Social Media Tip of The Week. This feed will provide one social media tip per week. The tips provided will be educational in nature and ensure both you and your brand stay on top of emerging trends.
As many of you know by now, I have resigned from my position as Assistant Property Manager. It truly is the end of an era. The past three years have been amazing to say the least, but I learned something about myself over the past few months. I’m not cut out for the management side of Property Management.
Marketing, sales and customer service is my passion, but my new position brought with it a drastic shift in focus. I no longer had the drive and excitement I once had. Every day began with a struggle to find motivation to drive the 40 minute commute to a job I now hated.
So what kept me going? The residents. I grappled with the decision of leaving for a while now, but I knew I would miss the smiling faces and conversations with students I had grown close to. For any of them who may be reading this, please know that you were the reason I came to work everyday. You motivate me and I wish you all the best. I’m sorry that I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye…. I don’t like goodbyes anyway…so instead…farewell and I hope to cross paths in the future.
Could things have been different? Absolutely, but we’ll leave that for a new series I’ll be writing over the next few weeks.
I’ve been asked several times “What are you going to do?”. The answer to that is simple. I plan to take time to do some soul searching, work on a few projects and write a few blogs. One thing’s for sure- I love Multifamily so I plan to continue in the industry!
For many people a job is more than an income – it’s an important part of who we are. So a career transition of any sort is one of the most unsettling experiences you can face in your life. Paul Clitheroe
When I read the headline ‘hilarity ensues’ I thought some humor this morning would be nice so I clicked the link in a post from Mashable. I’ve trusted Mashable for Technology related and breaking news from around the Web for quite some time so it came as a surprise that something like this would have passed through the quality control group before hitting my news feed.
If you haven’t yet watched the video ‘Teen Comes Out to His Mom, See What Happens‘, don’t. It’s not even funny. The comments, however are where the gold lies. *NOTE* The original link now goes to a 404 error, but I found it again anyway… see the comment thread here
Why Mashable when you have so many valuable readers, would you allow Stan Schroeder to jeopardize your credibility? Here are some of the highlights in the comments:
What can we all learn from this Epic Fail? Ensure your posts are composed of quality content before blasting them to the web!
Can I have my 46 seconds back Mashable? If the waste of time wasn’t enough, I’ll now be skeptical of your articles, thanks….
Up until a few weeks ago, we had no competition in social. Our community dominated the Twittersphere. Enter our biggest competitor. A recent change of management brought forth a more social staff. Tweets are now going out and, this time, they’re not just recycled from Facebook. After almost 2 years of research, I’ve discovered that most of our residents are using Twitter regularly so we’ve scaled back the Facebook and beefed up the Twitter. Increasing Occupancy via Twitter Mind Control starts with three ‘R’s. This post offers insight into new mind control methods you can use in both conventional and student focused housing markets.
Part 1 of the ‘Increase Occupancy via Twitter Mind Control’ series (seen here) will show how to search for relevant posts in your area, but it doesn’t quite go deep enough. To maintain our position as top dog, we’ve had to think outside the box. Now included in our daily searches are local events such as New Student Orientations.
You may be asking – OK, so what do I do with them once I find them?
A careful balance of engagable posts, that’s what.
- Retweets – A ‘Retweet’ is Twitter’s version of the share button. Clicking ‘Retweet’ directly copies a user post and sends it out to your followers. It also generates a notification to the user you quoted, but the text is small so while this type of engagement is sought after by many, it’s not the most effective.
- Replies – Replying to a Tweet will also generate a direct mention to the user. This gives you a full 140 characters to ask a question, respond to a complaint or simply give your two cents. You’d think this would be the easiest and most rewarding form of contact, but not quite.
- RTs – A RT is a modification of a user post that generates a direct mention to the user you’re quoting. The text is much larger and more noticeable to the user you’ve mentioned. It combines the benefit of the first two ‘R’s by incorporating a Reply into a Retweet.
Most of our followers will either ‘Retweet’, thank or favorite a post of this type. This is by far the most engaged type of post I’ve seen.
