Using User-Generated Content to Foster Community at Your Property - Part I
Are you trying to expand your social game but don’t have the capabilities to tackle running multiple platforms on your own? User-Generated Content (UGC) could be the perfect solution!
User-generated content is any and all content that a business uses, created by customers. This strategy is by no means new, but can foster a feeling of authenticity with your audience.
Saoud Khalifah, CEO of Fakespot, a site that searches the internet to find fake reviews, claims that 70% of all online reviews are fake. This has led many consumers to distrust reviews across all industries, making consumers even more desperate for authentic content.
The ability to click through a person’s profile creates a layer of trust with consumers. In addition to creating trust within your audience, UGC can also help form communities. There are a number of ways UGC campaigns can be optimized for apartments. Here are our six favorite ways to utilize UGC for your property.
Our first UGC example was inspired by Travelex’s 2017 campaign. People love to post their vacation photos and this is a great excuse! Create a post encouraging your followers to share their vacation photos with a specific hashtag. For example, “When you’re not at home where’s your favorite place to be? Send us your favorite vacation pictures with the hashtag #[PropertyName]Vacation!”.
You can share these images on your own channels with creative copy that highlights your property. If you have a bit of extra money laying around (what are you, a unicorn?!) offer the person whose post garners the most likes a small goodie bag filled with travel essentials (ie travel sized products, a portable charger, neck pillow, international plug adapter, etc.)
Life at [Property Name]
Beauty shots of your property are great, but your followers want to see other people on their feed. Create a hashtag for residents (ie #Living[PropertyName]) to use when posting pictures of them at your property (e.g. at the pool, patio, business center, gym, in their apartment, etc.).
To incentivize your residents to share their content, enter everyone who uses your hashtag into a raffle for a small prize. This could include property merchandise, a discount on rent, or a gift card to a furniture or home improvement store. Choose a new winner every month or quarter to continue to incentivize your residents to submit new content!
Everyone loves a little friendly competition right?! Inspired by March Madness, this next use of UGC gives residents the chance to be creative and competitive. Ask your residents to take photos of their favorite place in your building. Once all of the submissions are in, create a series of Instagram stories that pair these photos together and allow your followers to vote on which photo is their favorite.
You can give the winner a small prize or just bragging rights. Either way, this could be a great way to challenge your competitive residents while creating new UGC.
Brands like Aerie have found success with combining charity and UGC. In February 2018 they promised to donate $1 to the National Eating Disorder Association for every untouched Instagram post with the hashtag #AerieReal. They’ve done this multiple times now (with maximum donations of $10,000, $15,000 and most recently $50,000). Your property could do this, but instead donate to a local animal or homeless shelter.
We know what you’re thinking, you can’t afford to donate tons of money, and you won’t have to! Instead you could offer to donate a fixed amount if a certain number of people use your hashtag.
Maintenance requests can be a pain in the neck. Utilizing social media to handle maintenance requests can be a great way to maintain your service requests. After residents have filled out a maintenance request form, encourage them to share the service request on their social media with a property specific hashtag.
Prioritize the service requests that have been posted on social media, and once the request has been completed, respond to the resident’s post to notify them that their issue has been repaired. This can help create a sense of community online, while also showing that your property responds to service requests in a timely manner to potential residents.
UGC can be a helpful tool to expand your brand’s presence with little resources. Whether you decide to use one of these campaigns or one of your own, we hope your next UGC campaign is a hit with your residents! Phone a friend if you’d like a hand!