There are countless articles on the internet that can teach how to use specific social media platforms but very few discuss the strategic reasons why you should use or avoid particular platforms.
So which platforms should you focus your efforts on in 2023?
In this article, we’ll explore the strategic elements of TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube to help real estate agents understand who is actually using these platforms today and how to ensure your social media strategy is targeting the right demographic.
Who is really buying or selling real estate?
In any market throughout Australia, most agents would agree that there is only 2% of people (give or take) in that market who are ‘in the market’ to buy or sell.
According to recent data, the median age of a first homebuyer nationally has risen by a full decade – to 34.5 years of age, while repeat buyers have a median age of 55 years old.
As a real estate agent, targeting an audience on social media that is significantly younger than your core clientele could result in a lot of wasted time and resources.
TikTok: A Platform for Personality, Not Necessarily Leads
TikTok, like other up-and-coming social media apps before it, has become the top mainstream app for social influencers. Many real estate agents are finding it to be a great platform for sharing new, captivating, and pertinent content with a wide audience of billions, hoping that their brand message will go viral.
However, just because TikTok is popular doesn’t mean it’s free from security concerns or the risk of damaging your well-established brand and reputation. Even though it may be tempting to overlook these problems and take advantage of TikTok’s massive success, you should at least acknowledge the following potential risks to you, your revenue, your brand, and your clients.
The majority of TikTok users fall within the younger age bracket, with over 50% of its active users being between the ages of 16 and 24. While this may be an ideal audience for some businesses, it may not align with the typical homebuyer or homeowner profile with a steep decline in the average age of TikTok users in the median buyer/seller age bracket:
- 18-24 years: 52.7%
- 25-34 years: 33.7%
- 35-44 years: 5.5%
- 45-54 years: 2.4%
- 55 years+: 5.7%
For most agents, focusing on other platforms with a more age-appropriate user base, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram, would likely yield better results and align more closely with the needs and expectations of potential homebuyers and sellers – for now at least.
For those agents who are using TikTok and are generating lots of engagement and building a following, it’s not uncommon to find the majority of their followers and engagement comes from other agents or younger people who simply can’t afford to buy the type of properties the agent is promoting (yet!). So ask yourself… is TikTok really worth the effort from a lead generation standpoint?
There’s also the potential of our government banning the platform altogether, which you need to take into consideration when deciding if TikTok is right for your business.
Instagram: A Visual Platform with Powerful Advertising Potential
While TikTok might be booming with the younger demographic, Instagram is showing no signs of slowing down among Gen X and Boomers.
Its advertising capabilities are a key strategic reason for agents to focus on this platform.
LinkedIn: Networking and Client Engagement
LinkedIn has experienced growth among Boomers (from 11% to 20%) and remains a valuable platform for agents to build connections and foster client engagement. Agents can benefit from the strategic focus of networking with local media, journalists, clients, and colleagues to increase engagement on shared content and demonstrate their industry expertise.
Facebook: The Power of Advertising and Reaching the Majority of Homebuyers
Facebook remains the most popular social media app among adults (69% of the Australian population) and offers unparalleled advertising capabilities via Meta Business Manager. The platform’s ability to generate genuine leads through its powerful advertising platform makes it an important strategic choice for agents looking to connect with a significant percentage of the population who are in the market to buy or sell at any given time.
YouTube: Strategic Video Content to Engage and Inform
According to the latest data on YouTube age demographics, as many as 20.7% of all YouTube users are adults aged from 25 to 34. This can be broken down into 8.8% females and 11.9% males. This is also the age group with the highest number of YouTube users.
The second-largest age group is 35 to 44, with 16.7% of YouTube users in this range. Similar to the 25-to-34 age group, there are more male users (9.1%) than females (7.6%). Together, these two biggest age demographics of YouTube users make up 37.4% of the total. In other words, more than two out of every three users of YouTube are between the ages of 25 and 44.
The high usage of YouTube among adults makes it a good platform for businesses with a target audience in this age range to market to. Whether it’s running paid ads on channels frequented by your buyers, collaborating with YouTube influencers, or publishing your own videos to market your brand and product, including YouTube in your video marketing strategy is an effective way to grow your brand.
Google: Optimise Your Digital Presence and Strengthen Your Google Business Profile
Though not a social platform, Google plays a significant role in your digital presence as a real estate agent. By optimising your website for search engines, you increase the likelihood of being found by potential clients. Furthermore, maintaining a strong Google Business profile, with a collection of positive reviews and responses to those reviews, will improve your online reputation and visibility among the top local ranked businesses.
Search interest in interest rates and mortgage loans is at an all-time high in Australia, which is one of the top countries searching for real estate in 2023. Being aware of these trends using a tool like Google Trends can help you create blog articles that will help your business rank high in Google search results and drive traffic to YOU.
Real estate agents need to understand the strategic benefits of each social media platform and focus on those that align with their target audience and business goals and not jumping straight away onto the next shiny new platform because everyone else is doing it.
By considering the unique audiences of TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and whatever social media platform comes next, agents can develop tailored approaches to connect with potential clients, build brand awareness, and establish themselves as industry experts.
The lesson here? You don’t need to be on every single social media platform.