Questions for Kyle – How to Use Social Media (Part 3, Twitter)

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How valuable are 140 characters or less in your social media plan? It turns out, they are pretty dang valuable!

Twitter is billed as a micro-blogging tool that allows users to share, follow and converse using only 140 characters or less. This may not seem like a lot (and sometimes it is infuriatingly limiting), but there is more you can do with that small amount than you might think.

In fact, the beauty of Twitter lies in it’s brevity. Most people are not looking to read several lengthy posts about your vacancies several times a day. With Twitter though, you’re able to put your vacancy/brand/name out there throughout the day in a way that people will actually notice and engage with.

Twitter allows for conversation between users with the “hashtag” feature. For example, each Friday users from across the nation join in a conversation by adding #aptchat to their tweets. Anything can be turned into a hashtag, or conversation, and anyone can contribute to a thread. It’s a great way to interact around a specific idea or theme!

Twitter is a great tool to increase resident retention. You can use it let current tenants know about community and neighborhood events, discuss issues and start conversations between residents.

Twitter is an easy starting point for any social media plan. It doesn’t take too much time or effort to manage and it’s a great way to interact. What are you waiting for? Get out there and start tweeting!

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Questions for Kyle – How to Use Social Media (Part 2, Blogging)

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It feels a little odd to be blogging about blogging, but it is an important part of any social media plan and so I’ll overcome the peculiarity of the situation to offer the insights I have.

There are several different sites you can use to host your blog, but first it’s good to understand what the point of blogging is. Blogs allow you to have a longer, more in-depth conversation with your readers.

If Twitter is the place that you give the world your “elevator speech”, blogs are the place you get to sit down and really explain who you are. There is no limit on the length of the content you send out into the “blogosphere“, but it is important to remember that even though people are expecting more information from blogs, they aren’t looking to read a novel!

Successful business blogs are pointed and relevant. Make sure that each line you write has a purpose and is pertinent to the overall theme of the post.

There are many blogging sites you can use, and most of the popular ones are surprisingly simple to navigate and understand. Google owns Blogger, which may be appealing to people who use other Google tools, because you don’t need to create a new profile. Your blog simply starts connected to your Google profile. WordPress is another popular site, and is actually the site we use to publish our blog. I also use Tumblr for my own personal blog, because I have found it to be the simplest and easiest to use.

There are tons of sites out there you can use to start your own blog though. These are just a few of the most popular ones. Here is a list from Mashable of over 40 free blogging sites you could use!

Questions for Kyle – How to Use Social Media (Part 1)

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Social Media. It’s the elephant in the room for many property managers and landlords. You know you should be using it, but you don’t know where to start. And you may not be entirely convinced that you do need to be using it. After all, you’ve been filling your vacancies just fine without it so far, right?

Maybe, be even if that was the case, a new generation of renters are moving out of the parents’ basements and into their own place. This generation uses social media for everything, including something like finding a place to live. It’s important to begin your social media campaign now in order to connect with these new renters.

So, where do you begin? The first thing you should do is create a Twitter account. Twitter is a site that shares short messages (140 characters or less) with the followers. One great thing about Twitter is that you can customize your name. For example, our company account is @seattlerentals (don’t worry about the @ symbol, that will be explained later). You should create a name for your property or company as soon as possible, even if you’re not intending to launch a campaign right away. The longer you wait to claim a name, the more time it gives someone else to swoop in and snatch it! You should also create a Tumblr, WordPress or Blogger account too. If the name you want isn’t available, try to register it on a different site.

In the coming weeks, we’ll start discussing how to most effectively use these tools, but the first step is simply getting the name you’d like to run your social media campaign under. Next week, I’ll write on how to use different blogging tools in your social media campaign. Feel free to look at the way we use social media by looking at our Facebook Page and Twitter accounts.

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Do you know where your vacancy ads are going?

Happy Snow Day Seattle!  This blizzardy weather makes us think that you should spend more time drinking cocoa with your family, and less time typing up ads for your vacancies.

As the holidays approach and your desire to sit in front a computer dwindles, we wanted know that when you place an ad on your ads automatically goes to dozens of other websites?

Here’s a list of some of the more popular sites we automatically distribute your ads to:

Snow in Seattle!

A winter wonderland at the center of the universe! Here's the view today from our offices in Fremont.

Google Base
Facebook Marketplace
MySpace Classifieds
Rented Spaces
KIRO TV Classifieds
Walmart Classifieds Classifieds
Housing Block
Lycos Classifieds
Hot Igloos

And of course, we have a built-in Craigslist and Backpage posting tool that makes it quick and easy for you to pop your ads on those sites.

So stop wasting time writing ads — put your vacancy on and go play in the snow already!