Using Social Media to Attract and Retain Residents

Using Social Media to Attract and Retain Residents



What is social media? How can it be used by property managers to attract and retain residents? How can it be used by non-profits to connect with volunteers and donors? These questions and more are ...

What is social media? How can it be used by property managers to attract and retain residents? How can it be used by non-profits to connect with volunteers and donors? These questions and more are answered with a strategic overview and lots of examples and case studies.

This was originally presented by Mike Whaling of 30 Lines at the Housing Iowa Conference 2009 in Des Moines, Iowa.



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Using Social Media to Attract and Retain Residents Using Social Media to Attract and Retain Residents Presentation Transcript

  • Using Social Media
    to Attract and Retain Residents
    Mike Whaling, 30 LinesSeptember 10, 2009
  • Download the slides at
  • For today:
    >> Identify strategies to engage current and
    prospective customers.
    >> Identify tools to listen to, join and lead
    online conversations.
    >> Incorporate these ideas into daily operations
    and long-term plans.
    >> Have our own conversation.
  • “The power of the consumer's voice
    has never been stronger...
    It's impacting consumer behavior
    and how companies operate.”
    David Daniels, VP & Research Director, Jupiter Research
  • “A great brand can take months,
    if not years, and millions of dollars to build.
    It can be destroyed in hours
    by a blogger upset with your company.”
    Andy Beal,
  • “Over 90% of search engine users
    either find what they are looking for,
    revise their search or give up within
    the first three pages of results.”
    Search Engine User Behavior Study, iProspect
  • “53% of the content a user reads about
    a company online comes from sources
    other than that company’s website...”
    International Social Media Research, Universal McCann
  • Social media?
    Web 2.0?
    Kid stuff, right?
  • >> More popular than email
    >> Twitter bigger than NY Times
    >> Facebook – 300M users
    >> 77% read blogs
  • The best thing to happen
    to your organization.
  • >> It levels the playing field by
    giving you a voice.
    >> It gives you a direct connection
    to your customers and stakeholders.
    >> It gives your stakeholders a direct
    connection to each other.
  • Social media is people
    having conversations … online.
  • Those conversations are powered by…
    >> Social networks
    >> Blogs
    >> Online chat
    >> Podcasts
    >> RSS
    >> Widgets
    >> Social bookmarks
    >> Message boards
    >> Photo sharing sites
    >> Video sharing sites
    >> Wikis
    >> And much, much more…
  • It’s not…
    It is…
    > Traditional marketing
    > Easy sales/donations
    > Free
    > Stand alone
    > Insightful
    > Conversational
    > Cross-functional
    “It’s not how many, it’s how good.”
    Peter Shankman
  • “The influx of charities and non-profits
    to platforms like Facebook and Twitter
    could result in noise, congestion and
    outright apathy. Spreading awareness of
    a good cause grows difficult when that
    good cause starts to seem like spam.
    If one tweet after another is seeking
    donations, people might just get fed up.”
    Caroline McCarthy, CNET
  • Getting started:
    Where does it fit?
  • Listen >> Understand what your customers
    are saying about you brand.
    Network >> Leading the online conversation is the
    best way to communicate your message.
    Energize >> Give fans the tools they need
    to share your message among their peers.
    Embrace >> Ask clients for new ideas that drive
    better service and greater innovation.
    Support >> Enable customers to help each other
    when service issues arise.
  • Understand your audiences.
    Your message. Your goals.
  • Dig into the toolbox.
  • Photo credit: Mika Hiironniemi, Flickr
  • Who are you trying to reach?
    Where are they online?
    What are they saying?
  • Tools for Listening:
    >> Search Engines
    >> Google Alerts
    >> RSS
    >>TweetBeep / Twilert
    >> Review Sites
    >> Radian6
  • Photo credit: hippydream, Flickr
    Start networking.
  • Joining the Conversation
    >> Learn the rules.
