How to Use Facebook Fan Pages and Badges To Promote Your Real Estate Business
The web is a complicated, yet interesting place in 2010. With the onset of social media marketing going mainstream this year, a number of BIG businesses and many small business owners like you and me are utilizing the power of social networking to drive traffic to our website with intentions of converting that same buyers and seller traffic into clients. We might also use social networking to monitor the conversations between customers about our products or services and to engage in conservations with potential customers or existing customers for the sake of preserving our brand.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Facebook’s Fan Pages, Fan Badges and Widgets are the modern day buttons or bumper stickers. Remember when buttons were all the craze in the 80s? Yeah, I’m old enough to remember that. Or how about the strange looking car on the road that has one to many bumper stickers? You know the car I’m talking about! It’s the one you remember because there are so few vehicles on the road shouting out their affiliations. Well, in the digital word of 2010, Facebook has over 400 million users (a number that continues to grow daily). The “average” FACEBOOK user fans four or more fan pages a month. At this time, I am a fan of 50 or more FB pages. Wow, who knew?
Of those pages, many of which I joined to be polite since the invites to join the page came from friends, I can honestly say that I enjoy the updates of maybe at least 10 fan pages. In any case, it’s easy to show my affiliations on-line and as a small business owner myself, I have to be motivated to promote someone else’s business. I have to be incentivize (I made this word up) to promote someone else’s business in the same way I would ask or try to motivate my clientele or fans to promote for me.
Here are 5 tips to promote your real estate business using Facebook Fan Pages and Badges. These suggestions are in no particular order, but I recommend them because I have used them myself.
1. Create a page for your business (Captain Obvious Here). Invite all of your friends to become your fan. You need at least 25 fans before you can get a vanity url i.e. a url that reads like http://www.facebook.com/njretoday Otherwise the link to your page looks funky like this; http://www.facebook.com/njretoday123456099-9blah,blah,blah (Not an actual link, so please don’t click it). The benefit to having a facebook fan page for many is having the ability to separate your personal life from your business life. Second, people who become your facebook fans, opt-in to receive your updates, links, photos, videos. The best form of marketing is permission based marketing. Fans who want to hear from you are more likely to buy your recommend your services.
2. Initially when you create your facebook fan page, you need a certain number of fans for credibility, which is why your initial 20 or so friends are important. Oftentimes though, getting to the next level of your fan base (whatever you define that to be), can be difficult if you are not providing anything of value. A fan page is easy to create, but coupled that with a real estate blog, you can then easily use your fan page as an RSS reader and link your blog posts to update your facebook fan page, which will in turn bring traffic back to your website. But, your blog posts have to be OF VALUE. I often find that talking about what happens in my everyday business makes the best blog posts. I focus on creating blog posts that tell a story. That’s the beauty about blogging. Blogging doesn’t have to be formal or technical, although, at times, I research and write to inform. All the while at the end of each blog post, I have some type of call to action so that my fans or clients can contact me for more information or for something specific. At the end of this post, I have my facebook profile badge, which makes anyone looking to get into contact with me easier, assuming they themselves are on facebook. I’m betting that the person who wants to friend me, is already one facebook.
3. Network at MeetUps or local networking events to promote your page in the real world. Having a page link within your email signature or on your business cards is one way to get users who have no idea you or your business exists onto your fan page. Also, facebook offers profile badges and photo badges, which I love. As a real estate agent, for the past year, I’ve upload the front view of the houses I have sold into an album on my facebook personal account called JUST SOLD. The same album could easily be created for your fan based. Then you can display that badge like so (disregard the car-this is a good example of things not being perfect, but somehow my car pic mixed in with my just sold houses:
Audeliz Perez | Create Your Badge
Also, when I updated this Just Sold album, I publish it to my wall so that my friends might know. Publish your updates to appear in the news feed for that day.
4. Make connections with your fans on things other than real estate. It takes just as much effort to blog about something as it does to respond to what’s happening in the lives of your clients, fans and friends. I read my fans updates (I become their friends on facebook) and offer advice and feedback when I can. I got a listing appointment and then a listing when I helped a facebook friend understand what to expect from the GREs, a test my fiance took a few months back. When she posted she wanted to know if anyone had taken the test recently, I asked him to call her and give her some feedback about the test. Two weeks later, as it turns out, when my FB friend needed an agent, she called me to list her home. The simple act of providing value lead to an appointment for me and ultimately a listing. This same person recommended me to her network and now I have the potential of earning their business. Keeping a healthy balance between your social interactions and business interactions is important when engaging in social media or networking. Monitor your updates and track results. I keep a list of houses that I sold and document where the lead came from i.e. the source. Typically as agents, we are used to the traditional lead source categories: Open Houses, Referral, Sphere of Influence, Expired, FSBO, lead network system, website, direct mail, craigslist, neighborhood cold calls etc. Now you should add Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Forums, Active Rain, Google PPC ADS, facebook ads, Trulia, Zillow, and your other sources of lead generation. Be specific with your categories.
5. Show your fans how to support you and reward them for their efforts. I am a big fan of videos. I watch a lot of how to videos on you tube to help me take my business to the next level with SEO on my website or marketing. We often take for granted that our fans are knowledge about how to create badges. Try a screen cast, a video recording your desktop mouse or keystrokes, to show your fans exactly where to go to get the fan badges. Then, for some like me who wants to be rewarded for promoting someone else’s business, develop incentives for your fans who create enthusiasm about your business. I support a hierarchy of fan badges i.e. badges that only certain users can display they almost create a form of competition among your fans. Sounds silly, but worth the effort if you can attract new fans, new clients, just more people in general. Contests are fun! Free giveaways and promotions can keep your fans engaged and coming back. (by the way, we are giving out special fan badges next week-check back with us for more details).
The next step of creating a dynamic facebook fan page would be to customize it, which is beyond my scope or expertise. But if you at least try 1 of the 5 recommendations above, you will have the opportunity to earn one more deal this year guaranteed.
If you need help setting up your facebook fan page, connect with me on Facebook. More importantly next week, follow me as I implement my social media experiment called Changing Gears, which will show you how to build your presence and become a virtual neighborhood specialist in 12 weeks or less.
Post By Audeliz Angie Perez (160 Posts)
Angie Perez is a NJ Circle of Excellence award winning real estate agent for Weichert, Realtors in Edison. She sells anywhere from 12-25 houses per year on a consistent basis since 2005. Ms. Perez is primarily a buyer's agent on 60% of her real estate sales where she represents rental income investors, first time home buyers & trade up home buyers of 1-4 family homes within specific towns encompassing 4 NJ counties: Union, Essex, Middlesex and Somerset County. Many of Ms. Perez's clients appreciate her ability to negotiate favorable real estate deals for them. Many of her clients commented that her research abilities, her honesty, her knowledge of local market trends and her proficiency to manage multiple real estate transactions from start to close are some of the reasons why she was hired as their agent of choice. Please call, text or email Angie Perez to ask if she lists or sell in your town. If she can not help you, Ms. Perez would be more than happy to help or refer you to someone who can.
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