A recent study found that 79% of potential customers want you to know that you care about their business before they hire you.
That’s why engaging your target demographic with helpful content is a great way to build your reputation and your network. As we explained while helping you set up your business page, there’s no better way to connect than through Facebook.
People visit your page. You don’t know who they are, and they might not even speak to you. But if you’re regularly providing value, they’ll follow you. And when they’re finally ready to buy or sell, guess which helpful real estate agent will be on their mind?
Below, we’ll walk you through how to grow your Facebook following with useful content, engage with your followers, and do it without falling down the rabbit-hole of wasted time.
Posting Content: What, How, When, and How Often?
When you choose content to post, don’t focus on selling. There’s a place for this, and it’s not your page (it’s Facebook Ads, which we’ll get into next week).
Instead, think of your page content as a lead-nurturing tool.
What Should You Post?
Ideally, your content will focus on your particular niche, to draw in the best leads. You want to provide value to your client base, with topics like:
- How-to’s and tips for each step of the buying or selling process
- Interesting info about market trends
- Tips for homeowners, especially related to property value
- Area/lifestyle topics: local businesses, events, and attractions
- Polls to get feedback on what your followers want to hear more about
As you share helpful content, you can pepper in a few posts directly related your bottom line, like:
- Open Houses. Use the Event feature and pin the next open house to the top of your page feed.
- But not just any listings. Focus on unique or desirable properties that can help you build your brand. Limit it to only a few per month.
- Successful Clients. Congratulating clients on a home closing is a great way to: a) show off successes without bragging, b) make yourself visible to all your client’s friends when you tag them, and c) keep a positive connection so they remember to recommend you in the future.
Where Should Your Content Come From?
You should consider blogging on your own website and sharing links to those posts. However, you can curate most of your posts from other sources:
- Local media or publications
- National publications with real estate content
- Blog articles
- Helpful YouTube videos
How Do You Make the Most of Each Post?
- Use Visuals. 87% of your page’s engagement will happen on posts with photos or videos. When you post a link, Facebook will probably build a preview, but in other cases, always add a visual.
- Add Text. When sharing links or listings, always add your thoughts on what’s interesting or why it’s worth clicking through. Don’t make followers search for the value.
- Keep It Short. The stats show the most success if you keep the text under 80 characters. Not words. Characters.
- Use Hashtag or Tag People. But sparingly, and only when it’s relevant. Used properly, hashtags and tagging can be a great way to direct a client’s attention and expand your reach.
- Be a Scientist. By analyzing the response to your posts with Facebook Insights, you’ll learn to post more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
When and How Often Should You Post?
Try scheduling your posts for varying times, at first. See what gets the best response (or just what you like best). No magical formula required. Posting at the “most popular times” can make it hard to stand out.
As for how often, let’s ask this: how many pieces of quality content can you reliably gather every month? The most important thing is making your frequency sustainable in the long run.
Beyond Content: Interacting Professionally on Facebook
When you network in person, you don’t do all the talking, right? Likewise, you can’t just push out content and ignore comments and messages. A two-way conversation is crucial to a successful social media strategy.
Responding to Comments
Responding to comments can be a great way to start building relationships. A few things to keep in mind:
- No Hard Selling. Just like your posts, this is about the long game. Be helpful and personable.
- Be Unfailingly Polite. Your goal, when responding to negative comments, should be to make others think, “Wow, they handled that gracefully.”
- Keep It Short and Light. If you need to have more than one back-and-forth with one individual, consider moving it to Facebook Messenger instead. The longer you interact in the public eye, the more chance you have of a public misstep.
Facebook Messenger can be enormously valuable for businesses: for questions, appointment setting, and even outbound marketing. For efficient use of your time, you’ll want to customize your settings and use automated messages:
- General Considerations & Settings: This Hootsuite guide gives a terrific overview. Start there.
- Setting Up Auto Replies: Definitely set up Instant Reply so people how long they’ll have to wait to hear from you. Away replies are useful if you’ll be longer than average.
- Saved Replies: Save your answers to frequent questions for speed and convenience
- Consider a Chatbot: For more complex automation, you’ll need a third party chatbot. There are tons of these, many are simple to set up, and some are free for light users.
Joining and Using Facebook Groups
Joining the right Groups can be a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of both peers and potential clients.
Some ideas for growing your business:
- Peers: join groups of other real estate agents, particularly if they share valuable information like marketing tips. This could also be a great place to find shareable content.
- Location-Based: Find active groups about your community, where you can act as an expert on amenities, answer real estate questions, and network with locals.
- Location + Real Estate: Search groups for “[your community] Real Estate” or “Moving to [your community].” Tread lightly on self-promotion and focus on being helpful to potential leads.
For best results, only join active groups. Drop any that don’t seem useful in building your brand. Your time is valuable!
How to Use Facebook Efficiently
Speaking of valuable time, Facebook can quickly become a time suck if you let it. Here’s how not to:
- Schedule Time Limits. Control the frequency and length of time you spend on Facebook maintenance. Set a 15-minute timer before you start browsing Groups. Schedule a 1-hour session once a month to queue up your content.
- Make Use of Dead Time. Waiting for a client to show up? Squeeze in a few replies or browse your favorite sources for content to share. This also imposes a natural time limit.
- Stow on the Go. An app like Pocket is perfect for saving content to screen or share. It integrates with many apps for easy usage anywhere you browse.
- Automate Posting. Don’t waste your time manually posting content. You’ll be erratic and inefficient. Once or twice a month, sit down and schedule everything out in a batch. You can use Facebook’s native scheduling tools or a third party manager.
Practice What You Preach
As you nurture your leads with useful information, don’t forget to do the same for yourself. License renewal always sneaks up faster than you’d think. Knocking out your CE credits online is a great way to become a better agent, satisfy your renewal requirements, and pick up some helpful tidbits that you can pass along.