How to Use Facebook for Real Estate PR
January 10, 2014
January 10, 2014
According to a Mashable infographic, 79% of real estate professionals are now using Facebook. It is no surprise considering that Facebook is a cost-effective way to promote new listings and allows us to grow and cultivate our network of potential buyers and sellers. Not sure where to begin? Here are a few ways to start using Facebook for your real estate PR efforts:
Design a branded Facebook page that is consistent with the look and feel of your website
In the real estate business, your reputation is built on professionalism. Your Facebook page should reflect a professional image as well. If you don’t have a graphic designer in-house, you might want to consider hiring one to create a branded Facebook Cover Photo. Your Cover Photo is the main image at the top of your Facebook profile. If you can’t hire a designer, using a very high quality image of a home or building would work just as well. The Thumbnail image is the smaller box on the bottom-left of the cover photo. This is where your company’s logo should go. Make sure that the logo is sized appropriately to fit in the box. This image is what follows your page around Facebook as you comment and post. It is important to have the logo here for brand recognition. This very useful sizing cheat sheet will help you ensure that your images look good on Facebook. Custom tabs can also be designed to match your branding as in the example below. These tabs could link to current listings on your website, other social networks, landing pages, maps, and more.
Staging Your Facebook Page
Just as you would stage a property to look more appealing to buyers, staging your Facebook page is equally as important. Visual posts work best for real estate companies. Choose high quality images and be sure to include a photo with each post. High quality, professional images will go a long way on social media and get more engagement. If you can afford it, hire a photographer to take photos of the interior and exterior of your properties exclusively for social media. Make sure each post has a photo attached. The Corcoran Group does a great job of staging their Facebook page with images that potential buyers are likely to engage with such as photos of different interior designs or homes with a real “wow” factor.
Connecting With Your Fans
Just as you would send out mailers, places ads in the newspaper, put up a billboard, etc., Facebook is a place to remind potential customers that you are a friendly real estate expert. It is important to stay in the newsfeed on a regular basis, but it shouldn’t be strictly self-promotional. In other words, don’t just post advertisements for your newest listings every day. Start a conversation. Ask your fans what their preferences are. Real estate website Zillow keeps fans engaged on Facebook with highly interactive posts like the one below. Give your fans a multiple choice post and include bit.ly tracking links back to your website to increase referral traffic from Facebook.
In addition to real estate themed posts, consider where your target audience lives and what matters to them most. Why not share an “I Love New York” image or provide information on local school closings when appropriate. Humanizing your page and making it truly a part of the community will ensure that your company stays top of mind.
Consider Experimenting With Facebook Ads
In a recent newsletter, Facebook admitted to making it harder for business pages to reach fans organically without buying ads. This made some Facebook marketers upset that they had to pay to reach their own network which they had worked so hard at building up. We see this as not entirely a bad thing. Not only is Facebook trying to control the quality of content that users see in their newsfeed, but they are trying to help businesses reach new users through Facebook ads. There are two ways to get more followers on Facebook; either have really awesome content, or buy Facebook Ads. We would recommend doing both. Plus Facebook’s Ad Manager allows you to set a very specific target market, such as “homeowners” who live in “Boston, Massachusetts” to put your ad in front of. Instead of wasting money on mailers or canvasing a neighborhood, advertising on Facebook allows you to target likely buyers and sellers with your amazing content.