Here are a few links, images, and resources from the event.
Video Excerpt of Stacey from Brand Building in Social Media panel:
PDF handout supporting Stacey’s talking points during the panel discussion.
Article recaps of the event:
Here are a few links, images, and resources from the event.
Video Excerpt of Stacey from Brand Building in Social Media panel:
PDF handout supporting Stacey’s talking points during the panel discussion.
Article recaps of the event:
Facebook was a hot topic at January’s Real Estate Connect in New York City. Live interviews with Thomas Arnold of Facebook and Clara Shih of Hearsay Social were featured on the main stage and re-emphasized the importance of Facebook as part of the marketing strategy of the modern Realtor. Thomas Arnold discussed that each comment is actually a “lead” and that Facebook is a long term strategy. Clara Shih wisely stated that the way to figure out the ROI on social media is to actually use it and predicted that 2012 will be the year of ROI on social media. She also pointed out how high-tech has a lot of influence on high-touch.
Later that afternoon, I co-presented alongside Jimmy Mackin a breakout session titled Friends with Benefits: Strategies for Selling with Facebook. View our presentation below:
After our presentation, Jimmy and I were honored to have keynote speaker Thomas Arnold from Facebook introduce himself and complement our presentation:
Are you interested in having Stacey speak on effective Facebook marketing at your company or event? Contact us to inquire about Stacey’s availability and rates.
There is a big difference between being a Facebook user, and using Facebook for marketing. It is very easy to be a Facebook user: You sign up for an account, connect with a few friends, and you are off and running. However, when you look at Facebook as a marketing tool, it suddenly becomes a very complex platform with a multitude of options and an endless array of tactics that can be deployed. And Realtors, residential real estate Brokerages, and Associations need to understand the marketing tools that Facebook offers in order to formulate and execute a productive business development or marketing strategy on Facebook.
The marketing tools that Facebook offers are diverse and distinct. Each tool is different in its functionality and as a result, the strategies to use the tool successfully vary dramatically. In fact, some of the tools have different terms of service which means that what you are allowed to do with one tool, might not be allowed in another tool. Therefore, before you can formulate a Facebook marketing strategy, you have to understand your options and the tools. This post presents and explains the following road map to Facebook’s marketing tools for real estate.
Note that this chart is as of December 2012. Facebook changes its product line often, and without warning. The chart and this post will be updated as the product line evolves.
Facebook essentially offers four main products for marketing yourself and your service:
Each product is a unique and distinct marketing tool. Each of these tools are separate and independent entities – each stands alone with their own set of rules and strategies for marketing success. However, at the same time, the tools are tightly intertwined in that you must have a profile in order to create each of these tools, and the activities/stories that of these tools create are blended together on the news feed (or homepage of Facebook) that users see when they log into the system. An introduction to each of the main marketing products follows.
When you sign up for a Facebook account, a profile is created for you. In Facebook terminology, Account = Profile (the terminology can be tricky and is part of the reason many are confused about Facebook’s product line). Profiles are the core product in the Facebook system. You must have a profile in order to market yourself and your business on Facebook (it is necessary to have a profile to create a page, or a group, for example).
The profile is designed to be personal to you. The profile is to be representative of you, a human being (vs. a brand). The Facebook terms of service state that you may only have one profile and you may not use your profile for commercial gain. So, if you have two profiles (one for business and one for personal) or you are posting your listings on your personal wall, then you are in violation of the terms of services.
Profile connections are called Friends. You know you are looking at a Facebook profile if you see an “Add Friend” button. In order to connect with someone’s profile on Facebook, you must have mutual agreement to see each others’ profile. In other words, you must request to be someone’s friend, and they have to accept that friendship request before you have full access to their profile. Profiles also have a host of privacy settings that can be applied to them which allow you to lock down or open up the visibility on your profile and the content associated with it.
Because real estate is a relationship oriented business where who you know matters and sphere marketing has power, the profile can be a very powerful tool for the modern real estate agent, despite the fact that it is against the terms of service to use your profile for your own commercial gain. This is because the profile allows for relationship building, sales intelligence, the ability to listen to our sphere of influence, and the opportunity to efficiently “touch” a lot of people that matter to our business on a frequent and cost effective (free) basis. And, all of these things matter in a successful real estate sales career.
