At the start of 2018, 35.4% of the population in the United Kingdom held a Facebook account, accounting for 33 million users. With 23 million of these users being older than 30 years old, with only 30 million people over this age in the country, Facebook provides a chance to reach 60% of people over 30. Facebook usage is also growing in this market, so if you are an estate agent, Facebook is a platform you need to be on because this is where your audience is found.
We all know the statistics indicating first-time buyers are becoming older. The challenges associated with buying homes in the UK means that the average first-time buyer falls squarely in the demographic that is most commonly found on Facebook, and at Agent Media, we are here to help you engage and connect with these users. Our ultimate Facebook guide for estate agents will help you gain instructions and be regarded as the reliable estate agent in your area.
Always remember that Facebook is a social media platform and that you need to be social. If you are going to continually promote property or bombard users with promotional material, you will find that most users pay no attention to you. There is a need to be subtler when using Facebook and you should also consider having some fun, or at least being less formal at times.
Give people a reason to follow you on Facebook
A wonderful way to benefit from Facebook is to provide people with something they can read at greater length off Facebook. If a user has logged on to keep in touch with local gossip and see photos of relatives, they aren’t going to be focused on finding a new house. However, if you offer people a guide or a free eBook on How To Sell Your Home In 6 Easy Steps or 8 Ways To Take The Stress Out Of Moving Day, they will likely take the offer to read at a later date.
This places you as a trusted estate agent and it also means that you have a connection with someone that can be used later. Therefore, you need to be prepared to give people something, even if it is just tremendous value. You are asking people to join you on a platform that is predominately for fun and catching up, so go out of your way to make it worth people’s while to connect with you.
While Facebook should be a fun place, you need to take it seriously. This means you need to develop a strategy for posting, create consistency in what you post and engage people when you get the chance. Estate agents that use Facebook in a haphazard manner will receive haphazard results. This isn’t to say that these firms won’t achieve success from time to time, but it will be down to luck, and his can make it harder to replicate in the future. If you create a strategy involving:
- What content you share
- When you post
- What questions you ask
- How you get people involved
- How you showcase your knowledge and skills
You will have a much greater chance of achieving success and knowing why you achieved this success, allowing you to repeat this success time and time again.
Understand the importance of reach
When it comes to gauging success, don’t expect all your followers to see every post. In fact, you will often be lucky if more than 10% – 20% of your followers see a post. The more relevant count to focus on with a post is the Reach, and this is found directly under your post.
To improve your reach, you should:
- Use images or video content
- Ask questions of your audience
- Showcase your employees
These are aspects that people want to see on Facebook and it will make it more likely that people will see, comment or share the post.
Your next focus should be on engagement and engagement refers to the number of likes, comments and shares you receive for a post. The Reach aspect is the first starting point, because you need to reach people before you engage them, but the real point of the post is to create engagement and hopefully action from your audience. Engagement is also important because the Facebook algorithms make liked and enjoyed posts more available, so if you get some excellent quality engagement when you initially post, it will be shared with more people on your timeline.
With engagement in mind, and the algorithm surrounding engagement, it makes sense to post when you know your audience is online. While you cannot guarantee who will see your post, if you post at a time when you know your followers are online, there is a stronger chance of engagement from them.
Key aspects to have on your profile page include:
- If you are a solo agent, your profile photo should feature you in a professional pose. If the age is for your company, use the company logo or an image featuring some of your team
- For the cover image, the large image across the top of the page, give people a reason to click on your page or stay informed about what you offer
- Contact details – including a Click To Call button or something which allows direct access
Page Insight – Summary
On this dashboard you will find information such as:
- Page Actions
- Page Views
- Page Previews
- Page Likes
- Post Engagements
- Videos Page Followers
The standard view is for 7 days but you can change this to show todays/ figures, yesterdays figures or 28 days figures. The information contained within the Page summary should help you determine if more people are engaging with you and if you are sharing the right style of content
Further down the page, there is information telling you about your audience, when they are on Facebook and when they engage with you. This is hugely useful information because ideally, posting when more of your users are online and active can increase the level of engagement that you receive.
