Research: How property marketers use social media

Jonathan Knight

Digital Content Creator

jonathan@loveimagefoundry.com

Jonathan Knight

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February 3, 2022

Instagram is the most popular social media platform for property marketers in 2021. Discover all the trends and findings from our research into on social media use among property marketers.

Our research into how property marketers are using social media reveals clear trends:

Which social media networks do property developers use?

  • 9 in 10 property developer companies use Instagram.
  • Around 7 in 10 use Facebook.
  • Around 7 in 10 use Twitter.
  • Around 6.5 in 10 use YouTube.
  • Over 8 in 10 use LinkedIn.

How often do property developers post on social media?

  • Instagram: 1 post every 3 days.
  • Facebook: At least 1 post a week
  • LinkedIn: At least 1 post a week.
  • Twitter: 1 post every 11 days.
  • YouTube: Up to 2 uploads a week.

How much engagement do property developers get on social media?

  • Competitions perform well across all social media channels, except YouTube, and are a popular tactic.
  • Images showing a mix of the exterior, interior, area, or lifestyle elements attract the most engagement on Instagram (around 400 likes a post), Facebook (around 55 likes a post), and Twitter, while similar videos showcasing a variety of elements perform best on YouTube (around 3,500 views per video).
  • Lifestyle imagery and posts related to the company perform best on LinkedIn (around 140 likes).

Anshul Kapoor, co-founder, and director of Image Foundry, says: “Our clients invariably want to know: how do you make best use of social media channels to reach and engage potential house buyers? Understanding how customer behavior is changing and how they’re using different channels such as social media is key to our approach – our research findings offer both insights and opportunities for property marketers.”

After over two decades creating CGI for marketing properties, at Image Foundry we’ve developed a clear and successful approach based on customer understanding. But, with marketing channels, and the way we use them, continually changing, it’s essential to keep learning.

We want to know how house buyer needs, expectations and behaviour are changing on all the channels where our clients can connect with them. That’s why we commissioned a study into how property marketers are using social media.

Research methodology

The study was carried out by Fei Han and Shuya Liu, e-Business masters students from XXXX university. They analysed data from a cross-section of 29 property developers over the course of one year, from 1 May 2020 to 30 April 2021. They looked at the type of content being shared and gaining engagement for property developers on different social media platforms.

The cross-section of property developers included in the study included:

  • Volume developers
  • Large house developers
  • Urban residence developers
  • Mid-sized developers
  • Housing association developers

Social media use among property developers

The UK property market has been growing since the end of the first Covid-19 lockdown. According to data published on Statista:

  • 52 days is the average time it takes to sell a property in the UK.
  • 39% of UK house buyers are under 40 years old.
  • 97% of all UK house buyers search online for properties.
  • Most UK house buyers start their search (43%) and end their search (51%) online.
  • 89% of UK house buyers value photos above other types of content.

As more and more of our time is spent online – particularly among those aged under 40, who now make up 4 in 10 house buyers – opportunities are also rising for anyone selling properties to make use of online channels such as social media to reach more buyers.

Our research looks at how property marketers

Instagram and property marketing

Our research highlights:

  • 9 in 10 property companies use Instagram.
  • 1 post every 3 days is the average frequency for property marketers using Instagram.

What content do property developers share on Instagram?
Most Instagram posts are photos and videos of property interiors. Other common posts include photos and videos of property exteriors, ‘lifestyle’ shots (containing ‘props’ to help you imagine yourself living in the home) and company news.

What content gets the most engagement on Instagram?
Competitions, which require people to like or share the posts for a chance to win, tend to get the best engagement, while images of properties attract a steady level of engagement. Different kinds of property developers combine images of the property interior or exterior with either lifestyle or area elements to varying degrees of success.

Facebook and property marketing

Our research highlights:

  • 72% of property developers use Facebook.
  • Most share posts at least once a week.
  • 10% share posts only every 22 days or less.

What content do property developers share on Facebook?
Around 25% of Facebook posts are not related to properties. Most property-related posts focus on interiors. These make up nearly 24% of all posts, with the rest being mostly a mix of photos of exteriors, photos combining exteriors, interiors and lifestyle, photos of the area, and home-related videos.

What content gets the most engagement on Facebook?

Overall, across all developer groups the posts with the highest engagement are those combining interior and exterior images, and competition posts requiring likes or shares in exchange for a chance to win.

LinkedIn and property marketing

Our research highlights:

  • 83% of property developers use LinkedIn.
  • 54% publish posts on LinkedIn at least once a week.
  • 21% are inactive, only posting once every 17 days or less.

What content do property developers share on LinkedIn?

Around 28% of the content property developers share on LinkedIn is not related to properties. Property-related posts usually feature exterior or lifestyle images or announcements (around 12% of total posts each).

What content gets the most engagement on LinkedIn?

Across all property developer groups, we see the most popular posts focus on general information, lifestyle imagery and announcements (all with around 140 likes a post). Interior images attract a low level of engagement on this platform.

Twitter and property marketing

Our research highlights:

  • 20 out of 29 property developers analysed are active users of Twitter.
  • On average, property developers share content on Twitter only once every 11 days.

What content do property developers share on Twitter?

As well as interior images, property developers share a lot of non-property-related content on Twitter, such as team and daily life updates.

What content gets the most engagement on Twitter?

Competitions are the content type that attract the highest engagement on Twitter among property developers.

YouTube and property marketing

Our research highlights:

  • Over 65% of property developers use YouTube.
  • Less than 4 in 10 upload new videos more than once a week.
  • Most upload new videos up to twice a week.

What content do property developers share on YouTube?

Videos uploaded to YouTube usually feature a mix of a property’s interior and exterior, followed by videos featuring only interiors, those with a combination of interior, exterior and area, and ones containing all these elements.

What content gets the most engagement on YouTube?

The videos getting the most views are those featuring a mix of all elements (exterior, interior, lifestyle and area): on average around 3,500 views per video. The number of likes is low for all video types.

Do more followers mean more engagement?

Our researchers also looked at the correlation between the number of followers and the likes, focusing on data from Instagram. The results can be seen below.

We found that there is a positive correlation (r=0.52) between the two, meaning the more followers you gain, the more engagement you’re likely to get on your posts.

Key takeaways

While the sample size used in the research is small, at 29 property developers, and limited to the UK, it does represent a cross section of the industry, with a range of property developer types represented, and we can see clear trends from the findings.

Instagram is the biggest social media channel for property developers, while YouTube is currently the least used social media channel.

This is most likely because of the extra investment of time and money it requires to create video content. However, demand for video content is rising, as seen with the growth of platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Twitch, so this likely represents an as-yet unexploited opportunity for property marketers.

A mix of property images is used across all channels, but there are subtle differences from channel to channel.

Instagram is a platform suited to showcasing the house, its interior and exterior, whether in photos or videos. Facebook and Twitter are suited to posts about things other than the house itself, such as the house-build process or company news. LinkedIn is also used for sharing company-related content aimed at building the employer brand.
At Image Foundry, customer understanding is fundamental to how we work. You can read more about our approach here or explore more insights here.

Sources
Statista (2020) Home purchasing in the United Kingdom (UK). [pdf] Statista Available at: https://www-statista-com.ezproxy.lancs.ac.uk/study/33057/house-purchase-in-the-uk-statista-dossier/ [Accessed 28 July 2021].

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