Every Realtor I know is on Facebook … or at least they know they should be. And yet most Realtors don’t get any results from it. Is Facebook a colossal waste of time for Realtors? Or are Realtors just taking the wrong approach?

I’ve been on Facebook since back when MySpace was still cool and I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things along the way. In 2011 my husband/real estate partner, Brendan Powell, and I generated 17 closed transactions strictly because of Facebook. And I’m going to tell you exactly how we did it. Today, I’ll start off with the strategy we employed to facilitate genuine engagement. Tomorrow we’ll talk business.

1. We had a Facebook strategy and understood our target market. Like our online and print marketing efforts, we have a strategy, a plan, a target and a message for each one of our activities on Facebook, integrated into our overall marketing strategy. The experience someone has with us on Facebook isn’t unlike the one they’ll have with us at an open house, when reading our blog or when getting our postcard in the mail.

2. We targeted our messages. In our business, everyone you meet online is either a buyer or a seller, a source of referrals, or both. Yes, all 400 of your Facebook friends and all 150 of your business page fans are potential sources of business. Facebook allows you to tailor your message and target:

target image via shutterstock

  • Your real sphere of influence:people with whom you have real relationships in real life. These 10-15 people are your primary ambassadors and can be a huge source of referrals.
  • Your extended sphere of influence: people who are your Facebook friends but who you aren’t likely to see or talk to in real life — i.e., past co-workers, that guy you met at a bar, etc.
  • Friends” of your Facebook friends — yay, more referrals!
  • Total strangers

3. We shared original content. I know you don’t want to hear this, but fewer than 1 percent of your Facebook fans will ever return to your page after the initial “Like.” So don’t waste your time and money designing the prettiest page. Staying connected with your fans is really about ongoing, targeted and original content that appears in your fans’ news feeds (tomorrow I’ll tell you exactly how to do that).

authentic image via shutterstock

It pains me when I see Realtors sharing only news headlines and listings on Facebook. Guess what? Our fans and friends can read an online newspaper, too, and there are far easier ways for them to look at listings online. Being a curator of content means locating unique and interesting stories and sharing original content from our own photos and funny tales from the road, to our blogs and opinions. Just like our website and blog, content is king.

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