Friday, January 8, 2010

Social Media- What’s Love Got to do with it?

Over the past few months I have been noticing and measuring responses to my Facebook profile and fan page updates.  I like sharing so I wanted to give you some thoughts on what I have been doing and how I have been working with some other communities.  One of the constant concerns that most of us have with our pages is trying to get folks to interact.  We post what we think are interesting articles, questions, pictures etc. and yet the response to them is sometimes minimal or none.  This is discouraging isn’t it!  So what needs to take place next?  Well certainly not doing the same thing continually.  Consistency is paramount but type of content needs to be established.  Our role is to establish what our viewers want.  Our role is to provide information that is beneficial and interesting to our fans and friends.  It really has little to do with us.  So what can we do to find out what our Facebook fans want, need, like and appreciate?  It goes back to just our normal conversations that we have with residents each and every day.  Consider this scenario. 

Let’s say you are a community manager in South Florida.  One of your residents comes in to the office to drop off their rent with a completely dejected look on his face.  Out of concern you simply ask, “What is wrong?  Is everything ok?”  He then goes on to tell you how he went and did some shopping and came out to find scratches on his car as a result of a runaway grocery cart.  No one confessed to this and the body shop told him that it would cost him a crazy amount of money to fix and repair the problem. 

Now what can you do?  Here is your opportunity to experiment and see if you can turn this scene into an opportunity to help and connect with a resident who is a Facebook fan.  You have heard of mobile companies that do small paint repairs for cars.  You do a Google search for painting bumpers in south Florida and mobile paint repair.  You spend about 15-20 minutes looking through the various options available which are quite a few and you decide on a particular company that looks good and your post the link on your Facebook page tagging the individual in the post if he is a friend already, or simply calling him and letting him know you did some research for him and posted a suggested option for him on the Facebook page. 

What have you accomplished?  You have successfully found something that would definitely benefit your resident.  You have also demonstrated to your community your interest in their challenges and needs.  When you do this on a regular basis for your residents, what do you think the end result will be?

My point is simply that we need to experiment with the content we post and we definitely need to find out what matters most to the people we are trying to interact with.   I have been experimenting myself for The Training Factor and I also have just started working with Lee’s Crossing in LaGrange Georgia with their outreach program.  Charity Hisle regularly blogs about Facebook topics and has great insights on how communities can continue to improve their outreach programs.  If we continue to share what is working with each other, success is assured as we move through 2010 together.  So what does “Love got to do with it”?  Love itself has little to do with it, but throwing out some interesting content and getting results…. that has everything to do with it.  Check out one of my latest status updates.  I was amazed at what a simple question could do to strike up an interesting conversation.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Google Click to Call and Apartment Hunting

Good morning everyone.  I received this from Google early this morning.  I thought it was important to share with the multifamily industry.  The possibilities of location based pay per CALL is quite interesting.  The application of this future product I believe will really change call tracking in many ways for the apartment industry.  I am sure we will be chatting about on twitter and blogs for a while to come.  I am curious as to what you think about this though.

Coming Soon: Click-to-Call in Ads on Mobile Devices with Google AdWords
January 4, 2010
 Dear AdWords Advertiser,

We’re pleased to announce that beginning in January, your location-specific business phone number will display alongside your destination url in ads that appear on high-end mobile devices. Users will be able to click-to-call your business just as easily as they click to visit your website. You'll be charged for clicks to call, same as you are for clicks to visit your website.

How will phone numbers appear in my ads?
Based on the customer's geographic location, the phone number and closest business address will appear as a fifth line of ad text when the ad appears on mobile devices with full HTML browsers (e.g. iPhone, Android, Palm WebOS). 

Where will I be able to see the results?
At launch, you’ll be able to view calls from your ads on your Campaign Summary page within AdWords from the "click type" segment option under the “Filter and Views” drop down.

How will I be charged for phone calls I get from my ad?
The cost of a click to call your business will be the same as the cost of a click to visit your website.

What actions should I take?
If you’d like your ads to show location-specific phone numbers when displayed on mobile devices, make sure that your campaign is targeting iPhones and other mobile devices with full HTML browsers, and that you have included phone numbers with your business addresses in the locations under your Campaign settings.

If you would prefer your ads not show phone numbers, simply remove the phone number from the business listings included in your campaigns targeting mobile devices.

We hope this new feature enables you to connect more easily with your potential customers. If you have any questions or feedback, please email us at

The Google AdWords Team

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043