January 9-11, 2019 | The Meritage Resort and Spa | Napa, CA

Tackling Facebook for Multifamily: A Paid & Organic Approach

By Sara Monzingo

Facebook boasts more than 2 billion users globally. And according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the average U.S. user spends more than 50 minutes a day on the social site. Between their job, relationships, personal responsibilities, and Netflix – that is a sizeable chunk of devoted attention, which means a lot of opportunity for you to get in front of prospective residents. But what kind of strategy is best? And where should you start?

For multifamily, because the page following size is usually smaller (fewer than 500 page likes) and the target audience can be huge, a strategy combining both paid and organic tactics can help you get ahead. Here are some quick tips to get you started down the right path.

Did Someone Say FREE?

Compared to other social platforms, Facebook gives users a lot of different ways to engage with businesses. From page likes and photo shares, to comments and messages, they’ve got choices when it comes to connecting with you. You can take advantage of this in many ways without paying a dime. Check out these tips for an organic strategy that won’t quit.

1.) Create a tailored profile that showcases YOU – Yes. Creating and managing your business profile is a cost-free way for you to start your journey on Facebook. Take time to write a good description, and upload high quality photos that show off your best assets and top selling features. Make sure your phone number, business hours and website are up to date. It seems simple enough. But a killer profile page is the foundation for a good social presence on Facebook. Read more for great ideas on how to refresh your business profile here. [link to my other article about refreshing your profile]
2.) Post regular, engaging content – It’s important that you use your page to create a sense of community and build your property brand. What kind of personality does your community have – chic and sophisticated? Boutique and artsy? Clean and modern? Whatever it is, fill your community’s Facebook wall with posts that embody your brand. Mix it up with images and videos. Share local events or resident testimonials. For these posts, avoid sales content. These types of posts are better suited for ads. Need some ideas to jumpstart your Facebook posts? Here are some post ideas you can steal.
3.) Stay active! – You’ve got a descriptive, brand-forward profile page and a plan for regular posts. What else can you do for free? Respond to comments and thank people for shares. Like other business pages and share their posts if they are relevant to your users. Did someone leave a bad review? Respond! Did someone leave a good review? Thank them! Being active on your page will help you keep tabs on your online reputation and even build street cred. Not to mention, Facebook’s latest algorithm changes will give priority to engaging content. So staying active will help you with your organic placement, too!

Want More? It will Cost You!

Thanks to Facebook’s algorithm, organic posts by businesses don’t have a very large reach even within their following, and this will especially be true once Facebook rolls out their latest update to the News Feed. Facebook has made a number of changes to prevent spam and improve the user experience. Even so, the News Feed will still give priority to pages that utilize paid content.This means that for businesses large and small, the only way to succeed and grow a following on Facebook will be with paid advertising. There are different ad types that you can use, so consider your objective carefully before choosing. Here are a few for you to consider:

1.) Boosted Posts – For as little as $20 to $40 you can boost posts you created for your page to help them reach a wider audience. This is ideal if you want the content you created served to more than just your following. Remember – posts are not a great place for sales content. Facebook may still limit your reach if they consider your post to be spamming users. So keep this content original, relevant, and interesting and steer clear of any “Lease Now” rhetoric. But be sure to include a call to action! Like “Comment below” or “Let us know what you think.”
2.) Website Clicks – Are you looking for more website traffic? Then this might be the right choice for you. Unlike a boosted post that links back to your Facebook page, this is an ad that appears in the newsfeed and links to your website to help drive traffic. You have multiple formats available to you, so scan your options. Customize your audience using Facebook’s wide range of targeting tactics. A word of caution here, though: Try not to be too selective or you might wind up making your potential audience too small. Facebook’s ad tool will estimate your audience size based on your selections so keep an eye on it. Also, keep in mind fair housing laws and avoid targeting age, gender and other protected classes. Other than that – the sky is the limit! Do what you can to get in front of your ideal demographic. Even get creative with page likes and interest targeting.
3.) Lead Ads – Like the Website Clicks Ads, Lead Ads also appear in the News Feed. But the key difference is that they are designed to collect lead information. The best application for this ad type is for properties that are pre-leasing or still in lease-up. All the same rules for targeting still apply.
4.) Retargeting Ads – Have you ever been followed around the web by a pair of shoes that you browsed but had not yet purchased? Than you have been remarketed to. Retargeting on Facebook works much the same way. It buys ad space in front of users that have previously visited your website or your Facebook page. This is great for multifamily because the buying cycle can be anywhere from seven to 60 days depending on your market. Throughout that journey, retargeting will help keep you top of mind. In competitive markets this can mean the difference between your prospect leasing with you or your competition.

We just covered a lot of information. And believe it or not – this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Facebook marketing. We haven’t even touched Instagram! If you are feeling overwhelmed, it can be worthwhile to partner with an expert to help guide you and manage your ads. Ask us how we can help.

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