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Snapchat Dominates Student Housing Conversation

Marketing sages from some of student housing’s most successful companies explore tactics for fostering awareness and demand in increasingly competitive markets, such as geo-targeting, customer relationship management and lead nurturing. This panel will speak about how they find, analyze and use marketing effectiveness data at strategic levels.

In a session presented Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the 2017 NAA Student Housing Conference & Exhibition at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, the panel will discuss what’s trending in student housing social media.

Snapchat’s popularity continues to rise among student housing marketers.

Panelists Barrie Nichols, Vice President Marketing and Leasing, University Student Living; and Rob Dinwiddie Vice President of Leasing & Marketing, Landmark Properties, are effectively driving their brand and select community messages through timely images on Snapchat based on paid geo-targeting filters being deployed during key campus dates such as move-ins and social events.

“We created Snapchat filters with custom graphics for each of our communities,” Nichols says. “Coupled with geo-targeting that is based on popular events such as housing fairs, orientations and libraries during exam finals weeks, the results were phenomenal. Popular among students and cost effective, this form of digital marketing proved to be extremely successful. We will continue to build brand awareness and provide interaction opportunities with our target market during key times and events.”

Nichols says these also were used to launch new developments through table tents on campus, local businesses and at events.

“The evolution of this platform has been incredible,” she says. “When we started using Snapchat to communicate with students three years ago, companies were hesitant to see this as an engagement source. Now, there are more people added us to their Snapchat accounts during targeted events than any other form of social media.”

Landmark began utilizing paid geo-filters on Snapchat in the prior lease-up season, Dinwiddie says.

“Snapchat made paid geo-targeted filters available to businesses early in the spring of 2016 and we went heavy into it for the remainder of the leasing season,” he says. “We have continued to use the filters in the current leasing season and have found them to be a good way to get our message out to areas where we sometimes had difficulty marketing in person or with guerrilla marketing efforts.”