Back in March, Facebook announced changes to their current algorithm that will alter who’s content you see on your feed and who sees your content. This change aims to create a more personalized and more private social setting for you. It will recognize your “inner circle’ or those that you interact with most frequently and expose users to less content created outside of that sphere. Facebook will also start placing an emphasis on groups that users belong to, putting that content as the main focus of your feed. This algorithm is not new, just updated to allow better results and get back to the social site that Facebook once was, before advertising and mass marketing became popular.
So, how does this affect you? When it comes to advertising, the effectiveness of mass marketing will decrease. However, agents who do target marketing to groups that have a tie-in with the listing or message will do well. All in all, with this change to Facebook’s algorithm, it is imperative that you become more strategic with your advertising goals rather than casting a wide net. Additionally, this change prompts you to become more involved in groups and engage with your local community. The more active you are with various real estate and community-centered groups, the more people your content will be put in front of.
Here are four strategies that REALTOR® Magazine* offers to help you stay ahead of these algorithm changes:
“Make proper use of other photo-driven platforms. Instagram and Pinterest, for example, are strong mediums for showcasing photography, which is the most critical component of your marketing. Focus on presenting listing photos and short stories about your properties on these platforms while using Facebook more for making authentic connections in groups. “If you have great photos and a knack for storytelling, [Instagram is] a platform that’s made for you,” Listanski says.
Share more video content. Facebook favors serving video content—especially Facebook Live—to its users. If your videos are compelling and informative, you’ll likely end up in more of your followers’ feeds. Betti Russo, ABR, managing broker at Realty Executives Exceptional, REALTORS®, in Oakland, N.J., began a weekly Facebook video series in January focusing on topics such as FSBOs and vacation homes. In that time, her video views have grown from only a handful to about 1,100 per video. Though she also shares her videos on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter, “most of my traffic comes from Facebook,” Russo says. “What’s important is to be consistent. Have a plan and a schedule, and it becomes like brushing your teeth every day.”
Join a variety of Facebook groups. In addition to real estate groups, get involved in online communities centered on other topics that are relevant to you. This will give you an opportunity to be more authentic in your interactions—instead of selling yourself as a real estate pro—which is the purpose of social media anyway, says Katie Lance, a social media consultant focusing on real estate. “Join a local group on parenting or photography—nothing to do with real estate—and connect with people over things that are personal,” Lance says. “Remember that social media is a marathon and not a sprint.”
Provide extra value to make your posts more shareable. Even if your organic reach decreases, those who do see your posts will be more likely to share them with others if they offer educational takeaways for the audience. “Real estate professionals need to think beyond the marketing copy they have posted on the MLS or on their flyer and think more like a storyteller,” Lance says. For example, instead of posting a simple announcement about a new listing, offer some information about your client’s journey to get the home prepared for market, along with some practical tips for sellers. Your followers are more likely to share such a post with friends and family who may be preparing for a move.”
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Today’s world is all about social media and your business depends on results. If you’re not getting the views and action you want on your profile, here are five ways to generate that response.
1. Create a community.
Your followers will engage the most when they feel connected to you and other like-minded individuals. Utilize your social media to create a community and get to know your group, rather than just promote your business, by asking questions, responding to posts, creating polls and sending personal messages to keep conversations going.
2. Real + Raw = Results.
The best results come from you being you. Be a part of the community you are trying to create and let your followers get to know the you outside of your business. Your followers want to see your authenticity and relatable personality and to know that you have good days and bad days, just like them.
3. Have a hook.
According to the original article from RIS Media, on average, you only have 6 seconds in a video and 2 seconds with text/image to catch your audience’s attention. Provide the “hook” or important information right at the beginning so it results in them clicking or watching for more information.
4. What’s in it for them?
Marketing through social media is not about you, it’s about your followers. You will attract the most clients not by talking about how great you are, but by telling them how they can benefit from your services and how you will solve their problems. Make sure they know you are listening to them and their needs and work to foster a trusting relationship.
5. Tell them what to do next.
Creating a community is great, but there is an important step between them viewing your profile and contacting you for their real estate needs: calling them to action. Your followers won’t know what you want them to do next if you don’t tell them. Ask them to subscribe, share, like or comment on your posts to help further build your community and create more engagement.
A few months ago, we posted about Facebook’s new Anti-Discrimination rules for their advertising. An article was just released that detailed how these changes would affect real estate agents in particular.
We already know that, by federal housing laws, you cannot discriminate against people based on their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability and family status. When the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sued Facebook last year, Facebook responded by removing more than 5,000 targeting options.
Recently, they announced a complete overhaul of their ad targeting options that will remove most of the options that allows housing advertisers to discriminate knowingly or accidentally.
Facebook aims to implement changes by the end of the year, creating a separate portal to limit how much advertisers for housing, employment and credit can micro-target their audience. In addition, Facebook will remove the ability to exclude interests, require location targeting to cover a minimum 15-mile geographic radius, and limit the creation of Lookalike Audiences.
New Facebook Targeting Policy Rollout Timeline:
Facebook teams are still discussing exactly what they are going to consider a “housing” ad. They know for sure that specific listings ads will be subject to the new changes, but they are unclear if this will also be applicable to broader “brand” ads.
As we learn more, we will share that information with you here
They tell you that you should be present on all social media platforms, but there aren’t enough hours in the day to be constantly updating each site. Do you wish there was a way that you could post to all of them at once? Well, you’re in luck!
I would like to introduce you to Hootsuite, an online tool that links all of your social media accounts together, making your life easier. With Hootsuite, you can post one message that will automatically be filtered to all of your social media pages. You can even save yourself a lot of time by scheduling posts to be distributed days, or even weeks, in advance.
Hootsuite takes it a step further and collects analytics on your posts and provides a report on your ROI. This helps you make sure that you are reaching your target audience and can help you determine which social media platform is getting the most results.
They offer three different plans, which allows you to choose what you need for your brand. If you’re not sure about Hootsuite, why not give their 30-day free trial a try? Social media is all about trial and error in order to figure out what works for you and your brand. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work at first because gathering a following takes time.
If you would like to learn more about social media, you can attend the ACCELERATESM classes offered by our very own Homesale Career Development course. There are three elective classes, that anyone can attend, which deal with the topic of social media: Your Online Presence, Facebook Business and Embracing Video. For more information about these classes and a training schedule, visit http://www.homesalecareers.com/Accelerate.