Enter the Scene: You’ve got a new lease-up property that’s hot-to-trot – yeah, we said it– and the website is still being built, along with the onsite team, and you’re patiently waiting for the Google My Business postcard to arrive at the post office. Your property and team are in the early stages of your upper funnel marketing strategy and building brand awareness, so your team is not quite ready to tackle those leads.
So where should you be spending time and money – on organic social media and engagement or paid social media advertising?
The answer: both.
You should be incorporating both organic AND paid social media efforts into your overall marketing strategy, as they certainly complement each other. At Digible, Organic Social and Paid Social are cousins – one is more fun than the other – we won’t name names, but you get the idea. Simply put, you can't have one without the other and expect incredible results. We dive into the strategy and results of a follower campaign for a lease-up property, showcasing the impact on both organic and paid social and how to integrate this into your apartment marketing strategy.
In order to succeed in today's highly competitive digital domain, your property must have a strong presence on social media. It’s a must-have for your upper funnel marketing strategy: brand awareness, the potential for local partnerships, and developing a loyal following, as 80% of apartment seekers refer to social media when researching your property.
Growing your audience for your apartment community on social media can seem like an uphill battle. Between ever-changing algorithms and competition, not to mention planning and prepping content may seem like a lot to tackle. Not to mention the looming questions of, “How many friends and followers should I have?” “Why does Facebook make it so hard to pull data if I have under 100 followers?” Then you may start spiraling and second-guess yourself and feel like you need a big following to justify your social status. Ok, maybe not spiraling, but we can help.
We tested a follower campaign on a lease-up property in a highly desirable neighborhood of Nashville, with fierce competition. The campaign ran for 6 months (October 2021 - February 2022) while the onsite team and website were still being developed. To build brand awareness, organic social content primarily focused on property highlights and hyper-local content with a CTA to “Join the VIP list” while in the pre-leasing phase.
Audience-building Campaign. We used a “page likes” campaign to help build the audience.
Focus on engagement. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, their advertising platforms are very similar. However, it’s best to primarily use Instagram ads for increasing engagement and followers. People on Instagram generally want to stay engaged with the visual experience of the app, instead of being taken to an external site.
Content. Highlight apartment features and community attributes in a unique way.
Organic Social Strategy. Following and engaging with other accounts on Instagram, like local points of interest, businesses, employers, and influencers will also help develop a loyal following. That’s where cousin, Paid Social, comes in handy to light a firecracker under Organic Social’s – ask us more questions about our strategy!
After running a follower campaign for 6 months, we saw an increase of 104 Facebook page likes and roughly 120 Instagram followers garnered for a lease-up property in Nashville with a "Join our VIP list" call-to-action.
In conclusion, including a paid follower campaign to complement your organic social strategy and develop brand awareness drastically increases page likes and follows, builds your audience, increases engagement, and traffic to your social pages and website. There is no cookie-cutter way to build an audience on social media, so the key is to not get frustrated if you don’t see instant results. We're here to help, drop us a line at [email protected]