With the evolution of digitalisation, social networks have become a highly relevant tool in the social sphere, as well as in the professional. Social networks are one of the most important communication tools because it is through them that companies can relate to professionals in the sector and contact their clients and/or potential clients. By taking advantage of the benefits of social networks and being able to extract the necessary information about them, they can create a segmented strategy for each group and analyse their competitors in the market.
In Portugal, according to Data Reportal, in the Digital 2023: Portugal study, the number of social media users in Portugal at the beginning of the year was around 8 million. Regarding mobile phones, there was an increase of 7.2%, with around 17 million Portuguese using this device. It should be noted that each individual can use two or more mobile phones for personal or professional use. In view of this, they spend an average of 2.5 hours a day on social networks. In conclusion, whether we like it or not, we are always dependent on at least one social network, via any mobile device. These digital platforms are dominated by women, apart from LinkedIn, which is dominated by more than 52 per cent of men.
Now to make some observations about the most widely used social networks in our country, I’ll start with the famous Facebook. But hasn’t it gone out of fashion? Although many think that Mark Zuckerberg’s network is history, it continues to grow both in Portugal (almost 6 million users) and worldwide, being the leading network with 2740 million users. As well as creating connections between friends and families through groups, it has evolved on a business and commercial level, being considered the ideal platform for B2C (Business-to-Consumer). While WhatsApp is the most widely used communication network, Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users worldwide. In Portugal it’s down 4.2 per cent on the previous year, currently at 4.60 million.
While Facebook leads the world, YouTube leads the country, having increased by 2.2 per cent in one year. With more than 7 million loyal Portuguese, it’s the ideal tool for building a complete marketing strategy. By attracting all sections of society, video opens the way for every company to progress in digital.
On a global scale, WhatsApp is in third place with 2000 million users, but in Portugal it leads over Facebook with around 89% of Portuguese users. The message open rate is 98%, which is an indication that companies should take advantage of this platform for social and commercial empowerment. With the creation of WhatsApp Business in 2018, companies have an even better chance of connecting with their customers and creating a social media marketing strategy. This recent application already has more than 200 million users.
The social network Instagram stands out with 1221 million worldwide and around 5 million in Portugal. It’s a platform equivalent to a photo album and is the most widely used among young people due to the accessibility of creating posts, but mainly for creating stories. On a business level, stories have the mission of persuading consumers and generating traffic to the online shop. Companies must prioritise #hashtags and “calls to action” in their posts because interactions, or the engagement they get, are of great importance to their digital performance.
Speed and accessibility in the business world are the key words. Thanks to Meta Business Suite, companies can manage all their activities, create adverts and publish or schedule content on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger at the same time.
The big trend on social media has been Tik Tok. It gained followers during the pandemic, now totalling 689 million worldwide and more than 3 million in Portugal. It has grown exponentially by 14.5 per cent since the beginning of 2022. Despite the image of relaxation and lightness that the social network conveys, brands can capitalise on these advantages and challenge their consumers through campaigns. Another advantage of Tik Tok is that it’s a cheap social network, as it doesn’t have Ads.
X (Twitter) has seen a 35.7 per cent growth in Internet users in Portugal, which translates into nearly 2 million active accounts in our country. The 280 characters limit publications, because those who use them are interested in being quick, concise and “tweeting” in the moment. As well as providing information and often being linked to politics, X (Twitter) is ideal for commercial relations between brand and client. It is an important platform for B2B (Business-to-Business), but also for B2C (Business-to-Consumer).
The professional platform LinkedIn has more than 645 million users worldwide, whether they are students, clients or entrepreneurs. It’s the social network that companies use most for the simple reason of publicising job offers, hiring workers and viewing each candidate’s CV. In Portugal, it has more than 4 million users, up 7.5 per cent on the previous year.
We should also highlight the importance of the advertising tools that each social network has. Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads and WhatsApp Ads make it possible to create targeted adverts, with the aim of favouring reach and interaction with clients and generating traffic to the website and other platforms.
Combining the aforementioned with the property market in Portugal, social networks and the entire performance of digital marketing have a fundamental weight in the property sector, if it weren’t already one of the means of research for any asset.
Starting with the basics, having a website or at least a landing page strengthens the credibility of the brand and immediately and easily shows the main features of the developments.
Social media allows real estate agents and brokers to reach a wide and diverse audience. By creating professional profiles on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, they can share commercial property listings, details of available properties, photos and videos, thus attracting the attention of potential buyers and tenants.
In addition, social networks also allow direct and immediate interaction with clients. Comments, messages and chats facilitate communication and the clarification of doubts, making the negotiation process more agile and efficient. Another benefit mentioned above, but which is even more important in the property market, is the possibility of segmenting the target audience. Through paid adverts, it is possible to target specific campaigns at people and/or companies interested in commercial/private properties in a certain location or price level.
Finally, social networks act as a platform for depositing testimonials and positive reviews from satisfied clients, which allows us to build a solid reputation and increase the credibility of real estate companies.
Opinion article by Neuza Ferreira – Marketing Assistant, published in Vida Imobiliária on 23 August 2023