Student Housing Goes Beyond Facebook Likes


PHOENIX—One of the most common misconceptions within the student housing industry about social media is that “likes” are the most important aspect of an online reputation; however, likes don’t get leases. Likes are essentially an assisted conversion, but the focus should be on direct conversions (signed leases) from social media.

Lauren Melby, senior account executive at Serendipit Consulting, tells “Understanding and accomplishing the necessary balance between social media likes and conversions for your student housing community is crucial.”

Having a proper strategy and tracking approach in place will identify exactly how many leases a team is signing from Facebook. There is a ratio that is significant in this finding. One part of the ratio is made up of assisted conversions (likes) that connect to the channel directly in the conversion pathway, but not the final interaction before a user converts. The other part of the ratio is made up of direct conversions, which is referencing the channel being the last interaction before a user converts i.e., a student clicked on a community’s Facebook ad, went to the website and leased online. Using these two pieces of information will enable a leasing team to follow a social media audience through the entire lease funnel, says Melby.

Facebook’s analytics and insights allow the ability to dig deeper into the performance of a given Facebook ad and find out how many of the students are converting on the website, she says. From there, through the funnel of an on-site staff’s follow-up process, it is possible to find out which of the students who clicked on a Facebook ad signed an actual lease, i.e. direct conversion equates to leases signed.

While it is easy to get carried away with the misunderstanding that assisted conversions (likes) are the most important data, however, think of it this way: direct conversions are leases signed. So, while getting a huge number of likes on a post may seem like the most important aspect of an online reputation, it’s not fully leasing a community.

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