The second main grouping of Facebook marketing tools is pages. Facebook pages come in several forms and each are their own entities with varied strategies for marketing success:
Official Pages: Official pages are an important Facebook tool for the real estate professional. Setting up an official page is a little like setting up a public website for your business within Facebook. Official pages look very similar to profiles in that they have a wall, and tabs, just like profiles do. However, official pages are a very different marketing tool than profiles are, and the Facebook terms of service are different for official pages than they are for profiles (see our post on Facebook Profiles vs Official Pages for a detailed description of the differences). You know you are looking at a page (vs. a profile) when you see a “Like” button at the top of it (vs. the “Add Friend” button you see on profiles).
The first significant difference is that official pages are designed to be for commercial use (in other words, it is not a terms of service violation to post real estate listings on your page). You must be the authorized representative of the business in order to create a Facebook page (most real estate agents are independent contractors and therefore the authorized representative of their real estate practice so this criteria isn’t a problem). If Facebook deems you to not be the authorized representative of your page, your page can be reclassified as a “Community” page and you will be stripped of your administrator access.
Facebook official pages are also different from profiles in that they are totally public – people can see the content on your official page without having to be connected to it (whereas your profile requires acceptance by both parties to view the full profile). On pages, visitors can choose to “like” a page and this is not “approved” by page administrators. Once they like the page, they are connected to it. By liking your page, a visitor has become a fan of your page and given you permission to market to them in their news feed.
There are no privacy settings can be applied to pages and pages are indexed by search engines. This is a great benefit to the pages product as page administrators can benefit from the SEO, or search engine optimization, that results from their page being indexed.
Pages also allow for a centralized brand voice. Since you can have multiple administrators, this feature allows for each of the administrators to post on behalf of the brand, vs, as themselves. None of the other Facebook marketing tools has this functionality.
You create a page from your profile. In other words, pages are an add-on to the profile – they are not a separate account. When you create a page, you become the administrator of that page. You can administer one, or multiple pages. In addition, each official page can have multiple administrators. So, if you work as part of a real estate team, all members of your team can be administrators on your team’s official page (assuming you all have individual Facebook profiles). You are not limited to one official page (as you are limited to one profile). You may create multiple pages.
Facebook Deals: Having a Facebook places page allows you to offer Facebook Deals to people who visit your physical location. You can offer a coupon to Facebook users who check into your location on their cell phone in order to encourage check-ins and repeat business, and gain visibility in Facebook when those check-ins and deals are publicized to the users news feed.
For real estate offices, or Realtors who have a physical office location, Facebook places pages is a marketing product to investigate. Having a Facebook places page allows for Facebook users to find out where your office is located, your business hours, and other relevant items about your business. It also allows for Facebook users to “check-in” when they are at your location using the geo-location tagging functionality on many cell phones. When they check in, their check in at your place is posted on their wall which can increase the visibility of your business.
Community Pages: Community pages are pages people go to share their interest in the topic of the page. Much like an official page, Facebook users “like” community pages as well. Other ways to connect to community pages include providing “likes and interests” in your personal profile (you’ll notice a link to likes and interests that you add to the info tab of your personal profile – often that goes to a community page). A key difference between community pages and official pages is that community pages aren’t tied to an official entity. There are community pages for cooking and boating, for example. There is no administrator of a community page. The page is administered by the “community” of people who “like” it.
From a marketer’s standpoint, the lack of administrator control is the key difference between community pages and official/places pages. As a Facebook marketer, what you should know about community pages is that your goal is to not get demoted from an “Official page” to a “Community page”. This can happen if you violate the terms of service of an official page…mainly, you aren’t the authorized representative of the page you created. If you are unable to prove to Facebook that you are the authorized representative of your page (they have a form and a process), then you can be stripped of your administrator privileges and your page will be “managed by the community”. Community pages should generally be avoided as part of a Facebook marketing plan as a result.
Facebook groups are designed as a place for a small group of Facebook users to share, chat, and email. There are three types of groups that can be created: Open, Closed, and Secret. The type of group you create determines if the group members and group content are public or private. Because you can create a closed or secret group where the conversations and content and members are not publicly visible, groups can be a great tool for real estate agents to have conversations on Facebook that are segregated from the conversations that are occurring on their profile wall. Offices and associations can also use closed and secret groups as places where their agents and members can converse without the greater Facebook community observing the discussion. One of the great features about Facebook groups is that group members don’t have to be Facebook friends to communicate with each other in the group. Another feature to note about groups is that there is no centralized voice of the group. Each group member is equal and the conversation with the most recent activity is promoted to the top of the group’s wall.
