How to Truly Use Facebook to Promote Yourself (& Actually Get Business)

by Jeffrey Raskin on September 14, 2010

A lot of people have been to the social media classes, only to walk away saying, “OK, so how do I actually make money out of this?”

We all know what a personal Facebook (FB) page is. Personally, I think if you have the time to read about people bragging about what great food they ate last night, how their son pitched a perfect game for the junior high school team, or how a rabbit ran across their yard–all with video–then more power to you. I know I don’t have time to read or write about the things mentioned above, but I do know the facts about Facebook:

US Facebook Users by Age Group

– There are more than 500 million active users (the population of the US is just over 300 million).
– 50% of those active users log in daily.
– The average user has 130 friends.
– People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on FB.
– 150 million active users access FB through their mobile phones.
– And even though this information is over a year old, the majority of users are in the 18-34 age bracket.

Since we know that the majority of FB users are 18-34 year olds, that the average age for a first-time homebuyer is 26 and that we can market to just about every single one of them for FREE on FB, I am sold on the idea of learning some basic techniques to boost my real estate business.

Rancho Verde Community Page on Facebook

1) Become the communication center of your subdivision. How many neighbors do you know in your subdivision? How many know that you are in real estate? Other than the annual HOA meeting, how is your community informing one another as to what is going on?

This is where you come in–the community REALTOR® and FB expert! Create a fan page for your subdivision, giving information about the community, letting others communicate with each other and posting homes for sale!

Listings in Scottsdale, Arizona

2) With an IDX, you can automatically update the homes for sale in the subdivision. Have listings in a subdivision, town or area update with an RSS feed. This will automatically populate as soon as a new listing is put in the MLS!

3) Here are three secrets that can help you stick out from the crowd:

    Custom Tab Names

  • Change and name the tabs as you like. I named one tab the actual subdivision name and added a PDF tab as well to put in docs.
  • Custom Picture of Author on Facebook

  • Instead of the standard picture, put in a custom one. People will recognize you as the tech REALTOR® who will get their house sold.
    Stats for Ads on Facebook

  • Put out “ads.” These are pay-per-clicks that don’t cost a lot and can bring in extra buyers or sellers.
    Author on Twitter

  • Automatically link to Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media websites.

Finally, do not think that you need to spend hours a day on making this and other social media work for you or you will get burned out really quickly. Dedicate 30 minutes a week AT MOST, and you will gain many followers, fans and subscribers. More than that, people who will get to know you as a professional who they can trust!

Carra Riley September 14, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Great article Jeffrey!
Basics.. I hope all the Brokers are reading this and creating buzz in the office for agents to “localize” their community activity and be the resource for people to go to on facebook.

Francces Flynn Thorsen September 15, 2010 at 7:54 am

I think Realtors who want to engage on Facebook and earn business there need to devote more time than 30 minutes a week. REALLY!

The author says, “Dedicate 30 minutes a week AT MOST, and you will gain many followers, fans and subscribers.”

It is worth noting the author’s fan page is almost 10 months old and there is a mere 49 fan count. The content is EXCELLENT. Jeff Raskin offers a wealth of knowledge and good resources.

Obviously, 30 minutes a week is not sufficient.

Jonathan Dalton September 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Echoing Frances, 30 minutes a week isn’t sufficient for any social media strategy. If you’re actually engaging people, responding to them as they come to you, you easily can spend 30 minutes a day.

Three other quick points …

1) To create a page you’re supposed to be the authorized rep for whatever it is you’re creating the page about. I’m hard pressed to believe that a random agent living in a community, particularly one with an HOA, is the authorized rep for that community as far as Facebook is concerned so there’s a decent chance the page will be in violation of the site’s terms and conditions.

2) There’s a false assumption at work that all of us live in areas where the homeowners identify themselves as part of a particular neighborhood. In my HOA-free subdivision, I doubt you can find a dozen owners who can name the actual subdivision as there’s no signage, nothing except for the CC&Rs and tax record that list the name.

3) Blasting IDX listings through an RSS feed entirely misses the point of a Facebook page – to engage an audience. It’s back to the old-style “you’ll get the information I want to give you how I want to give it to you and like it” type of website. A search provides value. Simply listing homes as they come up doesn’t.

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