Top 5 Tips for Growing Your Facebook Page

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with RealBird Inc.

By now, most of you have heard about Facebook Pages and many of you have set up one or more for your real estate business or local communities.

I noticed that most real estate Facebook Pages however have very little content and low number of Fans. Our RealBird Facebook Page has been growing nicely and I thought I share some of the things that we learned. You may be able to apply these techniques to your own Facebook Pages.

1) Your Facebook Page should be a community, so allow your Fans' posts to show up on your Page Wall

Pretty much most of the real estate related Facebook Pages I saw show only the Page owner's posts. It's a major fail in my opinion. I suspect, that is is due to the fact that this is the default settings when you create a Facebook Page, but also because many Page creators consider their Facebook Page to be just another of their own websites. What you really want to do is building a community and engaging users and nothing engages them more, then seeing that their own voice will be heard, i. e., their posts shown on your Page Wall. They will notice this by seeing other fans' posts being shown and that will encourage them to share as well.

Don't worry about "spam" for the following reasons:

  1. People only spam when there are enough people to reach with their shady activity. In which case you are already in a very good position. 
  2. Facebook requires authentication for posting on walls, and this closed system approach reduces the chance of outragous spam messages. 
  3. Even with the above mentioned Wall settings, your users' posts will NOT stream into other fans personal profile, nor to your Facebook Page widgets. The incentives are very low for spammers. 
  4. Finally, you can easily delete spam messages and block particular users and if nothing else works and your Page is overtaken by spammers, you can roll back to the default option and show only your own posts on the Wall. 
  5. The gain you get by allowing fans' posts to be shown is way bigger than the annoyance of the unlikely spam activity

To enable this settings on your Facebook Page, use the "Edit Page" link under your logo, then under the "Wall Settings" select the "Posts by Page and Fans" option as shown on the image below

Facebook Page Wall Settings

2) Add the Facebook Page Fan widget to your blog, website and single property websites. Add it everywhere !

So where do fans come from? Below is a list of possible sources (not a complete list):

  1. Facebook suggest your Page to a Facebook user based on some internal algorithm (e.g. their friends are already fanned your Page)
  2. When somebody fans your Page, this action show up on their friends' live feed
  3. Fans invite friends to fan your Page
  4. Fans comment or post on your Page. An action, that is also shown to their friends
  5. You advertise your Page on Facebook or other ad networks
  6. Fan Box widgets of your Facebook Page on your websites and blogs
The last one is very important and one that cost you no additional money and can be very significant in terms of aggregating fans from many different sources. For example, we have our Facebook Page widget posted on every possible places. On RealBird.com, on the RealBird member area sidebar, here on ActiveRain, on our corporate blog and other places as well. Many of our RealBird members added their Facebook Page to the RealBird single property websites and RealBird Property Search as well.

It is also important to note that the Facebook Page Fan Box widget which actually shows a sample of your Fans is way more productive than just having a Facebook button. It not only provides a one-click fanning option to your website visitors, but it also make your outside websites and blogs more personal by showing faces of real people. This is another undervalued option and most of the real estate sites including major national sites skip this step and only add a Facebook button. If it is technically possible, make sure that you add the full featured Facebook Page Fan Box widget to your blogs and sites, not just a simple button. Conversion rate (visitors to fans) will be significantly higher.

3) Ask questions and add "call for action" posts

Remember, the goal is to create a community of fans, not just a one way broadcasting system. To encourage your fans to participate, make sure you have posts that ask questions. Not all of them will receive replies, but eventually some of them will. But the very fact that you ask questions and use "call for action" terms will make your Facebook Page look more personal and hence increase engagement over time. There are poll applications that you can add to your Facebook Page, but I think the simplest and more personal option is the way to go. Whenever we share a technology or an interesting product on the RealBird Facebook Page, most of the time we ask our fans to see what they think about it or whether they already use it. It is as simple as adding a question to the end of the post with a question mark at the end. A good example is Mike Conner's Living in Olympia Facebook Page with high level of user engagement.

4) "Like" and comment on fan generated wall posts

I noticed on many successful Facebook Pages, that the Page owner replies or at least "likes" most if not all of the user generated posts. Just like allowing your fans to see their own posts on the main Wall, replying to fans is another important way to keep them engaged and show them that their voice is heard. That they are not posting into the void, but there are actual people out there who noticed their posts.

5) Do not overload with auto-posts, but mix it every now and then

There are many ways to autopost your external content to your Facebook Page and they may be useful as productivity tools, but I found myself getting bored on Pages that are clearly automated systems. There are exceptions, e.g. major blogs like TechCrunch, where I do not mind that their Facebook Page is mostly a delivery channel for their blog content, but in most cases, it makes a really boring content and completely not engaging one.

As a rule of thumb, most Facebook Pages should have one or two posts by the owner per day. Remember, the main interface where your fans will see your Page's posts is their own personal Facebook live feed. They may have hundreds of friends and hundreds of fanned Facebook Pages, all of them competing for the same live feed user interface. Don't expect that your content is the most important for them. If you have too much posts on your Facebook Page, it may overtake their personal user interface and eventually they are going to unfan your page or hide your updates. I did that before with some Facebook Pages and not because I did not like them, but for the above mentioned reasons, there were just way too many posts coming in every day. This does not contradict the fact that you allow and show Fan posts, because those are not syndicated to other fans' live feed.

Having that said, you also have to have a consistent stream of new posts. Post too much and they will unfan your Page, post too few and they will forget about you and your brand. For a typical Page, I suggest 1-2 posts per day. It's not a firm number just a guideline, you may post a little more, you may post less, but keep these considerations in mind.

