Brand Building at Waterloo: The Power of Social Media Marketing  

Background & Objectives

One look at LV Collective’s Waterloo makes it clear that the community is a step above the rest. With designer finishes, carefully curated spaces, and unbeatable amenities, the 30-story tower is unrivaled in height and design for the West Campus neighborhood near the University of Texas at Austin. 

To get students invested in the new development that almost seemed too good to be true, LV had to do more than sell a building; they needed to sell a lifestyle.

With an elevated, trendy brand and dreamy interiors to roll out, LV sought innovative social marketing strategies to generate buzz around the project while ensuring that this carefully curated vision properly translated to the smartphones of students. 

Due to the limited time frame of a lease-up season, LV had no time to waste. They looked to Instagram to document an organic story to accompany the brand, reach the target audience where they already are, and boost leasing momentum. In an effort to quickly grow a following consisting of the target market and their peers, the marketing team implemented the Waterloo Wednesday program.

A series of weekly Instagram giveaways, Waterloo Wednesdays were created to play off algorithm needs while optimizing social engagement in a fun, catchy way.

In order to meet the project’s goal of skyrocketing brand awareness, the Waterloo Wednesday campaign was created with the goal of having the most followers in the market by the end of peak leasing season in December.

Implementation & Execution

With such a short time period to build a following, Waterloo Wednesday was designed to build and maintain brand awareness within the UT community by growing an audience relevant to the target market. 

The typical requirements to enter the giveaways included following Waterloo, liking and saving the post, and either sharing it on your story or tagging friends in the comments. These actions simultaneously raised engagement rates and amplified the Waterloo brand name.

The leasing and marketing team carefully selected each giveaway item to appeal to Waterloo’s target demographic. The Brand Ambassadors, a group of influential students within the target market contracted to actively market Waterloo, were also polled frequently to provide feedback and ideas for giveaway prizes. Waterloo went the extra mile to ensure these items were an extension of the property’s energetic, inclusive personality.

Prize values ranged from $25 to $500. The top-performing items when ranked by followers gained as a result of the giveaway were mainly gift cards; Outdoor Voices, Apple, Southwest Airlines, LuluLemon, Amazon, Allen’s Boots, and Golden Goose gift cards were all among the top ten, and every technology-related prize including a $500 Apple gift card, iPad, and Nintendo Switch also performed exceptionally in terms of engagement.



waterloo giveaway IG

Although the most consistent progress was seen with prize values upwards of $150, the cost of the item did not directly correlate with numerical success. Instead, timing was the most important factor.

Waterloo Wednesdays were placed on a deliberate timeline to fall in line with the leasing season. As leasing velocity increased, so did giveaway values and social engagement.

This can be seen most prominently in October, the traditional peak of leasing season in the West Campus student housing market (and Waterloo’s busiest leasing month!). Over 27% of the property was leased in October alone, and the month proportionately received the highest giveaway spend of the campaign at $1,510. The project’s single most successful giveaway, a $500 Apple gift card, also occurred in early October and amassed a gain of 2,065 followers. 

One major challenge was to retain the bursts of followers that the giveaways inspired. By pairing giveaway and promotional posts with light, bubbly and engaging content, Waterloo was able to maintain a large following reflective of the target market while thoughtfully elevating the brand and appealing to its followers.

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Apple giveaway
Aviator Nation giveaway
food gift cards giveaway
amazon giveaway

Summary of Results

Within the first week of October, the Waterloo Wednesday campaign met its goal of having the most Instagram followers in the market. Waterloo championed this standing by a large margin, with the next closest competitor at a follower count over 300 below that of Waterloo’s.

Throughout the span of the giveaways from March 2021 to May 2022, the property’s page gained an average of over 100 followers per week. At the beginning of the traditional leasing season in August 2021, Waterloo had around 1,600 followers, comparatively about 300 below competitor averages. By the end of the peak leasing season in December, Waterloo’s page had reached over 3,500 followers, realizing a 115% increase compared to competitor growth averages of 42% across the same time period. 

With a total spend of $13,235 on 52 giveaways, Waterloo’s cost per follower as a result of giveaways was $2.34. Giveaway posts had an average of over 4,100 impressions, and the campaign surpassed marks that other paid social strategies struggle to meet. 

By intentionally accounting for what the market really wants to see, Waterloo was able to successfully construct an extended social campaign that students were actually excited to have on their feed. Sounds like a win for Waterloo Wednesday.