Of all the social media sites, Facebook continues to be the dominant player in the social media space for real estate. The question is what steps can you take to maximize your Facebook results for your business?
1. Understand the Facebook mindset
The first step in succeeding with any social media site is to understand the mindset of the people who use that site. While your friends may be interested in seeing pictures of your new kitten, they are not interested in hearing about every single listing you take. This goes for your clients as well. Focusing on what is meaningful to your friends (rather than on what is meaningful to your business) is the foundation for Facebook success.
2. Make regular, meaningful posts
Identify no more than 150 people who are willing to do business and/or refer business to you. (Research shows that you can’t successfully manage more online relationships than this.) The next step is to interact with each of these people at least once or twice a month. Your interaction is based upon commenting on what they say and engaging in meaningful conversations whenever possible. To do this, don’t just rely on the "like" button. Instead, look for posts where you can congratulate them, share a helpful resource, or engage them in additional conversation.
If you allocate 15-20 minutes per day to post on at least five to 10 of your Facebook friends’ accounts, you will have no trouble staying in regular contact with the most valuable members of your referral database.
3. Facebook Marketplace
Many agents are aware of Facebook business pages, but do you know about Facebook Marketplace? Facebook Marketplace functions in much the same way as eBay. It’s ideal for posting your open houses. Because Google and other search engines now catalog much of the public portions of Facebook, using Marketplace can also improve your search engine rankings.
4. The two most effective Facebook strategies
Agents who are actively generating leads from Facebook report that there are two key strategies that generate consistent success. The first strategy is to create a Facebook business page dedicated to a specific market segment (expired listings or relocation) or to a specific geographical location.
The next step is to make the page all about the lifestyle in the area. This means regularly posting great photos or any other information that someone purchasing in this area would find useful to know.
For example, when and where is the local farmers market? To increase engagement, ask questions that encourage your friends to interact with you, such as "Which restaurant has the best hot chocolate or croissant?"
The second proven strategy is to include video. Again, the search engines love video, so posting videos about the local lifestyle becomes a way to achieve better search engine ranking as well as engaging your friends. For example, with the holidays around the corner, you might take videos of the various decorated houses in your subdivision and then ask your friends to vote for their favorites. You could also interview a local interior decorator for some great ways to spruce up one’s home for the holidays.
5. Create a single-property Facebook page
Most agents are familiar with single-property websites that use the property address as the URL, e.g. www.123MainStreetAnytown.com. These sites have always been a powerful way to convert your listing appointments into signed listings. You can use the same approach with Facebook. While having a Facebook business page is a powerful tool, a single-property site dedicated exclusively to your listing will usually rank highly on Google.
6. Facebook ads
A number of agents report great success with Facebook ads. What makes these ads so powerful is that Facebook has mined incredible amounts of data about its users. The company’s ad strategy allows you to narrowly target specific locations, age groups, as well as other demographic factors.
To capitalize on this approach, determine who the most likely target market for your listings is. For example, if you have a $275,000 listing, determine how much income a buyer would need to qualify for that loan. Next, look at the lifestyles of the people who live near the property. What age group dominates the area? What are their professions? Facebook will allow you to target-market these groups in your ads. The key is to do your homework about the most likely buyers and to focus your efforts there.
Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool. The key is to avoid using your profile page for marketing and to regularly connect using the other Facebook tools designed specifically for business.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, "Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success." Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named "new and notable" by iTunes, at www.RealEstateCoachRadio.com. You can contact her at Bernice@RealEstateCoach.com or @BRoss on Twitter.
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