Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One [eBook]
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Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One [eBook]

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Interested in learning how to attract and retain residents through social media? Social Media Expert, Charity Zierten shares insider tips on to use local social techniques to strengthen your brand ...

Interested in learning how to attract and retain residents through social media? Social Media Expert, Charity Zierten shares insider tips on to use local social techniques to strengthen your brand message, building relationships and encourage loyalty with prospects and residents. She believes that in order to be more effective, it’s all about managing customer relationships and interaction at a local level.

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    Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One [eBook] Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One [eBook] Document Transcript

    • www.appfolio.com Local Social Media­ Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One Before the era of mass media, community-based outlets were the primary sources of word-of-mouth messaging. That trend is returning now, as marketers must reach an ever-narrowing audience segment online. Managing customer relationships and interaction is more effective at the local level. Hyper-local search and integrated websites incorporating social media have made it easier for small businesses with limited budgets to target these narrowing segments. The use of local stories, local media, and local language adds credibility to local business messaging and emphasizes relevancy for properties. What Is Local Social? 2 Amplify Reach At The Local Level To Attract And Retain Residents 3 Local listings and business directories best practices: Optimize individual social networking profiles. 4 4 Facebook 5 A “Mobile-First” Strategy 5 Custom URL 6 Foursquare 6 Twitter 7 Google (Google+ Local and Google+) 8 Instagram 9 Pinterest 10 Blogs 11 Ratings & Reviews 12 tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 1
    • www.appfolio.com What Is Local Social? Residents live, work and shop in their local communities. Community relationships are local by design. Demonstrate an expertise in the immediate local area and target content directly to that audience—10, 15, or 20 miles from the property location. Local search on mobile phones continues to grow with nearly 86 million accessing local business information on their mobile phone. PC’s and laptops are primarily used in the beginning stages of a local business search. In comparison, mobile phones and tablets are more likely to be used in the middle or at the end of the process. Successful local business searches conducted via mobile phones are more likely to end with a property visit than PC, laptop or tablet 15-50% of the people searches. Local searchers who used a mobile visiting a website will do phone or tablet were more likely to make a so from a mobile device. purchase as a result of their search. A sizable shift to mobile is occurring. Facebook and Google Maps are dominating the local mobile search market. Mobile searchers make purchasing decisions; where to eat, where to shop… even where to live! 61 percent of online searchers believe local results are more relevant and 58 percent find them more trustworthy than paid results. Social, Local and Mobile are all connected! This marketing trifecta is often referred to as SoLoMo. tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 2
    • www.appfolio.com Amplify Reach At The Local Level To Attract And Retain Residents. Optimize local presences to drive more traffic to websites and other online communities! Before optimizing specific local social networking presences, create and implement a Uniform NAP policy for all accounts. Be certain that the property name, address and phone is correct and consistent on primary local business directories. Of the mobile phone searchers who say they use applications to search for local businesses, 35% use Google Maps. Why directories? They provide information about local businesses to mapping and social media services like Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Google+ Places, and even Siri. Updating these directories and local listings will provide a real competitive advantage for improving the visibility and reach of local properties. • Localeze • Acxiom • SuperPage • YellowPages • Insider Pages • Google+ Places • Yahoo! Local • Bing Places • Yelp • GetListed • Wikipedia tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 3
    • www.appfolio.com Local listings and business directories best practices: ›› Keep all of the data on the local-level! Do not use tracking phone numbers or toll-free numbers. A local area code is a must-have. ›› Use keywords in the description fields ›› Choose appropriate categories ›› Unless otherwise noted, always include the http:// prefix for websites to activate live linking Optimize individual social networking profiles. If the number one rule is to maintain a Uniform NAP, the second rule is certainly to fill-in all of the blanks! Develop a list of local keywords and phrases to incorporate within profile descriptions and content. Each social network is unique. The following sections discuss optimizing specific social networking accounts. tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 4
