Scaling social media for a top 10 real estate brokerage
With 33 offices and more than 1,400 agents completing more than $12.2 billion in sales in 2018, Alain Pinel Realtors (APR) was already a Bay Area success story before joining national brokerage Compass in early 2019.
In 2016, their new vice president of marketing wanted to reinvigorate the company’s social media practice, which was uneven following the departure of their long-term, in-house social media manager. They were unsure who comprised their social media audiences and if they were sharing content that reached those audiences. They asked Kimball Hughes Public Relations to create a social media protocol that the company could sustain, establishing best practices that support other public relations and marketing goals.
The Kimball Hughes PR team began with a thorough assessment of APR’s social media profiles as well as the brokerage’s competitors. We knew it was also critical to understand how other brokerages approached social media in the highly competitive and tech-savvy Northern California market.
We used these assessments to systematize a campaign-based approach to social media. Our refined approach to content curation drew from sources we knew APR’s agents and customers read. We maximized exposure for company news, announcements and events, highlighting volunteerism, fundraising efforts and open houses in a way that was most appropriate for each social network. All of this was done in conjunction with APR’s marketing team, working collaboratively to share the brokerage’s mission and amplify the brand.
As a result, we saw sustained, steady engagement with APR’s posts on all networks—particularly Facebook, during a time when all brands were seeing declining reach and engagement for posts. We grew their Facebook and Twitter audiences by about 500 followers each between April 2016 and April 2019.
But how effective were these efforts to drive real engagement? Here’s one indication: using APR’s social media to raise awareness of its charitable campaign to support the victims of the 2017 Wine Country fires, the brokerage raised $50,000 in donations in just 11 days, which APR matched dollar for dollar.