Despite the privacy concerns, government inquisitions, political meddling and the lawsuit against them by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Fair Housing Act violations, Facebook strolled into 2019 with the strength of 2.2 billion users — about a quarter of the world’s population.
With all this baggage, is it time to let Facebook go? Is it time to say, “Out with the old” for the new year? For many real estate pros, if we just had a small sliver of these users work with us, we would see complete financial freedom.
So yes, Facebook has some redeeming qualities, and it may not be time to totally abandon the social media giant; but I do believe it’s time for Facebook to get its bags packed and placed near the door. After all, no social media platform is irreplaceable.
If you’re on the fence about remaining loyal to Facebook, here’s what you should keep in mind for in 2019:
Don’t turn a blind eye
You might not be up in arms over all of Facebook’s scandals but your prospective clients might be. Over 42 percent of adults have taken a break from Facebook for several weeks or more. And the rule of business growth is to go where the eyeballs are. At one point, that was the newspaper (and it still is for certain generations). Over the last 10 plus years, however, it has become social media.
Although Facebook is like the grandfather of social media, there are new kids on the block. Some of your prospective clients might not be inclined to run with #DeleteFacebook, but they might have resigned to stay off of it due to privacy concerns or perhaps they have just grown tired of drama, whether with Facebook or with their own friends list.
I remember when MySpace was the place to be. One business “guru” even tried to discourage me from migrating my business from MySpace to Facebook back in 2007 because, according to him, Facebook was just for teenagers. Despite that advice, I went with my gut and made the switch — and today, MySpace as it was has become a thing of the past.
The moral of the story is this: When in business, do not marry a platform. It was MySpace then, and it’s Facebook now; but who knows when the next social media titan will surface? The key is to go where your clients go.
Pro tip: The new year is a great time to reconnect with past clients, your sphere of influence (SOI) and leads by wishing them a prosperous year. While doing that, poll people to find out where their eyeballs are and take note of what is most popular for your target market.
Assess your return on investment
If you have felt like it was harder in 2018 to generate leads from Facebook then ever before, you are not wrong. Facebook is in business to make money from its marketers, which includes us real estate pros.
As the savvy business person I know you are, it is vital that you always assess the return on investment you currently receive when marketing. If you start to personally notice that you’re getting little to no bang for your buck, then it’s time to tell Facebook, “Thank you, next.”
Pro tip: Closeout 2018 by assessing where you have spent your marketing dollars (and time), how much was spent, how many leads were generated, how many of those leads are current clients, how many of those leads got to closing and how many of those leads are “dead.” What in your marketing mix was the most profitable in 2018? Do more of that! What in your marketing mix was least profitable? Do less of that.
Also, make sure you are a Facebook Messenger one percenter. What do I mean? Facebook Messenger Chatbots “receive about 80 percent better engagement than other channels like email” but less than 1 percent of businesses use this feature. That is staggering, and it means we can absolutely work smarter and not harder with chatbots by being in the 1 percent.
Here is a video example of a chatbot:
Make this an open relationship
For many of us growing our businesses on social media, Instagram is our new love. Yes, Facebook owns Instagram and may eventually ruin it. But when young almost billionaires, like Kylie Jenner, can attribute her “self-made” start-up business’ insane growth and wealth to Instagram, it truly becomes a critical component of anyone’s marketing mix.
Instagram has become the new happy medium between Facebook, Twitter and YouTube where you can share photos and videos in a way that is less self-conscious than YouTube, less political and text-based than Twitter and less intrusive than Facebook.
Pro tip: Get familiar with other platforms that allow you to get in front of both people you know and people you want to know. Instagram is one source to start with, but keep your eyes peeled for others.