Real estate industry given social media reality check

A landmark report covering more than 500 real estate Facebook pages has found that many agents are mishandling their local marketing.

Many agents and offices are posting the wrong content at the wrong time, according to the report, which was prepared by social media analytics platform Social Status and PR agency Impact Communications Australia.

Analysis of 53,111 posts on 560 real estate Facebook pages found that the most popular time for agencies to post content was on Friday between 9am and 11am – even though this was actually a period of minimal engagement for the audiences of those pages.

Peak engagement was on Monday between 9am and 12pm. That was followed by Tuesday 5pm to 8pm, Wednesday 5am to 8am, Thursday 1pm to 4pm, Friday 5pm to 8pm, Saturday 1pm to 4pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm.

The report found that 70.6 per cent of posts contained images – arguably a low rate, given that “including authentic images in a Facebook content strategy is imperative to success”, according to the report.

“Images accompanying articles increase the average views by 94 per cent, and photos increase the average Facebook audience engagement rate from 0.27 per cent (plain text) to 0.37 per cent (for photos),” it said.

Analysis of the top 10 real estate pages found that news represented only 8.0 per cent of their posts even though it delivered them their highest engagement rate, with 7.19 per cent.

Property information represented 25 per cent of posts and delivered 3.36 per cent engagement, while promotional material made up 21 per cent and delivered 2.27 per cent engagement.

The surveyed agencies had an average of 775 Facebook fans – however, the report added that fan numbers is a “brand vanity metric” that has no direct correlation to winning business from Facebook.

“While growing a fan base is important, at the end of the day engagement across a smaller number of fans with high engagement is more valuable to a brand than a large number of fans with little or no engagement,” it said.

The report said that agents need to develop a strong understanding of what resonates with their local community so that people will read, share and comment on their posts.

“Create conversations that are of interest to your target Facebook users and empower them to do so as well,” it said.

“Content should always educate, entertain or help your target audiences. Sharable, local news resonates well with the audiences of the top 10 real estate pages on Facebook.

“Businesses should ensure posts are accompanied with human-like commentary or insight into the content shared.”

[Related: Using Facebook to generate listings]

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