Facebook ads are the only Facebook marketing tool that costs money to use. With Facebook advertising, you can target users based on location, age, marital status, and likes and interests. You pay for ads on a cost per click basis (how many times someone clicks on your ad), or a cost per impression basis (how many times that ad appears on the site). Ads appear on the right hand sidebar in most places on Facebook. Facebook advertising is the most targeted and powerful advertising database available. Facebook ads can be very effective and an strong part of a pages marketing strategy. They can also be a great way to advertise listings.
Harmon Enterprises specializes in Facebook marketing for real estate. If you have a Facebook marketing question, post it on our Harmon Enterprises Facebook wall and we’ll answer!
One of the things Realtors most often misunderstand about Facebook is the difference between a Facebook profile and a Facebook page. This post builds upon a prior post that explains the array of Facebook marketing tools that exist for the modern real estate agent. This article is designed to serve as a basis for a Realtor to understand the differences between a Facebook profile and a Facebook official page (two of the most popular tools) so that an effective Facebook marketing strategy can be created. Note that places pages are technically a different product than official pages, but for the purposes of this post, places pages fall into the same category as official pages. The only significant difference between the two products is the inclusion of an address and the deals functionality for places pages. Other than that, places pages and official pages are basically the same.
Profiles and official pages (also commonly referred to as business pages, or fan pages) are as different as apples and oranges. They are often confused however because visually, they look very similar (note – this was true prior to the profile Timeline rollout in December 2011 which makes the profile look much different than pages and helps to alleviate confusion between the two products). In reality, despite their similar appearance, profiles and pages are two totally separate Facebook products with separate terms of service. As a result, they require dramatically different strategies for marketing and business development success.
Harmon Enterprises recommends that the core of a real estate Facebook marketing strategy is the Facebook profile. But the allure of being able to totally segregate personal from professional on Facebook leads many real estate agents to be interested in Facebook business pages. And, when properly utilized as part of a clear Facebook marketing strategy, Facebook pages can be an effective and profitable business tool for Realtors. But, when not understood and poorly planned, both Facebook profile usage and Facebook pages can be ineffective time sucks that yield no productive results for the real estate professional. In order to not go down that path, you must first understand the difference between the two tools.
As a user, it can sometimes be tricky to know if you are looking at a profile or a page in Facebook. The visual appearance of profiles and pages is very similar as the comparison below shows. Both have a main profile image, both have a variety of tabs including a wall tab and an info tab. In addition, both have a photo stream along the top which displays five images as the following example shows:
In this example, it is pretty intuitive to identify that the image on the left is a Facebook profile and the image on the right is a Facebook page because the imagery used for the profile is a person, and the imagery used for the page reflects a brand. In addition, the name for the page on the left is “Stacey Harmon” and the name on the right is “Pixel Coaching”. So, despite looking very similar in structure, it makes sense that the example on the left represents a profile and the example on the right represents a page.
The confusion for most real estate professionals comes in the fact that often in real estate, the brand that is promoted is the individual agent. The agent is the brand. And when an individual agent’s persona is being promoted via a page, many do not realize that a different Facebook marketing product is being utilized as this example from a Realtor who uses both the profile and official pages product on Facebook illustrates:
In this case, Heather has chosen to use a photo of herself as the branding in both locations and her name is the same in both places. If you were to search “Heather Elias” on Facebook you would find both of these examples (although her image may have changed from when these screen captures were taken).
If you look carefully though, there are differences that tell you you are looking at a profile vs. a page. The giveaway is that the terminology used for connecting/connections with the page is different.
Friend vs. Like:
A profile will have verbiage that asks you to “Add as Friend”:
This is in contrast to the verbiage on a page which displays the “Like” button:
So, the vocabulary is different between the two products. Users will “friend” a profile and “like” a page.
In addition, the connections associated with a page and that are visible on the right hand sidebar have different terminology associated with them. On a profile, you’ll see there is a “Friends” header followed by images of the persons friends (subject to the users permission settings) whereas on a page, the sidebar informs you that a certain number of “People Like This”, and you do not have the ability to see who the fans of the page are:
Connection terminology between profiles and pages is not the only difference between profiles and pages. In addition, the terms of service are different. Also, how you communicate with connections is different. As a result, the strategy for success in business must be different.
Profiles are for personal use only. Everything about the Facebook terms of service supports that. The terms of service state that users are allowed to only have one profile. Profiles are intended to reflect a person (you), not a brand. Your personal name should be used on your profile and should not include your company or profession. It is explicitly stated in the terms of service that a profile is not to be used for your commercial gain. For Realtors, this means no posting of listings on their wall or direct solicitations with their profile. The number of friends you can be connected to on your profile is capped at 5,000 (it’s tough for most people to exceed 5,000 friends if they are only using their profile for personal use). In order for someone to see your full profile, you must both agree to become friends. Without mutual acceptance, the full profile is not visible to each party. In addition, the level of profile visibility can be adjusted with privacy settings. And, although both marketing tools have a photo stream at the top of the page, the functionality for this features varies.