The key is to change it up so you don’t have a feed full of one type of post. Take time to alternate the ‘R’s by analyzing each users profile. See which R they use most and use it to your advantage. New Student Orientation searches just scratch the surface. Communities can also find local Twitter users to engage by searching local events such as sporting events, concerts, fundraisers, etc. The opportunities are endless!
For more information on how to increase occupancy via Twitter Mind Control and just about anything social media related, follow me @angela_mfm
The possession of anything begins in the mind. – Bruce Lee
In an era filled with trends such as ‘frustration nation’, ‘human touch’, ‘user experience’ and ‘consumerization’, one thing jumps to the forefront. The customer. Businesses failing to recognize the shift and reevaluate strategy to encompass these customer focused trends are falling to the wayside. Look at Kodak, HP, the increasing number of newspaper icons and so many more. Based recent events and an increasing number of timeshares being sold for as little as a penny, I feel more strongly than ever that the Timeshare industry as a whole may soon join the growing number of businesses failing to meet consumer demand. I am not a number so stop treating me that way!
Have you ever walked into a ‘talkie’ only to feel like a head of cattle about to be prodded? I have. Several times in fact. Even your own sales people see it in a similar light. Is it just because the owners of these companies haven’t had the pleasure of sitting through the sales pitch in a windowless room surrounded by round tables filled with people looking around imagining their escape? Could it be that (for purposes of this post we’ll assume 1 in 10) the one in ten that actually purchase are supporting the owners just enough that they don’t care about the others?
According to Facebook, 6 degrees of separation has dropped to 5 and in many cases 4. Consumers are becoming hyper connected and any experience is quickly public knowledge, more so when it’s negative. How are you as a Timeshare industry professional working to manage your reputation? What happens to the 9 potential customers that walked out of the ‘talkie’ cynical and unhappy? How do you locate the diamonds in the rough or the potential customer that didn’t purchase, but may be interested in the future?
Not one of the Timeshare industry professionals I’ve met with has followed up with me. Why? Is it because they don’t have time? Is it because corporate policy forbids it like they forbid any detailed information to be given to consumers over the phone? What if I want to purchase online? When I ask for pricing, why won’t you give it to me? More importantly, why am I not pre-qualified before you offer to give the cow away?
For future reference, here is what I want as a consumer.
Personal Touch: Don’t sit me in a room filled with people and expect me to be comfortable. Come to me. Set an appointment to meet by the pool, my campsite or even in the lobby. ONE ON ONE. This is key. I don’t want to feel like you are trying to sell a crowd or be subjected to the vibe of competition so thick you can cut it with a knife. Most of all, I don’t want my kids to suffer because we have to go to a meeting.
Follow Up: This should go without saying, but whether or not I ask you to follow-up with me, FOLLOW-UP WITH ME! What I may not have seen the value in after being prodded like cattle, I now do. In the multifamily industry, it often takes 6 or more follow-up calls before the prospect decides to lease.
Offer an Incentive to Tell You About My Experience: Rather than giving 100% of your incentive just for coming in, make me earn 50% of it after. Send me a survey so I can tell you how terrible or wonderful my sales rep was. Ask me if I was followed up with. Find my pain and solve it!
One Rep, Not Three: When I say no to one, I’m not only going to say no to the other two, I’ll now be so annoyed that the thought of your company makes my stomach turn for the rest of my life. Let one representative build rapport, earn my trust and be my liaison from start to finish. Even if I don’t purchase now, I’ll be more likely to purchase from you when it makes sense for me.
Cap My Fees: Don’t make me end up like the growing number of people forced to sell my investment for a penny due to rising maintenance costs. Offer me an option for fixed maintenance fees even if it means a higher initial investment.
I hope you found this insight helpful and are now running to reevaluate your strategy to include a significant increase in the trends mentioned above. For more information or to pick my brain, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and So.cl.
If you work just for money, you’ll never make it.
But if you love what you are doing,
and always put the customer first,
success will be yours. ~ Ray Kroc
As many of you already know, I’m an avid social media user. I constantly test new platforms, strategies and I love sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. I decided to test out So.cl today. Let me just tell you, I’m absolutely loving it! Some have compared the new platform to Google+, but so far, I couldn’t disagree more. The top five reasons to join So.cl thus far are outlined below.
