Colliers shines by helping their professionals stand out on social media
Colliers is a leading diversified professional services and investment management company with operations in 66 countries. The company’s 18,000 professionals work collaboratively to provide expert real estate and investment advice to clients.
The success of a regional employee advocacy program unlocks new global opportunities for a leading real estate brand
In recent years, professional networking has pretty much become synonymous with social media. Want to make new professional connections but aren’t active on LinkedIn? Forget about it.
To continue building on its 125 years of global growth and success, leading professional services and investment management firm Colliers knew it needed to give its professionals tools and content to build their personal brand and reputation on social media. The problem: Employees didn’t know where to find content or how to share it.
To help Colliers strengthen its online reach through employee advocacy, while also building and managing its global brand on social media, the company’s digital marketing team turned to Hootsuite.
- 4.7Kemployee posts shared last year
- 9.5Mpeople reached in Canada last year (a 43% increase)
- 229%increase in social media impressions year-over-year
- #1commercial real estate website in Canada
What they did
Colliers is focused on increasing brand awareness, starting in Canada, to reinforce its position as industry leaders in commercial real estate. The Canada digital marketing team sought support in rolling out an advocacy program that would give advisors the tools and skills to build their professional brand on social media, while also adding value to the company’s global brand.
Using Hootsuite Amplify, the team developed a regional pilot program that provided a brokerage team in Vancouver with on-brand content to share with their professional contacts and prospects via their social channels. Following the success of the pilot, Colliers extended the program to different offices across the country—and when that was a hit, Colliers decided to make it available globally.
“The tool really was, and still is, for our brokers, being our primary revenue drivers, to grow their social presence,” said Raveena Dhindsa, Director of Global Digital Strategy and Marketing Technology at Colliers. “While we weren't initially planning for adoption by other employees, we are pleased to see how its use has grown organically.”
How they did it
One key reason for the program’s success: The company used the new tool’s capabilities to further enable existing employee engagement.
“Many of our professionals wanted to be, or already were, active on social media for professional networking,” explains Karina de León, Colliers Canada’s Senior Specialist for Social Media and Content and leader of the company’s Canadian Hootsuite and Amplify programs. “As digital marketers, we’re aware of how valuable an online presence is—and other teams had this realization too. So we designed Amplify’s content library to offer a variety of content catering to the experts in our numerous service lines, rather than focusing on just brokerage.”
The team publishes more than 250 posts per month that employees can share via Amplify. Topics range from commercial real estate to diversity and inclusion, business and investing, leadership, career growth, holidays, and more, with employees encouraged to request content about topics relevant to them and their audiences. Giving employees a variety of content to share on social media has increased engagement with the platform and yielded impressive results for the program. Other regions have taken notice—and followed suit.
“We have an internal resource hub with a section dedicated to social media and social selling,” notes Dhindsa, “and I receive a lot of requests from individuals globally, brokers especially, to sign up for Amplify.”
Canada is leading the way with 600+ active users, with the U.S. coming second at 250+. Colliers offices in Asia, Europe, and Latin America have also adopted the platform and continue to add new users.
Making it easier for professionals to build their personal brand
New and existing employees at Colliers are regularly encouraged to try Amplify—and those who do are consistently impressed with how easy it is to use.
“First-time users think it’s amazing,” says de León. “With a library of high-quality content at their fingertips, Amplify has proven to be very effective and empowering for our employees who want to post on personal social accounts.”
Another reason employees sign up is the company’s commitment to digital-first training. “When recruiting potential new hires, especially in brokerage, there is now this additional benefit of offering them another tool for their toolbox,” adds Dhindsa.
With operations in 66 countries, it’s vital that teams and users are able to create and modify posts with local news and trends in mind. Amplify makes it easy, ensuring that content connects with regional audiences to boost relevance and engagement.
Knowing that a decentralized content model like this can present brand risks such as fraudulent social accounts or malicious links, Colliers integrated ZeroFox into the Hootsuite platform. By having control over their content while also monitoring and taking action to remove any inappropriate or malicious content, the company is able to balance regional autonomy with the oversight it needs to protect its global brand.
Attracting top talent with social storytelling
Colliers is highly focused on attracting top talent, making recruitment and employer brand campaigns a key priority for its marketing team.
“Colliers takes pride in recruiting people who are experts in their respective fields,” explains Aldo Stephanus, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Colliers Canada. “Through people-focused marketing campaigns, we get to showcase our professionals’ expertise and their experience working at Colliers, which attracts potential candidates with whom that message resonates.”
These campaigns have been so successful at generating engagement that they’ve inspired a major shift in the team’s social content strategy, according to de León. “Following the success of our first culture-focused campaign showcasing photos of the fun activities Colliers employees take part in on their flex days, we began to prioritize promoting people and culture content, in addition to commercial real estate updates."
The organization’s focus on engaging social content has become a competitive advantage for Colliers and its employees. With access to comprehensive social media resources and numerous opportunities to engage with company content online, Colliers’ employees are now posting more than their competitors in most regions.
“Having access to a growing audience of over nine million people in Canada through our employees’ networks has opened doors for our digital marketing strategy,” notes de León.
“We’re seeing record numbers of downloads and views of our market research reports and thought leadership articles. A key component of this growth is social sharing from our employees through Hootsuite and Amplify.”
Using insights to stay in the lead
Colliers Canada is leading the way among other regions with its use of Hootsuite Insights Powered by Brandwatch to monitor sentiment and share of voice around the brand and campaigns.
Stephanus notes that the data and insights gathered by the team are also helpful from a management perspective, as they enable Colliers to quantify its efforts and help motivate different marketing teams. The data clearly shows the company’s impressive reach. One notable achievement: being ranked numerous times as the best website for commercial real estate in Canada.
“With Hootsuite and Amplify, we're able to maintain that position against our key competitors,” says Stephanus. “We’re seeing record numbers of downloads and views of our market research reports and thought leadership articles. A key component of this growth is social sharing from our employees through Hootsuite and Amplify.”
Colliers Canada is blazing the trail for other regions. What began as an easy-to-use platform for brokers in Vancouver has proved to be an indispensable tool in the organization’s global efforts to lead the way in employee advocacy, giving employees across teams a wider selection of digital tools to help them succeed in their roles.
Teams from brokerage and capital markets to marketing and HR are all seeing the impact of the platform in Canada and, increasingly, in the U.S. Up next: expanding Hootsuite and Amplify to enable even more regions.
“Asia Pacific is actively expanding and Europe, Middle East, and Africa are in progress, with a few countries on board there already,” says Dhindsa. “One of my goals for the next year is to drive more growth and adoption in our remaining markets.”