    • www.appfolio.com Optimize Facebook Use the property name that residents most frequently identify with and avoid abbreviations when possible. If the property name is already used, incorporate the location of the property within the name to differentiate and make searching easier. Does the property use multiple and/or various names? Is Apartments truncated to Apts? These are the types of inconsistencies that make local search 92% of those who more complicated for prospects. searched for local business information on social networking sites used Facebook. Include as many details as possible about the property, including the About, Mission, and Company Description sections. Within the About section, incorporate a sentence with a couple of keywords and phrases, the local phone number, address, and website link. In the Company Description, be sure to differentiate the property from the competition. For example, everyone has a “sparkling pool,” so think out of the box for descriptions. Adopt A “Mobile-First” Strategy For The Property Facebook Page. Optimizing Facebook pages for mobile includes: ›› Checking the Facebook page from mobile devices to view what the public sees ›› Displaying the best content with a pinned 78% of U.S. Facebook users login via mobile. post! The mobile Facebook application does not show the full property timeline. ›› Adding interesting and colorful images to content and ads tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 5
    • www.appfolio.com For best results on desktops and laptops, highlight the most popular Facebook updates on the property Facebook page. Utilize Facebook Insights to determine which content that is most popular and engaging. Then select the post and highlight it on the page. Does The Property Have A Custom URL Yet? These four steps will change the username and the property Facebook Page URL. 1. Log into the Facebook account and press the cog icon on the top-right 2. Select Account Settings and click Edit in the Username row 3. Enter the property name beside Username 4. Press Save Changes To allow residents to communicate privately, enable the Message Page feature. This could prevent unwanted negative public posts by unhappy residents or prospects. Optimize Foursquare Establish a Foursquare profile and then create (or claim an existing) Foursquare location. Uniform NAP, profile and location photos, and descriptions are essential. Create Foursquare locations for your gym, pool, laundry room, etc. using window clings and signs. Consider a Foursquare Mayor parking spot or Check-in only parking! Recommendations and check-ins from friends appear on mobile newsfeeds. The next step is to connect the new Foursquare profile to the property Twitter account, in order to cross-promote content created between the two accounts. Leave tips at local community businesses with the new profile and share the tips on Twitter. Consider creating a unique tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 6
    • www.appfolio.com hashtag for all of the local check-ins and tips, to make searching on Twitter easier for residents and prospects. Great hashtags are short but fun! Last, but not least, ask residents and prospects for Foursquare feedback. 58% of searchers that use Social Networking Sites describe themselves as more likely to use a local business if a connection recommends it. Optimize Twitter Even if the property already has a Twitter profile, it can be optimized and updated. Research and connect with local Twitter users on WeFollow.com, a Twitter directory. Google search can also provide a list of local Twitter profiles when site:twitter.com + “city name” is typed in the Google search bar. Join the conversation slowly, not by advertising or selling vacant homes. Discuss and share information about the community and local events. Twitter recently rolled out a new option within settings that allows users to receive direct messages from anyone who follows them, even if they don’t yet follow back. This is useful for properties utilizing Twitter as a customer service tool; enable this option. tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 7
    • www.appfolio.com Optimize Google (Google+ Local and Google+) Many properties have a Google Local page and aren’t aware of it. Claim any and all of the pages associated with the property, then request duplicate listings be removed. After incorporating Uniform NAP within the property Local and Google+ pages, share real photos of your community! Photos regularly appear within Google search results. Resident and prospect +1’s combined with quality photos are playing an increasing role within search discovery and click-through. We’ve learned about competitive advantages for Google, but here are a few negative ranking factors to keep in mind: ›› Wrong location within maps or incorrect placement on the map marker ›› Keyword stuffing – use moderation ›› Mismatched NAP ›› Using call tracking numbers ›› Incorrect business category ›› Negative sentiment in page place Of 500 million people who have registered Google+ accounts, 235 million actively use their accounts each month. reviews ›› Multiple places pages: • Same name or for the same business • Same phone number for the same business • Different languages for the same business tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 8
    • www.appfolio.com Optimize Instagram Instagram is a geo-location aware visual social network, primarily accessed via mobile devices. Connect the Instagram account to Twitter, then share photos and local content using the same hashtag as used on Twitter and Foursquare. Opportunities for reach and marketing with Instagram are endless! Here are a few ideas to boost engagement: ›› Post 15-second tours of your property ›› Share resident testimonials ›› Incorporate neighborhood business outreach ›› 30 Days / 30 Photos: walk, run, or ride around the local community surrounding the community focusing on parks, historic buildings, local business marketing partners, popular venues, restaurants, etc. Take 30 photos! Share one photo a day on Instagram using the hashtag and distribute through other social networking channels to build a local brand. tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 9
