3 Simple Strategies for Social Media Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Did you know that recent Facebook research shows that word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing conversations among friends are the most influential for getting a brand’s message across? Social media is best served to initiate conversations between company and consumer and, in our industry, between management and lead prospects. It’s through these conversations that we like to convert leads into sales. Multifamily Executive noted a 2012 survey of 4,000 Gen Yers by the Boston Consulting Group who found that 53 percent used social media when exploring a new brand.

As property marketers, we have little control over what happens in the middle stages of the marketing funnel, but the influence of what we do with social media is heaviest there. Don’t forget that prospects and residents enjoy using social media to share what’s happening to them, and to feel connected to and entertained by the things they care about most—like friends and family, their home, and personal interests or a brand.

So with word-of-mouth marketing touted as the best way to draw attention to your property, following are three ways to use social media to generate more leads and turn prospects into residents.

1. Entice for Better Lead Generation

Simply having a social media channel for your property isn’t good enough anymore—you must entice prospects to come back and residents to renew. As you engage in the following, you’ll start showing up in customer news feeds, giving their friends an opportunity to learn more about your property and the people who help maintain it:

  • Actively provide content and information your local community cares about.
  • Avoid the annoying general message “blast” and asking for likes and comments.
  • Let the human side of property management shine through. Did your leasing office support a charitable or local organization? Have a fun incentive contest? Have a unique office environment? Share this information and post pictures that intrigue and excite visitors.

2. Educate Visitors about Your Apartment Community

Give visitors information they want to know about your apartment community or rental housing. Anticipate questions they might ask, and turn these into posts, tweets, pin boards, instagrams, and more. Any piece of content they might find valuable is potentially content that will be shared others.

3. Engage with Your Prospects and Residents

You built this audience, now pay attention to them! Respond to the good and bad, engage in conversation through comments and likes, answer questions and offer help when requested. And while it might not make sense to respond to every comment on your page, having your social media manager, staff member or yourself respond back to the more poignant posts will help establish a strong connection and build a valued relationship between your property management team and apartment seekers.

When your residents, and even some vocal prospects, begin advocating for you on social media, thank them. In doing so, you will establish more personal relationships that help lay the foundation of trust and lead to more lease agreements!

What are you doing to promote social media word-of-mouth marketing at your apartment properties?

 


Marketing Communications Strategist, RealPage
Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider

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Lea Lashley is a Contributing Editor for PropertyManagementInsider.com. She focuses on marketing and social media strategies at RealPage, Inc. She has spent nearly 15 years in marketing and communications, and was recently an adjunct professor at the master’s level in social and digital media marketing at the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. Lea received her education at the University of North Texas where she majored in English Literature.
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