Are you sitting down?
We need to share something—a harsh truth that (we promise!) you'll be all the better for realizing.
You're doing Facebook wrong.
You read that right. If you're a real estate professional using Facebook to market your services, you've probably erred when it comes to communicating with your social media sphere at one time or another.
We're here to tell you: It's okay.
The fault is with Facebook, which, after introducing "the Wall," has added a head-spinning number of options to connect with friends, friends of friends, and followers. Chat, comments, Messenger, messages, shares, updates, visitor posts…not to mention, a constantly changing algorithm that makes even the savviest Facebookers scratch their heads. Still wondering how you could get it wrong?
Carrying on a conversation across Facebook's many connect options is generally admissible—say, responding to a lead who commented on your page with a message. The mistakes happen when you intend to post or share information to your page to engage your followers (read: prospects), but instead comment on another page's post, message another page, post to the source's page (it has happened!)…anything but associate that information with your page and your real estate business.
Allow us to illustrate with real-life examples from our own Facebook pages (RISMedia and Housecall):
Think these folks intended to connect with us, or their friends and followers?
Related: Tips for Communicating Effectively with Homebuyers
Though it's likely some of your friends and followers will see your activity regardless (thank Facebook's algorithm again for that), a comment or visitor post (buried with others) are much less impactful than sharing the information on your profile or page, where you can control not only your branding, but also your messaging. Sharing valuable information to your page (the Top 10 Most Expensive Mistakes You're Making on Your Home, say) breeds familiarity and builds credibility with your followers. You're incubating your follower leads.
How can you avoid getting tripped up? Let's demonstrate using the examples above.
In the first and second examples, the users posted to the RISMedia Facebook page, as opposed to sharing the RISMedia story from that page to their own profiles or pages, and friends and followers. The best practice here? Click Share underneath a post you want to share with your friends and followers and review the options in the dropdown menu at the top before sharing it. You can share it on your timeline (ideal), on a friend's timeline, on a page you manage (ideal if you have a separate page specifically for your real estate business), in a group or event, or in a message.
In the third example, the user messaged the Housecall Facebook page, as opposed to commenting below the Housecall story posted on Housecall's page, or sharing the story to his/her own profile or page, and friends and followers. The user would have better connected with friends and followers had he/she shared the Housecall story on his/her timeline or page, with "Call me!" as the caption of the shared post.
Bottom line: You know real estate inside and out. Showcase your savvy when marketing that know-how on Facebook by staying aware of not only what you communicate, but also how you communicate it. It's well worth the effort!
Want to do Facebook right? Visit ace.rismedia.com.