How many times did you log on to Facebook today?
We’re willing to bet you logged on more than once. You may even be logged in now! It’s no mystery that Facebook is the largest social network available today. Even as other social networking sites begin to grow, there is no denying the fact that Facebook still holds its own as one of the most important – if not the most important – sites where you should be promoting your business.
Here are a few fast facts about Facebook’s current user base:
- There are 1.26 billion Facebook users
- There are 128 million daily active Facebook users in the US
- Average time spent per Facebook visit: 20 minutes
- Number of potential pieces of content Facebook users are expose to every login: 1500
While it would be a stretch to say that Facebook is a prime place to gather leads, it’s safe to say that it’s important for you to have a presence on the platform as an agent. Facebook provides many opportunities to connect with prospective clients, promote your brand and network in your community. Because each user has the potential to see thousands of pieces of content each time they log on to the site, you have to differentiate your profile and content to stand out among the crowd.
Here are seven ways you can boost your Facebook presence and build your brand.
1. Create a Facebook Page
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are many real estate agents who think it’s enough to promote their real estate business only through their personal Facebook page. While the choice is yours, we recommend that every real estate agent set up a business page and go into more detail about why in this FreeAgent post. Social media professional Nathan Mendenhall recommends that every agent set up a Facebook business page in his Social Media Tips for the Real Estate Industry.
“If you are in real estate and you do NOT have a Facebook business page, stop what you are doing and go create one. Business pages allow you to leverage Facebook advertising options and insights. These are vital to your social success,” said Mendenhall.
If you’re having trouble setting up your business page, the best place to turn to for support is the site itself! Check out the basics on the Facebook for Business information page, and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to setup your page.
2. Complete Your Profile
Once you have your brand new page, fill it out with eye-catching photos and creative, compelling language that describes who you are as a real estate agent.
“On Facebook most real estate agents follow the same rules and they are a dead giveaway just by merely looking at their profile picture. So rather than look like the rest of them– and if the aim is to bring something new to the table in a very standard-thumbed and mainstream industry– stray from being the same.”
Remember to complete the “About,” “Basic Info,” and “Contact” sections of your page so that visitors will be able to learn more about you right off the bat. Also provide links to your other social networking sites and website. Upload a high-resolution profile photo of yourself and an attractive cover photo that shows off your brand in some way. While there’s no defined formula for what type of photos and language you should use, be sure that it fits with your overall brand messaging.
3. Do Your Research
Start looking at other Facebook pages to get an idea of what performs well on business pages, and what does not. You might look at the page of another real estate agent you admire, or even the page of a consumer brand that you think does a great job updating their page and posting relevant content. Decide what type of tone you would like to have on Facebook based on the audience you aim to target. For instance, if you are a relocation specialist, you may want to post photos, videos and articles on relocation.
In addition, have friends, family and clients begin liking your page. Add a link to your Facebook page on your website, email signature, blog and anywhere else someone might see your name online. You can find even more ideas on getting started on Facebook in this blog post on 25 Tips for Realtors to Rock Facebook from nimble.com
4. Share Creative Content
Here comes the fun part! It’s time to start gathering content to share on your Facebook page. The great thing about Facebook, is that it is a platform designed to promote interesting, shareable content. This can be anything from beautiful photos, cartoons, memes, videos or relevant articles.
Some real estate agents have found success in posting information that demonstrates their knowledge in the real estate industry. Others, like Caroline Bass, senior vice president and associate broker at Citi Habitats in New York, recommend posting information about or ideas of things to do in the cities and areas you serve. It is not recommended to use Facebok solely to promote your listings. However, there are creative ways to organically integrate your listings into your page content.
One idea from tabsite.com is to highlight homes for sale by changing your cover photo once or twice a week to an attractive image of one of your listings. Because Facebook, like many other platforms, is highly visual, the more eye-catching content you can include, the better!
South Florida real estate agent Annette Greenwald features her logo and phone number with a photo of one of her listings as her Facebook business page cover photo.
5. Cross Promote Your Content
If you’re finding it hard to collect content for all of your social channels, here’s a Facebook secret nobody knows. In this video, Katie Lance shares one way to extend the life of Facebook status updates and photos. Since you probably use Facebook on a daily basis, it makes sense to re-share Facebook updates on other social channels. Katie suggests repurposing content by:
- Clicking on the photo or the date when the content was posted
- Copy the link url of the post
- Send the url in an email, on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn
This will also point followers, fans and potential clients back to your Facebook page, so they will know you are an active user. As mentioned previously, remember to post blog articles, videos and any other information related to your business on your Facebook page.
6. Facilitate Engaging Conversations
In her post on Sprout Social about creative ways for Realtors to use Facebook, marketing guru Susan Gunelius says, “To be successful on Facebook, the best Realtors understand that Facebook is not a direct sales tool but rather a relationship and brand-building tool that can generate word-of-mouth marketing that leads to sales.”
The best way to start building these relationships is by being an active part of conversations on your Facebook page. Ask your fans questions, and if they answer in a comment, reply to their response. Thank people who write on your wall, and be sure to answer any questions or inquiries in a timely and professional manner.
As you begin to grow and understand your community more and more, you’ll discover the best ways to engage with them. If you’re having difficulty figuring out the types of questions and content your audience may like, one idea is to take informal polls on your Facebook page. For example, you might ask your audience if they prefer photos of dream homes, videos about your listings or articles on home decor trends.
7. Consider Advertising Options
Once you have your page up and running, you will need to think about whether you want to use Facebook Ads. According to Mashable, these ads have become a popular way for agents to market both themselves as well as new properties.
Facebook’s Promoted Posts are a great way to help you reach more people. If you’re wondering which post you should promote, it’s smart to start with one that has received good engagement without any paid promotion behind it. Also keep in mind that posts that contain images, links, or videos generally outperform those that don’t.
To promote one of your posts, go to your Facebook page, locate the post you want to promote, and click the ‘Boost Post’ button in the lower-right hand corner. Here, Facebook gives you the option to target people who Like your page and their friends, or people you choose through targeting.
The former option may suit you just fine if your page’s followers are your target audience. However, if you’re looking to grow your Facebook following – or if the people who Like your page are not necessarily in the market for real estate – the latter option might be the better choice. In the ‘Boost Post’ menu, your targeting options are limited to Location, Age, Gender, and Interests. More advanced targeting options such as Education, Workplace, Hobbies and Activities can be found in Facebook’s Ads Manager.
Do you have any other tips for Facebook pages for real estate agents? Share them below in the comments!
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This post was written by Liz Moy from AdWerx.com. Mike is not a professional tax preparer. Any mention of tax savings, deductions and strategies in this post are ideas that you can explore with your tax preparer.
Adwerx.com provides professional online advertising to local real estate agents and home sellers with powerful, easy-to-use technology.