The only constant in the social media industry is change. Year after year, the number of platforms increase and the way they are used changes and evolves. Because technology is moving quicker than ever, every industry needs to stay on the cutting edge or risk being seen as dated – and not in the cool vintage way.

Taking a look back at some of the more recent developments, what succeeded, and what didn’t succeed in 2017 can help savvy real estate marketers cut through the noise and capitalize on what new social media trends will truly help properties succeed. To help things along, below are a few predictions from the experts on what social media will look like in 2018.

Video, Video, and More Video

Modern renters, particularly Millennials and Gen Z-ers, are looking to video of potential properties to make their new housing decisions. And for good reason – it is one of the most effective online marketing strategies available today and best ways of communicating online. Video is expected to account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021 and grew 130 percent this year alone with no sign of stopping. But, as a recent Hootsuite article pointed out, the market may be near saturation in terms of the volume of videos online already. As such, “businesses need to make sure they’re creating content that actually reflects their business objectives. If the social video your organization produces can’t be tied to any real metric or measurable business value, it’s time to rethink your strategy.”

Live Streaming and Live Video Marketing

While video is an undeniable beast, as mentioned above, it’s critical to do it the right way. And, for many reasons, live, unproduced video is taking over. What was once considered new and novel is now mainstream. Brands all over the world are using live video to find followers and promote products. For multifamily professionals, whether live streaming or simply producing “less produced” videos, they need to showcase the property in all it’s good and bad light. 2018 is going to bring with it an increase in the power and reach of live video, and with that, consumers valuing real, raw and transparent over anything else . Smart properties will find ways to regularly include these powerful tools in their content marketing plans. And, thankfully, technology is making it easier than ever. “Live streaming is a medium or implementation of social technology that’s uniquely positioned to take advantage of hardware improvements for the next several years.”

Focus on Generation Z

Goldman Sachs, in a recent study, found that Generation Z was just as, if not more valuable to brands than Millennials. They are a burgeoning generation, just entering the workforce and rental market, and will only have increased buying power over time. As their power in the market grows, brands will need to align their digital strategies with the Gen Z interests. That means large investments in platforms loved by Gen Zers like Snapchat and Instagram – along with an increase in videos. A study by Fluent found 81% of the Gen Z report watching at least one hour of online video per day. While Gen Z has been a topic in this blog before, their potential buying power will only grow in 2018. RetailDive had this to say about Generation Z and their associated social media trends: “Gen Z is two- to three times more likely to be influenced by social media than by sales or discounts — the only generation to value social media over price when it comes to making purchase decisions…” To garner this upcoming rental demographic, multifamily communities need to pay special attention to their social media and video practices.

Heavier Regulation

For quite some time, social media hasn’t seen nearly the government involvement or regulation as many other types of digital platforms. However, as a recent article from Entrepreneur points out, “social media platforms have embraced a more hands-on approach to governing conduct on their platforms. Facebook recently turned over thousands of ads that seem to be connected to Russian meddling, and has invested in new AI and human forms of monitoring.” Social platforms, and the brands that use them, must learn to work within these codes of conduct and heightened regulation. Fair Housing instantly comes to mind as a top consideration for the multifamily industry when it comes to social media and increased regulation. Per the Fair Housing Act, all advertising of residential real estate for sale, rent, or financing should contain an equal housing opportunity logotype, statement, or slogan as a means of educating the homeseeking public that the property is available to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. In other words, do your social media posts advertising your multifamily community have the Fair Housing language or logo?

One way of maintaining compliance is by using multifamily’s only Fair Housing compliant video leasing platform: Realync!

One thing for sure in 2018 is that social media and video isn’t going anywhere. In fact, there is likely to be an overall increase in the amount of time spent on various social media platforms. That means properties need to improve their online presence and embrace the latest trends to succeed in the new year.

Have questions or want help mapping out your 2018 social media strategy? We’re here to help!

Until next time…keep it real!