The Urbane Way
Client: Paragon Properties
Overview: The privately-owned Michigan-based apartment company operates more than 5,800 apartment units throughout Metro Detroit, Kalamazoo, Jackson and Saginaw. In September 2009, Paragon Vice President Justin Dunckel hired The Urbane Way to customize a social media strategy for Paragon Properties.
Strategy: The Urbane Way began working with Paragon by enhancing the Web site using search engine optimization, launching a social media Ning site, the Paragon Patio, that allows residents to connect online, and establishing a constantly updated ParagonLife blog to help connect residents with their communities and the world outside their doors. In addition, The Urbane Way established a presence for Paragon on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook and begin growing those communities daily.
Results: When The Urbane Way began working with Paragon Properties in September 2009 the company’s Web traffic showed 2,669 visits per month. By June 2010, monthly site visits had increased to 6,872, nearly tripling the pre-marketing campaign. Page views are at a staggering 75,509. The ParagonLife blog alone is showing monthly visits of 1,930 and page views of 3,527, which almost surpass Web traffic for the company’s site at the start of the project in September before the blog was created. Google searches show Paragon topping the listings in its key regions. Helping to drive traffic to the site, Paragon’s Twitter account has 189 followers and its Facebook page has 156 fans.
Client: Harvest Power
Overview: A Massachusetts-based clean-tech company that provides industry-leading technology and product development capability to harness renewable energy in organic waste. In 2009 Harvest Power executives charged The Urbane Way with digital marketing efforts as well as establishing Harvest Power as thought leaders on the topics of anaerobic digestion technology and the broader discussion of transforming organic waste into renewable energy.
Strategy: The Urbane Way began working with the team at Harvest Power in both the Boston and Seattle offices. We collaborate with Meredith Sorenson who oversees guest posts on the Harvest Power blog but generally populate at least 8-10 original posts per month in addition to updating events on the site as they are announced. The Urbane Way established and works to maintain and grow Harvest Power’s Twitter and Facebook profiles, posting liberally and daily to both sites in an effort to further the company’s work within the clean-tech industry. The Urbane Way aims to establish Harvest Power as the single best source for latest news and commentary on the growing clean-tech industry.
Results: We began working with Harvest Power in January 2010, establishing a blog, Facebook and Twitter site from scratch. By June 2010, Harvest Power is garnering 1,588 visits per month to its Web site, and 2,769 page views per month. Harvest Power has 334 Facebook fans and its Twitter account enjoys daily activity with 1,808 followers and was named among the “Top 10 Boston Clean Tech Companies Killing it on Twitter” May 14, 2010 in TheGreenLightDistrikt.com.
Client: Urbane Apartments
Overview: This is where it all started. Owner Eric Brown used social media marketing as a lead generator to brand and promote his own company, Urbane Apartments. He owns and operates about 500 units around metro Detroit.
Strategy: Urbane Apartments breaks from the pack of apartment commodities. Owner and operator Eric Brown never was one to use traditional means to get from Point A to Point B in business and his 14 modern, renovated apartment communities in metropolitan Detroit are the perfect example of his unconventional methods.
Rather than do what all other apartment communities do to advertise and fill their vacancies, Urbane Apartments took a novel approach toward enhancing the prospect’s overall experience. Starting in 2003, Brown set up sites on Myspace and Facebook – at a time when that idea raised some eyebrows. He used Twitter to connect candidly with others in and outside of the industry. Taking it further, Urbane has a presence on YouTube and Flickr, as well as a Ning community known as the Urbane Lobby where resident can share information.
Brown abandoned traditional advertising and PR efforts and instead set up a lifestyle blog, UrbaneLife, that covers nightlife and events in the communities surrounding his apartments. The strategy was to organically grow and expand Urbane’s circle of influence through these various social media channels. He knew that driving traffic to the Web site wasn’t just confined to promoting apartments or amenities themselves. He built a complete lifestyle brand. Every aspect of the brand lends itself to a brave new marketing initiative.
Even Urbane’s “Go Solo” leasing process was documented in a series of entertaining videos placed on the Urbane site. In 10 days the video marketing effort garnered a staggering 1,916 views.
Results: Urbane Apartment’s digital footprint reaches 18,000 collective visitors per month. That breakdown includes the Web site, which averages 8,114 visits per month, with 4,698 visits per month to its UrbaneLife blog and a Twitter following of 1,423. Early on, Urbane Apartments began growing a profile page on Facebook but is now in the process of switching over to a more appropriate fan page, which has 685 fans and climbing.
All Urbane Apartments properties can be found on Foursquare and consistently top Google search rankings. How do we know this translates? Urbane Apartments consistently show 98 to 100 percent occupancy across the portfolio.
*Brown achieved a level of success and notoriety with Urbane Apartments that allowed him to start his own social media marketing laboratory, The Urbane Way, to reach out to other businesses and help them do the same.