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Mark Zuckerberg shook up the world last week when he announced Facebook will change its algorithm to promote more personal content rather than news and content from brands.

As the changes roll out over the next few months, businesses will most likely see a significant decrease in organic reach. Users will also “probably spend less time on Facebook”, according to Zuckerberg in his recent public statement.

While nobody knows exactly what the impact of the news feed changes will be, there are certainly ways for real estate agents and agencies who use Facebook to work with the new algorithm and continue driving business outcomes from Facebook.

Accept that the rules can, and will, change

There is always an uproar when Facebook changes its algorithm. It’s important that your business realises that this is not the last time the goalposts are moved.

“Social platforms can and will change the rules whenever they want. If you’re not developing deep communities on Facebook, and you’re not prepared for change, this could have a huge, negative financial impact.” – Michael Stelzner, Social Media Examiner

When you’re building a platform on Facebook, or any other social network for that matter, you’re playing under someone else’s rules. And they can change the rules whenever they like.

You can’t game the system with a Facebook Profile

Having a Profile that represents a business violates Facebook policy. Personal Profiles are for non-commercial use and represent individual people. Facebook can determine if Profiles are being used for commercial purposes and one of two things will happen when (not if) they find you breaking the rules:

  1. They’ll make you turn your Profile into a Page
  2. If you don’t, your Profile will be deleted and you probably won’t get it back

We received multiple calls in 2017 from agents who had built a massive following on a Facebook Personal Profile instead of a Page, and as a result, had their Personal Profiles deleted by Facebook because they didn’t turn their Personal Profile into a Page.

You can’t game the system. Facebook is wise to your moves. Be safe – get a Page and read on.

Live video is a must

Live video will be crucial to a real estate agents’ social media presence. Doing a live show once a week, for example, could create conversation. Businesses are scared to go live, but Facebook makes it so easy.

Zuckerberg predicted that a day might come where everything on the social media platform’s News Feed will be video. Is this the first step to that reality?

Learn Facebook Ads

If Facebook is going to continue to be a part of your business’s strategy, there’s no way around it anymore: you’ll have to make a budget for advertising. Boosting posts will only get you so far. You will need to learn how to use Facebook’s ads platform in order to get the best return-on-investment.

Build an audience on your ‘owned’ platforms as well

This means your website, blog and your email list, where nobody can tell you when, where or how much it will cost to reach your followers. Agents with a solid email list are at a big advantage when social media platforms decide to change the rules and limit reach to your following.

Contrary to what some ‘experts’ will tell you, email is far from dead. In fact, it’s the number one channel consumers prefer to receive marketing material from brands. 

72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media. – marketingsherpa

By all means, use Facebook, and other platforms, if it makes sense for your business to do so, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Be sure to have a backup plan if you wake up one morning and realise that you can no longer reach your followers the same way you once did.

What are your thoughts on the latest changes for brands on Facebook?

We’re keen to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.

Author: Josh Cobb

Phone Number: 0427 184 183

Email Address: josh@stepps.com.au

Stepps was founded by Josh Cobb in 2014. Josh has advised more than 100 brands since starting the company and hundreds of agents who have attended his workshops. He is the host of the popular Real Estate Pros podcast, oversees digital strategy for top performing real estate agents and teams, and travels the globe with several international speaking engagements each year.

Recently, Josh was named as a finalist in the 2017 REB Awards for Industry Thought Leader of The Year and the winner of  Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of The Year 2017 – Marketing, PR & Events.

In addition to web development and digital strategy consulting, the company also runs Stepps Media, a fast-growing education company that produces an iTunes top-ranked podcasttraining events, email and webinars.