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58: Josh Cobb: Stop Building Your Real Estate Business On Rented Social Media Land

By |December 11, 2015| No Comments


In this episode of Real Estate ProsJosh Cobb shares why you need to stop building your real estate business on rented social media land and we discuss how a business with 365,000 loyal Facebook followers dealt with having their Facebook page randomly deleted – twice.

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Josh Cobb: Stop Building Your Real Estate Business On Rented Social Media Land

Show Notes

According to The Public Relations Institute of Australia, there are over 14 million monthly active Facebook users in Australia and – for a myriad of reasons – the average user spends 1 in 5 minutes per day on social media. That’s equivalent of 73 days over a 12 month period.

With so many people spending that much time on social media many real estate businesses or individual agents believe they simply need to be there if they want to be seen.

The so-called “social media gurus” in real estate will have you believe that it’s all about engagement. If you want to build a loyal following on social media you need to engage, engage, engage.

Now while that seems like a reasonable objective – and in most cases it is – what would you do if Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest or any other social media platform were to drop off the face of the earth tomorrow? What would happen to your business? Would you be upset that you can no longer market your business to the audience you spent years building on social media? How can a social media platform just delete our page? That’s our audience right?


Companies like Facebook or LinkedIn are a business just like yours and in their case, your company is their product. You do not own your social media audience, you are simply renting access to it and at the blink of an eye, they can limit your access to it – or worse, take it away from you altogether.

That’s exactly what happened to Social Media Examiner recently. Arguably the leading authority on social media in the world, Social Media Examiner has over 386,000 Facebook followers which they claim to have grown organically. You can imagine how they felt when Facebook decided to randomly delete their page from existence – twice.

Imagine if you had an audience of 386,000 people on Facebook and you woke up one morning and the page was gone. Pretty scary, right? Well in Social Media Examiner’s case, while it put a dent in their usual high level of website traffic from Facebook for the period of time their page was down, there was one thing that kept their marketing engine running.

Can you guess what it is?

Their email list.

While you might think email is old fashioned compared to social media, your email list is the lifeblood of digital marketing in business today.

Not only is it an audience that you own, you can decide how, when and what you communicate with that audience – and the best part is, you can be assured that when you send an email, they’re going to get it. Unlike social media where you can spend a small fortune boosting posts just so a few people will see your content.

Building your business foundation on digital and social networks you don’t own puts your business at risk. You have no control on what these social networks do, what happens with their products or how your audience and ideal customer react to their upcoming changes in the future.

Social media should be igniting your business and helping you achieve your goals, not be your only oxygen for survival. I often get asked the question whether a website is even necessary. My answer? Absolutely – your website is the single most important platform to your business. Why? Because it’s the only one you own and can control.

There’s a popular saying in social media marketing speak:

Don’t build your house on rented land.

Meaning your house is your audience and the social media platform is the rented land. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can all decide what they do with their land whenever they feel like it.

I’ve seen too many real estate agents and agencies attempt to build a massive social media following with very little – or no – consideration for their website or how social media is helping them build their email list. Unfortunately, the majority of real estate businesses – and yours is probably no different – a content-rich website and email database are very low on the priority list.

This is dangerous and people who run their businesses this way are those who are bound to be most upset if platforms like Facebook decide to charge more to reach an audience – or worse, they randomly delete a page – like what happened to Social Media Examiner. Instead, use social media to drive people back to your own website with amazing content they’ll want to subscribe to – turning your rented social media audience into an audience you can communicate with whenever you like.

If you’re already writing blog posts or creating helpful videos and sharing them on social media, but no one is clicking through to your website – or if those few people who are visiting your website aren’t subscribing – your content simply isn’t good enough. It’s really that simple.

There’s a great saying by my good friend Jay Baer who says:

Content is fire and social media is fuel.

That one blog post you created last week, is it really that valuable? What about that Facebook post about the award you just won? That video you just posted about an amazing new listing you wanted to go viral? Nope. Not really that valuable.

The content you create must be truly and inherently helpful, educational, enlightening and entertaining. It is only then social media becomes a remarkable tool for building an email list and growing your business.

In episode 48 of our podcast, I shared one simple strategy that will help you get started with amazing content. I encourage you to read the show notes of that episode if you’re wondering how to create amazing content that your audience will love – and gladly hand over their email address for.

The years you’ve neglected building an email list are now over. Are you going to take back control of your audience on a platform you can control? Are you going to give a little more love to your website moving forward?  I certainly hope that you are, or that you will.

Good luck.

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