly active users and that 41% of users are between the ages of 16 – 24.
However, if you are not a member of those generations who are deeply immersed in these wildly popular social media platforms, it may be difficult to get a handle on how they can be used to attract and close prospects for leases.
The Property Manager`s Guide to Extraordinary Marketing has all the inspiration and resources you need to make the right message heard by the right people.
Personally, my hobbies have led me to be very active on Instagram, so I know that in addition to “kids”, there are plenty of adults interacting on this platform too, and that it carries great opportunities to promote the desirable lifestyles and amenities that many multifamily communities have to offer.
On the other hand, as the parent of a Snapchat-dependant high school student, I still associate this platform as being geared towards the younger set. But that doesn’t mean it should be ignored by property managers looking to promote their communities and fill vacancies. On the contrary, it’s critical to be ready for the wave when it hits, as Generation Z will soon be actively searching for both student housing and their first apartments.
The key is to understand how these social media platforms are being used and how you can adapt your current marketing initiatives to reach your target audience there.
Marketing on Instagram
Instagram is all about impressive visuals and sharing snippets of your desirable lifestyle with followers. This makes it the perfect platform for promoting the amenities and lifestyle of your communities.
1. Show off your amenities with photos
Keep in mind that Instagram is driven by visuals — so think of every image you post as being art. Photos should always be high quality and interesting; get creative and play with light, angles, etc.
2. Offer a slice of your lifestyle with video
Post video clips of highlights around your community, such as families playing in the pool, pooches frolicking in the dog park, or residents enjoying noms noms from the food truck that stops by daily. Again, videos should be high quality, which is fairly easy to achieve these days, even just using a good Smartphone.
3. Take people on a tour of the neighbourhood
Post interesting photos of nearby shops and restaurants (exterior/interior shots, food, fashion finds, etc.), share images promoting deals & specials and feature any landmarks of historical or cultural interest.
*Insta Tip: Create variety in your posts by inter-mixing the three examples given above, while maintaining a consistent element that is in line with your brand image. Are you promoting an exclusive luxurious lifestyle, or a friendly family-oriented community? This could be achieved in the type of filters you use, and the overall mood of your visuals and corresponding captions.
Marketing on Snapchat
The time-sensitivity of Snapchat really plays into people’s FOMO (“Fear of Missing Out” ;) That makes it a great tool for just saying “hey” or planting a reminder seed, or getting someone to respond with a sense of urgency. The following initiatives are an effective use of this “now you see it, now you don’t” platform:
1. Sneak previews of: an amenity under construction or renovation, preparation for a party
2. Follow-up with a prospect: send a photo of the property they just saw
3. Time-sensitive deals: recipient must screen cap and send back, or bring it into the office to redeem
4. Geo-filters to target potential prospects: create a branded Geofilter that can be used at local events
5. Snapchat Stories: photographic / video tour of your property, featuring amenities, people who live and work there, etc.
Before diving head-first into the Instagram or Snapchat waters, try spending some time on both of these platforms, to get a clear understanding of how they are being used and to get some inspiration for how you can effectively incorporate these two social media giants into your leasing efforts.
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