RPR Releases its Social Media and Digital Marketing Survey

Study reveals that social media preferences and tactics have shifted and evolved in the last 5-6 years.

CHICAGO –– (January 4th, 2022) RPR® (Realtors Property Resource®), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS®, announces the results of its December 2021 Social Media and Digital Marketing Survey. The report includes survey responses from over 1,200 REALTORS® who use social and digital media in their marketing efforts.

This bi-annual measuring stick, with results in 2017 and 2019 to use as a comparison, provides a snapshot of how social media is utilized and implemented by independent real estate marketers. The goal is to provide REALTORS® with insight on trends and shifts when it comes to how agents are using social media in their marketing mix.

One of the most revealing facts taken from the study, is the change in usage of social media websites and digital applications. For example:

  • While still the most used, Facebook has gone from 93.60% usage in 2017 to 78.47% in 2021
  • Instagram has grown the most, from the #5 spot in 2017, 29.06%, to #2 in 2021 with 49.84%
  • LinkedIn usage has dropped dramatically, from the #2 spot, 57.14% in 2017, to 3rd with 26.43%
  • YouTube has held steady: 21.69% in 2017, 21.69% in 2019, and 19.33% in 2021
  • Twitter has been almost fully marginalized out of the social media world, with 30.05% usage in 2017, compared with 6.12% in 2021
  • TikTok, the emerging new kid on the block, makes it debut with 6.53% usage in 2021, compared to zero percent in the previous years

Another interesting statistic is that video is becoming steadily more popular as a format with social media marketing. 21.18% of respondents used video in 2017, while 23.15% did in 2019. The number has jumped to 30.34% with the current survey. This correlation adds up when you consider that YouTube has held its ground, while Instagram and TikTok have grown. Video posts are simply more interesting, more engaging and more entertaining than static photos or graphics, and these three platforms were made for video content and sharing.

“As housing markets change, so does marketing, including social and digital media. Some become stale and overused, while others such as Instagram and TikTok, and video in general, gain more popularity and footing”, said Reggie Nicolay, RPR® vice president of marketing. “This survey is a perfect example of how agents need to stay current on social media trends, so they can get their message in front of the right targets.”

An additional key finding is that social media outcomes (numbers) for Awareness, Referrals and Leads (Buyer and Seller) were strong in 2017 and 2019, but all three took a dramatic drop in 2021. There could be many reasons for this, including social media blindness/wear out, and the changes in privacy causing ad targeting not to be as effective. However, the most likely explanation falls squarely on the pandemic. In the beginning of 2020, numbers fell off the table for a while due to lockdowns and safety measures. Then, when the pandemic housing rebound occurred (and still is to some degree), inventory dropped to extremely low levels, which explains how referrals and leads declined so much.

View the full survey results here.

RPR provides REALTORS® with tools, data and reports to help them craft data-backed social media messaging and increase the effectiveness and engagement of their posts and content. To learn more about RPR, visit blog.narrpr.com.


About RPR® (Realtors Property Resource®)
Realtors Property Resource®, LLC (RPR®), a wholly owned subsidiary of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is an NAR member benefit that helps REALTORS® “wow” their clients and close more deals. This exclusive online real estate database covers more than 160 million residential and commercial U.S. properties, and provides REALTORS® with the analytical power to help clients make informed decisions while increasing efficiency in the marketplace. For more on RPR, visit blog.narrpr.com.

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  2. Bob Holtson February 17, 2022 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    You dont need social media to sell houses. If its on Zillow, everybody can see it.

    • Nicole February 17, 2022 at 4:38 pm - Reply

      Social Media is a powerful tool for growing your business and attracting new clients. Surely anyone can see a home for sale on any public platform it’s advertised on. Oftentimes Zillow shows homes as “active” status when they’ve actually gone under contract. There is often a delay of processing updated information on these websites.

      • Colleen Bicknese February 20, 2022 at 6:42 am - Reply

        Zillow is hopeless at updating. It’s revenue is based on clicks. If they change the status to pending or in contract, no one will click on it, thus their revenue goes down.

    • Alexis F February 17, 2022 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      Everyone isn’t a listing agent so you kind of do.

      • Michael Bray February 19, 2022 at 12:17 pm - Reply

        I agree wholeheartedly with you. For too long, it seems that “list to live” is the thing that drives most of our available technologies. Social media can be the equalizer between listing agents and buyer agents.

    • Patricia Harris February 17, 2022 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Hey Bob! What r the chances we’d be reading the same article?

  3. Timothy February 17, 2022 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Social media gives realtors an opportunity to get their names, faces and listing in front of new people.
    Anything that increases the visibility of you and your listings is a plus

  4. Michelle Fenn February 17, 2022 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    If your Facebook profile gets hacked on Marketplace FB is most likely to deactivate your account than deal the the data breeches on their site. And there is no way to complain about it. The support system is automated and FB does not take calls Free is not free, hello Zillow.

    • Michael Bray February 19, 2022 at 11:58 am - Reply

      Wow Michelle – “IF”, “likely”… ?

      “IF” you get hit by a bus, no one will “likely” do business with you either. Yeah, I know. That kinda sounds lame when I put it that way.

      Zillow has a serious credibility issue. Be careful putting all your (marketing) eggs in that basket.

  5. Joanie Doane February 17, 2022 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    We can only hope that NAR sees fit to KEEP this and not Sell It outside the association like they did to us with REALTOR.COM !

  6. Michael Bray February 19, 2022 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    While the article posts some interesting statistics, it is obviously geared to the residential market. It may partially apply to a “resi-mercial” practioner.

    Have you given any thought to the commercial side? I think the numbers would change dramatically.

    Also, it would be helpful to know the psychographics of the respondents. Younger agents may have a very different perspective on Social Media while the average age of REALTORS is considerably older (is MySpace still a thing?).

    • Ryan March 3, 2022 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Believe it or not, MySpace is still around! Mostly for bands and such these days, but it’s amazingly still alive and kicking. Tom is in my top 8. LOL!

  7. Portland Maine Marketing July 16, 2022 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    They definitely have! Good informative post. Even fun to read!

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