Let’s Get Visual: 5 Ways to Humanize Your PropertyBy Erica Campbell Byrum
October 10, 2017
We all know that a picture is worth 1,000 words, and that axiom holds as true for multifamily marketers as it does for promoting consumer products. (Who doesn’t remember the Coca-Cola polar bears?) Fortunately, today’s social media provides a growing number of visual channels to help us reach and engage residents and prospects. The challenge is to do it effectively.
One of my guiding principles is to create visual marketing content that humanizes your brand. That means bringing your property to life by telling visual stories about the people who live and work there. It means leveraging Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to show – and not just tell – what’s going on in your community. It means giving your property a personality and evoking an emotional response that makes residents feel good about living there and inspires prospective renters to want to join the party. You can do this by:
1 – Spotlighting your employees. Introduce your team. Have them use Instagram to share their day-to-day experiences with the community. Showcase their birthdays and baby showers, celebrate their work anniversaries, highlight the smiling visages behind your leasing desk. These people are the face of your property. Use them to the hilt. Make sure to get signed consent forms though!
2 – Sharing resident photos and videos of community events. Post them live as the event is happening, the next day to thank people for coming, or images of last year’s BBQ or pool party pre-event to help increase attendance. Take your own snapshots and video as well, both for backup and for variety’s sake (the more, the merrier!). You can also use last year’s images on flyers for pre-event publicity to help create more excitement than standard text-based announcements. (If said images are of residents, make sure to get written consent first.)
3 – Featuring a resident of the week. Do you have a resident with an interesting background? A cool job? A couple who had their first child? Someone who has lived in your community for 5 or 10 years? Give them a shout out with a photo (again, get written consent first) and an explanation. Same with a resident who has left a nice review of your property. (“Thanks so much to Bobby, who left an awesome Google+ review of ABC Apartments!”) This helps build community and promote resident retention.
4 – Hosting an ‘Instagram Takeover.’ Invite a social-savvy employee or resident to create authentic user-generated content and take over your account for a few hours or for the day. He or she might provide apartment decorating ideas, entertaining suggestions, favorite local restaurants or apps, and other tips and tricks for making the most of local living.
5 - Running a social media contest. Crowdsourcing user-generated photos is a great way to assemble a content library as well as build community loyalty, especially if there is a prize like cash or a gift card involved. Just make sure that your contest rules release all the rights of that content to you. More tips on how to run a successful social media contest are at 'The Ultimate Social Media Contest Timeline.'
I’ll be sharing more ideas about how to use visual social media in a 2-3:30 pm workshop called “Leveraging Ephemeral Social Media: Creating Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat Content That Keeps Viewers Engaged,” at the opening day of the Multifamily Social Media Summit on Wednesday, Jan. 31. See you there!
Erica Campbell Byrum (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Assistant Vice President of Social Media for ForRent.com and Co-Author of Youtility for Real Estate.
Keynotes and Agenda Announced for 2018!September 14, 2017
We are excited to announce our keynotes and agenda for the 2018 conference.
In our opening keynote "Digital Disruption: Keeping Up With Today's Consumer," James McQuivey, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester and author of the book Digital Disruption, will discuss how consumers have embraced new technologies that help them get what they want, when and how they want it. Digital disruptors succeed by learning how to use the new technologies of communication, interaction, and relationship to offer consumers the right thing at the right time. In this session, McQuivey will help attendees understand how fundamental, how fast, and how final this change is for every industry, including property management which necessarily helps people get the most out of their living environment. He'll share:
- Why the fast pace of change is actually accelerating, not slowing down
- How the economics of digital make it possible to connect with your target audience more easily
and cheaplythan before
- Why the smartest companies are working to deepen their customer relationship model, using data and devices to interact more frequently, on a more emotional level, and with the least friction possible.
Our keynote for Friday is Beverly Jackson, VP for Social Media Marketing and Content Strategy for MGM Resorts International, who will discuss her most successful social media strategies. MGM Resorts International is one of the world’s leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands including Aria, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. In this role she champions the Company as an engaging and leading brand through storytelling across multiple media platforms and networks by setting the strategy and driving production of compelling content. Beverly has a passion for mobile innovation working for some of the world’s most iconic brands. Prior to her work at MGM, Beverly served as the Head of Social Marketing for Yahoo and created the award winning social media program for the GRAMMY Awards.
Learn more about our speakers and agenda.