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How Michael Graham Is Using Social to Unify Brand Messaging and Become a Digital-First Organisation

Michael Graham are specialist town and country estate agents, selling the most desirable properties across 8 English counties. Established over 50 years ago, the estate agency has approximately 120 employees, based across 14 office locations.

English cottage
  • 100%
    increase in monthly website visitors
  • £500K
    shift from print media ads to social media ads
  • 10%
    click-through rate from social campaigns

By partnering with Hootsuite, Michael Graham has breathed life into its social strategy to lead the way in an increasingly digital industry

As Michael Graham has grown, it has realised the important role social media plays in reaching new customers and building its reputation as an estate agency with a high-end property portfolio. After initially hiring an external agency to manage its social, which only provided basic scheduling and maintenance, it quickly recognised the benefit of bringing the management of social in-house—unifying its messaging and building out its brand in a more cohesive way.

By creating an in-house team who knew the brand through and through, and selecting Hootsuite, Michael Graham was able to unify its marketing strategy across all channels, increase hits to its website and gain wider insights on their audience, raise brand awareness and ultimately become a digital-first organisation.

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Products used in this study

Hootsuite Enterprise
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Hootsuite Advertising
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Unifying brand messaging across marketing channels

Michael Graham has always had a presence on social, and previously used an external agency to schedule posts and manage accounts at a basic level. It also used to invest heavily in print, with full page ads in regional newspapers targeting the high end property market. When reviewing its social media strategy, the estate agents found that the messaging being conveyed on social was not aligning with what was being published in print. The two were markedly disjointed and didn’t align with Michael Graham’s brand vision and goals.

This had a significant impact on customers who were confused by what they were seeing, with the mismatched content resulting in a diluted brand message. Michael Graham needed a solution that would provide it with the tools to maintain its messaging, prove the value of social and support its big brand aspirations.

Knowing that social media is a vital component to remain at the forefront in today’s fast-moving world, Michael Graham assembled a social team in-house, who could manage the entire process—from initial content creation, to full campaign management. Michael Graham selected Hootsuite to ensure that the social team had the very best toolset at their disposal—letting them concentrate on the things that matter, such as growing their social following and reaching new audiences.

Uniting organic and paid social teams on one platform

Ensuring continuity across the organisation was key for Michael Graham to unite its messaging and prove the value of social. Using Hootsuite, the marketing team was able to do just that as it was able to collaborate and schedule its organic posts for each individual office and the wider organisation. Hootsuite also supports Michael Graham’s compliance policy by ensuring everything is consistent, on-message and adheres to all necessary regulations. Hootsuite allows every post to be approved on the platform by a member of the compliance team before being sent out, meaning nothing slips through the net.

In terms of paid social, Michael Graham uses Hootsuite Ads to better analyse ad performance and simplify the whole process. As Michael Graham’s marketing team has grown over time, it has naturally developed into two teams; one that focuses on paid social and the other on organic. Using one Hootsuite dashboard allows the team to work more collaboratively together, as they can integrate both organic and paid social into one dashboard, as well as its Google Ads data. This enables the team to refine, boost and manage its advertising accordingly, while ensuring all content aligns with the same unified message.

In a market where competitors are slowly evolving to meet the challenges presented by the rise in online-only estate agents, Michael Graham has carefully navigated its journey to remain at the bleeding edge of the industry. From the outset, Michael Graham had its finger on the pulse when it comes to prioritising marketing channels. From having 200 pages of advertising across all local newspapers when its main competitors only had two, Michael Graham has taken this mindset to social—leading by example and outshining its competitors.

The estate agents effectively utilise video across its social platforms. On Instagram and Twitter, it offers a glimpse into the properties for sale. It also uses it to give an overview of the counties in which it operates, providing local sights and places to visit. Videos also feature heavily in Michael Graham’s Instagram highlights, which cover everything from events and reviews to interiors and a behind-the-scenes look of their offices, giving customers a real feel for the company.This evolution has been recognised by Michael Graham’s customers. Realising the power of social and the potential reach of a post, customers are grateful when their home is showcased on the estate agents’ social channels.

Using social insights to improve content and services

By partnering with Hootsuite, Michael Graham was able to gain insights into audience interests, revealing what it has always assumed about its customers to be accurate. This level of insight meant it was able to tailor its content to better suit its customers wants and needs, ensuring  the company was targeting the right people through its social efforts. This also supported Michael Graham when it came to creating a marketing strategy. Some customers still appreciate ads in newspapers, whereas others are primarily concerned with digital. Through targeting and reacting to market movements with Hootsuite, Michael Graham has heightened awareness of what’s working in its space, and what messaging and channels different audiences prefer. On top of this, it has given employees the confidence to talk about social media when they are meeting with potential customers and key stakeholders, making it a real selling point.

Using Hootsuite’s report generation tool, the marketing team are now able to make insights more approachable for the wider organisation. Directors at the estate agents are realising the power of social, and can see the benefits and results first-hand from investing in it.

The Results

Social media has grown into Michael Graham’s biggest communications channel. Previously the company spent £1 million a year on its print advertising; now the majority has been redirected to social and digital marketing as it recognises the benefits of expanding its marketing offering. Since partnering with Hootsuite, Michael Graham has seen visitors to its website increase from around 40,000 users per month, to 100,000 users. From its social campaigns, the estate agents also sees a click through rate of 10%. It has also experienced an increase in valuations and viewings being booked through the website as opposed to over the phone or in the physical office locations, meaning people are more engaged with its social content.

Michael Graham can remain confident in its social activity thanks to Hootsuite’s Customer Care Team and their tactical review of ads. Hootsuite has now become a trusted partner of Michael Graham, providing them with advice on how to improve their social presence in the long term and maintain its position leading the market.Working closely with Hootsuite, Michael Graham is hoping to expand further into other areas, continuing to create campaigns that drive customers to its website and grow its marketing mix, with digital, and social at the forefront.

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We’re pleased to have breathed some new life into our social strategy using Hootsuite, helping us to deliver unified brand messaging across all channels, while giving us the confidence to push boundaries.
Wesley Muchimwe
Digital Strategist
Michael Graham Estate Agents

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