Lindsay Listanski

Lindsay Listanski on how Coldwell Banker Real Estate trended organically on Twitter during the Academy Awards

“Without social media, a campaign can still be successful,” says Lindsay Listanski.

Social good equals good social.

“A press release will still go out, and a commercial will still air. But with social media, you can win championships,” she explains during her presentation at's Member Meeting in New York.

“Social media belongs to every department,” Lindsay says.

At Coldwell Banker Real Estate, they created a fully integrated campaign to bring social media into a new effort that would reach their audience on an emotional level. The campaign focused on “home's best friend,” the feeling of owning a dog that's happy to see you when you get home.

But they weren't just going for the “aw” factor.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate partnered with to find 20,000 homes for 20,000 dogs. “Social good equals good social,” says Lindsay.

She explains how this idea worked on several levels: Coldwell Banker's franchisees could get involved by holding community adoption drives, consumers love puppies, and the dogs find homes.

They would launch the campaign with commercials and social activations during the 2015 Academy Awards. But to get there, social media had to be integrated from the beginning.

Lindsay Listanski

“You can't just have a party and hope people will show up.”

At the TV commercial shoot, someone from Lindsay's team was on site collecting behind-the-scenes footage and blooper shots to use on social media afterwards. She says that in the past, Coldwell Banker would shoot a commercial and then figure out how to tie in social media. Now, they were focused on the social media aspect before the launch date.

Social media belongs to every department.

They promoted the Twitter party they planned to hold during the awards show by emailing invitations and sending out party favors like dog leashes, bowls, and tags. Lindsay's team also sent Coldwell Banker's franchisees and affiliates office posters for the event as well as branded Facebook cover photos.

For launch week, they began sharing stories on their blog about adoptable dogs and how-to articles for things like keeping dogs from chewing the furniture or how to move with a dog. Lindsay reached out to bloggers and influencers with this content and earned a bunch of traffic from sites like

On launch day, they found relevant ways to join the conversation about the Academy Awards.

Lindsay's team shared photos of adoptable dogs in red carpet outfits and live-tweeted about celebrities with cheesy dog puns. She says to “beware chasing the ‘Oreo moment.'” That is, don't tweet just for the sake of tweeting. Find ways to add to the conversation.

Some of their most successful tweets came from live-tweeting their own commercials. As each one aired, Lindsay's team shared information about an adoptable pet from that looked like the dog in the commercial.

Coldwell Banker tweet

During the show, their hashtag trended on Twitter without any sponsored tweets.

Coldwell Banker was also the most-mentioned brands on Facebook. In fact, the next day, Engagement Labs said Coldwell Banker “stole the show” on sites like MediaPost.

Coldwell Banker Slide

Lindsay's team was shocked. “That night there were four million tweets,” she says. “So a real estate company had no business showing up in the trending topics.”

They blew their soft launch and hard launch goals out of the water, earning three million views in ten days and over six million views at the time of her presentation. Equally important, they met their goal of helping 20,000 dogs find forever homes.

Follow Lindsay on Twitter and watch her full case study presentation at our Member Meeting in New York to find out how they kept the momentum going after the Academy Awards.