As Gen Z continues to dominate the student housing market and transitions into first-time renters within the multifamily market, it is increasingly important to understand their social media habits. We’ve compiled some of the key social media trends and patterns among Gen Z that student housing and multifamily property management companies should use to better connect with their Gen Z target audience.
Short-Form Video Content
Gen Z is well-known for their love of short-form video content, like TikTok and Instagram Reels. Short, digestible content that they can consume on the go will resonate best with this demographic. We recommend incorporating short-form videos on your social channels, and if you haven’t created a TikTok for your community, what are you waiting for? Showcasing a tour of your community, highlighting your amenities, or walk-throughs of your models in a quick, engaging video can help capture the attention of your Gen Z prospects.
If you’re not convinced, look at what the data is telling us. YouTube (88%), Instagram (76%), TikTok (68%), and Snapchat (67%) dominate Gen Z’s social media usage.
Gen Z values authenticity and transparency in the content they consume. They want to see real people and real experiences, rather than overly polished and curated posts. Posting user-generated content from current residents highlighting real-life experiences or testimonials is an authentic way to showcase the diversity and unique personalities of not only your residents, but of your community.
Don’t think that authenticity is enough, Gen Z expects a personalized experience from the brands they interact and engage with. They crave content that is tailored to their interests and needs. Think of it this way. You’re not selling just an apartment, you’re selling a lifestyle.
You’re selling the place where a first-time Gen Z renter is coming into adulthood for the first time. Highlight the community where your property is located that will give them the lifestyle they’re looking for.
For the adventurer, talk about proximity to hiking and biking trails. For the health nut, showcase healthy eateries and wellness amenities (like yoga & meditation studios). For the foodie, recommend restaurants with instagrammable moments.
Gen Z is not the generation to sit quietly. They are actively involved in social causes and they value companies and brands that align with their values. Sustainability ranks highest among social causes most important to Gen Z. If your apartment is LEED certified, you offer a recycling program, have a bike share program, or other initiatives, showcase your commitment to sustainability by highlighting these features in your socials or through short-form video content.
Have you thought about organizing a community-wide clean-up or some other volunteer event to encourage resident engagement while also promoting a social cause?
The days of phone calls are long gone. Gen Z prefers direct communication through messaging apps as opposed to traditional communication methods. If you want to reach this audience, make sure that you have someone on your team monitoring social comments and messages through the social apps you use.
If those messages go unanswered, you may have just lost a lead. If those public comments go unanswered, your perception to others is that you don’t value this direct communication with your prospects and residents.
Local Micro Influencers
Last, but not least, Gen Z is highly influenced by their peers and social media influencers. However, influencers with a large national or global reach may not resonate as well with Gen Z like a local micro-influencer. These influencers have smaller but highly engaged followings with a specific region which makes them more relatable and trustworthy (or authentic!) to Gen Z.
We recommend leveraging the power of a micro-influencer in your markets by partnering with them to showcase and promote your property. Student housing communities could consider partnering with a well-known student athlete that may already be living at your property. Multi family communities could consider lifestyle influencers. Whichever micro-local influencer is the right fit for your community and your residents/prospects, your collaboration with them for social content is necessary.
Host events or meet-and-greets, offer exclusive discounts of promotions. Tapping into the influence of local micro-influencers will help you increase brand awareness and attract new residents.
By understanding these social media trends and patterns among Gen Z, you can better connect with and engage your Gen Z prospects. Incorporating these trends into your social media strategy can help you build a strong, authentic relationship with your target audience, resulting in increased resident satisfaction and retention.
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About the author
Zac is the Digital Client Success Manager at Threshold. His role is vital to our operation as he helps our clients to develop and launch paid digital strategies, and strategize for short and long term success. When he’s not on the clock, you can catch him at the gym… pretty much always.