    • www.appfolio.com Pinterest To optimize the Pinterest account or board for local reach: ›› Share community photos, videos and floor plans! Then edit to link to them back to the property website. Sharing is most efficient when the website has an integrated social component. Pinterest drives more traffic (3.68%) to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined, second only to Facebook (10%) for traffic. ›› Use the hashtag created for local content on other social networks ›› Incorporate other hashtags within the native Pinterest culture ›› Utilize keywords and phrases about the local community within the photo description ›› After posting photos and floor plans, edit the photo and provide a link to the website of the business or place within the photo tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 10
    • www.appfolio.com Blogs Savvy properties are utilizing an integrated strategy for their web presences. They are incorporating property management software for accepting rent and maintenance requests online, and even streamlining the sharing of updates on the community blog, seamless integration is critical. We’re not going to dive too far into the blogging pool but there are a few ways to get back to local with content: ›› Incorporate the social sharing options that are available on your website and blog ›› Utilize keywords and phrases within the names of photos before uploading to the blog and add an appropriate photo alt name and description ›› Don’t forget the importance of anchor text ›› Create titles using keywords and phrases ›› Write and share local content! How-To’s and Lists dominate search • 5 Fun Facts About “your city name” • 7 Things To Do in “your city name” • 10 Best Places to find deals in “your city name” • “Best of ________” contest participation ›› Embed Facebook posts to share positive updates made on the property Facebook page, rather than using screenshots. ›› Consider embedding posts from other local news resources on the blog. Remember that readers can click-through on the embedded post to see the original update on Facebook. tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 11
    • www.appfolio.com Optimize Ratings & Reviews Individuals searching for local businesses through social means are active content creators, with 45% submitting reviews online. General sentiment, diversity and quantity of reviews on search sites like Google Places or Bing Local will improve visibility within those search results. This is demonstrated within browsers and mobile map applications. Third-party traditional review sites, like Apartment Ratings, also improve rankings. However, for an immediate competitive advantage request that mobile users review your property on Google while visiting. Google has recently announced that shared endorsement ads will be available for advertisers. When a review is posted or a +1 is made from an account that has not disabled the advertising feature, an advertiser can use the review or +1 to run an ad. The ads actually include the name and face of the endorser, which is an advantage for businesses seeking an increase in local reach. Request Google reviews for properties with fewer than ten reviews. When making Did you know? the request for reviews, use terminology The use of local terms within a that includes your local area. For instance, review actually adds credibility “We’re so glad you enjoyed the tour! We’re to the review. really trying to spread the word about our property. If you would like to leave us a two to three sentence review from your Google map app and tell everyone we have the best homes in Houston, we’d really appreciate it!” Once the property has more Google reviews than the local competition (or ten), modify future requests to alternate between third-party review sites, Bing Local and Google Maps. Remember not to offer an incentive in exchange for a positive review. tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 12
    • www.appfolio.com Download “Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part 2” to learn: ›› How to use local social techniques to strengthen your brand message, build relationships and encourage loyalty with prospects and residents. ›› Finding and creating content to target and engage your local audience. SOURCES: ··Shareaholic ··comScore ··Digital Trends ··Neustar Localeze ··Moz ··Google ··Search Engine Journal ABOUT THE AUTHOR Social media consultant Charity Zierten from Socially Engaged Marketing®, is regarded as a leading industry expert on utilizing social media strategies for the multifamily housing industry. Charity shares unique and innovative perspectives on the use of various social networking channels to reach residents and prospects during national and regional apartment industry events. Find Charity online at SociallyEngagedMarketing.com. ABOUT APPFOLIO AppFolio provides complete web-based property management software designed for the modern property manager. Learn more about AppFolio at www.AppFolio.com. CHECK OUT THESE OTHER GREAT RESOURCES ››Managing Your Online Reputation ››Recap Of Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage ››Local Social Media Is Your Competetive Advantage: Part Two tweet this ebook! © 2014 AppFolio, Inc. | Local Social Media Is Your Competitive Advantage: Part One 13