Social media can be so easy to play with, but it doesn’t mean agents are well equipped to advertise online, a new report has acknowledged.
Australians spend on average 1.46 hours on social media every day, while the country has roughly 20 million Facebook users. Yet the Selling Through Social Report released by social media proptech Properti makes the case that most agents haven’t fully embraced the medium’s use as an advertising tool.
Just 46 per cent of agents said they feel competent at advertising and promoting themselves via digital marketing, according to figures from digital marketing and lead generation platform ActivePipe. But according to Craig Deveson, Properti CEO, that might change if they fully realised the sector’s potential.
“Social media posts are like signboards in the digital landscape,” Mr Deveson said. “Putting money behind your campaigns makes your signboards bigger and places them in busier locations. The more you post, the more signboards you have.”
The report, which was authored by proptech commentator and digital marketer Kylie Davis, makes it clear, however, that mainly the issue falls on the platforms themselves. If agents aren’t harnessing the power of social media, it’s because their paid advertising interfaces are frustratingly hard to use. Facebook, she said, is the worst offender.
On its part, the social media giant offers free training intended to help businesses navigate the platform, but with over 200 modules, it takes months to complete.
Properti reports on the steep learning curve for social media marketing not to dissuade agents from putting in the effort but rather to emphasise that if they’re not getting the results they want from social posts, it could be a matter of adequately factoring in the time and understanding needed to make it work.
“The back end of Facebook is not a place where you can learn as you go along. The depth of the product and the sophistication of its tools are not something you can work out on the fly between a listing presentation and open for inspection,” Ms Davis noted.
Her biggest tip for businesses is to take it seriously.
“You can outsource it to someone in your team. But just make sure that you give them the time to do the training and become proficient – and we’re talking hundreds of hours for genuine mastery proficiency,” she said. “Don’t just choose someone young who ‘loves social media’ and assume they’ll be able to work it out in between the tasks of their day job either.”
Once an agency has got the skills, Properti recommends focusing efforts around the five key digital marketing platforms of Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, and allocating between 10-20 per cent of the Vendor Paid Advertising (VPA) budget to social media, as well as an annual branding marketing budget of around $10,000 for use on the platforms.
If it sounds like a big change, the report points out that social media advertising is significantly cheaper than portal advertising and traditional media. “It is very possible to get equal or better results in terms of impressions and inquiry using well-targeted social media advertising for under $250 a property in comparison to portal listings that cost thousands of dollars each.”
It may still feel like a new frontier, so they recommend thinking about it in more traditional terms.
“The more money you put behind your posts, the fancier your signboards become – and the greater the passing traffic.”