Aug. 20, 2018.
There’s never a dull moment in the world of Facebook marketing, especially for realtors. Facebook is constantly tweaking its algorithm and functionality — presumably to keep its over 80 million active Business Page users on their toes.
Big Facebook Business Page changes go into effect August 22, 2018
On August 6, 2018, Facebook announced that business profile users have just a few weeks to get a handle on the upcoming Business Page changes. The primary purpose of this multi-feature upgrade, Facebook said, is to make it easier for businesses to connect with customers. Currently, two out of three Facebook users access a local Business or Event Page through the site, according to Factworks research commissioned by Facebook in 2017.
Business Page Users should receive a Facebook message, providing an option to update a page with the latest changes. Otherwise, all Business Page changes will officially roll out on August 22, 2018.
Minor to major improvements like transitioning from Page Reviews to Recommendations, Facebook Job expansion, Facebook Event ticketing integration, and more may take some getting used to for realtors who rely on Facebook traffic. Taking a moment to learn about these enhancements can make it easier, and likely smoother, to stay connected with potential leads.
If you’re new to the social media game, or new to real estate and need to set up your Facebook Business Page from scratch, we have a three-part guide that can help:
- Check out our series for beginner to advanced social media marketing tactics made just for realtors and start adding to your list of leads: The Ultimate Real Estate Social Media Guide Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Looking for leads? Master the new Facebook changes in 6 easy steps
You can use this quick guide to get a grasp on the latest Facebook updates and take advantage of the opportunity to find new lead channels:
Change #1. Reviews become Recommendations.
You may have already noticed the first big change: Reviews and star ratings are now Facebook Recommendations. Users are no longer prompted to rate a business on a star system. Instead, they’re asked: “Do you recommend [a business]?” Users can respond with Yes/No, a written review, photos, and recommended tags. Facebook still tallies recommendations within a 1-5 rating, and you also have the option to turn Recommendations off — though this compromises your online reputation and isn’t recommended. This change aims to make Facebook Recommendations more engaging and authentic, potentially supporting smaller business owners like realtors.
- Keep doing what you’re doing. Ask your clients to submit honest, helpful, and thorough reviews if they’re happy with your service, and use this feedback to bolster your Facebook Recommendations score and info.
- Partner with local businesses and leave cross-reviews that are again honest, helpful, and thorough. Consider local restaurants, coffee shops, and definitely the contractors, inspectors, and insurance providers you regularly work with.
- Use your existing Recommendations as social proof in email newsletters and ads. Showcase what makes you unique among other realtors and why clients seek you out based your feedback from the new Recommendation tags, i.e., “excellent service,” “friendly staff,” and more.
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Change #2. Facebook Action buttons on business profiles.
This change creates Call to Action (CTA) display buttons on Business Pages, allowing users to click. Your visitors can use the new CTA button to get in touch through Messenger, book an appointment, or inquire about your services. Interactions through Facebook Actions can also support local SEO rankings.
- Set up your Facebook Actions button ASAP. This will give leads the chance to contact you quickly and easily.
- Create a funnel. Now you can draw visitors directly to a lead page or contact form without a user having to hunt your page for a link.
- Connect to your blog. Facebook Actions can also bring potential leads straight to content targets, i.e., your company’s blog full of helpful, free homebuying and selling resources.
Change #3. Customizable Business Page information.
You’ll soon see new details you can customize on your business profile to provide more information to your clients. Displaying your price range, hours, and recommendations, as well as recent posts and events in a user-friendly slider, are all intended to make it easier for prospective clients to connect.
- Customize as much as possible. Don’t leave any potential client questions unanswered when they’re browsing your page.
- Double-check existing information is correct. Customized business info gives mobile users the ability to call/message you easily from Facebook. So, be sure you have updated data on your Business Page.
- Extend your hours, if applicable. Now your tireless work ethic pays off — with some busy realtors keeping office hours from 7 a.m. to as late as 9 p.m. Posting extended hours on your Business Page (when you may be available after-hours by email or text) gives potential leads a bigger window of time to contact.
Change #4. Increased Story visibility for businesses.
Facebook Stories, modeled after Snapchat, hit the feed last year, with a quick video or photo that will remain active for up to 24 hours. Potential leads can now view your Story when they visit your page by clicking your profile picture.
- Post to Stories rather than your feed. This will allow your content to be viewed by more of your audience. Some sources speculate that Facebook’s “increased” Story visibility is only 4 percent for now, but 4 percent is a decent boost if you have an audience size of 1,000 or greater.
- Post a picture/video Story of homes for sale. A quickie listing video will be viewed by more of your direct audience within a shorter time frame. Added Story visibility may also increase your followers over time so you’ll be seen by even more people.
- Integrate your existing video strategy into Stories. The fact that branded Facebook video content views jumped 258 percent as of 2017 indicates that you can get way more out of your existing video strategy when you combine it with consumable Stories. Check out Facebook’s best practices for engaging video content here.
Change #5. Facebook Events ticket integration.
Businesses can connect a ticketing platform to Facebook and even post local events as ads. Ticketing platform Eventbrite has a handy, free whitepaper on the topic, providing guidance on how to increase attendance to local events requiring paid tickets.
- “Sell” free tickets for open houses. Connect Facebook to a ticketing platform such as Eventbrite and set tickets at $0. This will help showcase your event by letting people know tickets are available.
- Amp up your event page with graphics and descriptions. Add listing photos for an open house, for example, or photos of the freebies and snacks you’ll be providing to make an event unique and non-generic.
- Pay attention to your event notifications. While this feature is easy to abuse, it’s critical to respond quickly to attendees’ comments or questions posted on your event page to show you’re present and available.
Change #6. Facebook Jobs expansion.
Facebook’s new Jobs feature, which launched in 2018 as the “blue-collar” LinkedIn alternative, is designed to help make recruiting easier and more seamless — drawing from your existing Facebook community. Job postings will post on and link to your Facebook business profile, with the new updates making these features available to all Business Page users.
- Start recruiting on Facebook. The full rollout of Facebook Jobs may not help generate leads directly. But it can get your company’s name out there when you’re looking for new talent. Facebook also offers a bigger talent pool — with more visibility — than LinkedIn at 1.47 billion compared to 562 million active users.
- Share jobs with your contacts. Circulating your job posting within your pipeline of realtors, builders, and vendors (and offering to do the same in return) is likely to get a quicker and more industry-specific response. This approach can also support brand name recognition when your job post is viewed by new audiences.
- Stay responsive. One of the perks of being an entrepreneurial realtor on Facebook is your ability to communicate. Respond to job post questions quickly, just as you would on your Business Page or Event Page, and keep your social voice personal, informative, and active. It’s again possible that new leads may be lurking and reading.
Give your buyers more and get them home happy
You already know that giving your buyers a little something extra is one of the easiest — and most effective — ways to set yourself apart from the pack. With Cornerstone’s 30 years of mortgage experience, reputation for excellence, and 100 percent commitment to on-time closings, we can team up to give your clients the kind of 5-star service they’ll recommend on Facebook. When you become a Cornerstone Realtor Partner, you’ll get prequalified buyer referrals, and your clients will get the superior support they deserve.
For educational purposes only. Please contact a qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed.