Last month On-Site attended the Multifamily Social Media Summit, a conference for industry executives highlighting the benefits of social media and content marketing for the apartment business. Of course the million dollar question was, how can property managers leverage social media marketing to win more business and retain current residents?

To answer this question, we need to come to an understanding about how social media differs from previous methods of multifamily marketing, that is, word of mouth and paid advertising.

Social Media Explained With Donuts

The new word of mouth

Social media is the new word of mouth. And unlike word of mouth, social media makes it possible to monitor and manage your online reputation, connect with renters, and show that you’re listening in ways that aren’t otherwise possible.

Earned vs. paid advertising

In the past, you’d pay to advertise your communities in print publications and Internet listing sites, then let the chips fall where they may. In contrast to paid advertising, social is earned advertising, giving you the opportunity to build a broad online presence for your brand, acquire new customers and obtain referrals.

If you build it, they will come

In short, social media is empowering. It allows you to take control of your marketing and do so at little to no cost. However, there’s no autopilot switch. As a property manager, you can no longer sit back idly and hope for the best. To be successful you need to be actively engaged in managing your own social presence. With any luck, if you build your brand up, the renters will come pouring in.

To help you get started on your path to becoming a social media mogul, we’ve summarized the four key takeaways from the summit:

  1. Develop a strategy and go for it
  2. Social is influencing search results
  3. Content is still king, and it takes many forms
  4. Optimize for mobile

To learn more about these four key takeaways, download our Multifamily Social Media Summit Report [PDF]