“We do not have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” – Erik Qualman (Socialnomics, 2009)
Time is money. Your team already has their skill set and expertise, but you can add social media to their skill set. Is this worth the time investment? Do you want your best leasing professionals selling apartments or trying to learn social media?
If you do not have someone that can work on social media without sacrificing your best leasing professionals, then outsource the social media responsibilities.
Things to Consider
- Does your team have marketing proficiency?
From a marketing standpoint, this is very important. The process of buying advertising through Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIN is completely different than buying typical marketing ads. Most magazines will give you the statistics you need to make a key advertising purchase, but this is not the same with social media. In the case of social media, it is trial and error until you find what works for you.
- Can you deliver consistently?
This is also important as social media sites are so active and busy, it is easy for your information to get lost in the noise. If possible, add this as a job duty to the chosen staff member(s).
- Are you able to create legitimacy (consistently)?
Your social media presence deserves consistent attention. The ability to create consistent content is key as it legitimizes your brand and property. This includes making sure your photos, copy and graphics are presentable and inviting. A staff member with design skills is a must.
- What about creating relevant content (consistently)?
Your content must remain pertinent throughout your social media conversation. Basically, you want to create conversations residents and prospects want to be a part of on a day-to-day basis. Do not create content that is overly broad, does not have any relevancy or can be found anywhere. Focus on creating content that is specific to your brand and what you offer. Doing this takes knowing your resident base and demographics. Share content that is specific to them versus what is popular.
- It’s more than just content.; it’s also customer service.
You will be handling reviews and responding to information over social media as well. You will also be answering questions from prospects typically on your Facebook page. Make sure your staff member is handling this aspect of social media and responding to those prospects.
The Option of Collaboration
Outsourcing does not have to be all or nothing. Regardless of who you hire, they will never know the full picture of your company. This means you will need to be involved and make sure it remains personalized to your needs. Your brand matters: manage your voice, your story and your ideal residents. This allows your partner to write specific content targeting specific people.
You will want to focus on writing about the local content as your social media partner will more than likely not be aware of this. This can include anything from concerts to events to places within walking distance of the community.
Talk with your best residents to determine their pains, needs and what they like to do. Be sure to pass along this information as well.
DIY the Daily Execution
Understand why you want to DIY the daily execution. Does it make the best sense? Do you have the capacity within your marketing team to make it happen? Regardless, you should invest in a professional brand strategy. This should be an external hire that can provide the latest information about social media marketing.
Training, Coaching and Support
Make sure you get the proper training to understand the social media marketing landscape. This will be ongoing training because social media changes so quickly.
You may want to find resources online. There are many reputable online courses and tutorial groups that can help you within this arena.
You may also consider hiring a social media expert to give your team monthly updates as well.
Invest in Tools
Consider software where you can brand your photos as well (i.e. adding your logos to the stock photos).
Hubspot has a weekly social media template. You can download this, complete it with your hired expert and then pass it along to your team. This will allow you to share your content on a consistent basis and inlcludes scheduling tools, analytics tools and great stock photography.
Misty Sanford, Founder
North of Creative