Facebook pages are dead, or so says the bandwagon going around the Internet right now. Members of this bandwagon are repeating their mantra that:
- They aren't going to "pay to play."
- They shouldn't have to "pay to reach their fans that they worked hard to get."
- "Facebook marketing is dead."
- "No one sees my page posts anyway."
- They "get more traction with their personal profiles."
- And so on and so forth.
Have you seen any of this? There are people within the real estate industry spouting this mantra. They are everywhere.
The problem isn't that people aren't seeing your posts or that you have to pay to advertise. The problem is that real estate agents haven't the foggiest idea how to use their Facebook page. It's no wonder they struggle with this, since most social media experts (focused on the real estate industry) haven't a clue how to use Facebook pages either, so they keep teaching agents outdated and ineffective "best practices."
Jump on the bandwagon image via Shutterstock.
Here's the deal. Facebook business pages represent the single best source for online lead generation for your real estate business. The single best source. I am not exaggerating. You've just got to understand how to use them. This is the key.
Here's how to use Facebook business pages as a real estate lead generation funnel:
- You must have a Facebook business page and be active on it. Currently, active means three to four valuable and meaningful posts each day, and it means engaging with every like, comment or share on your posts.
- Your page must be set up to drive and capture traffic. From your header photo to your about page to each of your posts.
- You must target your likes (don't ask just anyone, use Facebook's targeting via Power Editor). Don't make the mistake of thinking that "everyone" is a potential prospect. They aren't. No matter what "expert" is telling you they are.
- You must have an IDX that requires registration and/or you must have a deliverable and a landing page for that deliverable.
- You must run targeted ads focused on capture, not on promoting a listing.
You've got to step out of the "advertise a listing" mentality and step into the "lead generation" mentality. For most agents, it's a pretty big leap.
With the power behind Facebook's targeting abilities, there has never been a better way to target homebuyers and sellers, especially at such a low cost.
I chuckle at agents who make comments like, "Yeah, because spending time posting three to four updates every day on your Facebook page leaves you so much time to sell houses." Why do I laugh? Because I remember spending hours every month (and when it wasn't me, it was me paying my assistant to spend those hours) writing classified ads, laying out my home magazine ads, and spending thousands of dollars every month in the hopes that someone who was interested in buying or selling would call me.
Bah. I can now spend less time on Facebook and for a couple hundred dollars I can reach highly targeted buyers and sellers. I can see the results in real time. I can nurture the leads for less, because they've given me their email address. My direct mail campaigns are more effective because the people who are on them have already been qualified through my email campaigns (and subsequently have given me more information to contact them). Two years ago I stopped actively lead generating for our real estate team and yet I'm still converting leads into contracts (now handled by someone else). Why? Because I set up a long-term nurturing process.
You've got to focus on the process. The entire process. You'll get people who want to take action immediately, but most will be longer term. Nine months, 18 months, five years. Facebook's targeting ability really helps prequalify the leads you are getting.
If your page is ineffective, start over. Target your likes better. Set your page up better. Create better lead capture landing pages. Run more effective ads.
It works and it works well.
Christina Ethridge is the founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com, helping real estate agents capture, convert and close Facebook leads.