Using User-Generated Content to Foster Community at Your Property - Part II
User-generated content is one of the cheapest ways to get content for your social media channels, but it’s not always the easiest.
So what exactly is user-generated content? User-generated content is any and all content created by customers that is used by a business. This is not a new strategy for marketers, but is a great way to establish a level of authenticity with your audience and build a community.
So how does one go about curating UGC for your brand? Getting consumers to post about your products or services on your behalf is much easier said than done, so we’ve developed some tips and tricks to help get your next UGC campaign off the ground.
Create Contests to Incentivize
According to Gaming Brotherhood (an online platform that allows marketers to easily create videos), contesting is one of the best ways to get your followers to create content for you on social media. Small incentives like gift cards, rent discounts, or branded merchandise are great ways to entice your followers to discuss your brand on social. The most important aspect of contesting on social is making sure your contest is fun, simple, and easy to share. Shareability is crucial to any successful UGC campaign, especially when trying to foster a community.
Continuing the discussion on shareability, creating hashtags for your residents to use when posting about your brand is a great way to encourage a continued discussion of your brand. Using branded hashtags specific to your property and residents are a great way to track your UGC campaign, and also provide your residents with a space to find what their neighbors are talking about. Hashtags allow you to easily scroll through content related to your brand to help decide what content is worth reposting, and what content merits just a comment or like.
It’s Okay to be Picky
Not every post is a winner. Don’t jump to repost everything you’re tagged in. By carefully curating the content you repost, you can build brand desire. Lifestyle and tourism brand Destination District Columbia only reposts the most exceptional and picturesque landscape photos to their instagram account. Your property can easily replicate this strategy by sharing your residents’ highest quality images - whether that’s your sparkling pool, a furry friend at a dog park, or a beautiful sunset from a resident’s balcony.
As you probably know, not all conversations about your property are going to be positive - cherry picking the best conversations of your brand on social to repost is a great way to control the conversation about your brand. Additionally, putting these positive reviews on your social channels shows potential residents that your current residents are enjoying their stay in your building.
However, reposting reviews can get a bit tricky. Be sure to never post a review without getting the reviewer’s consent (you should always get a user’s consent before posting any UGC). You’ll also want to make sure that the reviews you’re posting don’t give too many details; avoid residents’ names, overly specific details about your staff, phone numbers, or other personal information.
Taking UGC Off Social
UGC is free marketing content, so why not use it to its fullest ability? Putting this content on TVs in common rooms, on your property’s website, or even using it for paid social ads can help your brand’s perception with current and future residents. This could also be another incentive to encourage your residents to post relevant content! And it’s a helpful way to remind your residents to use your hashtags and tag your social channels in their posts.
No Such Thing as a Stupid Question
Last but not least - ask your followers questions. Asking questions on social media can lead to comments or replies to your content, which most platform algorithms prioritize. This will also give your residents the opportunity to start a discussion in the comments section. Whether you’re asking property specific questions like “Where’s your favorite place to watch the sunset at #[PropertyName]?” or more generic questions like “What are you cooking for dinner tonight?” asking questions is an opportunity for your residents to connect with one another.
As with any marketing efforts it’s important to understand objectives and goals before launching a UGC campaign. If you’re looking to foster a community for your residents you might want to focus on asking relevant questions or reply to every comment or post about your property. If you’re hoping to highlight some of your property’s most unique features, encourage your residents to post relevant content through a contest.
Now that you’ve got some ideas of how to set up a successful UGC campaign, here are a few best practices for UGC campaigns.
Credit the Creator
As previously mentioned, you should always get consent before using a consumer’s content on your business profile. Additionally, you should always credit the user. Tagging them in an Instagram photo may seem like a small detail but this makes your post appear more authentic to your audience. If your residents see their friends or roommates tagged in your content they’re more likely to engage with your posts.
Save it for a Rainy Day
In the digital age, content is king. UGC is a great way to ensure you have enough content to stay relevant. Creating a library of UGC to post during times when you’re running a bit short on content is a great way to ensure your social media game is top notch.
Tell Your Audience What You Want
When asking your residents to submit UGC be sure that you are clear in what you’re looking for. Not only will this help you weed out the bad content when you’re ready to post, but it helps those posting the content. If someone submits content to you it’s because they want to see their posts on your profile, so help them out by giving them a detailed description of what you’re looking for.
Whether you’re already a pro at UGC campaigns or looking to dip your toe in the UGC waters for the first time, you can use these tips to guide you through the ever-changing world of social media. Drop us a line for more assistance with your UGC content.