The world of social media is ever evolving and changing. It seems as if everyday you hear about a new app or website that is supposed to make your job easier and keep you connected with the world. However, this can make the life of student housing companies that serve college students that much more difficult. How can you reach your target market if there are more than 100 different social media websites out there for them to use?
Below you will find 5 easy tips that will help make your marketing strategy that much more successful.
1. Twitter Hashtags
You can use Twitter hashtags to do several things for your community. Some of you readers may be asking… “What’s a hashtag?” Hashtags are Twitter’s way of organizing posts and tracking what people are talking about. Say for instance you’re talking about the upcoming University of Texas football game you can tag your post with #UTFootball. Now like minded people can find you and connect. You can use the same idea for topics your market may be looking at such as the university’s name or mascot. For instance, you can search for #UT16 to find anyone talking about the incoming freshman class at UT. From there you can follow any or all of them and then blast your message to the masses! It’s a great way to get your new specials out and it couldn’t be easier.
2. Facebook Fan Page
If your business doesn’t already have a Facebook fan page, get one! College students spend relentless hours on Facebook, and not surprisingly this is where they share their likes and dislikes. On your fan page you should do regular postings of your new specials, upcoming events, and show pictures of all the fun that your current non-residents are missing by not living at your community. Included in your fan page, you will have access to see the stats of your posts, followers and virality. This will help you gauge what’s working on your page and what isn’t.
Most large cities have a Craigslist.org page for their market. Now although Craigslist is generally known for buying and selling old VHS tapes and garage sale novelties, you can make quite the impact on your housing market too. On top of it being a free service, Craigslist helps you reach your niche market. When posting, you can categorize your ad in the market that most fits your needs (ie. rooms and shares/apartments for rent). Craigslist allows you to create your own advertisement and it allows you to post up to 4 pictures- a key component to a successful ad. Keep in mind that it helps if you use key words in your title and your post such as, apartment, rent, cheap, near insert university name, 4 bedroom/4bathroom, etc. Think about what you would search for to find your post, and then include those keywords into your post. If you struggle with creative postings, there are other free sites like Postlets that will create professional Craigslist posts for you for free.
4. Apartmentratings.com and Google Reviews
There’s nothing that can hurt or help your reputation more than the reviews posted by previous tenants. Websites like Apartmentratings.com and Google Reviews are going to be the beginning of the college housing hunt for many parents and students new to your market. Unless you’re marketing a brand new property, your property more than likely already has a review posted on one of these sites. Be sure to check them regularly to see what people are saying about you. If you’re not seeing the ratings you want, talk to your current residents that you know are happy and have them post their reviews on these sites to help boost your ratings and bring about a good reputation. Most people who view these reviews won’t look past the first 5 or 6 reviews. So if your first 5 or 6 reviews are positive, then you’re more likely to see more traffic on your site and in your office.
5. Post Relevant Material Regularly
Regardless of which websites you use to get your social media on, post relevant material and do it regularly. Websites like Facebook and Twitter have millions of updates per minute, so if you’re looking to make an impact, you must post your content throughout the day. Same thing goes for Craigslist. In some markets such as San Antonio, there will be thousands of postings for available apartments before noon, which makes the odds of your one post being seen very slim. Pick two or three times to post different ads to increase your odds of being seen by your future customers. However, posting 10 ads/posts that no one is interested in will be just as valuable as 1 of those same posts. Find out what matters to your customer and talk about it! If location of their future home is important to them, talk about it!