By MIKE GINGERICH
Facebook offers savvy real estate agents and brokerage firms a great way to connect with their community and potential buyers. The key is in providing long-term value. It’s a fact that buying a house is not something a person does every month, but every month someone is buying a house!
The marketing value via social media lies in providing regular, valuable, consistent information. By becoming a trusted source via your Facebook posts, and then offering easy access on Facebook to tools for home searching, real estate professionals can benefit from the power of social media to build connections, stay in front of users when they are not buying, and ultimately be the trusted source to go to when the time for buying and selling comes. While these tips are specific to real estate, the concepts applies to many industries.
Post helpful content and tips
While it is tempting to simply share every listing and post from your website in news feed posts, don’t. Remember that social media is about building relationships, being social and offering value. Users are on Facebook to connect and engage with things of interest. Being too salesy all the time will not do it. A following and community can only be created if you actively seek out and share valuable content, yours and industry/community related, that inspires, informs, educates and connects.
Post on a regular schedule, such as two to three times per day at key times and in a way that invites likes, shares and comments.
Use images and video
People are visual. The popularity of Facebook and Pinterest prove that people connect with images. If you want to quickly capture the attention of your fans or followers, add images that are eye-catching and pleasing to the eye. Also, consider using simple tools like Vine and Instagram’s video tool along with Facebook video and YouTube as ways to easily create shareable videos that display well on Facebook.
Another idea is to create real estate infographics, showcase photos of homes or local attractions within your area, post visuals of market trends, and showcase community and school news.
Add listings to a Facebook tab
While I noted you should not share every listing from your website in your news feed posts, you can share some listings and link via a smart URL to a tab where users can view the rest of your posts. Using a tool like TabSite’s WebSite ReSizer App for fan page, it can take less than 10 minutes to add your website listings page to a custom tab and have it fit perfectly.
This adds a great dimension of functionality to your fan page. When people are on Facebook, they want to stay on Facebook, and this allows them to do so by giving them the featured listing right on the Facebook page tab. Simply share a post about the property and include the smart (mobile friendly) URL in the description so users can easily access it.
Add an email sign-up tab
By adding an email sign-up tab to your Facebook page and making users aware of it periodically through posts and tips, real estate professionals can grow their email list and then reach potential buyers and sellers via this means as well.
Email marketing continues to provide value to those who use it by creating a routine of regular information and education that is in the inbox.
Together these tips implemented and carried out with regular news feed updates on one’s fan page can be a valuable method of building trust and loyalty. Along with easy access to Multiple Listing Service search tools on Facebook, this positions real estate firms that implement these tech tools ahead of others when the time is right for buying and selling.
Mike Gingerich leads the social application division of web design company, Digital Hill Multimedia (http://www.DigitalHill.com). He is a co-founder of TabSite.com, a leader in Facebook fan page tools for businesses. TabSite offers brands the power to boost Facebook marketing with contests and promotions. For more information on TabSite, please visit www.tabsite.com.