Facebook has become a source of controversy among business people in all niches for several years. Some say it’s overrated, while others swear by the leads generated from a well designed Facebook ad. Regardless of your current stance on the platform, check out the top 5 tips for maximizing the leverage that Facebook can bring to you as a real estate professional.
Go Pro with a Facebook Business Page
A personal page on Facebook is where you post your personal photos, keep in touch with your family and friends, follow celebrities, and if you’re like the rest of the world, play games. You might share memes, jokes, pictures of the kids, or share news articles that are important to you.
A business page is very different and comes with a different set of rules and parameters. A business page is where you will share business-focused content with your audience. Current Facebook policies frown on that in a personal profile. Your business page also gives you the platform to share a professional bio, description of your services, territory or location, and lots of other details. These details help a prospective client learn more about you personally and what type of business they might bring to you.
Don’t be afraid to inject a little personality into your business page. You do want to stand out and appeal to your ideal clients. We are more likely to do business with people that we know and like. Showing details about yourself that others can relate to, including hobbies, groups and affiliations, and college alma mater, will help people connect more quickly with you.
Maximize Facebook’s information tools by completing your full profile. It’s not enough to just pop in your picture and your phone number. Take advantage of the “About” section to talk about your personal best practices and customer care policies. Let your audience know who you are and why you love doing what you do for them.
Put Your Best Photo Forward
You have two “above the fold” opportunities to introduce yourself and draw the interest to your Facebook business page: the profile photo and the cover photo.
Save the family barbecue snapshot or the beach selfie for your personal profile and opt for a professional head and shoulders shot for the profile photo. In your photo, dress as you would when meeting with a client and don’t forget to smile. Make the connection easy for visitors to your Facebook business page by using the same or similar photo that you use on business cards, commercials, or local signage.
Since imagery is essential when creating consistency in your branding, make sure to also brand your cover photo. Use this space to visually connect your customers to the services you offer. Try an impressive photo of a beautiful home combined with your logo or name. If your specialty is NYC townhomes, showcase a gorgeous brownstone. If it’s rural vintage farms, try a photo depicting that environment. Wow your visitors.
Post to Be Found
Did you know that the content you post on Facebook counts towards your ranking on Google? If you want to experiment, try a Google search of any given topic or person. You will find that a Facebook profile or business page is often ranked high on the first page of results.
What does this mean? It means that you should be posting content that your ideal customer finds valuable. Know what type of information they are searching for and share education, tips, or your perspective on those areas of interest. Are they looking for homes in a gated community? Photos illustrating the luxury and security available in those communities are great content items to add to your posts.
One word of caution about photos and graphics that you share on Facebook statuses: only the text that you type into the status update box will be searchable. Any text laid over a photo that becomes part of the image is not searchable. Be sure that your core message is in your status post to maximize searchability.
Equally important to your Facebook content strategy are keywords under which you expect to be found. Consider making a list of them and keeping them handy for content creation. If you really know who your target user or Facebook fan is, you may already have a sense of what types of things they are typing into that Google search box. Try to work your keywords (such as Real Estate Agent, Home Buying Tips, or Beautiful New Homes) into your content whenever possible.
As of February 2015, there were 1.39 billion users on Facebook according to zephoria.com. You are going to want to get in on that piece of the market—it is simply too big to ignore. If Joe and Sally Newlywed are searching for agents or home services in your area over breakfast on Saturday morning, you want to be the agent they find.
Plan Your Post Strategy
Having a strategy around what and when you will post is important. Consider these tips for the types of posts you could share.
Offer valuable information to your audience such as landscaping tips, decorating tips, home maintenance articles, and DIY suggestions. This type of content can be cultivated and shared from other sources–you don’t have to create it yourself. Just be sure to post/share it with your own thought or comment about what you found valuable in the article.
Offer information about things happening locally in the region in which you work, such as market stats or neighborhood improvements. This information can be useful to people looking to relocate to your area, as well as to people looking to move within their local city or county. It shows that you are up-to-date with what’s happening and you’re not just trying to sell, sell, sell.
Use your Facebook business page to announce upcoming open houses or new listings. Be sure to include plenty of well-written descriptive copy along with your gorgeous property pictures. It’s not enough to just show the home. You want to sell the home’s most attractive qualities.
If you ask ten social media professionals, you will get ten different answers to the question “How often should I post on Facebook?” According to Socialbakers.com the sweet spot that offers your followers enough posts to keep them engaged, but not so many that they are turned away, is about 5-10 posts per week.
Get to know the Insights panel on your business page. It shows an easy-to-read graph that will show you which times of day your audience is most active. Schedule your posts for those times and don’t be afraid to experiment a little bit until you find the best timing for the engagement you desire.
Keep your content offerings simple, entertaining and informative and you will be on the right track. Be sure you have time to devote to your Facebook business profile, or delegate someone else who can. A page with gaps in content posts can be as damaging as not having one at all.
Call to Action
Facebook recently released the ability to program a “Call to Action” button. You can use this button in a few ways. You can offer your visitors a free download, which in turn drives them to your website or blog. You can use it to offer visitors a chance to sign up for a free event, or you can use it as a simple “Contact Me” button. Make it easy for your Facebook visitors to connect with you.
Facebook isn’t going away. As a Real Estate Professional, you will want to find your spot in the great blue social media platform, and settle in for some marketing success. It is a great spot to meet and mingle with your current and potential clients. Your Facebook information should become part of your branding. If you have a personal website or broker profile page, make sure there is a link to your Facebook business page listed there and add a link to your website from your Facebook business page. Don’t forget to put the Facebook logo on your business cards and other printed materials as well so people know to connect with you there.
This blog/website is made available by CRES Insurance Services for educational purposes to give you general information and understanding of legal risks and insurance options, not to provide specific legal advice. This blog/website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. Claims examples are for illustrative purposes only. Read your policy for a complete description of what is covered and excluded.
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