With users of social media platforms growing on average by 13% per year, the property investment industry has its work cut out keeping up. Yet how effectively is the industry using social media?
Social media for property websites
Counting up the followers of my go-to property sites’ social media pages, it’s clear that users mainly stick to ‘the big five’.
The below table shows the reach of each platform:
|Inside Property Investing||1,063||4,222||4,566||2,704||62|
|Your Property Network||3,434||418||5,245||1,490||139|
|The Property Hub||4,448||1,291||5,158||1,649||31|
|Property Investors Network||4,730||1,294||9,631||613||2,207|
(figures correct as of 29/07/18)
Facebook is clearly the most popular destination, with some of the property websites’ Facebook pages having more than ten times the followers of their LinkedIn pages. Twitter is the second most popular destination, having just over half of Facebook’s reach generally. Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn follow respectively. This might not come as a surprise if you consider that Facebook has eight times the amount of active users that LinkedIn has globally.
Social media for property professionals?
What is more puzzling is that an industry in the process of professionalising and improving its public image should shun a professional network in favour of a social one. My request to join my local PIN group’s LinkedIn sat pending for over 6 months and the property groups I am part of have provided limited valuable interaction.
Facebook, on the other hand, is a hotbed of activity for the property investment industry. There are many active groups, most notably ‘The HMO Group’, which has over 17,000 users. These groups possess a strong community feel. I interact daily with a range of property investors on the platform and generally everyone seems more than willing to help each other out. I can post a query in one of these groups and have it answered in minutes.
However, If you’re using social media for building a personal brand you might want to consider other platforms. Professional associates have no need to see photos from your latest stag or hen do. Without creating a separate Facebook profile for professional purposes, it’s difficult not to blur the lines between work and play.
Social media for property success
Property investor Nicole Bremner has talked about the value of building a personal brand. To those just starting out, she recommends selecting two platforms to focus on. One of them should be LinkedIn and other should be either Twitter or Instagram.
Lately, Instagram has become a bustling hub for property investors. It’s a great place to share project updates, inspiration and creative ideas. It also allows you to have much more control over personal information you share compared to other networks like Facebook.
Similarly, LinkedIn is an excellent tool for developing a personal brand. For me, it trumps all other platforms when it comes to building trust. LinkedIn hosts all the professional information that you would want others to see, without any of the unnecessary personal bits. Prioritising the data that is of value to your professional peers will help you build trust. An angel investor or JV partner will be more willing to work with an individual when they can see their full career history.
Maximising your professional potential
From the personal brand-builders and the avid networkers to the sales pitchers and the egotists, we’re all in the social media game for different reasons. There will always be a wide range of approaches to social media use, but it doesn’t hurt to step back and consider whether you’re maximising its professional potential.
If more of us in the property investment industry adopted a professional approach to social media, it would not only help us grow our businesses more effectively. It would also improve the industry’s standing in the world at large
Connect with him via LinkedIn: @Nathanoprey