Is Your Real Estate Social Media Marketing Strategy Effective?
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your real estate social media marketing strategy can be difficult, depending on what you want to track.
Seeing how many followers and likes you’ve gotten is easy. Monitoring website traffic and leads is slightly harder. Being able to point to how many new clients you’ve gotten through social media is very challenging.
The good news is you’re not alone. Even full-time marketers find it difficult to figure out their effectiveness on social.
But thanks to a report from social media automation solution Simply Measured, it’s now a little easier to see where agents such as yourself should spend their real estate social media marketing energy and money.
Let’s explore some of the statistics from the company’s State of Social Marketing 2017 Annual Report so you can learn where other pros in other industries invest their marketing dollars, time, and efforts.
The Data: Figuring out social media marketing ROI is the toughest challenge for brands.
Per Simply Measured’s report, it appears there are actually multiple challenges marketers face on social today.
For starters, the majority of survey respondents — 57.3% of brands — noted measuring ROI was their biggest obstacle.
Nearly 33% of brands surveyed also indicated tying the effects of social media to their business goals was an issue.
And roughly half of businesses polled — 46% — state they can trace revenue earned from their social presence.
That figure could be higher, though, if more brands talked about their social marketing plans with their superiors.
According to the report, 18.5% of marketers never discuss social media marketing with their managers, while 45.3% rarely bring up their social strategies and observations.
The Analysis: Brands know social media is a helpful tool — even if they can’t always prove it.
Brands clearly understand social media’s value. Proving its near- and long-term effectiveness, though, is where countless companies appear to run into trouble.
A couple other 2017 social media marketing studies point to this:
- Just 38% of marketers agree they can effectively measure the ROI of their social marketing. — Social Media Examiner’s 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
- 50% of marketers say that measuring social media ROI is their biggest obstacle to marketing success. — Ascend2 Social Media Marketing Trends Survey Summary Report
This is also seemingly a problem many agents stumble across as they evaluate their real estate social media marketing plans.
Many know they should share links to listings, blog posts, videos, and resources from their agency websites on social.
Agents also realize they can “win” on social by getting the attention of leads and prospects with targeted ads.
However, these same industry pros find it difficult to determine the value of each social network they use.
More specifically, real estate professionals often can’t figure out if the content they publish “works” for them.
Here are some ways agents can tell if social is “working”:
- Do my social posts generate lots of engagement among my existing follower base and drive more awareness of my brand?
- Does the content that I publish lead to more clicks to my firm’s website?
- Does what I post help turn interested prospects into qualified leads, and get those qualified leads to contact my office for info?
These expectations are generally what most industry pros have for their efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and similar social outlets.
The Takeaway: Decide what you want from your real estate social media marketing efforts.
Your social goals may be similar to those of other agents in and around your housing market.
The specifics of your strategy, though — like the content shared on each social network — will most certainly differ.
There is one key takeaway from the Simply Measured report (and other ROI-related social surveys) that stands out to us:
- Brands continually struggle with determining not only how to measure their ROI on social, but where to even begin in collecting data.
In other words, you ought to outline a few simple data points you want to measure on social as you build out your strategy.
For instance, if you simply want to build brand awareness, you will want to track how many people like your posts, follow your pages, and share your updates.
Over time, you’ll probably want to step up your game and monitor how many people end up on your website from a Twitter post or Facebook ad. But starting simple is ideal.
Develop a detailed content plan for each social account you have set up so you know what you’ll post over time as well. Without content, you’ll have nothing to post and measure.
Once these two steps are completed, it’s simply a matter of crafting articles, guides, reviews, and other assets, then publishing each steadily to every social network you use.
If you’re looking for some words of wisdom to guide your ROI tracking, you’ll find plenty from the marketing experts below:
- “If a brand isn’t showcasing their personality and bringing value with their content, there will be very little in the way of sales.” — Empty Desk Solutions Owner Brittany Hardy, via Huffington Post
- “Experimenting with different types of analytics will be crucial for businesses seeking to attribute monetary value to social.” — Wandera VP of Marketing Joel Windels, via Brandwatch
- “If you want to measure social media ROI, figure out what you want to track, where you can track it, think about both current customers and new customers, and go do it.” — Convince & Convert Founder Jay Baer
- “If you’re measuring your social media ROI for the first time, take it slow and keep your goals to a limited number to avoid confusion.” — Entrepreneur Brian Zeng, via Moz
- “Compare your social media efforts to your competitors and you can uncover areas of opportunity for your organization to stand out and be heard through the noise.” — Hootsuite Director of Customer Analytics Graham Gullans, via Ad Age
The common thread among these tips and tricks is obvious: Social media can generate traction for your online marketing — but don’t overdo your analysis.
Share a wide variety of different content on a wide variety of social channels, see which work and which don’t, then amplify your sharing on the social networks that appear to be giving you the most value.
In a matter of a few months, you’ll know where to focus your real estate social media marketing efforts.
The Plan: Create a spreadsheet to map out your social content and monitoring strategy.
In order to effectively measure your social ROI, you’ll need one, single document to stay organized.
Translation: Download our social media activity-tracking spreadsheet and make a copy for your own social marketing.
It’s a basic spreadsheet that allows you to plan when to post to each social network and monitor the data through additional tabs. In other words, it lets you avoid over-complicating your ROI analysis by only collecting the metrics that matter most for your real estate social media marketing.
Once you’ve scheduled out your status updates, tweets, pins, and grams, create special UTM links for all of your content so you can track where your website traffic generates from.
As long as your site is synced with Google Analytics, you will be able to see which social networks earned you the most visitors.
Learn how to integrate social media in your real estate marketing strategy in this special guide:
Published on November 13, 2017
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.