Social Media for Apartment Communities

Interested in implementing or improving social media marketing at your community or property management company, but don't know where to start?  Don't have time to blog or post to Facebook and Twitter? We can help.

Respage is a full-service, scalable social media marketing solution that lets you start off slowly and add more programs as soon as you are ready.

Some Respage features include:

  • Resident blog, with optional blog writing and posting service
  • Facebook and Twitter postings and integration
  • Social media moderation
  • Notification of incoming, Yelp, and Citysearch reviews
  • Resident portal integration

Our most popular services run between $49-139 per month.

We are running weekly web demonstrations—click here to sign up, or here to contact us for more information.

The Power of Spectators

Groundswell (the slightly dated but still highly relevant bestseller that relates how social technologies are transforming the world) groups consumers into six groups of social media users, from least to most involved. There are Inactives (do not participate in social media), Spectators (read, watch, and listen to social media), Joiners (join social media groups and maintain profiles), Collectors (vote and tag items, or use RSS feeds), Critics (post ratings and reviews, comment on blogs, contribute in forums) and finally, Creators (write/publish blogs, videos, music, and other media).

Those of us who are Creators (perhaps especially people who write Multifamily Insiders blog posts!) focus on measuring success and ROI by looking at what Collectors and Critics are saying. We look at the number of times someone “likes” our Facebook update or comments in response to our blog post.

While I confess that sometimes I, too, fall into this trap, the reality is that the percentage of site users who are active and outspoken in forums like these is pretty small. The majority of consumers of Multifamily Insiders and sites like it are Spectators who participate by simply reading the posts. Spectators represent the long tail of social media activity, and like other online long tail (e.g. web searches and music purchases), the majority of the action is happening there.

Next time you are feeling self-conscious that no one has commented on your blog post, take a look at the number of page views you've received. Then, make a virtual toast to the hundreds of Spectators you have touched and who are the foundation of this site.



The True Cost Of Free Social Media Marketing

This post is also inspired by Jen Piccotti's contribution, “Resident Retention: Dare I Say It – Don't Believe the Hype.”

Whether you spend 5 or 30 minutes a day, don't think for one minute that your social media marketing initiatives are free. While there are no out-of-pocket expenses, the opportunity cost of your staff's time is very real—so it pays to carefully measure the true cost of social media.

For example, let's assume that you employ a property manager named Sue, whom you pay $50,000 per year. To simplify this example, let's assume the direct payroll cost is about $25 per hour. (And yes, since this isn't taking into consideration any indirect costs like benefits, equipment, or supervisory costs, it is far less than the true cost of Sue's time). If Sue spends 5 minutes a day on social media efforts, it's costing you about $50 per month. That is perhaps enough time to keep up with Twitter and Facebook, but it is certainly not enough time to write blog posts.

If Sue is like I am, she is a good salesperson and manager, but wasn't an English major. If she needs to blog on behalf of the property, it will take her a significant amount of time to write it. (This post will take me 45 minutes when all is said and done). Even if you've told her to go find content that can be reposted freely, that will still take 10-15 minutes. If she adds a photo, that will take even more time. Just make sure she knows how to distinguish between open source and copyright protected images.

I agree with many people in these forums that ideally, social media should be done in-house. But many of us don't live in an ideal world. Even cursory financial analysis reveals that social media marketing is not free, and when a blog is involved, the costs can really add up. Perhaps this is why so many people have investigated outsourcing some (e.g. only blog content development) or most (posting, blog maintenance, content development, social media monitoring) of their social media marketing.