You will also find Post Types information, and this informs you what type of posts are doing best in connecting with your audience. Review this list and see what works best for you. Also, consider if you are missing a type of post from your list and then think about if you can add this type of post, which may help you engage your audience better.
Once you become more comfortable with Insights, you will find information about the posts that receive the best reach and the age of your audience but develop an understanding of the basic information surrounding your posts and take it from there.
Review your competitors
A very strong feature of Facebook is that you keep a close on your competitors. Once your page has a minimum of 100 likes, you can follow 10 pages. This will provide you with the ability to track your rivals with respect to features like:
- Total Page likes
- Whether there has been an increase of decrease from the previous week
- The number of posts they have made in a week
- The weekly engagement
It is great to be aware of what your rivals are doing, and this information helps you see how others are performing. Make sure you review what your rivals are posting on their site and determine if this is content that you should imitate.
While it is important to showcase your services and properties on offer, people want more personal content and more engaging content when they follow you. People ant to hear about your day, what work you do behind the scenes, they want an early glimpse of property, they want to be informed abut local news and relevant property market stories. They also want tips and advice, but they prefer these tips to come in small doses, and to be interesting.
Some of the most successful posts estate agents can run include:
- Sneak previews of properties coming to the market (phone snaps are acceptable here)
- Video content offering advice
- Behind the scenes content with employees talking about their day
Should you pay to promote posts on Facebook?
Given the challenges of ensuring your content is seen by your audience, and more, should you pay for post boosts or even advertise on Facebook? The answer is sadly yes. The glory days of free social media promotion are no longer with us. You can create a solid platform for your social media activities with free content and this will be of benefit when you draw more people to you but the nature of Facebook these days is set up to generate income, and this means you can achieve a lot by spending money.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on Facebook. Rather than starting with ads, start by boosting a post that has achieved some success with your audience. Given that people already like this content, it will hopefully appeal to many more people, so boosting this style of post makes sense.
There are also Facebook Ads, where you can target audiences. We deal with this topic in more detail elsewhere on site but no matter what sort of clients you are looking to appeal to, there are campaigns that help you target them. The main Facebook campaigns are:
- Core Audience
- Custom Audience
- Lookalike Audience
At least one of these options will be of benefit to you and whether you a pre-defined audience in place or not, you will be able to reach out and connect with people who are most likely to want what you offer. A key aspect of Facebook advertising comes with the fact that is tailored, which should ensure you receive much better value for money in your advertising expenditure.
Of course, there will always be free ways in which you can increase the chances of people seeing your post. As a company, you also need to encourage all your employees to follow the company page and share posts or comment on posts. This will help place the page in front of more people, which can only help when it comes to improving awareness of the company.
One of the most popular ways for estate agents to connect with an audience these days is to go live. Facebook wants more live video content on site and firms that offer this content will find that it is seen by more people. Providing live content also shows your personal side, it allows people to engage in real time and it doesn’t cost a lot of money to make.
To create the best possible live video content, consider the following tips:
- Use a tripod to ensure the camera is steady
- Have a light source. A battery light is best but natural light through a window can be used
- Have a topic and stick to it
- Make sure the bullet points of the topic are listed for the presenter to see easily
- Rehearse what is going to be said in advance of going live
- Try to have fun
- Have a call to action or encourage people to click through a link or sign up for something
- Try to stay on for at least five minutes but don’t stay on when there is nothing left to discuss
Live content may sound daunting but there will likely be at least one employee who fancies the idea of presenting. Use your in-house skills to create enjoyable and informative video content that draws people to your site and then convinces them to hire you.
Facebook is essential for estate agents
Facebook is hugely important for estate agents and when used correctly, it could be of greater benefit to you than your own website. You need to take time to develop a strategy for Facebook and you need to be consistent. However, if you achieve this, you’ll find that you can connect with your audience and improve your standing in the local area.
You should be open to spending money on Facebook, but there are ways to achieve success without spending a penny. At Agent Media, we are here to help you achieve your Facebook aims, no matter what option you are looking to enjoy. When it comes to benefiting from Facebook, we are social media specialists you can trust.
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Agent Media UK