Are you stuck hanging out at the bottom of the search result pit?
Do you maintain a social media presence without knowing if it’s actually paying off?
If you’re tired of getting beat out by your competition in the search rankings for your target keywords, there’s good news: Social media could be just the key you need to unlock more traffic and higher search rankings. Here are five tips to help multifamily marketers boost their SEO with a little help from social media.
1. Make use of every social network’s CTA buttons
Facebook Business Pages, Instagram business profiles, Twitter, and Pinterest all allow links to your site in the bio section. If you leave these blank, you’re missing the opportunity to convert social media followers into website visitors, blog subscribers, and ultimately, leads.
On Facebook Business Pages, navigate to your profile page to add a call to action button. Under your cover photo, you’ll see “+ Add a Button”. Click this to set up a call to action linking to your website. Facebook gives you insights on how your button is performing, so you can track clicks over time.
For multifamily property Facebook Pages, “Contact Us”, “Send Email”, and “Learn More” are the most effective options for converting Facebook visitors into leads. And if you choose “Learn More”, you don’t have to direct users to your home page. Try sending visitors to your neighborhood blog to subscribe, or to a contact form on your website with lead capture for more information about your apartment building. This will prevent visitors from getting lost on your website without converting. You can also see how well this button is performing. Just click the pencil icon next to your button text and select “View Insights”.
Instagram recently rolled out an option for business profiles, which gives accounts a call to action button similar to Facebook. To convert an existing Instagram account into a business account, click the gear at the top right of your profile and select “Switch to Business Profile”. You can then connect your account to your Facebook Business Page, and create a contact button that will appear next to the “Follow” button on your profile. When clicked, this button allows users to easily email, call, or get directions to your property for an in-person visit.
Converting your Instagram account to a business profile will also give you the option for paid promotional posts to a wider audience, and insights into how your images and video are performing.
On Twitter and Pinterest, a link to your website appears at the end of your bio. Set these up, and you’re one step closer to more traffic to your multifamily website.
2. Optimize your community social profiles with keyword-rich descriptions
Posts that link to your website from social media should boost your SEO, right? Unfortunately, links from social media are given a “no follow” tag from Google. This means they’re treated differently from inbound links on other websites, and don’t directly boost your search ranking.
Social profiles and the content you share do show up in Google search results. By filling your profile and posts with target keywords, like your neighborhood and amenities, you’re able to fill spots in Google search results with pages other than your website that promote your brand.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages that are completely filled out and full of content are likely to rank highly for target keywords.
If you’ve completed the first step above, traffic going to your social profiles is likely to ultimately arrive at your website. When you’re getting website traffic from tons of different sources, your SEO is getting a major boost.
3. Write social media content that generates clicks
While links to your website from social media don’t directly impact your search rankings, recurring visits and increased traffic to your website definitely do. By writing and sharing social media content that converts your social followers into website visitors, you’re increasing the chances these followers will return to your site again and again.
Facebook and Twitter are the easiest social networks for linking to your multifamily website. Plus, it’s easy to A/B test your social posts there to discover which copy is more likely to convert. For example, Buffer ran experiments on social media copy to research which phrasing would result in more clicks to their website. Small changes resulted in double the click-throughs and engagement.
You can view these post analytics on Facebook by clicking through to Facebook Insights for your business profile. Here’s how. Twitter also provides a tweet activity dashboard that shows clicks and engagement as well.
Once you discover which copy delivers the most clicks to your website, you can use that copy for future social posts to the same web page. When you find a social post that kills, don’t be afraid to schedule it more than once, at different times of the day over a week or month.
4. Focus on authentic followers (don’t buy them)
The size of your audience is good for your ego, but it can also impact your search rankings. Your audience needs to be actively engaging in your content for this to work. That means fake followers, or purchased followers, aren’t going to help your SEO.
The most effective way to grow your follower count on each social network is by actively seeking and engaging with people and businesses in your area. When you purchase dozens (or thousands!) of followers on Twitter or Instagram, you’re only increasing a tiny visible number on your social profile. You aren’t increasing clicks to your website, and you aren’t doing your SEO any favors. That’s because purchased followers aren’t guaranteed to be interested in your multifamily community because they likely aren’t local – and they might not even real people at all!
Focus on finding small businesses, bloggers, and other influencers in your community that will follow you back, like and click through to your website, and hopefully share your content! When you build these relationships, people are more likely to share and link to your content when you give them a mention on your website. Create a listicle blog post that links to an influencer’s website or social page, then send over a quick message letting them know you love what they’re doing and that you gave them a shout out. You’ll hopefully see shares, blog posts linking back to you, and more traffic to your website. That’s something only a real, human follower can provide.
5. Understand that social channels are search engines too
Not everyone’s first stop for information on a business is Google. For many renters researching apartment communities, social networks are the most accurate source of current images and information. Facebook and Twitter specifically are always tweaking their search function algorithms just like Google to provide their users with the most useful search results.
Pictures, stories, and reviews of multifamily properties are happening in real time on social media, so renters can get an unfiltered look at what it’s really like to live in a community. You can help shape the first impression your apartment community makes on social media by encouraging conversations, curating content from your residents, and engaging with local businesses in the area to shape your neighborhood vibe.
You want to be highly discoverable on social networks, too. For example, a Twitter search for “east boston apartments” brings up tons of community Tweets and awesome images of this East Boston luxury highrise.
A renter scouting out new digs in the area is likely to see these images and, if interested in what they’re seeing, do a little more research through other search engines for more information.
So while social media can help your Google search rankings, it’s important to remember that throughout the renter’s journey, research is done through other channels as well. If you keep the social profiles for your multifamily community up to date and full of helpful information, you’re one step closer to beating out the competition and being a renter’s first choice in your neighborhood.