At least once every week I listen while an estate agent, or builder, or engineer or even the occasional old-school marketer tells me that Facebook is for teenagers. Those people are wrong, it is as simple as that; wrong and out of touch with their prospective buyers and sellers. 74% of Irish people (all ages!) use Facebook daily, that’s every single day.
Facebook can be a powerful tool in getting your property business noticed by following simple steps including sharing engaging content, property listings, community news and local events. Facebook should not be just about the ‘Call to Action’ and should incorporate a branding and business message that perfectly replicates the ethos, values and vision of your organisation. Here are a few ways to get started, or perhaps ramp-up the activity and engagement levels of your property business on Facebook:
Facebook advertising can be incredibly effective for estate agents and should be a vital component in your marketing strategy this year. However, due its supposed difficulty, a large percentage of estate agents are not utilising it properly or even worse, not using it at all. It is a marketing tool that any sales and marketing whizz will tell you to use to your advantage so why would any estate agent not jump into the world of Facebook?
As advertising is getting more expensive, the number of people reading newspapers has declined significantly, with many readers and news followers choosing to consume digitally. Is that not telling you something? The readers and customers you require are on Facebook – ten years ago this wasn’t the case. I know that it is not a palatable reality, however:
The long-term success of every property business will depend on its willingness to acknowledge, accept and respond to changes through the digital age.
The organic reach of content through Facebook is not as strong as it once, irrespective of the number of fans and followers your business page has. This is frustrating for business owners who have put huge effort into building their fan base. Advertising on Facebook is not free, despite how stealthy their sales techniques. On the positive side, Facebook advertising allows you to focus on key demographics and effectively target ads to the people who are likely to be looking for your services. It is an opportunity to pay for advertising that will be shared with the people who actually want to see it, rather than it going into the timelines of younger or older demographics who have homes or are not looking to get on the ladder yet.
One quick tip: improve the quality of your property images.
Measurement is key
Facebook advertising is relatively inexpensive (although the costs have definitely gone up in the last few years), targeted and measurable. Facebook delivers reports and statistics on each advert, so you can improve on your demographic and audience by constantly tweaking adverts. The audience is massive and advertisers have the facility to narrow down and refine that target audience to people who are likely to have an interest in properties in your area.
Facebook Pixel is another super tool allowing you to target people who have previously investigated your service by pursuing the activities of the Facebook users who visit your website. You could potentially have the knowledge of what users did on your website and target them. The person who looked at your ‘About us’ page but took no other action could be targeted by placing a link to your website once again with ‘Free Valuation.’
Using Facebook organically is a sustainable way to keeping your business to the forefront of people’s minds. Users may not require property services today, however, when the opportunity comes they will already know and recognise you as a brand leader in their local property market. It is important to share regular property listings – new listings and properties on the market a little longer. But remember, it is not all about you. Be sure to include local news, industry updates, overseas examples and some aspirational property photos to keep your audience interested. By sharing local news, this establishes your credibility, knowledge and expertise. Alternatively feel-good stories show the human side of your business and tells your audience a little about your personality. Funny memes for the humorous types will also draw an interest but only if this matches your branding and business – humour is subjective so tread carefully! Regular articles are another way to draw attention for example – reasons to buy in your area, or tips on house hunting etc. Linking these articles to Facebook will get users sharing your content and reading about your business.
Realistically, organic posts are now only seen by a tiny percentage of your followers and while running organic posts is important, it is vital to back them up with some advertising and strategic boosting of posts.
Facebook is an amazing tool to have at your disposal, however, like all tools, its success depends on the skill and effort of the user. If you take anything away from this article let it be the following:
It doesn’t matter whether or not you like or use Facebook, the reality is, your buyers and sellers do. This effort is not for you, it’s for them. I will leave you with this question:
‘Can you afford not to use it when your competitors are?’