Facebook continues to be the world’s most popular social network and a key place for businesses and brands to market themselves.
Are you taking advantage of Facebook for your real estate business? If not, you’re missing out. Consider these numbers, via Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate:
- 73 percent of U.S. consumers expect to find small businesses on Facebook and many may choose a company to work with based on their presence and availability
- More than half of all U.S. consumers are more likely to work with and purchase from brands they follow on social media
- 43 percent of web traffic is generated from social media, with Facebook being the largest; comparatively, Google drives 38 percent
That’s some serious traffic.
Eighty-two percent of U.S. adults aged 30-to-49 are active on Facebook, where Generation X (born 1961-81) spends almost seven hours a week, according to a report by tracx.com. Plus, per NAR, the median age of a first-time homebuyer is 32 and the average age of a typical buyer is 44.
Simply put, agents are missing out if they’re not trying to benefit from Facebook.
So what’s the best way to utilize Facebook as a real estate agent? Although Facebook is a great avenue to share your listings, it can be a much more powerful tool. And, as all agents know, succeeding in this business is all about getting leads.
Likes, comments and shares are great. But those interactions won’t get you emails, numbers or potential clients.
Here are four areas to look at to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Facebook page:
Facebook isn’t simply a dumping ground for links to all your listings – though you should definitely post them. But if that’s all you share, the likelihood of getting leads is slim. While people use Facebook daily, they aren’t on it 24/7 and likely won’t go to your page every time they log on. That means you should be posting different content as much as three or five times throughout the day.
But what to post?
This isn’t a personal account, and while it is your business, avoid posting only about yourself. Write on a wide range of topics that take readers to your website (with a call to action so you get their email). Post interesting industry-related articles that cater to your different audiences, such as tips for new/current/prospective homeowners, DIY projects, market news and even the latest celebrity housing listing.
And, yes, post some testimonials. But only do it every so often and abide by the 80/20 rule – 80 percent customer focused, 20 percent about you. Make sure what you’re posting has value.
The more informative and greater variety of posts, the more likely you’ll receive engagement and be viewed as a real estate expert rather than someone who’s simply begging for more business.
It’s proven that posts with images get 650 percent more interaction than posts without. Yes, you read that correctly: 650 percent.
For some businesses and brands, creating posts with images might be difficult. Luckily for real estate agents, it’s easy in a field where what you’re selling is so often about looks.
Again, don’t go overboard with only posting your listings. But when you do, think about adding photo galleries or a short video so potential buyers can get a more in-depth understanding of it. Another subtle way to promote new listings is to update your cover photo regularly with new, eye-catching images of homes just hitting the market.
Responding promptly to messages or questions in the comments section goes without saying. This is about connecting with your followers, potential customers and community. Share news stories about local gatherings such as festivals or a big prep sports game. Find cheap gas on the Thursday before a holiday weekend? Post about it. These types of posts humanize your business page and, coupled with others, promote you not only as a knowledgeable agent but also as an active member of the community.
Also consider running a contest or sweepstakes. People love freebies and are more willing to share their emails if there’s a chance they’ll get something out of it. It doesn’t have to be extravagant – a $25 or $50 gift certificate to the local pub or restaurant will suffice – but also think about what type of cool and different things will pique interest. As for running contests, websites such as Wishpond, Antavo and Offerpop can help.
Business pages on Facebook are more customizable than regular profiles. Add tabs separating different categories such as listings, reviews, testimonials, blogs and even market stats.
We’ve all been to poorly-designed websites where it’s difficult to find what we’re looking for. Make it easy for visitors to effortlessly find exactly what they’re looking for on your page.
Check out what else we’ve written about using social media in your business:
- 5 Ways Social Media Can Grow Your Real Estate Business
- How Real Estate Agents Can Connect, Engage & Create Leads on Twitter
- How Real Estate Agents Can Benefit From LinkedIn
- How Real Estate Agents Can Benefit From Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube & Pinterest