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Real estate agents and social media make intriguing business partners.

In biological parlance, the relationship between the industry and Facebook is best described as commensalism, meaning that one party benefits while the second is neither harmed nor benefits.

Real estate agents can benefit tremendously from a sound social media strategy. In contrast, a minimal effort will result in a commensurate return. Meanwhile, the internet spins on unaffected, becoming bigger and louder with every passing minute.

To earn the most benefit from its host, real estate agents should look to leverage their social media position to the best extent possible, and that extent knows almost no limit. But there are best practices that REALTORS® can use to be savvy about Facebook.

Stop making your Facebook content about you.
The real estate industry loves to tout what it can do for its customers, which isn’t inherently bad. Unfortunately, that approach does promote a bloated sense of value, one that far too many agents emulate in “Just Sold”- and “I’m Your Local Expert”-type marketing tactics. (Look what I’ve done!)

The social media stream is way too fast a current for people to catch what someone is saying about themselves, let alone a paid professional doing so under the auspices of wanting new business. It only exacerbates preconceived notions of the industry.

Instead, share something that educates your audience, and provides value in that short snippet of time you pass through their Facebook feed. shared a chart that ranked the level of interaction with social media content by industry. The Nonprofit/Education sector blew past every other industry being measured. This suggests that people online are seeking new information about the world around them.

Agents should work on becoming a source of compelling, valuable information, not just part of the echo chamber.

There’s no free lunch on Facebook (anymore).
Here’s the hard truth: Those who are serious about a presence on Facebook pay for it.

Facebook advertising is remarkably specific, and, best of all, ensures your content is seen amidst the flood of regurgitated shares.

Start by creating a short piece of marketing collateral that isn’t a hard sell, promotes the community in which you specialize or walks people through a particularly vague component of buying and selling a home. Keep digital branding campaigns separate—they should reach outside Facebook, anyway, to maintain brand consistency and leverage the repetition.

Create a Facebook ad that promotes that document, narrowing down your audience with the social network’s Behaviors and Interests selectors. There is actually an option to market to users who are “likely to move.”

You can further shave superfluous audience members with zip code selections, household incomes, age parameters, and many others.

If your area of specialty includes a golf course or hiking destination or trendy commercial district, use Interests selector to further thin out your audience. It shouldn’t take long to have a small, highly specific number of potential eyeballs most suited to react to what you’re advertising.

Lastly, don’t let your Facebook audience ignore you when they log off. Retargeting is a tactic that deploys a pixel, or cookie, after your message earns a click for the purpose of serving your ad to that person on other websites they visit. You can use Adwerx for retargeting, carrying your brand over from Facebook onto websites and mobile apps—wherever your social audience goes.

These other websites might include some of the most notable news and information sources on the web, furthering your brand as a dependable source of information, instead of merely another replication outlet.

Share If You Agree
There is a brutal, self-defeating sense of competition within the real estate industry.

Agents are often far too concerned with how someone else earned a lead, and overly hesitant to share even the slightest scrap of data about a client with colleague, even when it’s perfectly legal.

This unreasonably insular approach leads agents to avoid professional interaction, despite centuries of proof that when industry players share what they know, that industry benefits.

Translated to social media content strategy, the point is to interact as often as possible with your audience, as well as others in your trade.

Does a competitor have an active Facebook page? Like it, and share the good stuff they publish. Don’t be afraid to express your opinion on relevant topics merely because the discussion will increase the traffic to another agent’s content.

Real estate agents should aim to become a voice in their markets—but that goal can’t be accomplished by sharing only what you have to say.

If contemplating a new marketing plan that may include Facebook, remember that it’s very easy for consumers to sniff out a page created simply because you’re “supposed to be there.”

The weeks between posts, the dated photo albums and the infrequent customer success stories do far more damage than good. The internet has no time for the past.

Be proactive, find ways to educate your audience and above all else, be authentic—because the internet has no time for fake news, either.

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