Engagement: All social networks strive to provide engagement for their users. So.cl is quick to deliver. My first few minutes on the site yielded several followers and shortly after my first post, several more jumped on board. Not only did they follow me, they also commented, liked and ‘Riffed’ on my posts (So.cl’s version of collaborative sharing). Of course, engagement on social networks requires a give and take so if you aren’t contributing value to users, you’ll see little return. That being said, so far, So.cl provides a quick and expansive return with very little effort.
Ease of Use: Finding relevant content on So.cl is simple. The platform allows use of hashtags and user tags similar to features found on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. One of my pet peeves about Facebook is the lack of opportunity to find relevant content feeds through keywords. Twitter, on the other hand, has this feature down pat and I have previously shared ways of capitalizing on those feeds.
User Base: Contrary to the reported marketing strategy, So.cl appears to have more conversation leaders, industry masterminds and established networkers than students in its current user base. Creative marketing on their part? Probably. Facebook started as a network for college students and given the growth and popularity it’s experienced, a ‘student’ network creates subconscious value to conversation leaders, industry masterminds and established networkers.
Bookmarklet: One of my favorite features of Pinterest is the bookmarklet. When I find sharable content, I want to post it easily to the appropriate forum. So.cl offers a drag and drop bookmarklet so while you are searching the web, you can easily share content to your followers through a button on your favorites bar.
Video Parties: A combination of YouTube and Google+ hangouts, this feature keeps users on the site by providing content normally found throughout a combination of different sites. Great addition if you ask me and possibly the start of a holistic social experience. The ‘People watching right now’ widget was a great touch. Users can now network with like minded individuals while watching content they enjoy. Do you like movie trailers? Check out this video party for others who share your interest.
What is So.cl’s BEST feature? You can pin the images!! How many times have you wanted to pin an image from Facebook? You can’t! Thank you So.cl. This small addition to the big picture makes me VERY happy!!
I have much more testing to do, but so far, So.cl far exceeds my expectations. If you haven’t already, check it out. While you’re there, follow me =)
A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.~Henry Ford
This winter was brutal! It’s time for the spring thaw and I can think of no better way to get back in the swing of things than with a fresh new idea.
On the way home today, I was thinking about a conversation I had with a colleague at Multifamilypro’s Brainstorming Sessions. He said to catalog all of your accomplishments and milestones on LinkedIn. Excellent idea, right? It is! The only problem I have found is the lack of character my updates had.
I like my excitement to jump off the page! Adding updates to LinkedIn wasn’t giving me the wow factor I was looking for.
Cue Facebook Timeline!
In about an hour, I had taken all of my important information from LinkedIn and added it to a brand new Timeline layout. Each step of my career now has a post, special accomplishments are highlighted and I will be building a portfolio through photo galleries within the next few days. I have a few other ideas for custom tabs so keep your eye out for another post soon.
I’ll be cataloging my experience, accomplishments and milestones on this living resume and would like to invite you to join me on my journey…
Special thanks to The Training Factor 🙂
Finding customers on Twitter with subtle buying signals is one thing, but if your page is not up to snuff, they can and will overlook you. First and foremost, ask yourself the following. Is your profile picture eye-catching? If it’s still an egg, change it now! What about your background? Are you still using the default or something equally as bland? What does your about me blurb say about your community? Is it different than every other apartment community on Twitter? Increasing occupancy via Twitter Mind Control starts with a few simple design techniques.
This may seem like a no brainer, but too often, we overlook the importance of basics. How long did it take to develop your community name? What was the thought process behind it? A Twitter handle requires similar attention to detail! This is what people will use to talk to you and about you. Twitter limits the length of this to 15 characters. Use them wisely. It should be simple and easy to remember, but also recognizable.
It’s small, I know, but you can make it work! Putting a professional picture of the pool or model is not the way to go. You may have the best logo out there, but this is not the place to show it off. Your profile picture should entice your buyer. Try using a fun picture from a past resident event. If you insist on using a pool picture, make sure there are people in the pool! How about getting some of your residents together for a photo and having them hold an “I LOVE ABC Community” sign? It might sound cheesy, but I would click on that before I clicked on an egg.
