January is a natural time to assess and plan social media strategies for the year ahead.
One of the main challenges we hear from real estate marketers is whether they should consolidate their Facebook pages into one unified brand presence (HQ or national page) or whether their brand should be distributed with every local office having its own Facebook page.
Using Social Status data, we looked at the most engaging posts by real estate agents on Facebook. Content from local agent pages consistently engaged higher than content from HQ or national pages.
19.46% Engagement Rate
17.04% Engagement Rate
With the average Engagement Rate across the Australian real estate industry being 0.447%, posts like the ones above punch way above the average. Why? Because local pages tell locally relevant stories to the local community.
‘Engagement’ is a very broad term and can mean many different things. For the purposes of this study we tracked the Engagement Rate that is an industry standard metric for assessing the engagement performance of any given post. From this, we can derive an engagement rate for the page during a given time period.
Engagement Rate of a post = Likes + Comments + Shares divided by Page Likes
Monthly Engagement Rate of a page = Total Likes + Comments + Shares divided by Page Likes divided by Number of Posts by Page in the month
The Engagement Rate is the best metric for assessing performance against competitor pages because it takes into account the size of the community. So whether you’re benchmarking a competitor page with 100 Likes or 100,000 Likes, the Engagement Rate places every page on a level playing field so you can gauge true engagement.
Why does local content work on Facebook?
- Local pages are almost always smaller than HQ or national pages because their audiences are local by definition. It is also the case that smaller pages get proportionally higher organic reach (the number of people who see your posts) on Facebook than larger pages.
- There’s much more opportunity to be relevant to local communities and post about things relevant to the area.
- Local pages are the natural home to tell stories about people – be it staff and/or customer stories.
Benefits for the brand
- Multiple pages with published content provide an opportunity to reach and engage more people. Although the communities are smaller, the aggregate interactions can stack up well against one HQ presence.
- Local pages allow the brand to be locally relevant by providing the ability for the brand to genuinely interact with local businesses, community causes, events and news.
- Facebook calls itself a mobile advertising business. One of the most significant capabilities on mobile is geo-location. Expect to see much more geo-relevant handset targeting functionality in Facebook’s Ad Manager. What better way to leverage this capability than delivering not only geographically relevant content, but from a geographically relevant page?
How to make local marketing work on Facebook
Resourcing usually ends up being the main deciding factor when it comes to maintaining multiple brand pages. After all, if there’s no one to post any content, there’s little point of having a distributed structure.
Finding someone at the local level who can champion or own the local page works best because they have a genuine interest in it rather than it being a chore. One way to incentivise and assist local offices with their own local marketing is to benchmark their Facebook page performance over time and against competitors. This enables them to understand what kind of posts work best, when they should post, how often they should post and how their Engagement Rate is tracking over time.
Social Status provides weekly and monthly Facebook page reporting across the Australian real estate industry, allowing you to benchmark performance against hundreds of pages.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Hill is the co-founder and CEO of Social Status, a social media analytics platform. Social Status tracks the performance of brand posts on social media and provides insights to marketers for reporting and optimisation. Prior to Social Status, Tim came from an advertising and digital agency background with more than seven years’ experience working in digital and social strategy for some of the country’s most iconic brands.