Engage Your Audience on Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social networking site among REALTORS®; 76% use it.

September 1, 2010

In July Facebook topped 500 million active users, and it’s a safe bet that many of your clients and prospects are among them.

Create a page for your business or community. Go to www.facebook.com and click on the "Create a Page" link on the lower right side of the page, beneath the "Sign Up" button. If your community or neighborhood doesn’t already have a page, consider starting one. It’s a great way to get your name out to the people who live in your market.

No hard selling. "Buy, buy, buy" messages are a turnoff, says social media expert Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era (Pearson Education, 2009). Instead, post locally relevant updates about real estate, your niche, and your community.

Post and tag interesting photos. Everyone loves photos, so take lots of them! Tag your fans to draw them in and make them engaged. Practitioner Brian Copeland uses his iPhone to take photos of his clients’ "Sold" signs, then gives the photos an artsy retro look with the Hipstamatic iPhone app. After he has tagged the photos, his clients sometimes choose the image as their profile shot.

Look for life-stage clues. Read what your fans are saying about themselves on their own pages. Is someone recently engaged or pregnant? Such clues could signal that they’re ready to buy a house, so drop them a note reminding them that you’re available to answer their home buying or selling questions.

Give them a reason to come back. Provide incentives to keep clients visiting your page—an interesting news tidbit every day or a link to coupons at area businesses. Charles Nelson, owner of the national chain Sprinkles Cupcakes, would post a password for free cupcakes several times a day. Since that effort, the company’s fan base has grown tenfold to more than 141,000.

Send your Facebook friends a quick wall message with a subtle reminder that you’re a REALTOR®. Download the free Scribblez app, developed by the Center for REALTOR® Technology, at http://apps.facebook.com/scribblez.