I’m a visual buyer. Packaging and advertising excite me and I’ve been known to buy a product just because of the shape or color of the container. Did you know that people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone*? Take a look at this.
You can tailor your background to increase occupancy via Twitter Mind Control! Who is your target market? Design your background accordingly. Given that the about me blurb is extremely limited, this is a great place for contact information as well. Build in your address and phone number and ALWAYS include a call to action! A simple arrow with the phrase ‘we follow back’ will suffice, but by all means, get creative with it!
This should not be a canned response that you use on every page and it should never be a sales pitch. Instead, make it interesting! Insert a resident testimonial or something witty about your unique features. Add a link to your website for those mobile users who may not be able to see your entire background.
Now you’ve built an engaging page visually, so it’s time to attract some followers. Start by looking for other local businesses and introduce yourself (in a neighborly tone). Find content that’s relevant to your market and share it. Don’t forget, adding a question to your posts will encourage conversation! Last, but not least, it’s time to find some qualified leads! For a practical and tested approach, see our last post here.
Social media is taking over. Traditional marketing techniques, while still important, pale in comparison to the customer base you can reach with platforms like Twitter. Please keep in mind, Twitter’s product line is unlimited. It’s open to all. To succeed, you must stand out from the competition! A great website to get your creativity juices flowing is http://vmsd.com/. Warning: Their design gallery may have you occupied for hours!
What’s your ratio of followers to following? If the numbers are skewed either way, there are adjustments that need to be made.
TOO MANY FOLLOWING: Just as you should never hard sell your product, you should also never aggressively follow accounts for the sake of maximum exposure. This will not only be a turn off for anyone actually interested in following you, but can also get you blacklisted by Twitter. Once you’re blacklisted, your tweets will no longer appear in any search and you will have to contact Twitter to fix it. If you hit 2,000 following, but your ratio of followers is too low, you will no longer be allowed to follow anyone until the ratio improves, even if you are trying to follow back a new resident or prospect!
TOO MANY FOLLOWERS: Please don’t misunderstand me. A high follower count can be a good thing. It’s the ratio I’m talking about. In my experience, most Twitter users are ecstatic when they receive a new follower notification. It translates to engagement. You have taken an interest in THEM! Something the community down the road may not have. It’s important not to be one of those corporate drones that has 50,000+ followers and is only following 1 person. You need to follow back in order to create that engagement. Yes it’s going to fill your newsfeed with vast amounts of information, but that’s a good thing! It will give you uncensored insight into the minds of your target market… #priceless.
An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service. – Daniel J. Boorstin
*Source: http://www.vendorseek.com/using-color-to-entice.asp via CCICOLOR – Institute for Color Research
When I first created my Twitter account, I hated it. The posts were too frequent, too confusing and there was way too much junk floating around my news feed. For months, it sat with that infamous egg as a profile picture. My home page would have jumped for joy at the sound of a cricket. Just when I thought I’d never log in again, a friend planted a seed that wouldn’t stop growing. I started out simple at first, but it soon turned into a full blown obsession. I was determined to lease my first apartment via Twitter! It was that obsession that now allows me to share how to effectively increase occupancy via Twitter Mind Control.
- Did you know that you can search for people hunting for apartments in the city of your choosing? You can find people who might be looking for apartments but they don’t even know it yet, they’re just putting signals out there to their friends, family and anyone else who may be reading their post at that particular moment in time. Are they looking for someone to comment and say hey I love where I live, go there? No. They’re looking for some kind of engagement (as any person is on any social platform) and most times, if you look at the post, they really don’t get it! Now this doesn’t mean that you should only search apartment hunting or looking for apartments.
- Create a list of keywords to search daily. The key here is not only to find those actively searching, but also to discover and engage those that are giving off passive buying signals. Some of my favorite searches are high electric or gas bills, noisy neighbors, long commutes and horrific roommates. Once you find a relevant post, should you comment on that and try to sell them? Absolutely…NOT!
- Never, ever sell your community on your initial contact! Instead, scroll through their tweets over the last week and find a relatable post. This could be something as simple as a movie they just saw, a restaurant they just ate at, or even a sporting event they are tweeting about. Comment on that. Be human. Your community will sell itself.
