Social Media as a Business Tool for Landlords and Property Managers: Part 1
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By Alexis Gee
In this series, I’ll be diving into the many ways social media can be used as a tool for your business and the benefits that come along with it. Landlords and property managers can use social media for anything from advertising vacancies to verifying tenant information. We’ll begin with an introduction to the top social media platforms.
The Ones to Use and Ones to Lose
Knowing which platforms to focus your time on is key to making social media work for you. There are a ton of widely used social media platforms out there, but not all are fit to be used as business tools. For instance, Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps today with over 300 million users, however, Snapchat wouldn’t be the platform to invest your time in because of its format. Snapchat was designed for temporary content; you take a picture, post it and between 10 seconds and 24 hours your post is gone without a public facing trace. A platform that doesn’t offer searchable and stable posting abilities is not worth your time.
Platforms like LinkedIn and Google+ can be valuable to your personal and professional online presence, but they’re also not the platforms you should be focusing your time on to better your business. LinkedIn is for creating valuable networking connections, finding new employees and recording your professional achievements. You can create a page for your business on LinkedIn and, if you’re looking to hire, it might be worth your time. Just don’t put too much time into maintaining your LinkedIn when you could be filling vacancies and disseminating information to your tenants on other platforms.
The most widely used social media apps today are Facebook with over 1.49 billion users, Instagram with over 600 million users, and Pinterest with over 150 million users. Twitter is also a very popular app with over 550 million users, however, Twitter is most useful to big business who have the time to keep up with the post flow that one must maintain to have a successful Twitter account. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are great platforms for businesses because there’s a lot of freedom to customize a business page. Also, these sites have made great efforts to make it easy for businesses to use their platform as a business tool. For now, we’ll focus on the platform that everyone knows so well: Facebook
Facebook is the most used social media platform in the world, so it’s likely that most of the people you’re trying to reach use Facebook in some fashion. Therefore, I suggest starting your social media presence with a Facebook business page. Facebook has made it relatively simple to create a business page with a setup process that guides you forward through the creation of your page. Take note that you must already have a personal Facebook page in order to set up a business page. Although the setup is fairly quick and simple, gearing your page up to use as a business tool will take some time and effort. There are countless blogs, articles and infographics on setting up and optimizing your Facebook business page that you can find through a simple Google search. There’s a wide range of understanding when it comes to technology and social media, so take the time to do some research and see what methods work best for you. If you invest the time in learning the proper posting times and techniques, you’ll be a Facebook pro before you know it.
One major key to setting up your Facebook business page is: don’t jump the gun! In my experience of helping people set up Facebook business pages, I often saw them brushing past important building blocks of their page in order to get it finished so they could begin to see results and get leads. By leaving their page incomplete and almost content-less, they gave up their chance to draw in their initial audience. The first viewers of a new business page are people that the page creator invites from their ‘friends list’, but hardly anyone, including people you know, wants to ‘like’ a page that they don’t understand or know what it’s all about. As the old saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and like Rome, you want your business page to be great and long-standing; a page that people are intrigued with and enjoy.
Expect to devote at least a few hours to building up your page before you even try to get your first ‘like’. Your ‘About’ section should be filled out as much as possible with any and all information you want your audience to know. Adding some high quality pictures of your logo, units, and amenities into your ‘Photos’ section will allow your audience to get a better sense for your business and what you have to offer. Last but not least, you must post at least 10 to 20 relevant and interesting posts of links, quality pictures with captions, videos and essential business information on your page before you invite people to ‘like’ your page. By doing this, you show your audience what your page will be like going forward and they can make their decision to ‘like’ your page based on the wide range of information you’ve given them.
Diamond in the Rough
Developing a strong social media presence takes time and a bit of research, but anyone with the dedication to take their business to the next level can achieve this goal. Remember that you’re not alone in this endeavor, and that’s actually good! With the growing popularity of blogs and forums, social media management tips, tricks, and techniques from novices all the way up to professional social media managers can be found within a few clicks. Also, with MassLandlords you don’t have to go it alone for the beginning of your social media journey. Any active member is welcome to email me if they have any questions or if they run into any problems.
In Part II of this series, we’ll cover supplementary social media platforms and how to manage multiple social media platforms at once. Being present on a few different platforms will allow you to reach different groups of people and further develop your online presence. Although managing several accounts at once may seem challenging, with the proper tools and our guidance, it can be done relatively easily. Look for Part II next month!