Multifamily managers are always on the hunt for the best way to attract and retain residents. With the digital world dominating marketing efforts, properties are turning to social media as a means to stay active, relevant, and approachable to potential renters. In this blog, we dive into the platform Snapchat to highlight the features property managers and leasing agents can utilize in order to effectively market their property and establish their brand to residents.
Snapchat has evolved quite a bit over time. In order to be more strategic in the market, Snapchat has added new features to engage their users and boost brand awareness on the platform. Their strategy has been working so well that Facebook and Instagram have both adopted “Stories” similar to the original Snapchat feature that allows users to post photos and videos to their Story for their followers to view. These Stories disappear after 24 hours to elicit a sort of exclusivity to the content.
So, why use Snapchat as a multifamily property? Well, aside from sponsored ads, Snapchat is 100% free to use. That means any Story you share or Snap you send is basically free advertising for your property. Snapchat is also a great way to reach younger audiences, especially if you are a property targeting residents under the age of 30. About 73% of millennials and 71% of people under 25 are active users on Snapchat. Therefore, if it is important for you to reach this demographic, Snapchat could be a very useful as part of your social strategy.
Features on Snapchat
Possibly one of the most used features on Snapchat is the user’s ability to post Stories: a photo or video specifically posted to a user’s account that lasts only 24 hours. The main purpose of Snapchat Stories is to share visuals on your current experiences for others to see. After posting, you can see how many people viewed your Story, who specifically viewed it, and even if someone took a screenshot of your Story. If you choose to follow other accounts, you can see the Stories they post, as well.
While Facebook and Instagram may be top of mind for strategic social media platforms for your property, Snapchat offers interesting ways to get in front of renters, creates an enjoyable community experience, and gives your property a memorable personality.
Customized Stories are modified Stories that allow you to invite who you would like to share and receive posts from. It doesn’t matter how far away someone might be from your location — anyone that is invited can contribute and it isn’t just limited to your friends. Nearby Snapchat users can also participate, as long as you allow it. Snapchat can use these compiled posts to create a “Geofence” around your current location so those within the Geofence can participate in your Story as well. As long as they are not deleted, these custom Stories can last quite a while. They will dissolve on their own if someone has not posted to the story within 24 hours.
Consider using a customized Story for your property, creating a Geofence around the perimeter of the complex. This will give any residents in the area an opportunity to add their experiences at their apartment or surrounding amenities to the Story, creating a collaboration of photos and videos of your property. Customized Stories is a great way to unite your residents on social.
A Geofilter is an overlay on your Snap that shares information about your location or what you’re doing, but only when you have enabled location services and filters. Geofilters are typically created for different locations, neighborhoods and cities, and are created to be used indefinitely. For example, your apartment community can create a Geofilter tied to the location of the property, allowing residents and visitors to swipe the filter onto their Snapchat image or video while they’re in the area. This is a great way to boost brand awareness, since their followers will be seeing their post with the filter of your property on it as well.
The filters can also be made for a specific period of time, to highlight events like grand openings, property pool parties, and seasonal celebrations. Not to mention, you can track the metrics on how the Geofilter performed. You can view the number of times your Geofilter was applied to a Snap, and the number of times a Snapchatter watched a Snap with your Geofilter in a Story, or on a Snap sent to them.
Snap Map is Snapchat’s newest addition. It is a street map within the application that utilizes the user’s GPS sensors to share their location with friends on the app. Users have the option to only share their location with particular friends, or to disable location sharing altogether. Your location is tracked on the Snap Map every time you open the Snapchat app, but if you haven’t opened the app for a couple hours, your location will not appear on the Snap Map.
Snap Map allows users to post publicly to the map as well by sharing photos and videos to the “Our Story” option for certain geographic locations — city hotspots, if you will —which then show up as a glow on the app, enticing viewers to engage in the city story.
To add an additional feature to the bank of free social options already provided by Snapchat, take a look at Snap Ads. Snap Ads are sponsored, paid-for videos created by brands that appear in the Discover section and between users’ stories. While viewing Snap Ads, users have the option to engage further by ‘swiping-up’ to view a longer video, read an article, or visit a website. Snap Ads usually run between 3 and 10 seconds and are simplified with the help of the Snapchat Ad Manager.
Businesses, brands and properties can create an account to use tools to create videos quickly and independently. Snap Ads allow you to personalize your advertisement by creating a campaign and ad set, specifying your audience and budget, then setting a schedule for your ad set. With the help of the Snapchat Mobile Dashboard, properties can easily see how their Snap Ads are performing — all within the easy to use Snapchat app. You can even use this feature to offer promotions specifically for your Snapchat followers, such as a rent-free first month or an accent wall/special finish if they sign a lease.
Snapchat in Action
Utilizing these Snapchat features on behalf of your apartment community can improve property awareness, traffic and initial leases, and even impact retention as residents are continually more engaged in the life of their community.
Snapchat’s initial purpose was to help friends stay connected in their everyday lives by sharing photos and video, and you can do the same for your residents! By utilizing the Story feature, you can give followers and friends a behind-the-scenes looks at your unique amenities, promote upcoming events, or highlight fun moments in the leasing office. By giving them access to unique features and Stories, you are inviting residents to participate in the life of your community and engage with your property’s brand.
Location services such as user mapping and Geofilters are the perfect way to draw potential residents to get involved in what your community and surrounding area have to offer. Creating a Geofilter for your property is a simple way to increase brand awareness, especially if you are targeting younger residents.
Utilizing features such as these are a great way to ensure your property is maximizing its social media potential.