Business Development with Your Profile:
Since it is against the terms of service to use your profile for commercial gain, the tactics to develop business using your profile while staying within the terms of service are about two things:
With your profile, the key strategy for success to is interact with your social sphere of influence. The profile is set up to strengthen connections with people you already know. It is best used to network and to socialize with your social farm. Your profile is a modern supplement to your off-line networking opportunities that currently yield you business. Connect to the people you socialize with on the soccer field, at the golf course, at the Chamber of Commerce, as part of your volunteer efforts, or at neighborhood events. You spend a great deal of time off line getting to know people. Over time, this leads to people working with you or referring you business. Your Facebook profile is an outstanding opportunity to do the same thing in a more efficient format.
Facebook Official Pages:
In contrast, official pages are specifically for commercial use and therefore a perfectly appropriate, and Facebook legal place to put your listings and do explicit business development. A page is basically a public website, just under the Facebook umbrella. There are no privacy settings to apply to your page. Google indexes the page, just as if it was a public website. Facebook pages are open and designed to stay that way. Anyone can choose to like your page – you don’t approve them and there are no limits to the number of Facebook users who can like your page.
Hopefully this has clarified the key differences between profiles and pages. As you can see, the differences are significant and highlights that profiles and pages are two very different marketing tools. As such, your strategies for building business with each tool should vary. Still have questions about the differences between profiles and pages? Leave us your questions in the comments.
What am I supposed to post on my real estate fan page? It is one of the most common questions and frustrations for real estate agents who embrace Facebook marketing. It is also an issue that needs to be solved if you are going to have an effective page marketing strategy on Facebook.
This is why Stacey Harmon has developed Facebook Page Marketing: Content Strategies for Real Estate. It is the only content strategy book that speaks specifically to the Realtor pages and provides 125+ unique, engaging and manageable content ideas that are specific for real estate fan pages. Broken down into varies types of posts and when and why you should use them, this book will effectively give you 3 months of great content to post on your page.
Posting content that your fans enjoy takes only minutes of your day and is one of the most modern and inexpensive methods of marketing your company. This book not only gives you content ideas, but will teach you strategies for long term success. By the time you work your way through it, you’ll already be seeing the results in your fan count and interaction stats. Order here.
Industry Praise and Testimonials for Facebook Page Marketing: Content Strategies for Real Estate:
“A fantastic read for any agent who wants a leg up in their Facebook page marketing. This book illustrates through case study how to create engaging conversations on your page. Content strategies like the ones offered in this book are what grew my real estate page to over 35,000 fans.”
“Stacey knows her stuff and has written this incredible book which I highly recommend. It’s something every REALTOR needs in their social arsenal. It’s an affordable way to make a huge difference in your business and how you approach Facebook.”
- Kelly Mitchell, Hawaii Real Estate Agent & Partner at Elite Pacific Properties
“Engagement with your customers and prospects translates to sales. Stacey’s book helps agents create engagement on their page so they can finally get paid from their Facebook marketing efforts.”
“Realtors® are no longer asking the question, “Should I be using Facebook?” – they are now asking “How do I use Facebook?” In this guide, Stacey provides a comprehensive overview of how Realtors® are using Facebook to market their businesses. What I really love about this guide is that Stacey provides real examples of how Realtors from all parts of the country are using this amazing tool. If you’re going to be marketing yourself on Facebook, I highly recommend that you invest the money in buying this guide and use it as a blueprint for your Facebook Marketing Strategy.”
“Posting great content to your Facebook page has never been easier! Whether you are a novice or an expert, Stacey’s book provides plenty of fresh ideas to use on your page. Even I’ve been inspired with a few new tricks and I’ve been successfully marketing my real estate business on Facebook for years.”
- Lisa Archer, Broker, Keller Williams Realty
“Are you stumped on how to create a Facebook business page that works? Puzzled about what to post to attract clients? If so, Stacey Harmon’s “Facebook Page Marketing: Content Strategies for Real Estate” is packed with proven strategies from agents who are generating leads from their Facebook pages including the exact words, photos, and strategies they used. If you’re serious about having a Facebook marketing strategy for your real estate business, this is the book for you.”
- Bernice Ross, CEO, RealEstateCoach.com