The Client

Paul Fosh Auctions is Wales’ largest property auctioneering company. They provide property auctioneering facilities to estate agents, private clients, companies and statutory bodies and have been Wales’ leading property auction house for the last nine years, selling over £23m worth of real estate in 2016.

The Task

When first completing my research on the property sector to see what businesses were successful in their digital marketing efforts, I struggled to find any company using it to its full potential, and the same went for Paul Fosh Auctions. The property industry as a whole seemed lacklustre in connecting with people online through their websites, social media and email. Usually, a digital audit of a company can take me anything from 1 hour to a whole day depending on their online presence. PFA’s took me less than 15 minutes. Without going into too much detail about what my audits contain, I like to report on their social accounts, check out their mailing list, test how mobile friendly their website is, whilst giving comparisons on what content was successful for them and what wasn’t. I managed all this in 15 minutes for PFA. In the 3 months previous they had sent 11 tweets, 14 Facebook posts, they had no mailing list to communicate with their customers via email and their website was 8 years old and had never been updated.

Now you might think that starting with nothing is easier because any sort of plan that was laid out, was bound to increase their online engagement. And that is true to some extent. But the hardest part of being successful online can be getting your profile off the ground and that seemed to be the case here.

The Outcome

I wanted to help Paul Fosh Auctions be as successful with their online presence as they were being Wales’ leading auctioneer. I devised a strategy that would run in 6-week cycles, as that is how often they hold an auction, then we would evaluate what worked and what didn’t before continuing onto the next cycle. I would post regular content focused on the property industry as a whole e.g. house prices, property renovations, then on the run-up to the auction, the content would be focused more towards buying at auction. I created a mailing list from the databases that were not being utilised and email campaigns were set up that would provide regular updates about new properties and catalogues, along with reminders about auction times and dates. This was a platform I was pretty confident would gain success, as their main demographic were people aged between 35-55.

What started out fairly gradual, has now taken full flight with major engagement across all platforms. In particular, Facebook has seen a 79% increase in impressions from when I first started their social media marketing in August, compared to February this year.

August ’16:

February ’17:

They now rank 29th on the Zoopla Property Power 100, #ZPP100, which ranks the influence of social media accounts for property companies throughout the UK, and more impressively, 1st overall as an auction house.

With no analytics initially set up for their website it is hard to compare current site visits with that previously, but looking at stats from August ’16 to February ’17, there has been a 20% increase in traffic. The old, outdated website is currently on its way out and making way for a responsive, mobile friendly one. This will majorly help with their organic SEO, as Google continue to update their algorithms in favour of mobile friendly websites.

As a result of their success digitally over the last 6 months, PFA have now launched online auctions which will attract a newer, more connected audience. Properties featuring in these are solely marketed online, and they happily boast a 100% success rate from their first 3 auctions.

It’s safe to say that even I was impressed by the improvement and speed at which they have grown online, and it just confirms my thinking in that social media and mobile is the go-to outlet for companies to grow their business. With a clear plan and the ability to execute it fully, you CAN take control of your digital marketing.

Stats for the nerds:

  • 79% increase in Facebook impressions over 6 months
  • 39% increase in Facebook followers
  • 45% increase in Twitter impressions over 6 months
  • 82% increase in Twitter followers
  • 21% increase in website traffic
  • 100% success rate in online auctions

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