Part One: Be Engaging...On Facebook

With its 600 million users and average daily session time of 25 minutes, Facebook provides an exceptional opportunity for visibility, Google indexing, live search ability, and fan engagement.

But, if you build it, will they come? And if they come, will they stay and engage?

Be Interesting

Keep your audience engaged and offer something of value. When fans “like” a certain brand’s page they need to be provided with content or activities to keep them active on the page. In order to keep your page “alive” it is important to launch something interactive daily.

Here are some interesting and creative ways to engage and interact with your residents:

  • Have fun with your profile picture and change it up often
  • Notify residents of upcoming concerts and events in your area
  • Post interesting new jobs.  I’ve seen a property management company that has a Twitter feed on their website with job postings that fit their demographics
  • Start a 'Best of' list and have residents to vote
  • Offer green cleaning tips
  • Offer exclusive discounts, coupons, and content (40% of FB users “like” Pages that give them deals)
  • Partner with restaurants in the area and offer exclusive deals (I live in a condo community and the new restaurant across the street gives us 10% off!)
  • Advertise a time and place at the community and host a “Sweets in the Streets” where you hand out candy bars
  • Post an events calendar to share with sister communities.  Allow residents to participate among the communities
  • Have monthly Birthday Parties and post to Facebook
  • Have a yearly 'Birthday' for your community
  • Reward residents and fans by helping them give to charity
  • Recognize fans and select a “Fan of the Month”
  • Become “Fans” of local business and post on their walls
  • Use the Question feature to offer polls (more on this below)
  • Contests are one of the most effective ways of keeping your Fans interested and engaged
  • Watch the comments/likes pour in with these status updates from Funny Status (not all are appropriate)
  • Post trivia questions- people love to show off their knowledge
  • Ask for opinions
  • Encourage your Fans to share personal stories on a particular topic, like “my first apartment”
  • Upload lots of photos from Resident Appreciation Events and be sure to “tag” your Fans

Use your status updates to engage in a conversation with your Fans, respectfully discuss their feedback and build a sense of community between your Fans and your apartment community. Provide value to the conversation and you will gain their trust and interest. It’s also important to share meaningful, relevant information with your Fans on a consistent basis. Consider your resident demographics and what is important to them. When you post status updates and links relevant to their lifestyle, you are providing a valuable amenity to your resident.

Ask for what you want! Do you want Fans to ‘like’ a post? Ask them to like it. Want them to ‘share’ it? Ask them to click share.  Fans follow instructions well—the simpler, the better. Key words: Like, Take, Submit, Post, Comment, Tell Us. Be direct with your Fans. Use the word “you” more often: “What do you think?”, “What are your thoughts?”, etc. This makes you residents feel valued, respected, and included. Most people will come back to your Fan Page if they feel there’s a real sense of community.

Be Timely

Post early in the morning, at the end of the work day, and late at night because that’s when your audience is checking their Facebook— not when you’re at your desk! Brands that posted outside of business hours had engagement rates approximately 20% higher than average. Try TweetDeck to schedule your posts for free.

In addition, do your best to respond to Fan wall posts as punctually as possible, at least within 24 hours. Leaving posts unanswered may discourage residents and Fans to contribute any further, or post additional (possibly negative) content. Another advantage to keep the conversation going is that longer threads are more likely to show up in News Feeds.

Relate your posts to current events, and ask your Fans what they think about breaking news or other topics.  Did you know that posts that reference upcoming events (including your own) get ranked higher on the News Feed?  So be sure to run timely campaigns to promote your events— just make sure you don’t post too often (once every few hours for the same event is probably too often).

Stay tuned for Part Two coming later this week!