Social Media: Engagement & Presenting Virtual Tours Effectively

It’s no surprise that the leasing process has experienced some significant change over the past two years. Today, a whopping 72% of prospects say they would lease an apartment sight unseen! This really reinforces the importance of having a great virtual leasing process and a strong social media platform. To ensure your community is getting everything you can from your social media presence, we’ll discuss four important social media concepts for engagement & presenting virtual tours effectively.

1. Standard Best Practices for Social Media Engagement

  • Post once a day to your feed.
  • Post 3 to 5 times on your story daily.
  • Create highly visual content.
  • Engage directly – never leave an engagement unengaged (comment).
  • Champion your audience – if they are doing cool things, tell the world (local businesses, repurpose content)!

2. Creating an Engaging Social Media Post

  • Use high resolution property photos and videos.
  • Make sure the photo matches your feed’s aesthetic.
  • Caption should be limited to 10 words.
  • Add hashtags in the comments for the most social media engagement
  • Post more carousels! Fit more photos in one post to keep feed aesthetic.
  • Ensure all text fits in the post (create a Canva template to use for post with text to keep feed uniform).
  • Always add property location to the post.
  • When posting stock photos, make sure it matches your branding.
  • Always add ALT Text to post (see below).

3. Maximizing Social Media Engagement with ALT Text (SEO)

  • Always be aware of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) when choosing wording for engagement & presenting virtual tours effectively.
  • Include key words. For Instagram, click “Advanced Settings”. Then click “Write Alt Text”. Adding Alt text to describe exactly what is going on in your photo as well as key words will help people find you.

4. Creating a Story

  • Stories should match the aesthetic of your property’s social feed too!
  • Use branding colors for text.
  • Use GIFs that fit your branding.
  • Use hashtags and location (can hide behind image, too).
  • Post photos and videos that fit the story size (photos 16:9, videos should be filmed vertically).
  • Use Canva Story Templates to create a template to match your branding to stay ‘on brand’ and enhance social media engagement.
  • Use polls, ask questions and quiz to engage with your audience for engaging effectively.
  • Create Highlights to file your stories.
  • Post 3 to 5 times per day on stories!

The other major piece of engagement & presenting virtual tours effectively is the virtual tours themselves! Let’s explore how you can use Instagram, Facebook and TikTok features to best showcase your virtual tours and create social media engagement.

Posts

Use posts as a call to action to announce where to view your full virtual tours. You can also use the carousel feature to post multiple photos in one post, like apartment photos, property amenities, etc.

Stories

  • 70% of Instagram users watch stories daily.
  • New feature allows anyone to use links in stories.
  • Use the link feature to take prospects directly to your virtual tours on your website.
  • File under highlights (see below)!

Highlights

Highlights will allow you to file your stories so they can be viewed on your page for longer than just 24 hours. You can use highlights to store:

  • Floorplans
  • Amenities
  • Resident Events
  • Reviews
  • Pets
  • & more

Reels

Using Reels is a great way to bump your place in the social media platform’s algorithm to ensure you’re being seen by more people. Reels are short videos (up to 60 seconds) filmed vertically. Use Reels to:

  • Grab attention
  • Feature clips of apartments, amenities, and events
  • Also, use trending sounds to get the most engagement

Guides

Guides are similar to highlights and will allow you to feature longer videos. You can organize social media posts by category for easier access and building social media engagement.

IGTV

IGTV videos can be in landscape mode and can be up to 15 minutes long. This is a great way to post your full virtual tours. You can also create series, so you can organize by floorplan, etc.

Live

Before going live, always be sure to make a post and story announcing all the details (what time, what floorplan or amenity will be featured, etc. Once your live feed has finished, you can save it as an IGTV.

Another great (and hugely popular) platform you can use is TikTok. This is a perfect tool because:

  • Short form videos are exciting, spontaneous and genuine (“Make Your Day”)
  • TikTok has dethroned Google as the most popular domain in 2021
  • 1 billion active users monthly
  • Average time spent per day – 52 minutes
  • Highest engagement rates
  • Something for everyone

So how can you use TikTok for virtual tours? Here are some awesome ideas for how you can make the most of TikTok and heighten social media engagement for your community:

  • Engagement with prospects and residents
  • Show available apartments
  • Show amenities
  • Highlight apartment décor
  • Advertise being pet friendly
  • Explore your neighborhood
  • Share resident events
  • Show who you are
  • Feature “how-to’s” (such as navigating the website)
  • Dance!
  • Have fun!

For the most success with TikTok, keep these tips and tricks in mind:

  • Stay on trend (use trending sounds, hashtags, effects and transitions)
  • Film vertically (use .05 for wider shots such as filming an apartment)
  • Consistency (Three of the best recommended times to post on TikTok are Tuesdays at 9 AM EST, Thursdays at 12 PM EST and Fridays at 5 AM EST)
  • Use 2-4 hashtags, 2 trending and 2 relevant to post
  • Keep videos 11-17 seconds long
  • Consider switching to a pro account
  • Use your logo for your profile picture
  • Get creative!

There are several great resources available you can purchase to create polished, professional content, while supporting your goal of driving social media engagement.

  • Splice – Splice is a wonderful tool that allows you to easily cross-post your content across platforms without having it formatted specifically to one platform or another.
  • Canva – This can give you access to stock photos as well as templates to posts and stories. You can upload branding colors, photos, and logos to use.
  • Fiverr – This allows you to animate your logo for a more professional finish.
  • Pexels – This is another great place to find stock images and videos.

One other thing to consider is creating a social media engagement calendar to help your team stay current and on top of your social media content and presence. Remember these tips for engagement & presenting virtual tours effectively over social media.

Presented by:

Brooke Atsalis

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