By Scott Wickman (MultiFamilyExecutive.com Article) — Many property managers have grown accustomed to utilizing the typical three social media platforms of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. That said, one marketing tool that has quietly grown over the last several years and often gets overlooked by property managers is Pinterest.
For years, Pinterest obtained a reputation as a platform used simply for event planning ideas, such as weddings or baby showers. Although that remains true, the platform has become much broader and is emerging as an excellent tool for property managers to reach a wide audience.
For example, one of the largest age groups on Pinterest is 18 to 29 years old. This age group is also one of the prime target demographics for many multifamily communities. Therefore, it is important for property managers to integrate Pinterest as part of their overall social media strategy.
So how do property managers do this?
Pinterest is an excellent tool for engaging with residents or potential new residents. The biggest challenge with getting started is growing a following and driving visitors to the platform.One way that property managers can quickly grow their following is by utilizing their followers on other social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. More than 57% of Pinterest users are on Instagram. Property managers can quickly gain followers by sharing a link on their Facebook and Instagram feeds announcing that they’ve launched a Pinterest page.
Beyond this, property managers can also add a link to “follow them on Pinterest” on each of their property websites to further encourage residents or prospective residents to follow them.
Create Boards that Cater to Your Target Audience
After the Pinterest page is launched, property managers need to ensure that the content they pin and the boards they’ve created cater to their target audience.The boards should focus on topics that are relevant to residents or prospective residents, such as apartment décor and green living, among several others. The boards that typically garner the most engagement tend to be geared toward these types of ideas and inspiration boards. By pinning content surrounding these topics, property managers can capture the attention of prospective renters who may be looking for fresh new ideas to decorate their apartment, etc.
In addition to these inspiration boards, boards can also be targeted at specific communities and locations. These boards feature interior and exterior photos of apartment communities along with corresponding links to the property websites. This is an extremely useful strategy as prospective residents who may have found the page through the inspiration boards can now be directed to a potential new property or new home, which can lead to an increase in leasing activity.
Pinterest is not only a good tool for attracting new residents, it is also an excellent tool for engaging with current residents and building a sense of community. This can include pinning photos from community events or sharing details about upcoming social gatherings on its boards, etc. Pinterest is one of the more personalized networks that residents enjoy being part of, and engaging with them there can indirectly impact the bottom line.
Select Strong Images
Pinterest is all about imagery, and prospective residents want to be able to visualize living in a community. This is why the images that are shared on an apartment community’s Pinterest page are so important.Unlike other social media platforms, most of the content on Pinterest is user generated. For example, most of the content pinned on an apartment décor board generally comes from the residents. A social media team should place a major emphasis on only pinning content or photos that are extremely high quality and further allow users to visualize a lifestyle in a selected apartment community.
The photos posted on other boards can be focused on other individual properties. All of them should be professional photos that once again highlight what living at this community would be like. Careful selection goes into each of these photos to ensure each is aligned with the appropriate board in which it is pinned.
The quality of the photos of the community events are also extremely important. Prospective residents want to visualize what a lifestyle at that community would be like, and these images help to do this. Poor quality images could negatively impact this perception to new residents.
Ultimately, the image selection process is a major contributing factor to having a successful Pinterest page and should not be overlooked by property managers when managing a Pinterest page.
Pinterest’s Growing Reach
While Pinterest has continued to grow its presence over the last several years and is heavily used by a prime rental group for property managers, its reach continues to grow.In fact, Pinterest has historically catered to female millennials; however, now the platform is regularly being used by males as well. As of recent, 38% of American fathers use Pinterest, and half of all new Pinterest sign-ups are men.
Its growing reach is one key reason the platform remains a valuable tool for property managers. As more and more individuals begin to use the platform, the greater the opportunity for property managers to reach potential new residents. This is especially true as today’s renters tend to look for an apartment online and through social media.
Overall, it’s advantageous for property managers to expand their social media presence to include Pinterest. Nearly half of what users pin regularly on Pinterest are in the categories of home, garden, pool, and spa, which are extremely relevant to apartment communities. By incorporating Pinterest and creating boards such as home décor, gardening tips, and general property photos, it opens the door to potential residents who are looking for a home that accommodates their lifestyle, driving leasing activity and an apartment community’s bottom line.