Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

How to Effectively Market Real Estate Listings on Facebook

While personal Facebook profiles are up to your discretion, when using it for business purposes there are both legal and social rules that you should know, understand and abide by.

Facebook has become a crucial aspect of marketing for all kinds of businesses across the spectrum, and real estate is no exception. However, it’s important to approach Facebook and other social media tools with an organized strategy, rather than winging it. While personal Facebook profiles are up to your discretion, when using it for business purposes there are both legal and social rules that you should know, understand and abide by. We want to share some do’s and don’ts for using Facebook to promote real estate listings. By having this knowledge at your disposal, you will be able to offer your real estate clients the best advertising solutions possible, and they will see your newspaper as a valuable advertising resource.

What You Shouldn’t Do

1. Make sure your Realtor® clients know they shouldn’t use their personal Facebook pages to post listings, because not only is it unprofessional, but it also violates Facebook’s user agreement. In Facebook’s Terms of Service, the social network includes the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), which says, “You will not use your personal profile for commercial gain.” If your clients violate this rule and put their listings on their personal Facebook page, then they risk having it reported and their account deleted.

2. So, if you can’t post listings on a personal Facebook account, how should Realtors® get in the Facebook game? By creating a Facebook Page for their real estate company or Realtor® profile. Facebook Pages exist for businesses to establish themselves on the social network. Any commercial activity on a Page does not break the SRR rule. However, it would still be unwise to post listings directly to the Page’s Wall. Any posts or activity posted to a Facebook Wall goes straight on to the Timelines of people who have liked the Page. If your clients gratuitously post all of their listings one after another, their followers will begin to view it as spam and most likely unlike the Page.

What You Should Do

1. Applications are a great way to post listings without crowding your fans’ Timelines. This will make it so the listings don’t end up on the Facebook’s Wall, and consequently, followers’ timelines. Instead, there will be a tab on the Page that your clients can title “Listings,” which Facebook users can then click to view all of the real estate listings. In the article, “Using Facebook to Promote Your Listings — the Right Way,” InmanNext™ recommends Realtor.com’s Social Connections application as the go-to application for Realtors® to post their listings on their Facebook Pages.

2. Facebook also offers advertising space, usually on the right hand side of the website. If your newspaper invested in Facebook advertising space, you could then charge your advertisers who want to post a particular listing. You can determine how that Facebook ad will be targeted, for instance, you can ask for it to display on the pages of people in a certain location or zip code. Facebook ads are charged based on cost-per-click, and you can put a maximum amount on how much you want to spend. Therefore, once Facebook reaches that limit, they will stop displaying your ad, so you don’t have to spend more than you want to on Facebook advertising.

3. While Realtors® can’t post listings on their personal Facebook pages, the home sellers can. This is a great way to get the word out, since home sellers won’t post multiple listings, they will only post their own, preventing it from looking like spam. Additionally, their Facebook friends won’t view it as someone trying to sell them something; they will see it as a friend who needs help getting the word out about their house. Make sure your clients turn to the seller about posting the listing on their Facebook and asking their friends if they know anyone who is looking for a house in that particular location. This takes the stigma away from selling on Facebook.

4. If your clients really want to post their listings on their Facebook Page Wall, then tell them there is a right way to do that. Remind them that posting every single listing on a Facebook Wall is spam-like and will most likely result in followers clicking the “Unlike” button, which defeats the purpose of creating a Facebook presence! So, if they want their listings to end up in their followers’ timelines, then tell them to be selective about it and do so in a creative and substantial way. They should only post a few listings on their Wall every week, and it should sound personable to the reader. For instance, offer a picture focusing on one aspect of the house, like one of its best rooms or a pool. If they just offer a link to the listing, Facebook users will skim over it on their way through their Timeline without a second glance. Make it look like a social interaction rather than a hard sell.