You’ve undoubtedly heard some of the doom and gloom about Facebook’s latest newsfeed changes. It’s not the social media storm of the century it’s made out to be. I’ve been analyzing the changes from a real estate business perspective, and I’ve found that the social media best practices I’ve been teaching seem to be standing the test of time. Keep following these rules, and you’ll continue to have a powerful presence on Facebook.
External Links = Bad News
Facebook ads have been the prince of Facebook marketing, and now they’re becoming king as the platform moves further toward a “pay-to-play” strategy. But if you are paying a service to post article links that direct people to a site outside Facebook, you may likely find yourself throwing money at a broken process. The key is to run a lead generation ad (not simply a boosted post) that allows you to capture contact information without people going to external links. If you are linking them to another page or video on Facebook, those may not negatively affect your positioning since it stays “in the family.”
If you don’t have time to manage this, I recommend hiring a savvy virtual assistant (or, perhaps, a family member or friend who is a social media maven). Some virtual assistants have made Facebook their forte, and you can often spend as little as $10 to $20 per week while maintaining a personal touch that does not feel automated or generic. Having a thriving social media presence without lifting a finger is worth skipping a latte or two in order to afford the extra help. Check out my previous article to help you identify when it’s time to grow your sales squad.
Boring Videos Downgraded
If you are posting listing videos on Facebook, you may start to notice they’re not getting any traction. While interesting videos can “break the internet,” lackluster videos seem to be on Facebook’s chopping block.
Truthfully, it seems that even well-executed videos of home tours, how-to tutorials, and other real estate topics will not rank high unless they are done live. What’s so special about Facebook Live? It typically generates authentic comments, shares, and likes, no matter the topic. Facebook’s algorithm is now promoting this type of interaction rather than posted videos with little engagement. In other words, Facebook wants to make sure we stay social on its site. Go figure.
If you’re going to spend your time and money on video creation, opt to do it live. I understand that many people are averse to live video because they want more control over how their videos are presented online. You can maintain quality by rehearsing and even doing a practice filming first, especially if you want to personally critique the video production.
Have you ever heard the saying, “broken crayons still color”? It means we don’t have to wait for perfection to make progress. With time and consistency, we will all get better at doing videos on the fly (with a little rehearsal first).
Yes, some of us and our prospective clients have a steady diet of Facebook updates in our newsfeeds. However, Facebook is determined to lessen these “feedings” from pages and groups. You don’t have to be worried though, because autobots are saving the day! These aren’t the same souped-up Camaros in the “Transformers” movie, but they do have superpowers on social media. Facebook Messenger is still a powerful tool for connecting with clients, and automated bots can help. Here's a video highlighting one of my favorite bot tools:
Engagement Bait Nixed
Merriam-Webster defines clickbait as “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink, especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.” If you have ever clicked on something that has led you to disreputable information, or worse, infected your computer, you know that removing clickbait from newsfeeds is worthwhile.
I have been saying it in every class I teach, but I will say it again: “Stories matter!” The more stories we can tell about how our clients are finding and selling fantastic real estate (with their permission), the more people we’ll be engaging organically. Stories grab potential clients’ attention without using “sales-y” clickbait tactics. If you have not been in one of my sessions, here are some tips (not clickbait) I gave at Inman Connect On the Road in Chicago about storytelling, and how following the HUTT (humor, unique, thought-provoking, and tear-jerking) method will help your posts stand out.