Facebook has significantly changed how it displays content in its users’ news feeds. The revisions are designed to give priority to content that has garnered comments from friends and family first. Now you’ll see fewer posts from brands and publications. Facebook’s news feed change it intended to help people spend more meaningful time on the site and less time passively watching videos from corporate brands or scrolling through posts that no one engages with.
Photo courtesy Maurizio Pesce
What the News Feed Change Means to Real Estate Agents
The days of posting boring content and expecting it to be seen by your followers is over. Facebook has made it clear that businesses who post content that isn’t engaging will be shown less often. On Facebook’s blog, Adam Mosseri, head of its news feed team, wrote that showing more posts from family and friends “means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.” For Facebook, it’s about bringing people “closer together and building relationships.” Does this mean that you as an agent should stop posting on Facebook to grow your business? Absolutely not. But it does mean you need to post content that will be liked, commented on, and shared by your followers. In short, your content needs to be engaging. Your content needs to be good.
From Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announcing the news feed change, “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” We think this is a good thing. It means less spam for Facebook users. It means less time spent on Facebook, but the time spent will be higher quality time.
Things Agents Should Do Now
Agents need to give to get. Real estate is a relationship business and now Facebook is saying they are going to reward people who have relationships with others on their system. You need to provide quality content that people appreciate. Real content for real people. Content that enhances relationships.
For your 2018 Facebook plan, here’s some tactics we recommend:
- Turn off your bots. If you are paying for automatic posting with some form of national, vaguely-real-estate-related content you need to stop. You know the ones, “It’s a great time to clean your gutters,” with a stock photo picture of some tree leaves. Stop doing that. That’s never been relationship building. Why would anyone talk about that with their friends? Instead, let’s say your neighborhood just had big windstorm, now would be a great time to go out and take a picture of the tree branches and leaves on the ground and do a post about the storm, reminding your neighbors to clean their gutters after the storm. Think, “What a storm last night, I was up all-night listening to the wind howl. Hope everyone is safe out there. Anyone have any damage to their home? Don’t forget to clean your gutters after that one!” Now it’s contextually relevant, timely and likely to get some comments and likes.
- Stop posting ugly listing photos with little to no commentary. That’s not a relationship builder. It’s great to post listings, just be sure the photos or videos are as attractive as possible and that you give it some meaningful commentary. Give them a reason to care about the post. Highlight an interesting feature of the home, like an incredible hand-blown glass pendant light in the kitchen, or a stunning lilac bush in full bloom in the front yard.
- Use video when you can. Videos tend to get more comments, likes, and shares than still images. The sight, sound, and motion of video tends to bring out people’s emotions and when that happens they engage with it.
- Be a person. You can’t robotically post content and expect it to create or enhance personal relationships. Show people who you really are. Show them that you care about them and your community. Show people you have hobbies and interests outside of real estate. People engage with real people.
- Create Facebook Live content. The engagement rates for Facebook Live is much higher than other types of content. It’s a great way to show yourself out in the community. Perhaps there’s a new restaurant opening, the county fair just began, or just walk through the local farmers market – there are countless reasons to produce live content.
- Figure out your Facebook ads. You should “boost” most of your posts, targeting your community and your sphere, to maximize the likelihood of engagement. The more people see your content the more likely it is to receive engagement. The more engagement you get, the more you build relationships.
Proactively engage with your followers every day. Start being intentional with your followers. Interact with several of them daily. Build relationships by engaging with people. Comment and share their posts. Like their posts. Be genuine and sincere.
Facebook’s news feed change is likely better for consumers. Now is your chance to take advantage and up your relationship game.
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