For years ApartmentGuides, Billboards, Yellowbooks, Student Newspapers and other traditional marketing sources, has been the go to place for the student housing companies to reach their respective communities. While businesses across the nation are expanding their marketing budgets to over 6 figures a year, ironically the best social media efforts you’ll note from the most prominent student housing property in your local city is a decent-looking Facebook page. While the property manager of your luxury property is directing his leasing agents to post from their Facebook page, most of their targeted demographic (16-24 years old) are more active on social networks such as Twitter and Instagram.
Let’s dig deeper. Search your favorite brand on Twitter and I’m 99.9% positive you’ll find them there. Take a look at Sprite, Nike, Skittles, you name it and you’ll find them highly active with a presence of well over 20,000 followers. But why? Why would they invest so much time into having a strong social media presence on different platforms? The answer is simple – Your customers are there! It’s not rocket science. We live in a day and age where people are looking at their phones more than television, tweeting more than reading, and listening to their friends more than their parents. Even with a underperforming property, a great social media presence will still generate leases. You can literally humanize your brand and make your property both relatable and attractive to your targeted audience. You can grow a community around your brand and constantly keep your current residents and prospects up to date on what your property has to offer. You can host fun and interactive contests that can dramatically increase the word of mouth of your property, from the mouth of your consumers, not your favorite marketing source. The benefits of social media marketing can leverage your brand above your competitors, but why has no one taken the lead yet? Let’s find out.
The problem with the student housing industry in relation to social media marketing is that no one is doing it correctly. You may agree or disagree. We’ve seen some of the worst social media strategies from some of the best marketing agencies and “social media experts”. From advising your leasing team to knock on residents doors soliciting likes to your fan page to buying Facebook Ads while your target audience happens to use their mobile phones 80 percent of the day, and aren’t able to see them. We’ve seen businesses grow social communities and constantly spam them with their prices which constantly reminds your residents that you only want their money.
The list goes on for days. However, the student housing business that can completely grasp social media marketing, implement a solid strategy, effectively grow a following of your targeted audience, learn how to successful engage and build relationships with your following, and provide customer service, will have the potential to generate more leases and eliminate other marketing sources to increase net profit. Despite this, most student housing companies may not have the proper knowledge of social media marketing, the time to learn the science behind it, or the resources to pay someone who has no successful track record.
Instead, they should hire a team of individuals who has proven to be effective in the student housing industry. A team that has grown social media presences, such as Westmar Student Lofts in Atlanta, GA. (@WestmarStudents), University Towers in Austin, TX. (@UTowersAustin), and The U Raleigh in Raleigh, NC. (@RaleighStudents). Generating over $65,000 in total leases, the cost to employ this team of educated social media agents who possess the skillset to take your social media presence to the next level is less than hiring a full-time college student. If you want to embrace the #1 Marketing Source and leverage your student housing business above your competitors, then you should hire LYFE Marketing.