We look forward to attending the Social Media Summit each year. It is always great to catch up with friends and explore the latest and greatest best practices in using social media to build multifamily brands and drive qualified leads for communities. With all the insightful discussions that took place, here are our 4 key takeaways from this year’s conference:
1) Social media channels are always changing, but some things stay the same
There was a lot of discussion this year about what is changing within the social channels. This is always to be expected. Any emerging media tends to be a bit of a moving target, social media is no exception. Channels move in and out of favor with customers (see Snapchat). New features are launched, removed, and replaced by something else. With all the change that was discussed, some things have remained constant – Instagram is a critical place to tell your brand story and Facebook’s overall ad targeting capabilities are the best in the biz. These channels remain the foundation of any social media strategy.
2) Testing and measurement is the only way to drive results
As a paid media channel, social channels offer granular targeting capabilities to reach customers at scale, but marketers must treat it the same as any other paid channel. Are social channels driving leads? At what cost? Are the channels increasing or decreasing your cost-per-lead? A clear measurement plan to answer these are critical questions is essential for both paid media and any new feature that is used that marketers can continue to justify the spend on the channel.
3) There are LOTS of tips and tricks, but telling an authentic brand story is timeless
At its heart, social media has always been about connecting with people – any business that can execute well will see the benefits. The origins of social channels led to a “hacker” mentality with a plethora of tips or tricks to win your audience’s heart. These tactics may work in the short-term, but the approaches often become unsustainable and leave marketers searching for the next “growth hack”. The consistent way to engage audiences and build a brand is to be authentic and connect with people in a unique way. This easier than ever because residents are sharing the “highlight reel” of their lives, including what they think is most shareable about where they live. Use this info to reflect how the experience of your communities fit their lifestyle and you have lasting strategy to build a brand.
4) VR and AI are coming, but focus on the resident experience for now
Although VR and AI are exciting new trends in technology, focusing on your residents is FAR more likely to help you hit your revenue goals in 2019. Keynote speaker, Andrew Davis, discussed the interesting concept of a Loyalty Loop. If you focus on building anticipation and creating great experiences for your residents along the customer journey, not only will they renew with your building but they will also serve as a passionate brand advocate that bring leads to the building. This is why it is so important to have a CRM that enables leasing teams to provide the best possible experience for prospects and residents throughout the lifecycle (see Knock CRM). 🙂
Social media is a powerful tool for the multifamily industry and if executed correctly, it can work wonders for your brand equity and can drive leads to your communities. Interaction rates, preferences and the overall potential ROI of social media campaigns can vary widely, but sticking to the fundamentals of telling an authentic story and measuring results will help define the value of the channel for your business.