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When it comes to social media, there are a two questions that pretty much everyone asks.
First: Do I need to be on social media?
Second: How do I get more people to follow me?
Hopefully you already have an answer to the first question, but if not you can go read Everything You Need to Build A Facebook Business Page. In that post I talk a little bit about the importance of not only having a Facebook presence, but the importance of having a Facebook business page, rather than a personal profile.
The simple and quick answer to the first question, “do I need a presence on social media” is YES!
As I mentioned in Everything You Need to Build a Facebook Business Page, there are over 900 million people who Facebook every single day.
And that is just Facebook.
If you add in all the other social media networks (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) there are over 2 billion people worldwide using social media.
So why do you need to be using it as a real estate agent?
If you are not on social media, you are losing business. It is that simple. Many people today turn to sites like Facebook and Twitter as a secondary source to Google to conduct a search. If you cannot be found on these platforms, potential clients who search for you will find someone else there in your place.
I have worked with real estate agents in the past who have told me that they have had clients tell them that they referred a friend to them, but after their friend was unable to find that agent on social media they found a different agent instead.
Think of the cost associated with a lost sale. It can be thousands of dollars right?
Now multiply that by all the sales that you could be potentially losing by not having a presence on social media. If you really think about it, not being on social media can be one of the most expensive decisions you are making in your business.
But that’s not the only question that you may have had. If you remember, I said that there was a second question.
How do I get more people to follow me?
It doesn’t take much time to make it from the first question to the second. Most people begin to have this question very shortly after they sign up for their account, or create their page.
Here are some ways that you can find more fans and build a larger following on Facebook:
This may sound basic but this is something that most of us forget. The people who are already connected to your page like you, and many of them may be willing to share your page with their friends if you asked them to do so.
When you start a business page, Facebook recommends that you invite your friends to “like” the page. This is done by clicking on the list of your friends and selecting the ones that you want to invite to like it.
Not all of your friends are going to be a great fit for your real estate page, but be sure to invite any of them that you believe are a good fit.
Some will respond with a “like” and others will ignore your invitation, and that’s ok. We only want people who are actually interested in either you or your business to connect with your page.
As time goes on it is easy to forget that we can still ask people to like our page. I wouldn’t recommend asking them to do so too often, but every once in a while it is ok.
There are two ways that you can do this:
The second easiest way to get more fans, is to get your content in front of more eyes. If you share good content, the more eyes you get it in front of, the more fans you will get.
Boosting a post can be done by clicking the “boost post” button at the bottom of a post that you have already posted to your real estate business page.
One of the great things is that boosting a post is that it can be rather inexpensive. You have the option of who to target with your boosted posts. You can run it to a target of people you feel may fit your target market, or you can boost it to your fans and their friends. In the local real estate market boosting to your page’s fans and their friends can be a great way to get it in front of more eyes for a lower cost. You will want to experiment with this vs boosting to a specific audience that you define to see which gives you greater results.
Below is an example of a post that I recently boosted for a total of $5 to my fans and their friends. You can see that it got me in front of an additional 443 people. What you can’t see is that my page got 5 more fans from this boosted post.
Not all boosted posts will result in getting new fans, but they certainly can lead to that. Some may not lead to any more fans, and some may lead to many. Give it a shot and see how it works for you.
Another great (paid) way to get more fans is through running ads. If your objective is to gain more fans, there is really only one type of ad that you want to focus on. Run an ad to promote your page.
There are all kinds of options for you to choose from when creating this type of ad.
First you can choose if you want to use a single image, or multiple images. If you chose multiple, Facebook will create multiple ads and for you and rotate through them automatically.
You also have the ability to use a video for the ad. This can be a great way to connect with potential new client and fans by letting them get to know you a little bit better.
You are also able to target the ad to exactly the type of people that you want to become fans of your page. Depending on the amount of money you want to spend, and how specific your targeting is, you will be able to get your ads in front of a different amount of people. Find a good target market, and ad budget that works for you and your goals.
This will allow you to create an ad that can be shown in the desktop newsfeed, mobile newsfeed, and/or the desktop right column. It will show up as a “suggested page” and will give people the option to “like” the page right there from the ad.
The last main way to get more fans is to connect with other local pages. Do you remember me saying that the key to getting more people is to get in front of more eyes?
Connecting with other pages can be a great way to do this.
Come up with a small list of other local Facebook business pages that have an audience that fits the type of fans you are looking for, and preferably a business that compliments yours, and then reach out to the owners of the page through a private message and see if they would be willing to actively connect with you over Facebook to share each others posts.