    >> Be interested. Be interesting.
    >> Leave a trail.
    >> Start courting customers and influencers.
  • Be approachable.
  • It’s not about you.
  • Tools for Networking:
    >> Website
    >> Email
    >> Blogs
    >> Social Networks
    >> Video Sharing
    >> Social Networks
    >> Twitter
    >> Photo Sharing
    >> Discussion Boards
  • Energize your base.
    Photo credit: kbaird, Flickr
  • Tools for Energizing:
    >> Video Sharing
    >> Blogs
    >> Widgets
    >> Social Bookmarks
    >> Web Applications
    >> Photo Sharing
  • Embrace your biggest fans.
    Photo credit: william couch, Flickr
  • “We’re just AWESOME…”
  • Tools for Embracing:
    >> Surveys
    >> Twitter
    >> Yelp
    >> Polls
    >> Social Networks
    >> Kudzu
    >> Facebook Fan Page
  • Support what you’ve started.
    Photo credit: səthsquatch, Flickr
  • Tools for Supporting:
    >> Google Groups
    >> Customer forums
    >> Twitter
    >> Wikis
    >> Yahoo Answers
    >> Review Sites
    >> How-to videos
  • Does it work?
  • Urbane goals
    >>Reduce spending on paid listings
    >>Build sense of community and exclusivity
    >>Sell a lifestyle and experience
  • Give residents their own space.
  • Become a community hub.
  • Ask for the review.
  • How they make it happen
    2.5 employees spend 1-3 hours a day
    6-8 compensated resident bloggers
  • Urbane Results
    >> Website traffic up 65%
    >> Blog traffic grows 35% monthly
    >> Participation in Urbane Lobby up 400%
  • Urbane Results
    >> No paid advertising in past eight months
    >> Nearly 100% increase in lease conversion
    >> Rents consistently higher per square foot
    than local competition
    >> Brand awareness drives referrals and
    resident retention
  • One More Benefit…
  • Coalition for the Homeless
    Overall goals:
    >> Increase online brand recognition
    >> Reach a new demographic
    >> Create a dialogue with donors and volunteers
    >> Position the Coalition as an authority
    >> Encourage active involvement
  • Five-step process:
    >> Research and listen
    >> Lay the groundwork
    >> Create sites and add content
    >> Maintain ongoing rhythms
    >> Evaluate success
  • Orlando “Can” Care Challenge
    >> Situation: Decrease in food donations
    >> Idea: Food drive powered by social media
    >> Goal: Collect 400 pounds of food
    >> Implementation: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr
    >> Result: Raised 1,000+ pounds of food
  • “Social media matters to the Coalition
    because when they needed extra help,
    their online network – people who were
    strangers just months ago – stepped up
    to the plate.”
  • What now?
  • Test the water.
  • Pin down your goals.
    >> It’s not just about marketing.
    • Customer service, public relations, recruiting
    • Clients, prospects, vendors, shareholders
    >> Online tactics don’t play out in a vacuum,
    and they don’t replace current offline efforts.
  • Start here:
    >> Sign up for Google Alerts.
    >> Create a Facebook Page.
    >> Claim your Twitter account.
    >> Join one local/industry-specific site.
    >> Get blogging!
  • “80% of success is showing up.”
  • Build your presence.
    >> Create communication hubs.
    >> Set up profile pages.
    >> Keep the message consistent.
    >> Don’t forget maps and listings sites.
    >> Keep them current.
  • Steer the message.
    Photo credit: peminumkopi, Flickr
  • Steer the Message
    >> Create for your audience, not your ego.
    >> Embrace influencers.
    >> Use tools to spread your reach.
  • Track your progress.
    Photo credit: Craig Rodway, Flickr
  • Tracking Your Success:
    >> Google Analytics
    >> Facebook Insights
    >> Yahoo Analytics
  • Obstacles
    Photo credit: roujo, Flickr
  • Obstacles
    >> What’s the ROI? – “Risk Of Inaction”
    >> “It’s a fad.” – Fundamental change in habits
    >> “I don’t have the time.”
  • Keep learning.
    >> Groundswell
    >> Trust Agents (and
    >> Hello! My Name is Scott.
  • Industry resources
  • #AptChat
  • Look at the whole picture.
    >> Your brand is how people perceive you.
    What others say about you is more
    important than ever.
    >> Like it or not, social media leads to
    conversations about your company.
    Participating helps you control the message.
  • Let’s connect.
    Mike Whaling
    Slides at