Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but once again the occasion raised the question; is it a day full of love and romance, or simply an over-glamorized “Hallmark” holiday? During the week of the fourteenth, the topic of Valentine’s took over social media platforms everywhere, as an inundation of tweets and posts told the tale of two hearts, one positive and one negative. As “#HappyValentine’sDay” was a trending topic on Twitter, “#Happytobesingle” followed close behind from those who were not as enthused. Whether the array of red and pink decor, flower bouquets and chocolate heart boxes leave you feeling tickled pink or filled with anxiety and despair, Valentine’s Day still provides some informative takeaways for your business.   1. Don’t limit your gestures to special occasions, spread the love year-round. Although holidays are an appropriate opportunity to show someone you care, provide gifts to family and friends and maybe partake in the annual mingling with relatives, these kind gestures ought to become habit all year long—and your marketing efforts should follow suit. Building relationships and engaging with residents must be an ongoing occurrence, especially in your social media interactions. Share the love each day by setting aside time to interact with residents through social media.   2. Spice things up. Monotony and routine have no place on Valentine’s Day, nor should they appear in your marketing. Keep residents involved and engaged by using different communications outlets and messages. Explore new ways to attract residents while also adding value for current renters. Have you tried creating cross-promotional relationships with other businesses in your area like those mentioned in “Attracting New Residents Through Cross Promotions on Facebook” ? These relationships, which can be formed with businesses like local restaurants and gyms, provide residents with retention incentives while exposing your company to new audiences. Perhaps your community can find new ways to communicate messages to residents and prospects through text messaging or by integrating social media into your communications mix.   3. Quality trumps quantity. In the fight between quality versus quantity, quality usually wins. I know if I receive one thoughtful present, I remember and appreciate it more than if I am gifted the whole aisle of Valentine’s-themed knickknacks from the local drugstore. The same applies to the apartment industry. Would you rather have quality LEADS™ or an endless amount of unqualified LEADS filling up your inbox? Revisit your marketing efforts to make sure you’re getting the most return on your spend as possible. Make sure your advertisers’ emphasis lies in quality, not quantity.   4. Don’t dominate the conversation. Ah, the forgotten art of listening. While getting caught up in the chaos of sending a message out, we sometimes forget that marketing has evolved into a two-way conversation. Past methods of “push” marketing are now deemed less-effective than creating a conversation with your target audience and meeting its needs and wants. This new stance provides an opportunity to build trust in your company and to focus your message in a more effective way based on feedback you receive. In the end, this will save you time and money that was previously wasted on delivering a message that fell on deaf ears.   5. Your actions will inevitably make it on Facebook—both the good and the bad. If you logged into the social media world on February 14, your news feeds probably looked like a florist advertisement. In fact, an exorbitant amount of floral deliveries were made to women in our office prompting us to engage our undeniable reflex to snap a picture and post it to Facebook. Building a positive relationship with your residents can have the same Facebook effect. Word of mouth is a priceless marketing tool that communities should take advantage of through giving their residents proper talking points. Providing positive experiences for residents to share, including on-point customer service and two-way communication avenues fuels a brand fire that you want to catch on. Integrating social media platforms such as Facebook into your communications mix can help residents stay informed, form loyalty and share your community with their friends. Being proactive and keeping residents happy can help avoid any frustrations being vented about your property to their social audiences.   6. Stand out with a poem. After using a poem to woo your Valentine, generate awareness for your business through a different POEM. Using a mix of Paid, Owned, and Earned Media is not a new marketing strategy, but one that has most definitely evolved over time. Your marketing strategy should include paid advertising to make the initial impression and spark interest, owning your brand’s communications through updated content on your websites, social media and blogs and earning good ratings and reviews by providing positive and engaging experiences. Incorporating these three media focuses into your marketing can foster a deeper awareness and brand recognition for prospective renters.
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