We recently shared how realtors can use Facebook to help establish a strong online business presence. Today, we wanted to take a deeper dive into the topic, and talk about specific actions realtors can take to generate leads on Facebook.
As the largest online community on the planet, Facebook can be a potential source of nearly endless customer leads. The social network now has 1.61 billion monthly active users who share an overwhelming amount of content every single day. It’s no wonder many agents don’t know where to even begin.
Of course, as we explained in our previous blog, the first step is to set up your Facebook business account, ideally with a custom URL that matches your website. (For example, if your website is www.yourlocalrealtor.com, your Facebook URL would be www.facebook.com/yourlocalrealtor.)
Next, start gathering followers and begin sharing content. Once you have your presence well established, it’s time to optimize your Facebook page for your real estate business to make sure you’re using it to its full potential. At Adair, we’re constantly sharing posts of our staff, newly constructed homes and customer testimonials - and we always encourage realtors to take advantage of this content by sharing it with friends.
Optimizing Your Page
Since Facebook is home to such a large audience, you need to make sure your page is professional, effective, and targeting the right people—folks in your area who are actually interested in buying or selling a home. Luckily, Facebook provides business owners with a variety of tools for getting their message out to their intended audience.
As you optimize your Facebook page to make it work better for your business, be sure to follow these five best practices:
1. Create “Curb Appeal”
When someone visits your page, you want it to seem professional and polished. Make sure you’re using high-quality cover and profile photos. You should also make sure to use high-resolution images when you post about a new home or community.
Facebook has varying image size requirements for the different types of images you can upload. Be sure to stick to these requirements in order for every photo to look its best. Here’s a quick cheat sheet from Hubspot:
- Cover image: 828 x 315
- Profile image: ≥180 x 180
- Shared image: 1200 x 900
- Shared link preview image: 1200 x 628
In addition, be sure to carefully proofread every single post. Nothing says “unprofessional” like misspellings and grammar mistakes.
2. Make Use of Custom Tabs
Facebook business pages enable the use of custom tabs, which are helpful ways to organize your information to make it more accessible to visitors. You can incorporate a custom tab for any subset of information that you want potential clients to easily access. For example, you might add a tab with client reviews so people can easily get an idea of how well you’ve worked with previous homebuyers.
3. Use Facebook Lead Ads
Lead ads are incredibly valuable because they enable you to target your ads to very specific audiences. Facebook lets you customize your ads so they will be seen by those users who are most likely to become clients. That’s because they target people in specific areas, with certain demographic characteristics—such as age, gender, and language—and other criteria. You can even zero in on people based on their interests and behaviors on Facebook. This helps you ensure that ads about your services, new communities, or particular homes, are seen by the very people who are most likely to be interested.
Not only do lead forms let you target very specific audiences; they also give you a chance to capture a potential client’s name and contact information. For example, in this National Association of Realtors (NAR) blog, they walk you through the process of setting up a Facebook lead ad that offers a local market activity report with a free home evaluation to a target audience.
The NAR local market activity report is a great example of offering something of value in exchange for visitors’ contact information. Even realtors can understand that people are bombarded with marketing emails and text messages. These days, you’re much more likely to secure high-quality leads if you offer something in return, rather than simply doing a “cold ask.”
Provide a Call to Action
Facebook’s business pages allow you to add a call to action (CTA) button at the lower right-hand corner of your cover image. Adding a CTA helps guide visitors to take the next step, whether that is calling or emailing you, visiting your website, or viewing available homes. A clear and compelling CTA helps convert visitors into true leads.
A Facebook page isn’t the place to bombard followers with your listings day in and day out. Instead, you should have a healthy mix of valuable and—at times—entertaining content, such as articles about market trends or businesses relocating to the area, as well as the occasional post about your listings. This will help you to earn your followers’ trust, without them feeling like you’re trying to do a hard sell every time you’re on Facebook.
Not great at coming up with your own content? Adair’s Facebook Page offers plenty of pictures, videos and testimonials that you can easily share with friends, family and colleagues. By sharing these stories, you can help people start thinking about homeownership much earlier - while also keeping you top-of-mind as the one who shared the content.
Social Media Today recommends an 80/20 blend: Eighty percent of your posts should be newsy and relevant content that people will enjoy reading and/or get some benefit from. The remaining 20 percent can highlight notable homes or neighborhoods.
Forming True Connections
As you set up your professional Facebook account and start reaching out to potential clients, remember that the social media platform is simply an extension of your “real-world” business. Treat your followers like you would your family and friends, and don’t hammer them over the head with sales pitches. Remember, Facebook is all about relationships, so you want to maintain and foster yours at every opportunity.