Social Media- Are You Doing It Wrong?

Since 2008 (probably even before that) businesses found themselves reluctant to jump into Social Media. I remember having a conversation with my supervisor at the time about signing our apartment community up for a business Facebook page. My supervisor looked at me and scoffed, “we don’t need to waste our time, it won’t last!”  This was one of my very first lessons in social media and business and probably my first solid indication that I needed to follow my intuition that social media would impact our industry and that I was going to need to work for myself and like-minded individuals; change was happening.

Fast forward to today, we have over 90% of the U.S. carrying a mobile device and 67% of those devices accessing social media platforms effortlessly.See study here.

What we have also found, is that many businesses have realized social media is here to stay and if you can’t beat it join it. This is true, but many still are doing it wrong.

Your businesses social media presence shouldn’t be something you just check off your to do list. Your presence should be helpful or inspiring and for everything that’s holy, it should be authentic.

I shopped an apartment community recently and upon my arrival I was handed a tablet that was open to their communities Facebook photos and since they had nothing available to tour, I could look at the unit photos to “get a better idea of their community”. I did what I was told and looked through them, all four of them. I sighed and opened my web browser and searched the properties website where I could view the same four model photos and identical marketing lingo. Being the rebel, I am, I then decided to view the properties Facebook page news feed, it was full of Facebook game accomplishments and daily rent rates. If this is you, you are doing it wrong.

Duplicating your website on your social media is lazy. Your future customer deserves better than that, and this doesn’t serve your community. Our customers interact on social media for the engagement and conversation, not to be bombarded with unsolicited sales pitches. This is an opportunity to show your customer what makes your business special and unique.

This leads me to another flop with paid social media. I will be the first to admit, there are not enough hours in the day to do it all, and a few years ago we decided to outsource our media presence. We were inconsistent with our posts and wanted to solidify and grow our presence, so we started discussing companies and tools to help us sure things up. We wanted authentic posts and were not at all interested in working with a company that would use the same posts from their other client’s pages, as we knew that this company would have to feel like an extension of ourselves. We all need to subscribe to this thought process.

We landed on a company that had this same thought process and also fell in love when we found out that they exclusively employ military spouses as their content writers and account managers. This was something we could get behind, not only because it felt good supporting those that support our troops, but also because military families in general reside in rental housing.

If you are paying a company to post on your behalf and they are posting the same exact content at the same time as their other accounts, you’re doing it wrong.

Following a lot of apartment properties on social media is part of my job, and also partly because I have a problem and I am obsessed with property management. (That is a whole other discussion). I can almost hear the unfollows as I open up my feed to find multiple properties in the same market, with identical posts, with the same tagline and emojis at the same time, doesn’t that make you feel special? Probably doesn’t make your potential customer feel warm and fuzzy either if they happen to also follow both pages. (yes, your customer follows other properties too.) Why are you paying for that?

Social media is different and that’s a good thing. This is what your future customer wants and if you are unwilling, my email address is below, I can help you with how to delete your account.

Just like my mom used to say to me (who am I kidding, she still says it), “I’m hard on you because I know you can do better.” This is my same sentiment for you, if you are awesome then let your customer see that through your social media presence. If you are struggling to do it on your own then there is no shame enlisting a like-minded professional to assist you, just please, please, for the sake of your residents (and my sanity) please ensure that the posts are authentic; you and your customer deserve that.

Contact me for more Smart solutions at