To demonstrate where our RealBird Facebook Page is so far in terms of fan count and growth and for transparency reasons, please see a screenshot of our recent Facebook Insight stats. It shows a very nice growth in terms of new fans and a pretty flat unsubscribe level.

RealBird Facebook Page Insight

Well, this would not be a best-practices post unless I use it to gain some new fans for our Facebook Page so I added our Facebook Page Fan Box widget below and invite you to fan us on Facebook. So here we go: if you liked this post, please Fan our Facebook Page below. It only takes 1 or 2 clicks :) Thanks.





-- Zoltan 
RealBird.com

 


 

Comments (171)

RealBird Real Estate Marketing
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA
All-In-One Real Estate Marketing Toolkit

Just did and fanned :)

Apr 06, 2010 01:30 PM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Very informative. I copied this post.I especially needed the part about the settings.

Apr 07, 2010 12:57 AM
Kevin Dwyer
Sellstate Next Generation - San Diego, CA

Thanks Zoltan. As an old school prospector, I'm really just starting to see the light on Social Media. Your tips definitely help. Keep em coming

Apr 07, 2010 06:12 PM
Bert Spangenthal
Retired Realtor - Toledo, OH
Let's see what is out my front door.

Jeff,

Thank you for your help.

Step one is now done!!!

Apr 10, 2010 03:01 AM
Sean Carroll
The Get Off Your A$$ Academy - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Speaker and "Expert" Coach

Thanks for the very practical tips. Little by little, I see the numbers ticking higher

Apr 12, 2010 09:05 AM
John Armstrong
Coldwell Banker Heart of America - Bloomington-Normal, IL

I read somewhere to treat it like you're at a cocktail party. don't shove business down their throats. It seems to work for me.

Apr 12, 2010 11:45 PM
RealBird Real Estate Marketing
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA
All-In-One Real Estate Marketing Toolkit

John - Exactly. Very important to find the correct metaphor from real-world social life and treat it the same way, whether online or offline. Cocktail party sounds about right :)

Apr 16, 2010 06:29 AM
Timo Yannopoulos
Platinum Realty Licensed in Missouri - Kansas City, MO
Buying and Selling Kansas City Homes

Now you make my old head spin again I like this RealBird Stuff

Apr 20, 2010 07:23 AM
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Great Facebook tips.  I think you've got to find the right balance if you expect people to keep following your posts.

May 11, 2010 05:24 PM
RealBird Real Estate Marketing
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA
All-In-One Real Estate Marketing Toolkit

Thanks Gary. Agree with the comment on the right balance 

May 13, 2010 08:46 AM
Anonymous
Engel & Völkers California

Hi,

I suggest using eye catching pictures to attract fans. We opened are corporate fanpage for all of California 3 days ago and have been getting about 200 fans a day.  The fastest we to grow fans is to write impressive articles.

Feel free to visit our fanpage at www.facebook.com/engelvolkers

We used a combination of Flash boxes, CSS, xhtml to make a page that is more interactive.  

Some other great pages are: CocaCola, hgtv, and pringles :)

 

thanks,

Engel Völkers California

 

 

Jun 15, 2010 08:25 AM
#163
RealBird Real Estate Marketing
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA
All-In-One Real Estate Marketing Toolkit

Very nice. Thanks for sharing

Jun 18, 2010 04:35 AM
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Zoltan ~ Did a search for fan page posts and found yours - I've read your post, all the comments and checked out lots of the pages via everybody's links. Great stuff all the way around!

I'm in the first week or so with my page Cambridge House Hunter - so much to learn! Your post gives me a game plan.

One question driving me nuts - re the Fan Box widget - aka the Like Box - when I put it on my AR page it showed up (in every view - I tried signing out of AR to check) as "you already like this page" with a thumbs down to "unlike" the page. Bummer!! The only thing I figured out to do was to unlike my own page and then the widget displayed correctly.

Somehow that doesn't strike me as the right thing to do. Any ideas?

Thanks!!

Liz

Aug 05, 2010 05:46 PM
RealBird Real Estate Marketing
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA
All-In-One Real Estate Marketing Toolkit

Elizabeth - I went to your AR blog and clicked "Like" on your sidebar Facebook Like Box. I get the message now: You like this (Unlike) . No thumb down anymore. I think they changed that. You should "Like" your own page again. It is now straight forward to see whether you already liked it

BTW: Did you see the Facebook Listing Pages capabilities with RealBird? Here is the latest post about it:

Facebook Listing Pages with RealBird

Thanks

-- Zoltan

Aug 08, 2010 01:22 PM
Dennis Martin, J.D.
Real Estate One Charlevoix - Charlevoix, MI

Wow. I am on a steep social media learning curve! Trying to put links on all my pages to each other. Yikes!!!

Sep 05, 2010 09:01 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I still have a lot of work to do on my fan page before I want to promote it.

Sep 05, 2010 05:46 PM
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL
www.professionalinvestorsguild.com

Thanks for the post.  I'm heading over to my Facebook fan page right now to make the change...

Sep 06, 2010 05:46 AM
RealBird Real Estate Marketing
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA
All-In-One Real Estate Marketing Toolkit

Dennis - Cross linking your online presence is worth the time

Christine - Once you are ready, share it with us here

Matt - Sounds good, we are glad that you found this post useful.

Sep 06, 2010 09:52 AM
Michael L. Brownstead
Brownstead Real Estate, LLC - Frisco, TX
ABR, GRI, MRP, SRS, 1SG US Army (Ret.)

Zoltan, this is awesome information and it will help me as I continue to refine my Facebook business page. Thanks again!

Aug 25, 2011 12:45 AM
Angel Lynn
Angel Lynn Realty - Sacramento, CA

Such useful info!  I can't wait to finally see some results!

Dec 29, 2011 07:35 AM

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