How Do You Find Time for Social Media?

I am asked this question quite frequently.  Be it a Vice President of Operations, a Regional Property Manager or a Leasing Agent, everyone wants to know how much time they should spend on this form of media.  The fact is, there is no correct answer to this, but the answer I most frequently give is to spend as much time as you feel you can.  If it’s an hour a week or an hour each day, you can learn a lot by just getting out there and doing it.  Set your own pace and schedule.  The bottom line is spend enough time on each of these to ensure that the end product is very high quality.  If you can only do one of these things that’s ok.  It’s probably one more than the majority of your peers or competitors.

Personally, I just haven’t had the time to blog lately.  The good news is, I don’t have to blog.  I choose to blog and it really only impacts me if I don’t.  My inconsistency may be a turn off and lose readers, but again, it only impacts me.  An apartment community with a blog or a management company with a blog can’t be inconsistent or they will lose readers and more importantly they may lose the ranking they have built on the search engines if it goes too long without an update.  Communities and companies need to post regularly.  Once a week would probably be a good rate.  More can be better, but too much could result in a diminishing return.

I also haven’t had time to be on Twitter much lately either.  Again, for me personally, that’s ok, but for an apartment community or a management company who has committed to this, there must be some consistency or you may face some negative consequences.  To me, Twitter is a daily responsibility, much like Craigslist, because of the format.  What you post on Twitter gets pushed down to the bottom of the page and eventually off the page rather quickly.  Therefore, to stay relevant you need to post frequently.  It’s no coincidence that the people with a high number of Tweets have a high number of followers.

Lastly but not leastly, Facebook could take up more time than Twitter, simply because it is a little more interactive than Twitter and does not limit you to 140 characters.  It could also take less if it’s not your preferred format or does not get you the results that blogging or Twitter do.  I think initially, the amount of time spent on Facebook will be greater, especially if you are taking the time to load photos and find your current residents and get them to be your “friend”.  Then you can simply maintain it and respond to emails and postings which you will be reminded to do via email updates.

Advertisements

What I Learned from Blogging About Bass Fishing and Apartment Marketing

I decided to go out on a limb with my last blog and marry bass fishing with leasing and marketing apartments.  I figured there’s really nothing to lose, and at the very least people will click on the article just to see what the hell I was talking about.  It is still getting hits and was recently added to the National Apartment Association blog, so I will share those results in a future update.   So far, I’d have to say it was worth it in that respect.

What I didn’t realize would happen is  interesting.  First of all, if you google “brainoblog” you find a fishing website that has posted my blog and a link to my website.  Bonus!  I also posted my blog on Twitter and ended up being followed by some fishing experts on Twitter, who likely found me through a search.  Double bonus!!  I also realized that having the name of my blog and my Twitter name both as brainoblog, I may have accidentally optimized my organic searches on google.  The only inhibitor to proving that theory is that I’m the only thing that comes up if you enter “brainoblog”.  Either I’m a genius or an idiot with my choice of name, haven’t decided yet.

So, the point is, it can’t hurt to experiment with articles on your blog that aren’t directly related to your core business.  If you’re an apartment community that happens to be by the ocean, you might want to blog about surfing or paddle boarding or deep sea fishing.  If you are near a great metro park you might want to blog about their bike trails or bird watching.  At the end of the day, this is all just a giant social experiment, so have fun with it.  I did, and will continue to do so.  There aren’t any rules…. yet.

National Apartment Association Blog

The National Apartment Association has started a blog which will be a great resource for the Multi Family industry. I am pleased to be one of the contributing writers to this blog. Check it out!

I will continue to post to brainoblog on a regular basis. Please feel free to give me ideas of what you would like to read about and don’t be afraid to share your opinion or add to any of my posts by leaving your comments. Feedback is always welcome.

Twitter

So, I’m finally on Twitter and already have found great information.  Haven’t leased an apartment on it yet, but it’s only been 48 hours.  The application hasn’t even been processed yet.  

I did a search for apartments and discoverd something that simply verified one of my earlier posts.  Craigslist works.  I found a young lady in Richmond, VA who found “2 kick-ass apartments on craigslist and made appointments to see both tomorrow!”  See for yourself… http://twitter.com/RiverCityGal

So, what’ my point?  My point is that I used one form of social media to verify the validity of another, which inherntly verifies the validity of both for our industry.   In the words of RiverCityGal, “Kick-Ass”!

4.5 Reasons to Blog

4.5.  IT’S PRACTICALLY FREE – you can find free templates online or just go to www.wordpress.com

4.  YOU CAN COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR RESIDENTS – get the word out to your residents without having to send out flyers.  It gives you a great opportunity to request their email address as well. 

3.  IT’S EASY – If I can do it, you can.  Just have something interesting to say.  You don’t have to blog every day either.  Just make sure you don’t go too long without or your residents will lose interest.

2.  FOR ALL THESE REASONS This is a great general list of reasons why to blog, as well as why not to blog, which is equally important.  I recommend you read the why not to blog list as well. 

1.  IF YOU DON’T YOUR COMPETITION WILL!  This is a great example of what your competition may be doing.  Urbane Apartments in Royal Oak, MI has taken customer service and resident interaction to the next level.  They have money saving ideas, health tips, entertainment and local destination tips.  They even have a link to the MegaBus, one of my favorite ways to travel cheaply and environmentally friendly.