It seems like every time I check my email or log in to Facebook I see it. It is ANOTHER request from someone I don’t know, or don’t know well – to LIKE their Facebook page.
To say it’s annoying would be an understatement. In fact, it’s not only annoying and sometimes pathetic – it doesn’t mean jack.
I’m hoping this post will change how real estate professionals look at Facebook, specifically their Facebook business pages.
It never fails. I meet a real estate agent casually, and later that day “bing” – so and so invited you to LIKE their Facebook page. Really? Well thank you! How can I possibly thank you? I know you must have chosen me from hundreds or even thousands of people, how did I win this lottery? Wait a minute, no I didn’t win anything you invited everyone you met that day. Of course you did.
It’s not your fault. You were invited to like another real estate agents page and you thought – “hey, that’s a great idea!”. It’s probably not. In the real estate space it’s called “modeling”. And the real estate space is full of it. It’s great when the agent you are modeling knows what they are doing but what if they don’t? By the way when it comes to Facebook – they likely don’t.
Real estate agents want peeps to LIKE their Facebook page for multiple reasons. The main reasons are lead generation and social proof. Many real estate agents think if they could only get more people on their Facebook business page it would turn into leads. Others believe they need to have a certain number of LIKES to be credible, to show others like and trust them – that’s called Social Proof. Here’s the deal, neither of those are true. Not necessarily any way. I’ll explain.
Facebook or “failbook” as I like to call it sometimes can be a HUGE time suck. It can be a fantastic tool for real estate agents IF they use it correctly. Most don’t. You see, what does it matter how many LIKES you have if they 1) are other real estate agents in your market 2) aren’t going to engage with you 3) have no desire to buy, sell, invest? Answer – it doesn’t. Facebook LIKES are all about engagement. Engagement is what CAN get you leads. LIKES likely won’t.
I see Facebook pages that have 1,000 LIKES. And it’s a ghost town. I see questions from the page owners like “what’s everyone doing this weekend?” CRICKETS. Why is this? Because they are not engaged. They were invited to LIKE a page and some did. They never said they would engage though. I would rather have 3 likes on my business page from 3 people that would do business with me, that would engage with me, that care about my product and would share it if asked – than 1,000 LIKES from people that couldn’t give a damn.
Some real estate professionals believe they will get leads if they could only get more LIKES on their pages. This used to be the case. Not so much any more though.
BEFORE Facebook went public, the number of likes did matter. The more likes you had the more likely it was your updates would show up in the newsfeed of those that liked your page. Not so much any more though. Why? Because now that Facebook is public they went from trying to make their users happy (us), to trying to make their share holders happy (them). And how do you keep share holders happy? Money. How do you create money? Well if you’re Facebook you sell ads. You also create “promoted posts” and “boost post”. Facebook has openly stated they are dropping organic reach . Traffic used to be free. It used to be the people that legitimately liked your page would be alerted when you posted something they essentially “opted in” for. Not any more. Now Facebook wants you to pay to reach the very people that liked your page. Crazy huh.
It went downhill fast. When Facebook went public in May 2012 traffic to business pages started dropping. I’ve seen estimates above 70% LESS engagement. Less traffic. It’s a business, I get it. Can’t legitimately complain about something that is FREE.
The true benefit in utilizing Facebook in your real estate business (beyond Facebook ads which can be awesome) is in driving traffic. The best marketers use Facebook to drive traffic (consumers) away from Facebook and to their sales pages and real estate websites. It is their websites where they have IDX feeds, white papers, sales stats, videos, testimonials, local area information and more. This is where savvy real estate pros engage with their audiences. Even better, unlike Facebook, you own your website. Do you own Facebook? When I teach classes I drill one thing home – you should never rely on something you don’t own. Period. Terms Of Service change.
So what should you do? Well, stop inviting peeps like me to like your Facebook page. I will like your Facebook page, THEY will like your Facebook page if you are creating VALUE for me. For us. If I see you as the expert I will like your page. If you are educating and informing me about things I care about I will like your page. If you are saving me money I will like your page. If you are posting why you are the best agent in the universe, why your brokerage is better than another, awkward pictures of your past clients cringing as you congratulate them on their new home, thank you’s from you to your team for being awesome – I won’t and neither will they.
A social media strategy is imperative today in real estate. This is where your target audience is. But before you can have an effective social media strategy you need to have an effective content marketing strategy. People won’t go to your real estate website because you ask them to. But they will go for VALUE. Value is information. Homes for sale, subdivision info, market and sales trends, things to do, local restaurant reviews and coupons. Value makes me smarter. The best medium is VIDEO. Not only because consumers prefer video, but because Facebook’s Algorithm does too. Direct uploads to Facebook is a sure fire way to get more organic traffic to your pages. But unless you are willing to do these things, please don’t ask me to like your Facebook page because even if they do, it won’t mean JACK.