How can this work?
Lets look at an example. Let’s say that you come across a local home renovation company that has a good size following of fans that you believe will fit into the type of buyers and sellers you want to work with. You could reach out to the owner of this page and see if they would be willing to share a short series of posts that you write about renovating your home before you sell it. You could focus these posts on “how to determine which renovations will add the most value to your home.”
Once you have these posts written, preferably on a blog on your website, you could offer to tag your partnering company’s page when you post these posts on your page in return for them sharing these posts to their page for their current fans to see. This will allow your current followers to see their page as well, and potentially help them to gain some more fans in the process.
This can be a great way to get in front of more eyes “organically.” If people trust the page you are partnering with, and they see that page share your posts, they will automatically have a level of trust for you as well.
Note: Make sure that the posts that you write for your partnering page to share are very good! Give as much value as you can in these as you not only want to make yourself look good, you also want to make your partnering page look good for sharing your content.
I am not going to lie, having a large following is great. It is even something that you should strategically work towards over time. Implementing these 4 methods can certainly help you to get there. However, it is not the most important thing.
The most important thing is what we talked about in regards to question #1. The most important thing is to just be present on social media platforms.
Once you have a presence, the next most important thing is to have a well presented profile. You need to make sure that it represents you and the brand that you are trying to build.
What do I mean by that?
If you are trying to build a “brand” that focuses on selling luxury homes you need to make sure that your social media presence makes that obvious to people.
How many Facebook real estate pages do you think there are in your city? A few? Or a lot?
The answer is that there are probably a lot. While there are still lots of real estate agents that do not have a presence on Facebook, there are still more than a few options for your potential clients to come across when they are browsing Facebook. If you don’t first build a “brand image” you may end up attracting the wrong type of fans to your page.
For instance, lets say that you focus on selling golf course properties. If you do not develop this type of branding on your Facebook page, you may begin attracting fans that are looking for condos. While at first it may seem like it is not bad to have the extra attention of those fans, they are not the ones that you will want to spend your time, energy, and money connecting with over Facebook.
The common belief by many real estate agents, and pretty much all businesses in general, is that you want as big of a client base as possible. But that belief is wrong!
That same belief tells you that you want as many Facebook fans as possible, but this is wrong also.
What is it that you really want?
You want your Facebook fans to be as responsive as possible!
Lets look at an example. Lets say that you have 1,000 Facebook fans on your real estate business page. If you don’t do a good job of branding your page, and focusing on a niche, many of those fans may not be all that interested in or connected to your page. They may have just liked it because they saw something interesting on it. If only 25% of those fans are truly interested in the content that you post, and the types of homes that you are interested in selling, you will get a maximum of 250 people who are actually engaged in your business.
The other option is to have a smaller fanbase, one that is more connected with your niche and the types of homes you are looking to sell. Lets say that in this case you have the same 250 people as your fans, but the other 750 never liked your page because they did not relate to your niche.
In one case you will be marketing to 1,000 people, of which only 250 are actually interested. In the other case you will be marketing to 250 people, of which 250 people are interested. Which one is better?
The second option.
Because as you get more active on Facebook, and eventually begin to do some Facebook ads to drive people to your website rather than just your business page, you will have to pay to reach your followers with your ads.
Currently Facebook posts only reach 2% to 4% of fans organically. If you choose to “boost” a post or create an ad, one of the options you have is to target that ad at your fans, or at your fans and their friends. There are other targeting options as well, but these two are the most cost affective.
If you have done a good job of attracting only followers who are truly engaged with your business, you will have to spend a lot less money boosting posts or running ads to your 250 engaged fans than you will to boost those same posts, or run those same ads to your 1,000 fans.
There is no point in wasting the money on the 750 people that are not truly interested in your business.
Why do I bring this up?
As you work through the 4 methods outlined above and set out to get more fans on your real estate business page, make sure that you are trying to reach the right type of fans. Don’t just ask any friends to share your page, ask friends that fit your target audience. There is a good chance if they fit your audience, they have friends that do as well.
When running ads to drive “likes” on your page, make sure you are targeting the right audience. Spending money to target to people outside of your local area is a waste of money. Make sure to narrow the target audience to not only your local area, but to characteristics of people that fit with the type of clients you are looking for.
One last piece of advice…
Don’t stress out about gaining more followers quickly. Remember, having a large following isn’t the most important thing. Being present and active is.
Post good content, do so consistently, and use the 4 methods above. If you do, you will grow your fanbase over time, and you will get the right people as your fans.