Social media is effecting real estate and becoming an ROI driven market
Realty+ in conversation with Vikas Chawla, Co-founder, SocialBeat.in
Real estate brands were early adopters of digital and have predominantly used it for three primary reasons – 1. Building awareness and visibility 2. Engaging with existing and prospective customers and 3. Acquiring new customers. With social media evolving further the focus on getting the right results from digital has never been more promising. Social Media when combined with the other digital channels have truly changed the cost of customer acquisition.
Which social media channels drive the results?
Facebook and Instagram still have the most significant share of the media spends and focus of real estate builders. Whatsapp for Business API is also being rolled out in phases and the Facebook ecosystem is the most dominant. Once Whatsapp Business API is rolled out seamlessly, it will become yet another effective tool to engage with customers.
Another channel which is increasingly being used is YouTube and now some builders are also doing new project launches via YouTube and digital, rather than the traditional method of print and radio. With 265 million monthly active users of YouTube it’s a platform that no builder can ignore. It also offers the powerful custom intent targeting which enables real estate companies to identify audiences who are in the market to buy a new property.
For the affordable segment, we are also seeing brands experimenting with newer channels like TikTok, which has already got 200 million users in India. It may not be relevant to all brands yet, but the engagement on the platform is growing.
Platforms like Pinterest and Quora also have some audience segments visiting regularly and those are also being leveraged by builders.
How real estate brands derive ROI from social media?
Cost-efficient: Needless to say, there is a lot of money that goes into a real estate project. Digital marketing offers comparatively lower pricing to that of traditional marketing, so it’s no surprise that marketers in the Real Estate industry are taking full advantage of the cost efficiency.
Increased exposure: Considering the numerous housing projects that vary in size, location and cost, having a digital marketing strategy lets you expand your overall reach and even customise that reach towards a selected target market.
Performance Analysis: Social media offers numerous ways to keep track of an advertisement’s performance in the competitive marketplace, making it easier for real estate developers to understand what marketing technique works best for their projects. The ability to also customise creative for different kinds of audiences can also be powerful – for example there could be a customised communication to an investor audience, and another to an end user and yet another to an NRI audience.
Creative licence: Be it an apartment, independent house, villa or plot of land, there are numerous ways for developers to showcase their projects. Video has become the most popular creative format, which is being used even for pre launches. There are also interesting and interactive formats like Cinemagraph and augmented reality elements that can enhance the user experience as well.
Vernacular marketing: With the ability to segment users by languages, brands can target customised content in different local languages with ease across YouTube, Facebook and even TikTok.
Site Visit Tracking: A new feature that Google recently launched now allows builders to track users who have interacted with their ads and then came for a site visit. The feature is called Store Visit tracking, as it was initially designed for retail outlets. Even Facebook has launched this functionality but Google is more accurate with its data, due to the fact that it has GPS and Google Maps data of its users.
All these new developments have made builders more transparent and also more analytical, driving better return on their digital marketing investment.