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102: Josh Cobb: The (Hard) Truth About Facebook For Real Estate

By |October 29, 2016| No Comments


Do you want a bigger Facebook audience? Are you looking for ways to bring attention to your business on Facebook?

The primary objective for many real estate professionals, when it comes to social media marketing, is to get more ‘Likes’. But, does having more ‘Likes’ guarantee more revenue or profit for your business? In our recent Real Estate Industry Social Media Marketing Report, 85% of real estate professionals said they use social media to market their business, but only 22% said they could measure a return on investment – from both time and money.

In this episode of Real Estate Pros, we discuss why success on social media may just not be determined by how many followers you have. And we ask the question, is social media actually worth it for business purposes?

Facebook For Real Estate

I was recently speaking with the CEO of one Australia’s largest real estate franchise groups about some of the challenges their business owners and salespeople are having when it comes to the marketing function within their business.

I asked him: “What is one thing that business owners and/or salespeople are asking about, or a challenge they’re wanting to solve, when it comes to digital marketing in particular?”

Almost before I could finish the question, he immediately said social media. According to my CEO friend, business owners and salespeople are constantly telling him about how important it is to them to grow a following on social media.

We ourselves are asked in almost every workshop we run or consulting work we do: “How can we grow our audience on social media?”

The primary objective for many real estate professionals when it comes to social media, it seems, is simply to get more ‘Likes’.

In fact, we’ve met many businesses who have gone as far as buying ‘Likes’ to appear to their community, at least on the surface, that they have a massive following.

Seth Godin, the highly regarded and sought-after marketing expert, was on stage at a conference a number of years ago where he was asked by a business owner in the crowd if social media was valuable to businesses, and if so, what sort of businesses. His response will go down as one of the most honest and, in my opinion, most accurate descriptions of what social media is about when it comes to using it for business purposes.

Seth starts by saying, “The internet is a giant cocktail party with all these people swarming around connecting as much as they can because they’re keeping score – who likes me today, who’s talking about me today. But one day, when you need to ask them to authorize a $100,000 contract, it doesn’t matter. What matters is, where are the real relationships?”

Seth continues, “Networking is always useful when it’s real and always a useless distraction when it’s fake. What the internet has allowed is an enormous amount of fake networking to take place and it’s so easy to be seduced by it because there’s a scoreboard showing you how popular you are, and it’s nonsense. Measuring this (‘Likes’) is like measuring hits to your website – it doesn’t translate. What translates is, are there people out there who I would go out of my way for and who would go out of their way for me? That’s what you need to keep track of, and how you get there is by going out of your way for them and by earning the privilege to, one day, have that connection be worthwhile.”

“Networking is always useful when it’s real and always a useless distraction when it’s fake.” – Seth Godin

To paraphrase Seth:

“It doesn’t matter how many ‘Likes’ or followers you have, it’s how many that care.”

You can’t walk into the bank and deposit your Facebook ‘Likes’.

For the people who do follow you on social media, if they’re not in the market to buy, sell or find a property manager, your ‘just listed’, ‘just sold’ or ‘just rented’ posts are probably not all that relevant.

You might get lucky. You might get a listing with this approach.

But what about the people who aren’t engaging with your posts? What signal is that sending to Facebook?

Quite simply, this is how social media works…

Engagement, or lack thereof, is a signal back to the platform of what people want to see more or less of.

If you continue to post content that isn’t relevant to your followers, and they don’t engage with it (or worse, they stop following you altogether), you’re essentially saying goodbye to any opportunity they’ll see your content when it could be relevant to them.

Do you know anyone who wakes up in the morning and thinks to themselves, ‘I can’t wait to see what my local real estate agent has posted on social media today?’ I highly doubt it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to tell you that you shouldn’t be on social media. If it makes sense for your business to do so, and you are driving a behavior change in your audience that is profitable for your business, then absolutely go for it.

But always remember, it doesn’t matter how many ‘Likes’ you have, it’s how many that care. As Seth said, it’s about real relationships. It’s about how many of those followers would go out of their way for you and how you get there is by going out of your way for them.

Good luck.

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