If you’re planning a live event for your property – an open house, a limited time incentive program to encourage tenant referrals or a grand opening to showcase your new on-site gym facilities – engaging a professional social media correspondent may help you generate more buzz.

Not sure what a social media correspondent does or how hiring one will help you attract community attention? Here’s the scoop.

What is a Social Media Correspondent?

Social media correspondents use myriad platforms to report important community issues and events. Correspondents report dynamic stories accessible to diverse audiences using mobile phones, tablets, desktop computers and other devices.

Since your team attends the event, it is like having a live broadcast, similar to remote radio broadcasting with an edge. The edge comes in the form of video, audio, photos and tweets to entice viewers to personally attend your event.

For example, it’s much more appealing to get an invite to a community bar-b-cue if you can see the food and hear comments about how delicious it is than to just receive an email announcing the date and time.

Benefits of Live Events

Live events are excellent marketing tools. They create interest, increase sales opportunities and build loyalty and engagement with current tenants, vendors and key referral agents.

And, live events are especially appealing to Gen Z. We just got tuned into the millennial generation, but the cohort to watch now is Z’ers – those born between 1994 and 2000. Why? They make up almost a quarter of the US population. With roughly 44 million people in this age group, it’s understandable why they’re already shaping the marketing landscape.

This demographic grew up during the economic downturn and have become disenchanted with the world. They tend to distrust brands and companies because watching their parents lose jobs and homes made them more skeptical and changed their perspective of traditional status symbols.

Live events feed the need for self-discovery and social engagement that Generation Z thrives on.

Tips and Cautions

Appealing to the Gen Z audience is tricky. While experts like Susan Kwasniak, senior strategists for FreemanXP, agree that live events present exceptional marketing opportunities, they caution hyperbole and jargon will get you nowhere fast. A professional correspondent has exceptional skills for identifying which live shots and comments will resonate with this generation. The key to heightened engagement is content that emanates credibility and authenticity, while encouraging self exploration.

Finding an Expert

Let’s face it, not every happening on your property is an opportunity for a live event. Use the following tips to determine if you need a professional correspondent and what to look for when hiring one.

Number One:  The unique correspondent required skill set includes:

  • Experience with diverse equipment – cameras, tablets, audio recorders
  • Familiarity with multiple media channels – YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, FaceBook, SnapChat
  • Communication skills – face-to-face, written and verbal
  • Familiarity with your brand, your target audience and your community
  • Alignment with your brand and your offerings

Number Two:  Establish ground rules, then get out of the way.

If you have specific corporate guidelines, it’s imperative you share those with your correspondent before the event launch. Make sure he or she knows what they can and cannot offer. For example, you must consider fair housing mandates and price constraints. Once you’ve covered the basics, let the correspondent do what they do best. Don’t try to script the process.

Number Three:  Clearly define your goals.

Remember that you’ll need to continue the conversation after the event closes. Defining what your goal for content created is crucial. Are you looking to increase customer interactions? Do you want to garner more positive online reviews? Maybe, you want to grow your brand awareness.

Think hiring a professional social media correspondent is an opportunity to expand your marketing opportunities? Contact AppFolio.com to learn how your property management software and live events work together to take your next event to another level.