Let’s face it: Facebook is inescapable. Once a cutting-edge social network for the young and hip, it’s now considered a basic must-have for any business, with an estimated two billion monthly users.
But, it’s not enough to simply have a page and to get ‘likes’ on it. For those in the real estate industry, Facebook can be an excellent tool for lead generation. Treat it as an ‘inbound’ marketing experience – that is, use your page to draw prospective clients to you, rather than you aggressively pitching your services to them (direct mail, anyone?) and you’ll see a bump in your leads.
- Reach your targets. Don’t randomly sponsor posts on Facebook because you see your competitors doing it or because you think all posts should be sponsored: create a method to your madness. Facebook offers tools for identifying your audience: one, “saved audiences,” examines data on all users. “Custom” or “lookalike” audiences allow you to reach new prospects who closely match your existing customers. With the latter, you can run highly targeted ads.
- Content is king. By this, we mean post content that isn’t only fresh and relevant but also posts that will sell you. Include recommendations and testimonials from satisfied clients. Embed a link to your website so viewers can click through to that rather than just ‘liking’ a post. Respond quickly to questions and comments. Everything on your page should be geared to adding value to customers and furthering their engagement with you.
- Art and design. Content is prime but following closely behind are design. Choose images that will draw in viewers. Use pictures of your clients and not houses or real state: it’s proven we identify better with human faces than products. Stay away from stock photos, be creative, and learn how to edit your pictures to make them even better. iPhone offer editing and filtering technology to improve photos and applications to do so abound. Use colors to help your design pop, to stand out from all the other images on Facebook.
- Create calls to action. Use calls to action to spur viewers. These can include posts about open houses – “Will you be there?” – or short surveys. Set up correctly, the leads should drop right into your website.
Finally, don’t be afraid to play around. Trial and error may mean your early efforts aren’t perfect, but that’s okay. Look at what your successful competitors are doing and get feedback from those around you. Immerse yourself in analytics so you can determine which methods are bearing fruit in terms of leads. Once you successfully begin generating leads, keep reviewing your methods periodically to make improvements and ensure leads continue to flow.