As we continue our tour through websites relevant to building a real estate business, we reach quite a doozy: the world’s largest social network. Facebook is practically synonymous with social media, having inhereted the crown from Myspace years ago and continued to dominate to the point that it is extremely rare to meet someone who doesn’t at least have a page on there. With such a wide reach, Facebook clearly has incredible potential to anyone looking to market themselves and their business. But how is that potential realized?
Let’s start with the obvious: you’re on Facebook. Well, OK, maybe you aren’t, but statistically, it’s extremely likely. The same could be said for nearly anyone of consumer age. Facebook, therefore, comes as close to connecting you with literally everyone as any avenue. Even Yelp, which is so widely utilized, still is somewhat pigeonholed by being limited to businesses and services. Facebbok is all about connecting people, and sharing as much as one’s life as they want with others, granting the ability to share (and observe) any thoughts, images or experiences you can conceive of. It is the pinnacle of freedom and exposure, offering nearly unlimited opportunity for creativity and getting your message across.
This freedom does come at a certain cost, of course. Since Facebook content consists of literally anything and everything (within the terms of service, I suppose), getting across a specific, consistent message can be difficult amidst the constant flood of content. Fortunately, the option for a Facebook business page exists, which alleviates some of these concerns. The business page is marked with certain identifiers that allow others to find it in searches, and is structurally somewhat different from a personal page. It allows you to separate a business or orginization from the more personal elements that a normal profile may contain and stand apart as a professional operation, with a rundown of services provided, contact info and, most importantly, reviews. In this way, Facebook can serve as a sort of “Yelp Plus,” allowing locals to leave reviews while also leaving room for blogging, photos, videos and other general marketing content creation by the business in question. Basically, Facebook is sort of a package deal: it allows you to showcase your business and collect meaningful reviews, while simultaneously marketing yourself as an agent and your real estate listings. And it’s all for free!
Or rather, it can be for free, and that’s one of the sticky points of Facebook. You see, Facebook’s sheer scope and tricky algorithms mean that sometimes, it can be hard for people to see your content without going directly to your page. It might pop up in their timeline, it might not. The more Likes and Shares it has, the more likely it seems to show up for other people, but it is getting those acknowledgements in the first place that can be deceptively difficult, no matter how compelling the content you’re providing. There are ways around this, including paying money to Facebook to run ads that increase your visibility. This is not unique to Facebook, of course: Zilow, Yelp and many other sites offer similar advertising programs. But it certainly adds an additional wrinkle to planning your online marketing budget. Does Facebook’s wide reach make up for the fact that it is not a site focused on real estate (like Zillow) or commerce in general (like Yelp)? That is really up to the user to decide.
One thing I will say for certain though: a Facebook page is absolutely indispensable. Regardless of the reach of your posts, or your Facebook ads or lack thereof, the fact is that Facebook is one of the premier ways to establish yourself and set yourself apart from other agents. Once someone hears of your services, there is a very good chance that they will turn to Facebook as a sort of “background check” for you, allowing the potential client to determine what sort of person you are, what your online image is, what volume/type of business you are doing, etc. This is where the Facebook reviews come in: having positive reviews on the king of social media sites bolsters your image considerably! Not to mention the fact that Facebook is a tremendous boon for advertising listings, whether to would-be buyers or to other agents you are connected to. You never know when the photos you post might catch the eye of the perfect person and set off a domino effect that ends in a sale.
It can be easy to get lost on Facebook, to get distracted by others’ photos or get caught up in “why don’t more people like this?” syndrome. The best advice is to simple maintain your presence with consistent posts, engaging content, and encouraging reviews from satisfied clients. You’ll be happy you did, whether or not you choose to go the paid advertising route. The upside is simply too high to ignore, and Facebook has become less of an optional tool and more of a basic prerequisite for doing business.
Speaking of which, if any of you kind people would be so gracious as to leave me a review on my Facebok business page, I would greatly appreciate it. The link is below:
And if you would like to connect to my personal Facebook, the link is:
As always, thanks so much for reading! I hope you have enjoyed this look at Facebook and its importance to the real estate business. Next week, we’ll be taking that “business” category to the next level…
TO BE CONTINUED…