It seems like everyone uses Facebook. You use it. I use it. Your weird aunt who still plays Candy Crush and keeps sending you requests to join for some reason uses it. So, it’s been pretty much decided in the apartment industry that it’s necessary to have a community Facebook (and Twitter, and, for some enterprising communities Instagram) page to communicate about what’s going on at the apartment.
In fact, many people view this as not just necessary, but, essentially, mandatory.
But what if it’s not?
Think about it. When you use Facebook, sometimes posts get buried, or people just miss them. And, as odd as it sounds, some people actually don’t have a Facebook account, so some residents might miss out completely.
Plus, what do you normally use Facebook for? Stalking exes, and bragging about your kids/marathons/pets/dinner, with maybe a dash of self promotion thrown in there (Hi, mom, if you clicked through to this blog from my Facebook page!). But, in all seriousness, Facebook is a great way to let residents know what’s going on at a community—maybe to talk about upcoming events or to show pictures from a community party. It couldn’t hurt to have a community Facebook page. Have a page! It just might not be the primary channel your residents use to get their information.
And this isn’t just an apartment thing, but a business thing in general. For example I “liked” my toddler’s pediatrician on Facebook. And it was cool to see the post where they announced one of the doctors won “favorite doctor” or something like that for some magazine. But, when she had a rash, I didn’t post on their Facebook page asking what kind of ointment I should use, I called up and talked to a nurse. (Oh, and I know stuff posted online is there forever, so, sorry, sweetie, if down the line your prom date reads this.) So, while your community Facebook page might be a way to communicate with residents, it shouldn’t be the only way.
In previous blogs, I’ve talked about the importance of using social media. And, yes, of course, especially in this day and age it’s important to use it. Just don’t solely rely on it. Make sure you’re utilizing all of your channels of communication for your residents. When prospective renters are researching the community, they’re going to check out your website, so make sure all the information there is up to date. If you use a system for residents to alert maintenance about issues, make sure it is user friendly, and that it’s being monitored. And, most importantly, make sure your staff is well informed, friendly and helpful. That’s what’s going to be the most useful for your residents.
So, OK, have a Facebook page for your community. But know that social media should not be the only tool in your toolbox. Now, excuse me while I post this blog on all my pages.
Does your community have a Facebook page? How do you use it?
-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor