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How To Advertise Your Student Accommodation On Social Media
Letting Agent Articles

How To Advertise Your Student Accommodation On Social Media

Written by Sam | July 28, 2020

Social media is a very powerful tool for both the good and the bad. It essentially magnifies what you are putting out in to the world.

For example, you can have the best content, however, if you don’t put it out there in the correct format and please the algorithms, then only a few people will ever hear about you!

Using Facebook To Promote Your Student Accommodation

Facebook is a great tool and the one that is arguably where the most people are and this creates a lot of competition especially when it comes to Facebook Ads.

Facebook Ads are great, but please make sure you are getting them in front of the students that are relevant. In my opinion, it is better to spend a smaller amount on facebook and do some other marketing in your area that will really get traction.

I will do more about creating Facebook ads in another article, however, personally as an agent or student accommodation provider I would be sending them to a landing page or using a lead capture in order to grab student details and then using that for re-targeting in other areas.

General Facebook Posts

In order to make the most of these, have some really great shots of the student accommodation and also get some videos of the property, these can be professional and just you.

Don’t try and avoid the camera, be in it, talk to the students face to face and show them the best bits.

As we said in a previous article, we buy based on emotion and justify with logic. When taking videos, really emphasise the points that make the house great, for example these can be:

  • Location
  • Bedroom sizes
  • Quality of furnishings
  • Wifi speed
  • Parking Spaces
  • Gardens
  • En-suites

There will be lots, if you have some incredible designs on the wall, show them off.

What tends to happen is most agents will do a walk around and avoid every mirror possible in order not to be in the shot, which is fine for a website purpose, but students want to know who they are dealing with! Don’t be afraid to talk to students, get in the shot and showcase your amazing student accommodation.

In the caption, you want some key details but not too much. Again, this is like the bio on your website. You want to draw students in but not bore them.

Short and sweet usually works with an option to read more, include the photos or videos, not both because you can make two posts out if it and make sure you give away the selling points. Don’t just say:

Amazing 2 bed student house Lincoln – This will appeal to students who want two beds, but you can be so much better and the accommodation has so much more to offer.

You can swap it for descriptions like:

  • Have your own ensuite in the centre of Lincoln
  • A double bed within walking distance to the centre of Lincoln in a 2 bed terraced house with private garden and on-street parking

The aim here is to let them build the picture and imagination of what it would be like living at the property and if it would work for them!

You can use hashtags in Facebook, but they don’t have a great amount of weighting, Facebook algorithm usually pushed engagement and their latest features to the top!

I have head that links do decrease the amount of reach you get because social media wants you to stay on their platforms, unless it is on an advert in which case they get paid!

However, engagement is the winner no matter. If you get comments, interact with students and comment on others, your reach will grow and grow.

Final point, when using ads, please don’t focus on vanity metrics like reach and impressions, work of clicks, landing page views and leads captured!

Using Instagram To Promote Your Student Properties

Instagram is different to Facebook, however, owned by them. They have kept them separate in my opinion to capture both sides of the market!

If you use Facebook ads, they will most likely be pushed to Instagram automatically so you won’t need to worry about that!

Tips for instagram are:

  • Use good, clear pictures
  • Videos on posts are limited
  • Links don’t work in posts, only in your bio
  • Hashtags have a lot of weighting
  • Mix your posts between photos and videos
  • Stories are effective
  • Engagement still wins

Some of the key points I want to cover here are stories, posts, IGTV and engagement.

Instagram Stories

These are really effective and there are some hacks you can do to make sure that you get seen, however, ultimately it comes down to what content you use and put in them.

Don’t have too many stories in one day, people are put off by having to watch a lot! Make sure that you update it each day as they only last for 24 hours, however, if they are evergreen tips, put them in your highlight reel.

With stories, add a location and a hashtag in so that people who watch the hashtags can see you, you can also add more in sneakily and then blend them in with the background colour!

Try and make these videos, with subtitles, but this can be hard. If not, use photos with super short and snappy info so that they don’t have to pause each part of the story and they can get the information quickly and tell students where they can get more information!

In your stories, don’t forget to have fun, engage with your audience, this is the best thing that will boost everything else and it is a bit of chicken and egg at the start!

You can put your property pictures in here, but make sure students can ask questions rather than you just telling them what they can get. So many stories say student studio in Lincoln and have a picture attached, twist it to engage with students and showcase the best points.

Instagram Posts

Again a great way to build engagement and following because it shows that you aren’t a bot, and there are plenty of these in Instagram.

Don’t use links in your posts, they don’t work and no one will copy and paste them in to their browser, have an important link in your bio or try and tag products in order to help shorten the time it takes to get students to the accommodation.

Hashtags are important and it is important to follow the hashtags important to your sector, prime example is #studentaccommodation

If you use the same hashtags Instagram ranks you lower and they need to be relevant. Your post needs to get attention straight off the bat and if it does it will be shown to more people!

IGTV to Promote Student Accommodation

The YouTube of Instagram and many people forget about this area of Instagram, however, it is still a big area and will work well for you in the long run!

The annoying this is that, to shoot YouTube videos, landscape is best and Instagram is portrait so you can’t kill two birds with one stone, however, I have most of the time. YouTube is still bigger, but you can access more people on both platforms.

IGTV give you access to hashtags and a different audience to YouTube, you can also then use this engagement in your ads if you wish!

To start you videos need to be short and sharp that gets to the point, students don’t want to commit 15 minutes of their time to something they don’t know if they will like, you have to build that trust!

Utilise the hashtags as that will get you seen and if you can put subtitles in then you can capture more of an audience as most will watch it while on mute!

Using YouTube To Promote Student Accommodation

YouTube is a big tool for video and one that is relatively undervalued by many businesses and this is because it takes a long time to build and get a following for.

It is relentless and unrewarding at most times, but when the ball starts to get bigger, there will be no stopping you.

YouTube is where a lot of students go to find ‘How To’ videos and ‘Room Tours’ etc

This isn’t a space where you want to do introductions to your team etc, this is where you want to put your longer and more tutorial content, for example it can be: ‘How To Set Up Bills as a Student’

Students will go to Google and YouTube when they need to find a solution, you can always find trending topics on these sites by the suggestions that come up and Google Trends

In order to make a good YouTube there are a few fundamental parts, a lot which I am still learning however, they are:

  • Thumbnail
  • Edit them or leave them completely raw
  • Time length
  • Tags – Where the video sits in the range of categories, very similar to hashtags
  • Title – This needs to be relevant or you get pushed down the listings

Subscribers do matter, however they aren’t the most important aspect any more, YouTube wants watch time, they want to keep people on YouTube, exactly like the other channels and if you can do this, you will be promoted in the ranks of the listings!