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The power of social media is undeniable. More than 4 billion people are on social media worldwide, using nearly seven separate platforms a month and spending over two hours per day across these apps.

For multifamily owners, it presents an incredible marketing opportunity, one that offers both far reach and wide exposure—many times free of charge, too.

As Candie Guay, co-founder and creative director for multifamily marketing agency Envida, puts it, “A well-developed custom social strategy can enhance a property’s online presence, bolster brand awareness, and increase engagement, resulting in highly targeted and qualified leads.”

Do you want better leads or more awareness for your multifamily property? Here’s what social experts say you should be doing.

1. Get on the Right Platforms

The first step is to find the right platforms. Though there are many to choose from—including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, and more—the right one really depends on your target audience and where they congregate.

“Facebook and Instagram are the top-performing social platforms,” says Guay. “But TikTok is on the rise, and it’s the best platform for reaching a Gen Z audience.”

TikTok is great for the millennial audience, too. According to Comscore data, nearly 30% of the platform’s users are 20 to 29 years old, while another 16.4% are 30 to 39.

Your strategy should dictate what platforms you use as well. For example, Guay says Facebook is a great choice for running social ads, while Instagram is particularly good for broadening a property’s audience.

“Facebook is very pay-to-play for businesses but great for running social ads and boosting posts,” she says. “Instagram has many tools for reaching new audiences and expanding awareness.”

2. Focus on the Photos

At the end of the day, most of today’s top social platforms are all about the visuals. And the better a post looks? The more it’s shared, and the wider audience it can reach.

For these reasons, Guay says imagery should always be top of mind. Her company, which manages over 3,500 social accounts for multifamily properties across the country, has a nationwide network of photographers. This allows them to capture “hyperlocal and impactful photos that help tell a brand’s story” and really connect with the potential tenants they’re trying to target. As she sums it up, “Great content starts with great photography.”

3. Ramp Up Your Videos

It’s not just still photography you should home in on, though. High-quality, engaging video is a huge difference-maker these days. In fact, a recent study by Wyzowl shows that 84% of marketers who use videos say they’ve generated leads with this strategy, while 78% directly attribute new sales to it.

According to Guay, brands should specifically look to create videos for Instagram stories, Instagram Reels, and TikTok. “Instagram stories have been on the rise and show no signs of slowing down,” she says. “Major brands have doubled their Instagram story usage in the last year.”

Instagram Reels—or short, 15-second videos that users can scroll through with a swipe—have seen huge success as well. For one of Envida’s clients, Reels actually performed 83% better than all other types of video posts.

This tool could be even more impactful this year thanks to a new feature that will allow users to post comments and better engage with Reel videos. Another perk? Reels also can be cross-posted and repurposed for TikTok—the first non-Facebook app to reach 3 billion global downloads (not to mention one of the hottest social platforms out there).

4. Prepare to Pay

Social media can also be a great outlet for paid advertising. In fact, surveys show that nearly half of all social users say they’ve bought something after seeing it advertised on social.

Even better: Social ads are highly customizable. On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, for example, you can target specific locations, demographics, and even users with particular interests, backgrounds, and career fields.

“Paid advertising is a tremendous avenue, as it provides us with an opportunity to directly market to our target audience,” says Joshua Schuster, managing principal of Silverback Development, adding, if you go this route, it’s important to test, test, and test again—on every element of your ads. “We run hundreds of tests on messaging and imagery to understand what motivates consumers to choose a project.”

5. Leverage Outside Content

You don’t have to create all your content, photos, ads, or videos yourself. In many cases, user-generated content can be just as powerful—if not more so. User-generated content can include posts or images that tag your property, online reviews, or any other social content posted by someone outside your organization.

“If it’s between business mission statements or customer reviews, the honest reviews will win each and every time,” Guay says. “Most consumers trust other consumers over brands, so be wise and add user-generated content to your marketing game plan.”

Brands can also consider influencer marketing, which allows you to leverage already-popular social media users to promote your brand. Just make sure you choose influencers who align with your target audience, and get ready to fork over some cash.

Start Now

At the end of the day, there are many ways to succeed with social media marketing. The key is to set a goal, identify and know your target audience intimately, and get to work.

“Understanding who the target demographic is and what resonates with them on social media is critical for the success of the campaign,” Guay says. “Then, creating a plan to execute the type of content, frequency, and where it comes from is the next step. Last, assessing the results and adjusting is the final step to a successful strategy.”