The latest social media statistics show growth of Instagram, social messaging bots, and video content.
We joke around here that one thing that will always stay the same is that social media will always be changing. 2018 has been a remarkable example of that thus far, particularly in regards to platforms like Facebook.
Every so often, we like to take a step back and look at what the data is telling us about where social media is heading and what that might mean for real estate marketers.
Social Media Examiner’s 10th annual study, 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, surveyed more than 5,700 marketers from across the world in a variety of industries — including real estate. It offers a really comprehensive view of what’s going on in social media in our industry and beyond.
I’ve pulled out 10 social media statistics from this report that I want to talk about in more depth. I think they say a lot about where social media is headed and what real estate marketers should be paying attention to.
10 social media statistics for real estate marketers
1) For 64% of marketers, social media management is just one of their job responsibilities.
This one blows me away, knowing how much time and effort it takes to run a company’s social media program. Only about one-third (36%) of marketers manage social media full time. The other two-thirds have to do that on top of their other responsibilities. That’s crazy!
Developers, property managers, and real estate marketers: it’s time to recognize how important social media is for marketing your property and dedicate the appropriate resources to social media management. If you can’t afford to hire someone to do it full time, consider outsourcing this task.
2) Only 44% of marketers agree they can measure their social media ROI.
Only 10% of survey respondents “strongly agree” and 34% “agree” with the statement, “I am able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my social media activities.”
Again, I’m kind of blown away. As a firm that relies on data and analytics to inform our processes and strategies, including social, it seems irresponsible to not know if your efforts are effective.
Ok, on one hand, it’s actually really difficult to measure social media ROI. That’s in large part because so many of the benefits are intangible. You should really be thinking of social media investment in terms of potential, not dollars.
BUT there are some ways to calculate ROI for all your content marketing and social media efforts. Here are a few resources:
- What Metrics Should You Track in Real Estate Marketing?
- The Metrics You Should Be Measuring in Real Estate Marketing (Hint: Not Vanity Metrics)
- How to Measure Brand Awareness: A Guide for Real Estate Marketers
3) 75% of marketers have seen a decline in organic Facebook reach over the last year or don’t know if they have.
A significant 52% of marketers surveyed said they saw their Facebook reach decline in the last year. Plus, 23% of marketers surveyed were unsure if it had or not — probably not a good sign. Yet 97% of B2C marketers are using Facebook. Something’s not adding up for me here.
As we’ve written about a lot recently, businesses need to be keeping a close eye on Facebook in light of all the recent changes. While we at Fronetics Real Estate are not ready to write off Facebook for business (especially real estate companies) completely yet, it’s time to start doing things a little differently.
Here are a few things you should do immediately to ensure you’re still reaching your target audience:
- Focus on newsworthy content that drives engagement. You need to start thinking of Facebook as a place to post and discuss active news items, hot-button issues, and highly shareable content (content that is educational or entertaining, for example).
- Tell your community to access the See First feature. Users who still want to see posts from certain Pages they follow can choose “See First” in News Feed Preferences. So, quite simply, we suggest asking your followers to choose to see your content.
- Consider your ad budget. Especially for new properties or those who rely heavily on referral traffic, you might want to consider reallocating budget to sponsored ads.
Stay tuned to the Fronetics blog as we continue to gather information and offer suggestions.
4) 87% of marketers rank more exposure for their businesses as the primary benefit of their social media efforts.
Building brand awareness is a key benefit of social media use for real estate. The Social Media Examiner survey respondents said that increased traffic was the second major benefit, with 78% reporting positive results. These top two benefits have remained virtually unchanged for 4 years.
5) 78% of marketers who have used social media for 2 years or more report increased traffic to their websites.
Also to note, 83% of those who have used social media for 5 or more years “strongly agree” or “agree” that traffic has increased to their websites because of social media activity.
I wanted to pull these social media statistics out because they reinforce the time-honored truth that content marketing (including social media management) is a long-term solution — not an overnight fix. The benefits, especially in terms of metrics like traffic, grow exponentially over time.
You have to allow time for prospects to find you and for your audience to grow organically. Use your social media platforms as a means to distribute meaningful information to your target audience and to communicate with prospects and residents, and it will pay off.
6) 66% of marketers are now using Instagram.
In 2016 and 2017, we answered a lot of questions about Snapchat. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute Joe Pulizzi named Snapchat one of the next big trends in content marketing for 2017. Everyone thought this platform was going to be our new social media darling.
Instead, Instagram has surpassed Twitter and LinkedIn to be the second-most-used social media platform. (It was fourth in 2017.) Use is up dramatically from 54% in 2017. Those are numbers worth paying attention to.
Most of our real estate clients use Instagram with great success. If you’re not on this platform, it’s time to join.
7) 63% of marketers use video content in their social media marketing.
One real estate marketing trend everyone got right? The growing prevalence of video.
Not only do nearly two-thirds of marketers use video content in their social media marketing, 23% use live video. What’s more, 77% plan to increase video content and 63% plan to increase live video in the next year.
The real estate industry is embracing the power of video marketing. And the good news is, you don’t need expensive camera, lighting, or a production studio — your smartphone can be just as effective for creating video content for your social media outlets.
8) 70% of marketers want to learn more about messenger bots.
Here’s a big takeaway from the survey: Everyone’s talking about messenger bots/social messenger apps. While adoption is still pretty low (only 15% are using Facebook messenger bots now), 51% of survey respondents plan to include them in future marketing.
It’s time to start reading up on marketing automation tools like chatbots and social messenger apps. We’ve got a lot of information about these things scheduled on our blog in the next few months, so keep coming back for more information on how these tools apply to real estate marketing.
9) 39% of marketers are working with influencers.
Influencer marketing is another trend we’ve been talking about lately. It makes sense: Buyers value the opinions of peers and colleagues. In fact, 82% of Americans seek recommendations when making a purchase of any kind. Such a major purchase like real estate can be greatly influenced by what buyers’ peers think of the neighborhood, community or building, etc.
In real estate, it’s important to consider other people who might influence buyers and renters. Aside from family and friends, financial advisors, brokers, interior designers, and celebrities (be they local professional athletes or social media celebrities) can have an impact on buyers’ opinions of a property.
10) 76% of B2C marketers use Facebook ads.
Interesting that more than three-fourths of B2C brands advertise on Facebook. On one hand, if you’re not doing it, do you lose your seat at the table? But on the other, are there opportunities on other advertising platforms that aren’t so crowded?
The survey also found that 72% of B2C marketers are interested in learning about Instagram ads. This is likely because of the platform’s phenomenal growth and, no doubt, brands’ success with it thus far. It’s something to think about when planning your social advertising.
If you’re interested, I recommend reading the whole 44-page report from Social Media Examiner. There are a ton of really interesting social media statistics that offer great insight into how marketers are using social media and how it’s changing — both over the the last few years and in the short-term.
What social media statistics are most interesting to you?
- A Visual Guide to Social Media Posting Frequency for Real Estate
- How to Use Social Media Hashtags in Real Estate Marketing
- Social Media Can Be a Strategic Weapon in Real Estate Marketing