Instagram is a social network that’s widely popular among the millennial demographic (not to mention the upcoming Generation Z, age 17 and younger). Instagram mimics Facebook from the standpoint that our focus shifts back to resident engagement. It has a single function (picture-sharing), which makes it highly visual and a great platform for conveying the personality of your resident community.
Instagram (The Basics)
With Instagram, users have several formatting options for editing pictures. Color treatments called “filters” can be applied to photos to make them more artistic and visually interesting. Again, users can be individuals or organizations. Similar to Facebook, users can favorite or comment on pictures, as well as tag other users.
Driven by the freedom to format and a quick-scrolling mobile platform, Instagram is among the most interactive social networks. For multifamily properties, it’s an excellent tool for branding and resident engagement.
Uses for Instagram
Share Visual Updates: Think visually. When it comes to your everyday resident communications, consider how can you create visual interest. Are you opening the pool this weekend? Post an inviting picture! Are you prepping for a resident event? Show them! Are there cupcakes in the lobby? Are there amenities your residents aren’t taking advantage of? (You catch my drift).
Before you start, however, you need to ask yourself what tone or personality you want to convey and which property features you want to highlight. Know the type of audience you want and find a way to cater to their personalities. Check out the Instagram for 2660 at Cityplace in Uptown Dallas. They do a great job creating visual interest and keeping residents up-to-date about what’s happening around their property.
Tap Your Resident Community: With as active as millennials are on Instagram, multifamily properties should consider how they can use the platform to create opportunities for engagement. Inviting your residents to participate is perhaps the simplest way to do so.
Gigi Giannoni, Vice President of Marketing and PR at Gables Residential, said that they recently launched an Instagram contest that was focused on resident engagement.
“Sometime [multifamily marketers] get so caught up on driving new traffic, we forget about the value of resident retention,” said Gigi. “With our instagram contest, we were focusing on resident retention. We wanted to make our residents feel a part of the Gables family.”
The #GablesOasis Instagram contest asked residents to share a picture of a ‘summer oasis’ at their Gables community. As residents submitted photos, Gables shared the entries on their Facebook page. Not only did it allow them to start conversations with their residents, but it gave Gables an excellent collection of pictures to showcase their properties.
“People are a part of where they live,” said Gigi. “That’s what drove participation for our contest. Choosing where to live is like choosing a way of life, and we want our residents to take pride in that.”
Keep in mind that when participants share pictures of your property on Instagram, those photos also appear on the newsfeed of their followers.
A well-planned Instagram contest has great potential generate awareness of your property to relevant audiences. The Instagram platform presents several opportunities for marketing your multifamily property, you’ve just got to think visually.