As a real estate agent, conducting business on your personal Facebook profile limits the opportunities to market your business; creating a Facebook Business Page allows you to open doors to reach your target market without hassle. With that said, Facebook Business Pages are more competitive than ever.
Since 2014, businesses have seen a steady decline in organic reach for content posted on their business pages, dropping from reaching an average of 16 percent of fans in 2012 to 6.5 percent of fans in 2014 to about 2 percent of fans in 2016. Trends suggest that organic reach will continue falling—a prediction that is confirmed by Brian Bolland, former VP of Advertising Technology for Facebook. He gave two reasons why Facebook’s organic reach is on the decline:
- “The first reason involves a simple fact: More and more content is being created and shared every day.” An average news feed could contain more than 1,500 posts when the user logs on; this is too much information for one person.
- “The second reason involves how Facebook’s News Feed works. Rather than showing people all possible content, News Feed is designed to show each person on Facebook the content that’s most relevant to them. Of the 1,500-plus stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300. To choose which stories to show, News Feed ranks each possible story (from more to less important) by looking at thousands of factors relative to each person.”
Hearing this information might sound troubling; however, there are ways around Facebook’s algorithmic logic that real estate professionals can implement to see a rise in their organic reach.
- Ask Your Fans for a Favor
Facebook’s algorithm restricts content overflow on users’ news feeds, but that leaves you asking yourself, “Didn’t my fans choose to like my page to see my updates?” There are two ways that you can ask your fans to bypass the algorithm:
- Remind your fans that they don’t have to wait to see your content on their news feed; they can go on your page frequently to see your latest posts. To find your page, they can either type your page’s name in the search bar or they can click on “Pages” to access a full list of the pages they’ve liked. Facebook recognizes which pages users visit and shows more content from those pages because the algorithm reads visiting as an indication that the user wants to see more of this content.
- You can also ask fans to change the settings for how they view your page’s posts. From your page, visitors can click on the “Following” tab under your cover photo and set the “In Your News Feed” to “See First.” This will show your posts first on the fan’s news feed, ensuring that no matter when they log onto their Facebook profile, they will see your posts.
- Post Engaging Content
There’s no doubt that Facebook prefers content that users engage with. The more engagement Facebook sees within your post, the higher-ranking Facebook’s algorithm gives it, resulting in a larger organic reach for that post. To encourage engagement, post content relevant to your business—this is the type of content fans are expecting to see from you. In addition, don’t be afraid to ask your fans to “please like and share” after your post.
A great way to gain engagement on Facebook is by using videos. According to Social Media Today, videos shared on Facebook have a 135 percent higher chance of organic reach than a photo post. Some video topics that are popular in real estate are walk-through videos of your properties and community videos which showcase your expertise in your area, your community, and as a real estate agent.
- Create Facebook Live Videos
Live videos are popular on social media, with users watching three times more live broadcasts than traditional Facebook videos. As an added bonus, every time you go live, fans get a notification telling them your page just started a live video. This is a great way to remind fans you’re here and help your post surface on their news feed. Have fun with live videos and make sure they last long enough for fans to watch and comment. So, the next time you’re about to hand your clients the keys to their new home, “Go Live!”
- Target Your Posts
The ability to target audiences based on location, interest, behavior, and demographics isn’t limited to paid advertisements; you can target a specific audience through your regular posts, too. For instance, you might have a property located in Dallas, Texas. You don’t need fans located in Houston to see this post; the interaction you receive from Houston residents will be minimal because it does not relate to them. Treat every post as if it was a paid ad by focusing on quality, rather than quantity, to ensure they rank well within Facebook’s algorithm.
- Invest in Facebook Ads
Not many of you want to hear this, but Facebook isn’t just a social media platform; it’s a business. By seeing Facebook as a business, you will begin to understand why its algorithm has changed, organic reach has declined, and why you sometimes have to pay to get in front of your audience. Looking at the trend of declining organic reach over the past couple of years, it’s also likely that organic reach will eventually hit zero, making this a great time to become an expert on Facebook paid ads.
As mentioned above, with paid ads, you can target audiences by their behaviors (e.g., “most likely to move”), their interests (e.g., “real estate”), and their demographics and location. Facebook Ads allow you to find your perfect target audience: active buyers and sellers in your area.
For a step-by-step walkthrough on creating your Facebook Real Estate Ads, check out these related articles:
- Facebook Ads Made Easy – Part 2: Campaign Creation
- Facebook Ads Made Easy – Part 3: Audience, Placement and Budget
- Facebook Ads Made Easy – Part 4: Creating Ads and Reviewing Your Insights
If keeping up with your social strategy is too much for you, let us help! Homes.com Social Fuel takes care of your social strategy by providing you with everything from account setup, post creation, and Facebook Ad management. We will even manage your online reputation and monitor how your business ranks in search results so you can focus on selling real estate.
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