Instagram 101: How to Engage Residents with Visual Content

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It’s crucial for property management professionals to find innovative ways to connect with prospects and generate business, and social media is a powerful tool to help. In this special edition of What’s New in Social, expert Kerie Kerstetter of Canonball shares the best ways for property management companies to leverage Instagram for apartment marketing.

When comparing the major social media platforms, there are a few key differentiators. Facebook is more visual, personal, and explanatory—ideal for establishing your property as a helpful resource and engaging with residents. Twitter trends to be more terse and efficient, allowing properties to pass along news-like updates and make connections within a larger community of businesses.

Alas, we arrive at Instagram, a social network that’s widely popular among the millennial demographic (not to mention the upcoming Generation Z). Instagram mimics Facebook from the standpoint that our focus shifts back to resident engagement. It has a single function (picture-sharing), which makes it highly visual and a great platform for conveying the personality of your resident community.

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Instagram (The Basics)

With Instagram, users have several formatting options for editing pictures. Color treatments called “filters” can be applied to photos to make them more artistic and visually interesting. Again, users can be individuals or organizations. Similar to Facebook, users can favorite or comment on pictures, as well as tag other users.

Driven by the freedom to format, as well as a quick-scrolling mobile platform, Instagram is among the most interactive social networks. For multifamily properties, it’s an excellent tool for branding and resident engagement.

Uses for Instagram

Share Visual Updates

Think visually. When it comes to your everyday resident communications, consider how can you create visual interest. Are you opening the pool this weekend? Post an inviting picture! Are you prepping for a resident event? Show them! Are there cupcakes in the lobby or amenities your residents aren’t taking advantage of? Make sure you’re sharing the imagery.

Before you start, however, you need to ask yourself what tone or personality you want to convey, and which property features you want to highlight.

Tap Your Resident Community

With as active as millennials are on Instagram, multifamily properties should consider how they can use the platform to create opportunities for engagement. Inviting your residents to participate in an Instagram contest is perhaps the simplest way to do so. Create a call-to-action for your residents to submit pictures: “Share your poolside pictures this month for a chance to win a gift card!” Offer an incentive for participation. Establish a timeline.

Keep in mind that when participants share pictures of your property on Instagram, those photos also appear on the newsfeed of their followers. A well-planned Instagram contest has great potential generate awareness of your property to relevant audiences. The Instagram platform presents several opportunities for marketing your multifamily property, you’ve just got to think visually!



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Kerie Kerstetter is the Director of Content Strategy for Canonball, a digital marketing agency in Dallas that specializes in both multifamily and mixed-use development. Follow @KerieTweets on Twitter.

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