I see a lot of properties and companies doing a cannonball in the deep end of the social media swimming pool. I'd estimate that I'm friended or followed by at least six new properties or management companies a week. Of the over 230 properties that have friended me or asked me to "fan" them in the last year, I've seen roughly 15 of them who understand how to use the medium effectively. The others have either put up a page like a ForRent.com ad where they blast out their specials, or they've abandoned the medium all together. Social media is about marketing without marketing. It's about using subtlety. If you were laying back, surrounded by people fanning you, would you rather have them be waving feathers or hammers?
We're moving quickly in to a world where overt marketing isn't going to work any more. Gen X and Gen Y don't trust advertisers, and they're the folks swiping their debit cards in the coming years. It's time to not only find a new aim for our message, but to find a new gun to fire it from. Herein lies the sneakiness!
To help you understand the sneakiness, I've made this helpful little chart:
| Being Subtle Is
|| Being Subtle Is Not
| Doing something remarkable enough that talk about your community ends up on someone else's FB page,
not just your own
|| Using your Fan Page to showcase pictures of your last event, but not letting your residents tag
or comment about them
| Giving just enough information to inspire some
questions that will make someone have to actually call, rather than click.
| Blasting out your unit availability sheet 4 times a
day for all the world to see, complete with
current rental rates
| Putting up tagged pictures of people, since FB is set
up to send out new taggings with an embedded link that most people will click on
| Putting up pictures of your cabana and pool,
which no one is in, and no one would click on.
| Gaining your friends organically, for example, through
your residents, or through connections with other
businesses or organizations in your area that will help.
| Friending anyone who shares your zip code, favorite movies, or anyone who might have
toured your property in the last 6 months ('cause that's creepy!)