- Don’t get discouraged if people you’re contacting don’t respond. How often do you entertain a cold call? That is essentially what you’ve just done. The difference is, everyone looks at their @mentions, EVERYONE! The connection you just made has now subliminally put your community at the top of their list. When they start looking and you pop up on an ILS or Google, they’ll say “hey that looks familiar, I think they tweeted me….about a … movie? I’m sure it’s still in my twitter mentions somewhere…..” Now hopefully you’re twitter page doesn’t look like a bunch of cold calls all lined up like ducks in a row. You need to have other content as well.
- Search for your community often. Tweets can be the best form of testimonial money can buy. Why? Because they’re FREE! There’s this wonderful little button called “RETWEET”. Learn it, love it and live by it. When you’re searching your list of keywords every day, throw in your community name. See who’s talking about you. Give yourself the opportunity to retweet the positive and reply to the negative. This will paint a vivid picture for anyone looking at your page.
There was an amazing segment at Brainstorming that focused on transparency. You may have seen the ChapStick fiasco…yikes. That is an epic transparency #fail! How about live reviews for Dominoes Pizza flying across the jumbo screen in Times Square? Can you say #winning?! The growing trend of word of mouth marketing is making and breaking businesses as we speak. Attention spans are shortening and tolerance for conventional marketing is dwindling. Today is the day we look for products our friends and family endorse. We look for the product with the highest rating or the most positive reviews. A well maintained Twitter page can help. Start searching today or yesterday’s tweet could become tomorrow’s lost lease.
We’ll be coming out with part 2 soon. It will focus on the importance of your Twitter design, relevant content and a special feature on the ins and outs of following/followers. Don’t want to wait? I don’t blame you. The Training Factor has an excellent social media course with some great Twitter tips to get you started.
Here is a real Twitter example…
If you get a bad review, you take that in your stride. – Anish Kapoor
My most recent position brought me to a brand new lease up student housing property. I love the company, the property and my coworkers, but after almost a year of daily occupancy updates, unexpected cancellations and a myriad of new construction complications, I’ll admit, I was fading fast. If it wasn’t for the great people I’ve met throughout this journey, I would have hit a wall and shut down. Have you been there? I’m sure you have at one point or another. Brace yourself…You are NOT alone!! The sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be the next time you start fading away.
I recently had the pleasure of experiencing my first conference. Brainstorming was the most amazing experience of my career. It reaffirmed the reasons why I love the multifamily industry and brought back the passion I had at day one. If you have yet to go, plant the seed now. It is something you truly CANNOT miss!
No matter where I went and who I ran into, I felt adopted. Groups of people, who, from a distance, seemed impenetrable, welcomed me to join them. Each was a bit different, though they all had one thing in common…they made me feel welcome…they made me realize that even though I came alone, I was not alone! Did I need the conference to learn this? Not really, but it helped…A LOT!
On day 1, Tami asked all facilitators to stand up. Once on their feet, she asked them to sit down ONLY if they had NOT met a lifelong friend at a previous brainstorming conference. No one sat down. Was I skeptical? Absolutely. Did I think that was part of a script? Absolutely. Was I wrong? ABSOLUTELY! I met several long-time friends on my FIRST day. Of course, making friends was not the focus of the conference, but it was just one of many benefits of attending.
No longer was I fading away. I was contributing ideas…I was out of my element…all fear disappeared…I was BRAINSTORMING!
Round tables and corporate conferences scare me. They make me uncomfortable. I try to blend in and nod when someone says something profound. I think it’s the reality of the situation. Everyone can see me, hear me…judge me. I’m not protected by the vast space of the internet or the emotionless tone of an e-mail. So why was brainstorming so different? Was it the costumes? Was it the atmosphere? To be honest, I’ll never really have a definitive reason to share with you. It’s something you need to discover on your own, but I will tell you again and again, don’t fade away, ask to go today.
** Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the most amazing conference in multifamily. I hope to go again next year…and the year after that and every year after that :-) **
Passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade. Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still. – Robert Sternberg