The number of multifamily residents connecting through social media outlets is steadily increasing and spans across multiple generations. In 2012, the question to consider is not if your community should be connecting with residents on social media, but how you’re using these social media outlets to increase resident retention and attract new residents to your property.

Satisfacts.com states that 30% of renters today are using mobile devices to assist in their rental search, with Ipad tablets and smart phones making up the bulk of increased traffic towards company websites. In order to ensure that social media marketing through mobile devices is successful, properties must offer the most convenient access possible. Most residents don’t want to bookmark a multifamily webpage to view in full screen on their home computer. They would much rather access websites that are easy to navigate and have been designed with mobile view options. Convenience can also be achieved by offering residents location based check-in through sites such as Foursquare, Gowalla, and Yelp. Scannable QR codes and mobile leasing inquiry forms are other ways for residents to instantly receive the information they want about your community. We recommend visiting Multifamilyinsiders.com for their useful presentations on expanding social media influence into the mobile market.

ApartmentExpert.com explains that resident reviews should also be taken into account by multifamily properties looking to evaluate their social media influence. While social media sites that feature only glowing positive reviews of an apartment community may cause renters to be suspicious, negative reviews could turn them away completely. Thankfully, social media focuses on conversation and these negative reviews can often be publicly answered by property staff. Leaving thoughtful and individual responses to each negative remark received shows that your community values customer service and is willing to help unsatisfied residents. Multifamily Executive also states that simply asking residents who are pleased with their rental experience to post reviews can help to offset negative ratings. MFE explains, “If asked, 62 percent of residents said they would post a review, but less than 9 percent have been asked,”

If your company is attempting to increased traffic towards social media outlets, it’s important that these websites remain full of useful information. Too often, multifamily communities will have social media sites for the sole reason of promoting their services. Social media should instead be about offering up new information. Linking to a recent blog post, discussing industry news, offering apartment living tips, and asking for resident feedback are all ways to make sure your property is connecting with your social media audience.

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