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Recently the digital media ranking system BrandData ranked the top 40 Australian real estate brands and franchises online presences by studying follower and engagement measures across various digital platforms (including Twitter, Facebook, website, Instagram and Youtube).
The top 10 BrandData rankings of property agent brands as of November 22 2016 are:
1. LJ Hooker
2. Ray White Group
4. Century 21
5. McGrath Agents
6. Elders Real Estate
7. Raine & Horne
8. Nelson Alexander Real Estate
9. Barry Plant Real Estate
10. Hocking Stuart
To help inspire and improve your social media strategy and online engagement here are four social media content lessons from some of Australia’s top performing agencies.
Educate and inform
Many agents approach their social media with the mindset that ‘if you throw enough mud eventually some will stick’ by continually selling and pushing their listings on their followers. Maybe you’ll get one or two leads out of this technique but a much more engaging and valuable strategy is to provide helpful, interesting and educational content that will build up trust and credibility with your followers and see clients coming back to you for years to come.
If you have questions that keep cropping up over and over with vendors, buyers, prospective tenants and landlords, do yourself and your followers a favour and have the answers to these frequently asked questions at the ready. This could be in the form of a blog hosted on your website or a quick 90 second YouTube video that you share out on your Facebook and Twitter accounts weekly.
Here are a couple examples of highly engaging and informative topics shared by the number one performer in real estate for Facebook engagement, Ray White Group.
To develop your own engaging content topics, think strategically about the largest segment of potential clients that are most likely to be following you (Millennials, investors, second home buyers or downsizers). Check your emails and text messages for patterns in requests and questions that come up often from this segment to base your blog topic or video on. In next to know time you’ll have a library of informative blogs and/or videos you can call upon when required and clients can use and revisit in their own time.
The occasional CTA
While sharing educational and interesting content is all well and good, to make the most of your social media accounts and up engagement it’s wise to integrate the occasional call to action (CTA) into your content strategy. That way when your followers are looking to take the next step or engage with you in real life they easily have an avenue to do so.
McGrath came in at second for Twitter engagement in BrandData’s rankings. What they do really well on Twitter is the balance of business development, shout outs, informative and helpful content they share. They’re not constantly SELL SELL SELL. They include a great mix of property news blogs, conference updates, retweets, live auction results, podcasts, videos, tips and advice as well as the occasional CTA for listings, email subscriptions and webinars.
Whether it be signing up to your monthly newsletter, registering for a seminar, to enter a competition or the details of an upcoming inspection or auction, CTAs are the best way to get your followers to engage with you beyond your original social media post.
Hashtagging is essential
In 2015 BrandData’s ranking of the Australian property services showed that for property professionals the average engagement percentage was 3.7 per cent, with the highest average engagement percentage of any social media channel found to be on Instagram. These results stress the importance of agents being active and engaged with followers on Instagram.
In BrandData’s most recent ranking Marshall White came in at third place for engagement on Instagram. The takeaway from Marshall White’s stellar Instagram account is their consistent and thorough use of hashtagging. Hashtagging is a great way to grow your followers, connect with other users in your area, make your posts discoverable and get the conversation flowing with other users on relevant topics. Better yet Marshall White add all their hashtags (you can use up to 30) in the comments section of their posts as to not disrupt the flow of their descriptive captions.
The most successful real estate brands have recognised the significance of video in not only effectively marketing listings online but for efficiently humanising and conveying the personality of their brand and agents.
If you haven’t already, start up a YouTube channel to build up a library of your listing videos, interviews with yourself and other team members, agent video profiles, Q&A sessions and auction videos to showcase exactly what you and your team are all about in easy to digest 60 to 120 second videos. If you sign up to Premier Agent you can add a YouTube video into your agent showcase to show off your unique talents and work ethic on homely.com.au.
Nelson Alexander Real Estate came in at third place in BrandData’s ranking for YouTube engagement. With a YouTube channel consisting of 3,165 videos, Nelson Alexander are very good at cataloguing their auctioneer and office profile videos. The best thing about videos like these is they can be used many times and they’ll always be relevant to new clients when they’re searching for an agent, real estate brand or auctioneer to work with. They are also highly shareable, memorable and engaging when posted to channels Facebook and Twitter.
We hope these four ideas assist you to further build up your followers, foster online relationships and spur lead generation through social media. If you’re curious to see how your social status stacks up, find out your social media report card on BrandData here.