When looking for ways to generate real estate leads, you may have stumbled upon Snapchat as one of the newer social media platforms.
While TikTok currently receives slightly more public attention, Snapchat is still well and alive.
So, the next question you may have is if and how you can effectively use this social media platform for real estate marketing and lead generation.
Today’s article will answer this question, and spoiler alert: going the organic route to growing a subscriber base for lead generation and using it to generate high-quality seller leads will likely be a waste of your time and money.
So, my article will discuss…
- What Snapchat is
- Snapchat statistics relevant to real estate, including key marketing performance indicators
- How Snapchat compares to TikTok
- How you can use Snapchat effectively for real estate marketing and lead generation
- And what you can learn for your real estate lead generation approach with Snapchat
What Is Snapchat?
Snapchat was developed by Stanford University students in 2011.
The founders are Bobby Murphy, Evan Spiegel, and Reggie Brown.
They introduced a sort of “auto-destruct” functionality to stand out from other social media platforms.
Hence, content such as shared photos and videos sent to friends would only be accessible for one to ten seconds.
This limitation has been removed since it was introduced.
In the meantime, Snapchat also added additional features such as stories.
The latter allows users to share videos and photos to their feeds for 24 hours. These are also called “snaps.”
Another feature launched in 2016 is memories, which is a user’s individual collection of saved snaps. It allows users to save their snaps and create an archive to look back on or share again.
In the same year, Snapchat also introduced Spectacles – augmented reality glasses – but they flopped with the broader public.
Since recently (2022), Snapchat Plus also exists.
This paid version for $3.99 per month is an enhanced version of the basic app and comes with additional features such as:
- Ghost trails on the map: users can see where their friends have been in the last 24 hours (provided they share their location)
- A best friend forever pin.
- A story rewatch indicator allows users to see if their stories have been rewatched and how many times.
- Custom app icons
- A Snapchat+ badge users can add to their display name.
- Friend solar system (e.g., if a user is the earth and their friend is the Sun, the user is considered their third closest friend) or I would call it a “network hierarchy system” that users can define.
- Snapchat for Web
The general features of the basic Snapchat App are the following:
- Various filters (augmented reality) users can use to alter their appearance
Spotlight (highlights quality content)
- Stories (a group or collection of snaps of the past 24 hours)
- Snap Map to select and watch snaps from a map
- Augmented reality is applied to the user’s appearance via lenses and filters
- Snap codes (a unique scannable code to access unique content or features)
Additional features integrated from mostly third-party apps are the following (source):
- Apple maps
- Dog Scanner
- Amazon Camera Search
- Games in Snapchat
- Google Maps
- Minis in Snapchat
- Uber Eats
Snapchat Statistics Relevant for Real Estate, Including Key Marketing Performance Indicators
Now that you have a general overview of Snapchat let’s get into the material that will be relevant for real estate lead generation.
Let’s first look at the general user statistics and find out who you can primarily market to on this social media platform.
Basic Snapchat Stats
One of the key unique selling points from Snapchat’s beginnings was using augmented reality, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that 180 million users have engaged with it through Snapchat and its filters (source).
Regarding daily usage, users spend 30 minutes on Snapchat per day on average (source).
Stats Relevant for the Conception of Snapchat Ads (Creatives & Ad Copy)
Up to now, the above information has yet to be relevant to a potential real estate lead generation and marketing approach.
So, let’s get into the user age groups.
Roughly half (48%) of the users are aged between 15 and 25, 30% between 26 and 35, 18% between 36 and 45, 11% between 46 and 55, and 5% are older than 56 (source).
Since the platform attracts more Gen Z and from how content is presented, it is not surprising that the same generation also has the highest Ad recall at 59% from Snapchat ads (source).
This high recall is likely because 64% of users watch Snapchat ads with the audio activated (source).
Also essential to keep in mind regarding the design of ad campaigns (including ad creative and ad copy) is that 39% of users share ads of products and services they see with friends and ask their opinion about them (source).
Snapchat Ads Key Performance Statistics – Crunching the Numbers
Since we want to avoid getting lulled into Snapchat’s promising features and user behaviors we notice at first glance, let’s also get down to hard numbers to assess the potential performance of using Snapchat for real estate lead generation and marketing.
So, let’s crunch some marketing numbers.
The average lead conversion rate for Snapchat ads is 0.6% (source).
A user on the website beprofit.co I found during my research had a pretty good explanation of why this percentage is that low:
“This percentage is inconsistent with the amount of traffic Snapchat drives to the website (13.0%) — second only to Facebook (13.9%).
It can be attributed to several factors. Among them, difficulty in producing appealing visual hooks, obscure engagement tracking, and inability to share ads take the cake!“
That sounds like it could be better. It’s also worrying that it is difficult to track a campaign’s performance.
With an average cost per click of $0.98, according to this source, we can now calculate the average cost per lead.
And unfortunately, it is pretty high – $163.33 (1 divided by 0.6% x $0.98).
To justify this spending, you must have a pretty high priority of reaching Gen Z.
How Does Snapchat Compare to TikTok?
