No one knows more about renting or cares more about renters than Apartments.com—especially during the holiday season. We sought to build loyalty and trust with our following, while also reaching new audiences and increasing social media engagements through the original holiday campaign, Sleigh It Forward. The campaign centered around a sweepstakes where users would have the chance to win $2,000 towards holiday expenses, and could sleigh it forward to a friend or family member to also win $2,000 to help with the added financial burden that comes with the holiday season. We leveraged influencer partnerships, social media advertising, and original creative to promote the giveaway and shared tips and tricks for apartment living during the holiday season. Additionally, Apartments.com made a $20,000 donation to non-profit, Volunteers of America, to help further its effort of creating and managing low and moderate-income level housing for families, people experiencing homelessness, veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities.
We launched Sleigh It Forward at the beginning of December and used a sweepstakes management platform to create a seamless experience for users to efficiently enter the contest by either following us on our social platforms or commenting or sharing our posts, creating a central hub where we could grow our following and encourage engagement across multiple platforms. This tactic helped drive audience growth and engagement across numerous social channels, while staying compliant to each platform’s unique sweepstakes regulations and also creating a cohesive experience for users that wasn’t convoluted by multiple points of entry.
We partnered with four unique lifestyle influencers who create content relevant to renters’ interests within the decor/DIY, foodie and mixology, home organization, and plant verticals to promote the giveaway and share holiday tips and tricks through Instagram Reels that were featured as Collaboration posts—allowing us to tap into the influencers’ diverse followers. We strategically selected macro and mid-tier influencers with highly engaged, loyal audiences to maintain brand authenticity. On the first day of the contest, our partner @TidyDad was interviewed on Good Morning America, and a prior partnership with Apartments.com was featured on the segment. We grew the momentum by launching dark posts on Facebook, Instagram and Instagram Stories to drive users to the sweepstakes page, using both video and image ads to drive clicks.
In addition to the thought leadership curated by our influencer partners, we promoted blogs on our own channels that tapped into holiday giving and decorating for a small space, driving back to the blogs when possible and generating web traffic for Apartments.com. We also promoted our charity partner, Volunteers of America, to drive awareness about the wonderful work they do and to further underscore Apartments.com’s mission of sleighing it forward and giving back.
The Apartments.com B2B social media channels were also an opportunity to grow awareness and connect with current and prospective advertisers. We cross-promoted the giveaway on the B2B Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, increasing our reach within the multifamily property management audience, and encouraged the Apartments.com sales team to share the campaign and sweepstakes directly with their clients as well.
The campaign exceeded benchmarks from previous sweepstakes, as well as channel benchmarks.
18,917 sweepstakes entries - 123% increase from previous benchmark
7,834 new followers across select channels in one week
92.6% increase in TikTok followers
17.85% TikTok engagement rate, exceeding platform real estate benchmark of .93% - 1.19%
39% Instagram engagement rate, 104% increase from prior campaign
Exceptional feedback from the community. User comments on social media posts included:
“I’m happy that apartments.com is doing this for the community…fingers crossed. This will really help me.”
“This is so wonderful! Hopefully it helps whoever is picked!
“Amazing. This would help so much this holiday. We could really use it. And I know a friend who could really use this right now.”
“This would be so helpful for my family right now. I lost my job in April and inflation is hurting.”
“Amazing, this would help with my upcoming move.”
“This would be such a help during these tough times. Thank you for the opportunity.”
“What a blessing this would be!”
“Wishing I could win. Just had a baby and could really use the extra money.”