Facebook for Real Estate
The number one issue with Facebook is that it is a social platform and not a sales billboard. If you master the art of being social, you will reap the benefits.
You may have already noticed your company Facebook page now has a significant decline in the amount of people who see your posts. This is because of the new Facebook algorithm changes which determines what is displayed on someone’s news feed. Basically it means that unless your posts are engaging, relevant and timely to your followers they won’t see what you’re posting unless you pay for advertising and promoted posts. It’s a merely commercial twist to Facebook process and some people have moved on due to this rule. However, Facebook is still the most popular social networking site in Australia by a country mile. There is currently around 13,000,000 users as at March 2014. So people are certainly using Facebook and real estate businesses would be smart to put Facebook in their overall marketing strategies. So what’s the best method to maximise your Facebook page for your real estate company?
Humanise Your Brand by breathing some life into your brand, that’s right. Put some real life people in the forefront. Your website is where people can learn about what you do but your Facebook page should be where people can learn about what you stand for and what it’s like behind the scenes at your company. Ensuring that each story and each image is still in keeping with your company image. Photos of the crowd gathering at an auction, the shoes lined up at the Open House, the amazing view from the balcony at one of your listings, the birthday cake for your receptionist. Just don’t make it a place to sell your property but engage with your potential customers with engaging content about the property. A slight twist and the results will shine.
You want engagement with a few serious friends. Don’t spend your day planning how to gain 10,000 friends on Facebook but rather spend more productive time in engaging with the dedicated few friends you already have. Their the friends that care. The biggest challenge is moving from the mindset of ‘how can we sell’ to ‘how can we help’.That is why it is important to have relevant content that will have your friends coming back for more. Some ideas might include fun themes such as ‘Friday Funnies’ being merely just a bit of fun times or ‘Throwback Thursday’ with a blast from the past (previous occupation, houses from the 1950’s etc) with a short story attached. The key is to make it sociable and fun. Why not have each team member throw in their contribution? Finish off the story with a question to invite your friends participation.
Consistent weekly content calendar is vital. As with any effective marketing, consistency is critical. So how often should you post? Once a day is ideal if time allows but multiple posts a day will have the opposite effect. At a bare minimum, you should be posting at least 3-4 times per week. If you can’t be on Facebook due to server or time restrictions, then look at tools like www.bufferapp.com or www.hootsuite.com where you can easily set up your posts all at once and automate them on a weekly schedule. Both of these programs are free and can incorporate other social media as well. Most Facebook pages will also allow for scheduling and I’ve found that if you want the photo to be the star (afterall, it is real estate) then posting directly through Facebook gives you a much bigger image.
It pays to advertise. The content you use for your Facebook ads is different to what you should post on your page. The key with Facebook ads is to reach and attract new followers by telling them what they can expect to receive by ‘liking’ your company’s page, or run a competition to offer an incentive. You are limited with characters in Facebook ads so you need to choose your wording carefully to ensure you hit your target. You can determine your own target market for your Facebook page. You can select data such as lifestyle interests, age, locations and language. Once the advert is active, it will only show in the news feed of your target audience. This is a great way to start off with Facebook to grow your friendships. Remember to have a little bit of content on your page before you start the campaign.
You can also limit the budget spend or limit the time the campaign is running for. If you forget this part, it will cost you more than the friends are worth. If everyone in your office is excited about the marketing that your company is producing to the point they want to share it on their own personal Facebook page, you could not ask for a better way to spread your message with an army of internal brand advocates. Don’t forget the include Facebook sign up form on your website and all other marketing to maximise all opportunities.