Many real estate agents have a Facebook page, yet very few seem to know what to do with it. They rarely post anything and they have (at most) a handful of people who like their page. My hope for you after reading this article is that you will take the time to add Facebook to your digital marketing plan and then set up the page to support that plan.
According to Facebook, more than 2 billion people have a Facebook account and 1.55 billion access the platform every month. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reported that on September 15, 2015, Facebook recorded a milestone when 1 billion users logged into their accounts in a single day! Face it, the world is on Facebook and you need to be too. Whether or not you create a Facebook page, you must acknowledge that your prospective (and current) customers are active on Facebook.
Don’t let the argument that social media networks go instinct stop you from making hay today. Sure, it is highly likely that Facebook will not last forever, after all, we have seen other social media networks come and go. Myspace for instance, was the largest social networking site in the world from 2005 to 2009, but today it is all but dead. Facebook might face this future too, but there is so much to gain from it today that it will be more than worth the investment of time and money that it will require.
If you set up a business page on Facebook and use it properly, you can generate thousands of email addresses for your CRM that you can use right away as well as in the future if or when Facebook goes away. Do not worry about the future of Facebook. You can profit from it today and as long as it remains economically viable.
Why Facebook For Real Estate Agents?
First and foremost, setting up a business-generating Facebook page is free and easy to do. Just follow the instructions that Facebook provides, and you’ll have your page established in less than an hour. Remember to use the same name, address and phone number (NAP) that you used for your website, as search engines will see this as validation from Facebook that your business is legitimate.
Facebook page owners enjoy numerous benefits, including being able to connect with prospective customers, generate likes, shares and other forms of social proofing, generate leads which can be added to your CRM, conduct low cost targeted marketing, build brand awareness, generate traffic to your company website, enhance your website SEO and so much more. We now spend thousands of dollars each month on Facebook ads from our Facebook business page and we diligently track ROI to ensure that it makes good sense. And it does! I recommend that you start off slowly, with a small budget, and track your results. Grow as it makes sense.
Like My Page
One effort you should pursue from the very beginning after setting up a Facebook business page is generating likes for your page. I have read that Facebook shows a business page’s ads to its fans (those that like your page) twice as often as they do to non-fans (those that do not like it). But Facebook is known to make changes on issues like these frequently. Unless Facebook enacts a new policy, your ads will be seen (for free) by more people if you continually increase the number of people who like or follow your page.
My big recommendation here is to NOT seek page likes from outside of your area, rather focus on your network! Do you really need a like from somebody that is not going to be doing business with you or referring business to you? Do you really want to waste the free distribution Facebook provides to a Realtor in another market area? Get likes from locals!
This focus will make any ad spend go a lot longer, so don't think of getting likes as a startup task, rather it needs to become part of your daily focus. My page now has over 10,000 likes, and it took several years to happen. The majority of those likes come from people who live in Tallahassee, Florida (my market area).
Facebook can be a powerful advertising platform if you take advantage of what it offers. Once you have grown your fan base, you can create an audience that includes every fan of your page. Targeting your fans with conversion-focused campaigns improves the potential of attaining an acceptable ROI because the audience that sees your ads have already positively acknowledged your brand. Additionally, you can upload all the email addresses of people in your CRM and market to them on Facebook as well. Does this sound like a good group for you to promote a "coming soon" ad?
What To Post On Facebook
My team is very active on Facebook, and we are always testing and trying new things. Over the past several years, we have found the types of things Facebook users favor versus those they do not, thus we do more of the former and less of the latter. You must do the same for your market area.
The only bad idea is one that has been tested and proved to be bad! Don’t be afraid to try different things, and then measure them based upon the performance criteria you think is most important for your business. I tend to focus my Facebook marketing on driving traffic to my website, but I have tested numerous other promotions from surveys to pop quizzes.
Feed Your Fans
It’s important to remember that setting up a Facebook business page has little or no value. It is the use of the page that will determine whether or not people choose to engage with you on the world’s busiest social media network. I don’t think there is a magic formula that will tell you how often you should update your page, but I think you will find a comfortable level if you pay attention.
Facebook is not the app people use to find homes for sale, but many find their real estate agent through well-thought-out Facebook marketing campaigns. You too can benefit from the incredible use and activity of Facebook, and it starts with building your page.