The content of this article is based on our webinar of 7 July 2021, moderated jointly by Chrystelle Charlier, CEO of Flexvision and marketing expert, and Alexis Radjabi, Head of Sales at PriceHubble. Please contact us if you wish to view the recording of this webinar.
By implementing a solid digital marketing, real estate agencies can easily get is ahead of their competition. A comprehensive digital marketing strategy is built on different cornerstones, such as SEO and content marketing. Social media is also a great way to support your website and, by extension, your business.
According to Chrystelle Charlier, social media is among the most important sources of traffic to a website. In Belgium, around 76% of the population are active on social networks, which demonstrates a strong interest in these media.
Based on your objectives, which social networks should you prioritize?
Have you decided to develop your digital real estate marketing through social media? This is an important first step. But before you start, you need to ask yourself specific questions in order to best choose the channels on which you want to position yourself:
- Who is your target audience?
- What tools does the platform offer?
- How much time do you want to spend? What is your financial investment?
With this in mind, it helps to have an overview of the different social networks and their features. As Chrystelle Charlier explains it, « You want to be visible everywhere, but it's not always effective if you don’t have the right resources. » Knowing this will make it easier to select the right social network(s) based on your objectives.
Despite declining popularity in terms of the number of posts by its users, Facebook remains the leading social network in the world, with a socio-demographic representation that is still unmatched. Its use will not only drive traffic to your website but will also serve as a showcase for real estate agencies, providing useful information to prospective customers. According to Facebook, its platform can reach a potential 6.90 million Belgians.
👉 Target audience: Individuals over the age of thirty, both buyers and sellers.
👉 Tool: Facebook Business Manager with Creator Studio for targeting by preferences, location, age, interests, etc.
👉 Investment: Moderate. You need to publish one or two posts a day. To ensure effective communications, you should have an advertising budget.
💡 Our advice to you: Assuming you have a moderate budget, the Facebook Business Manager tool should be considered for local use. This will improve your repetition rate and visibility with respect to your target market. « If you have a budget of EUR 200, there is no point in aiming for the whole of Brussels, » says Chrystelle Charlier.
Instagram is still a young social network, with an audience to match. However, this platform is seeing an increase in users in their thirties and forties and is worth considering. Between 2020 and 2021, Instagram has indeed grown its user base in Belgium by about 25%, with an audience that, according to Facebook, comprises 4.5 million Belgians.
👉 Target audience: Young buyers, trending towards an older population.
👉 Tool: As Instagram is owned by Facebook, the tools are the same and allow for targeting both networks through Facebook Business Manager and Creator Studio.
👉 Investment: Time-consuming. You must be highly interactive and present, both in your posts and in your responses to any comments. Content should also be given special attention.
💡 Our advice to you: Do not use Instagram unless you have the resources and time to post quality content (and photos!) as well as daily stories. Unless you can do all that, it will be a waste of time!
As part of the Google family of products, YouTube is the standard for video streaming. Google reported that it can reach 8.83 million people in Belgium via YouTube.
👉 Target audience: Individuals and professionals, no age limit.
👉 Tool: YouTube Ads (paid). Similar to Facebook Business Manager, it also has a «life event» and «purchase intent» option, e.g. for people who have just had a child, etc.
👉 Investment: Financial investment is important. YouTube is a social network reserved for agencies with a media and video budget. The quality of the content is paramount.
LinkedIn allows you to reach out to professionals directly, thanks to a very precise targeting tool. There are more than 3.5 million accounts in Belgium, about half of which belong to active users. It should be noted that « 35% of Belgian LinkedIn members use the platform in English, 30% in Dutch and 26% in French. » It is also a platform you can use to improve your visibility or to recruit people.
👉 Target audience: Professionals only. This network provides access to users with the highest incomes;
👉 Tool: LinkedIn Campaign Manager. This tool features extremely precise targeting and provides access to specific users. This allows you to create a tailored post, e.g. for executives working with developers in the real estate sector;
👉 Investment: Financial investment is high. Each advertisement is quite expensive (at least EUR 200), but given the quality and reach, it is considered a very good investment. As part of a strategy to improve your agency’s visibility, you must coordinate the efforts involved in your LinkedIn page and those of your employees on LinkedIn, or you will be out of step.
According to Chrystelle Charlier, «LinkedIn is the best social network for prospecting specific companies and their employees, thanks to its extremely precise targeting tool.»
Other social networks, such as Pinterest or TikTok, may also be of interest to real estate professionals. However, you must have a thorough knowledge and understanding of how these networks work in order to make an impact there. Regarding Pinterest, Chrystelle Charlier adds that «it is a social network really worth pursuing, because the real estate agencies that decide to advertise on this network will be the first to do so.»
As for Twitter, while it is very popular in France, this is not necessarily true in Belgium. It has lost considerable momentum in recent years and has seen very little activity among Belgian users. Chrystelle Charlier therefore advises real estate agents against using this network in Belgium.
5. Google My Business: a “must-have” tool
If there is one tool that many people underestimate, it is Google My Business. Chrystelle Charlier considers Google My Business a strategic communication tool for every real estate agency. A fact we often repeat is that 90%of real estate searches start on search engines, with Google accounting for most of them. Google My Business allows you to achieve several things:
- you can be found
- you can manage and respond to feedback
- you can drive visitors to your site
- you can get more calls
- you can provide information
Google My Business is a kind of “virtual business card”, which allows you to share a lot of relevant information about your real estate agency: website, address, telephone number, business hours, etc. It is therefore very important that you take care of your Google My Business « shop display », as it generates many leads and encourages people to contact you for appointments.
The right social media channels for the right purpose
By defining your objectives, your target market and the investment you are prepared to make at the outset, you can quickly identify the social network(s) that match your expectations and will help you achieve your goal.
Where should I start? Facebook is the priority network to focus on when you are just starting out. To avoid making mistakes, it is best to get some training before launching yourself into all-out communication campaigns!
Keep in mind that you should be patient when developing your social media communication strategy. The algorithms need time to adjust to your new posting pattern as well as to the content you develop to promote your page and your business. With patience and perseverance, you will gradually succeed in creating an audience and a strong brand image on social media.