Now, let’s analyze how Snapchat compares to TikTok.
At first glance, you may even confuse both since they both facilitate sharing short-form content.
But there are nuances, which you will find in the table below.
|109.2 million users in the U.S.||94 million users in the U.S.|
|94 million users in the U.S.||Developed by a Chinese tech company ByteDance|
|Content is short-lived (snaps disappear within 24 hours)||Content is not short-lived and can stay on platform as long as the user wants|
|Short-form content to share snippets of users' life||Shortform content with a focus on music videos and lip synching|
|Main user demographic consists of Gen Z||Main user demographic consists of Gen Z and Millennials|
|Average cost per lead $163,33||Average cost per lead $29.41|
Another difference you will also find is in their performance regarding lead generation.
The average cost per lead on TikTok, for example, is just $29.41 compared to the $163.33 from above.
Let’s shortly calculate the lead cost for TikTok.
So, while the cost per click on Snapchat is slightly lower, the much higher lead conversion rate of 3.4% on TikTok leads to much lower costs per lead.
To arrive at the $29.41 per lead on TikTok you divide 1 by 3.4% and multiply it by the cost per click of $1.
Sure, now, you could rightfully make the case that the cost per lead alone is not necessarily a reliable metric.
What if the leads you generate on Snapchat are generally of a higher quality and convert easier into customers?
Then sure, despite higher costs per lead on Snapchat, you may have lower costs per sale.
But I highly doubt this will be the case since both platforms are social media platforms with lower customer awareness (my article about lead types).
How You Can Effectively Use Snapchat for Real Estate Marketing and Lead Generation
Until now, I only discussed using the paid approach with Snapchat ads. But what about “sweat equity” and building up a following organically? Is this a practical approach?
To answer this question, we need to look at other performance indicators or metrics, such as:
- Click-through rates (on Snapchat called swipe-up rates)
- The engagement rate
- The lead conversion rate
- The type of content that works best
- How long it takes to reach a particular subscriber size
We already know from above that the lead conversion rate is 0.6%.
The average click-through rate/swipe-up rate is between 0.35 and 1.4% (source).
For our calculation, let’s use the average of 0.875%.
The typical engagement rate on Snapchat is 80% (source).
This means the percentage of subscribers likely to get involved with your content.
Based on the lead conversion rate, the swipe-up rate, and the engagement rate, we can now calculate how many subscribers you will need to generate a particular number of real estate leads.
The latter will likely be potential Gen Z or Millennial buyers.
Again, Millennials will be less likely, since they are more represented on TikTok.
Suppose you need 50 leads per month from an organic Snapchat subscriber base.
You will need 8,333 clicks/swipe-ups from your subscribers to convert 50 leads (50 divided by 0.6% lead conversion rate).
Now, how many people need to see your content so they are willing to swipe up in the first place?
We now divide the 8,333 clicks by the swipe-up rate of 0.875% and then by the engagement rate of 80%.
Why also divide by 80%?
Because not all subscribers seeing your content will engage with it. And without them engaging with it, there is no chance they will swipe up.
The unfortunate result is you will need 1,190,428 subscribers on Snapchat to generate 50 leads per month with the above metrics.
At this point, I would have loved to find out or at least be able to calculate the data on how many subscribers you can expect to get per piece of content you post on Snapchat. But unfortunately, things get pretty opaque from here.
But from what I have already analyzed in various articles, especially this one here about Twitter, you can expect a lot of work to reach an organic subscriber base of this size.
And the older the platform gets, the less organic reach you will get with your posts.
That happened with Facebook and Twitter and will occur with the present hypes, such as TikTok, and the future ones still in the making.
Why is that?
At the end of the day, social media platforms need to make their shareholders/investors happy, which means introducing business models that keep their users on their platforms, so they can sell ads.
This, in turn, means the organic reach by design needs to go down over time, so users have the incentive to pay for ads.
Since Snapchat has already introduced ads, you are likely too late to the party if you want to grow a vast subscriber base.
Not to mention the growth of a subscriber base of 1.19 million subscribers, should you have the goal of organically generating 50 real estate leads per month.
What You Can Learn for Your Real Estate Lead Generation Approach with Snapchat (Conclusion)
You are likely better off using Tiktok ads instead of Snapchat ads if you want to market to potential buyers from the Gen Z and Millennial demographics.
If you still want to give it a try, you may want to consider the following:
- The primary demographic is Gen Z, which are users aged roughly between 15 and 25.
- Using it for seller lead generation would waste time and money because of user demographics. What you can generate are mostly younger potential buyers.
- So, if first-time home buyers are your real estate niche, you may want to try it (although I would start with Tiktok or Facebook ads).
- The average cost per lead via Snapchat ads is higher than other social media platforms.
- So you will likely get more buyer leads on other platforms for the same marketing budget.
- Even as a real estate pro focusing on the first-time home buyers niche, you are likely better off with Tiktok or Facebook ads.
- Growing an organic following for lead generation is likely a hopeless undertaking because of the steadily decreasing organic reach and the underwhelming lead conversion rates.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.
Author & Founder