Our New Facebook Sweepstakes Has Started! Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

To enter the Sweepstakes, Like our Facebook Page and then look for the Sweepstakes tab (image shown below) located on our Facebook Page to enter. Sweepstakes ends December 31, 2013.

For mobile users ONLY, like our Facebook Page, and then click here to enter!

Our New Facebook Sweepstakes Has Started! Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

To enter the Sweepstakes, Like our Facebook Page and then look for the Sweepstakes tab (image shown below) located on our Facebook Page to enter. Sweepstakes ends August 31st, 2013. For mobile users ONLY, like our Facebook Page, and then click here to enter!

New Facebook Sweepstakes! Enter to Win an iPad mini!

To enter the Sweepstakes, Like our Facebook page and then click on the Sweepstakes tab on our Facebook page to enter. Sweepstakes ends December 31, 2012.

Facebook Goes ‘Mobile First’

Recently we told you that Facebook is developing its own smart phone, a bold leap into the mobile market for the leading social network. While there's no sign of the phone yet, the company confirmed its new 'mobile first' direction this week by releasing revamped iPhone and iPad apps. The apps aren't just faster — they make it easier to display advertising, which is crucial as Facebook users increasingly migrate to mobile devices. Facebook Chief Engineer Mike Schropfer went as far as to tell The New York Times that the entire company has been 'retooled and refocused around mobile.'

Since Facebook is now a publicly-traded company, easy access to mobile advertising constitutes a major revenue stream. But what does it mean for advertisers? We don't know yet. We're inspecting the new apps and will let you know how to maximize their features.

For more on Facebook's new direction, click here.

Facebook Breaks 900 Million Users

In documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) in advance of its initial public offering, Facebook revealed that it now has 901 million monthly active users, compared with 680 million just a year ago. The documents also state that over 500 million users engage with the site on mobile devices.

By any measure, this is an astonishing rate of growth. To put it in perspective, the current population of the United States is about 311,600,000 people. For now, the world really does live on Facebook, making the site an essential component of any social media marketing campaign. However, Facebook's SEC filing was compiled before the switch to Timeline, which re-opened questions about user privacy and changed how advertisers interact with the site. We'll let you know if the change affects Facebook habits.

Facebook Launches ‘Call to Action’ Buttons

Your customers will always be able to ‘Like’ you on Facebook. But soon they’ll be able to do more.

The rollout of Facebook’s Timeline feature coincides with a boon to developers, who can now display other words on their action buttons, such as ‘Buy’ or ‘Explore.’ The site will start reviewing and approve applications for the new tool after March 31.

Possibilities are limited only by developers’ imaginations, of course, and it’s not yet clear what Facebook will allow, or what users will respond to. But ‘call to action’ buttons are an exciting way for customers to interact with your business. We’re keeping an eye on how the issue develops, and we’ll let you know more soon.

Introducing a New Feature of Respage: Corporate Blogs!

We are excited to tell you about 4 Walls' newest product: Respage Corporate Blogs designed specifically for property management companies. These blogs can be customized to fit your company’s needs, from the blog’s design to the type of content posted each week. Depending on your blogging strategy, we can have a dedicated writer create local content, lifestyle content, and/or content that is specifically tailored to your company. Clients can also choose moderation services for comments posted on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Pricing is per blog, per month, with a 3-month minimum contract. For more information about our corporate blogs as well as pricing, visit www.respage.com/respage-corporate-blogs.

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 ApartmentRatings.com, 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.

Log Your Social Media Logins Before It's Too Late

It seems we are forever helping web development customers track down login credentials needed to access their site file and statistics, or change the web hosting provider. Sometimes it takes a long time, but we've always sorted it out. Until last month.

We were looking to help a customer whose community Facebook page was set up by an employee who had recently left and failed to document the community's social media logins. The site was inaccessible.

The customer had no idea what email the employee had used, and after trying the email address the company provided for the former employee (and failing) we had no choice but to break the bad news—unless they could access an email account that was assigned to that Facebook page, they were out of luck; the page was forever inaccessible.

Facebook's help page provides no remedy for the unfortunate situation above, but does provide recommendations for preventing this from happening, here: http://www.facebook.com/help/?topic=login. Most notably, Facebook recommends that you add a secondary email address to your account.

Beyond that simple step, whether you manage one community or are the marketing director overseeing the marketing for 500 communities, do yourself a favor and put together a spreadsheet recording all of your social media logins. While you are at it, make sure your Facebook page is a page and not a profile (I know this has been mentioned dozens of times before, but we still hear about this mistake being made about twice a month).

Facebook changes the rules all the time, and so perhaps in the future their support will help you recover lost credentials without access to an account associated email. In the meantime, protect this valuable social media asset by always having free and clear access to at least one email account that is assigned to the Facebook page.

Social Media Guidelines that Fit

It was just visiting weekend at my son's overnight camp in Maine, and since I have more energy than brains, we stayed at a resort in New Hampshire that is two hours from both the Manchester Airport and my son's camp.

New Hampshire's motto is “Live Free or Die,” a sentiment I personally subscribe to—although I know there are always exceptions to the rule. When it comes to debates some of us are having about social media guidelines, even with my leanings toward the Granite State's slogan, I think the average multifamily industry company will benefit from clearly defining and articulating its social media standards in an official policy.

I didn't always feel this way, but I recently changed my mind after hearing a good reason why one of our clients wasn't interested in maintaining a Facebook page. It turns out that they did have one, but decided to pull the plug after reviewing photos the staff had posted which were, in management's opinion, inappropriate. My guess is that the staff wasn't doing anything intentionally wrong, and that management is very conservative, but that is beside the point. The damage was done because unwritten, unknowable rules were broken.

Figure out what your company's standards are, codify them, and then communicate your guidelines to everyone. In some organizations, management can trust staff members to use their best judgment and everything will work out fine; however, marketing departments of publicly traded companies may not be able to get by risk management without an iron-clad policy. Like everything else, social media standards are not a one size fits all proposition.