We ask Rightmove some questions:

The way consumers engage with brands online is changing rapidly, sometimes catching people whilst they are on the sofa with their mobile phone watching the weekly soaps (ie two screens) or on the bus to and from work can be the key moments. How is Rightmove looking to reach out to these audiences, especially now as more millennials, who are totally social media savvy, are hitting the property searching scene.

Social Media has turned from being a tool to complement a business, to a communication channel in its own right. At Rightmove, our Social Media aims, tone of voice and purposes are aligned with the rest of our business and we have been using it long enough to experiment and understand where our online audiences are and what they need from us. We work closely with teams, such as Customer Care and Data Quality to ensure we’re on hand for Rightmove users’ everyday needs. We also wish to help to educate and entertain our users with blog content, thought-sharing and visual content which is property-related, to help keep home-hunting as happy, easy and exciting as possible.

Staying up-to-date with Social Media and understanding the ever-changing consumer activity is a task of its own! We have to completely understand the channels, understand who is using it, then get creative with how we can use it differently to other businesses to really put our stamp on it. With every channel, we have to keep experimenting with different types of content over time and look at which pieces best achieved their objectives. It’s a fun challenge – and very satisfying – to see which content our users like – especially on a new channel!

For millennials, who understand the world of Social Media but may be stepping into the world of property for the first time, we are here to bridge the gap. We understand the channels, we understand the needs of the audiences, and we understand property – so our job is to bring these subjects together and make the task of finding a home seem less daunting, and more the next, exciting chapter of your life.

Social Media is predicted to be huge in 2017 for businesses with once again online videos leading the majority of consumer engagement online. How is Rightmove making sure that both consumers and agencies using their portal are wow’d when viewing property. For example, 360 live broadcasting via Periscope (thus Twitter also) will enable live viewings and give a new meaning to being ‘virtually there – Is this/will this be accommodated on Rightmove?

Using video in Social Media is something we have been doing more and more. On Facebook, people are spending just 1.7 seconds on each piece of content, so you need to catch their attention quickly – which a video does. The danger is to share video content from across the rest of your brand, which isn’t social-ready, so it’s important and way more effective to spend a bit of time making videos that are purposely for Social Media.

In 2016 we dabbled in the world of Virtual Reality viewings, which were well-received. We would have to, of course, do plenty of user testing to ensure that the mass market want it, but our Head of Innovation, Hannes Buhrmann, currently has his investigative hat on across a number of new technologies!

Rightmove is coming up to 100,000 followers on Twitter – Just how important is this social media platform to you?

Twitter is a great channel and one we find most useful in communicating with, and being communicated with, by our users and customers. We have two channels (@Rightmove and @RightmovePro specifically for estate agents) and we are able to use them to communicate relevant content, news, advice and fun content (such as the most interesting properties on the site) to our followers. But, it is most important for real-time conversations, when people need our help or when relevant topics are trending around the UK.

Twitter is regularly the face to our brand for some site users so it’s great that we have a dedicated Customer Care Team on hand to answer user and customer queries day-in, day-out – or even just here for a chat about what home we’d buy with our lottery win!

Thank you to Anna Duggal of Rightmove for helping to answer these questions.

Interview by Christopher Walkey, Founder of Estate Agent Networking.

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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