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Facebook_resultsBy now, if you’re a real estate professional who isn’t active on social media, you might as well hang up your rotary phone, sit by your typewriter, and write a note by candlelight, because communicating with today’s tech savvy home buyers will be more challenging than ever.

There’s plenty of business that can be gained by correctly using sites like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, but most social media experts agree Facebook is still the number one way to create networking opportunities with most buyers and sellers in the real estate world. After all, Facebook just passed 1.19 billion monthly active users, 874 million mobile users, and 728 million daily users. That’s a large audience of viewers who can see your message.

However, the problem is not everyone truly understands all Facebook has to offer. Sure, you know how to post and send messages, but there’s a reason that this site continues to grow and attract people and businesses. A real estate pro who wants to make the most out of using this social media giant should consider these options.

Here are four tools every real estate pro should be using on Facebook.

Dark Posts: One of Facebook’s least understood features is its Dark Posts, which are posts that aren’t visible on a timeline, but can be accessed by anyone with a direct link or by clicking through from an ad. Real estate professionals should be taking advantage of these to create copy that can appear as a sponsored piece of content, since the posts can reach anyone, not just those on his or her own newsfeed. A dark post can be used to target people most likely to interact, opening up your network possibilities.

Interest Targeting: One of Facebook’s newest offerings, the Interest Targeting feature allows a real estate pro the ability to target posts to a subset of the people who like your page. For example, an agent can use Interest Targeting to post a story about a local restaurant and the feed will only be shown to people who are in the area or who have food listed as an interest. This will allow an agent to stay top of mind within in the community and provide something to talk about when you do make your next connection. And Interest Targeting can be about any subject—wine, pets, sports, etc. It provides a great opportunity to reach non-fans who have related interests based on the pages they like and their activity on Facebook.

Graph Search: When Facebook first launched Graph Search two years ago, it was described as being ideal for “anybody in the business of building relationships,” and real estate agents are a prime example. The feature allows the use of keywords to search for people, photos, locations, or interests. Graph Search can help agents target house hunters and sellers, or let those looking to enter the housing market find them. Graph Search will display search results by people, posts, hashtags and locations. They include both friends and people in your extended network (i.e., friends of friends, people with similar interests and people nearby). To use this feature correctly, agents should beef up their interests, specialities, and work and education sections with multiple titles that people search for when looking for an agent, such as “real estate agent,” “Realtor” or “broker,” so there are more opportunities for connection in graph searches.

Smart Publishing: This tool predicts which stories will be a hit with a publisher’s audience by looking at links currently being shared on Facebook from that website. The great thing about this feature is once a real estate pro enables the setting on his or her Facebook page, frequently shared links to one’s website can appear in the news feed for people who like your page. The posts won’t initially appear on your page, but you’ll have access to a new dashboard in Insights allowing you to view analytics, moderate comments, and choose what you want to post.

Facebook is consistently changing its tools and features. Because of this, once you master these tools, take a look to see what else is being developed, so you are always ahead of the social media game. Since working with social media can be challenging, Home.com offers a comprehensive suite of social media tools to guide you each step of the way. Homes.com Social allows you to engage with more prospects, protect your online reputation, control the conversation, and drive leads.

For more information, visit www.homes.com.

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