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4 New and Improved Features That Will Change the Way You Use Facebook

March 09 2015

HDC 4 improved fb featuresWhen comparing today's most popular and upcoming social networks, Facebook has remained the most widely used platform. A whopping 71% of adult Internet users are on Facebook and what's even more interesting is that 70% of these users use the platform daily, including 45% who say that they use it several times a day (Pew Research). What does this mean for you? The answer is quite simple actually — there's an endless amount of opportunity to put your business front and center for the people in your community. But have you ever wondered if you're actually taking full advantage of everything that Facebook has to offer?

There's a boatload of Facebook features that continue to go unused, but can be valuable for a real estate professional like you. To help you get the most out of the time you spend on marketing through social media, here are the top 4 features of Facebook that will change the way you use it.

1. Keep Up with What's "Trending"

Sharing information on "hot topics" allows your audience stay up-to-date on what everyone is talking about and gives you a chance to engage with a broader audience. The "trending" feature of Facebook can make the daunting task of scouring the web for this relevant content a breeze. There are five different ways that this information is categorized.

  • Articles: Displays how news organizations are covering the story.
  • In the Story: Displays posts from people who are part of the story.
  • Friends and Groups: Shows what people within a network are saying.
  • Near the Scene: Displays posts from people near where the story is unfolding.
  • Live Feed: Offers a real-time stream of reactions from people around the world.

Use this feature to narrow down what your audience is most interested in and their stance on the topic. In the long run, this will allow you to cut down on the amount of time needed to create a content strategy that works, so you can get back to what you love--selling homes!

2. New and Improved "Graph Search"

Remember the video that you thought would be perfect to share with your fans, only to discover that it mysteriously disappeared when you went back through your newsfeed to find it? To say that users are exposed to a lot of information each time they login in to Facebook would be an understatement, so it's no surprise that a lot of content slips into the shadows over time. This is where Facebook's updated Graph Search comes in handy.

Facebook recently made an update that makes it even easier for you to re-discover the content you love, past or present, without having to embark on a daylong journey to find it. Additionally, you can use this tool to find helpful information like the details of your page fans, which of your followers like a certain band, which of them live in your area and tons of other things that allow you cater to the content needs of your audience.

3. Reach the Right People with "Interest Targeting"

With so many people out there with so many different interests, it may seem like an impossible task to make sure your content reaches the people it will matter to most. But what if there was a way to take this wild goose chase and change it into a more targeted approach?

The Interest Targeting feature allows you to narrow down which eyes will be exposed to the content you are sharing. Say you found an article on a local basketball team that's going to the national playoffs. While this could be appealing to a lot of people, it would be especially valuable to those who have listed "Basketball" as one of their interests on Facebook. By adding hashtags (you know, the pound sign things you keep hearing about) to the post such as "#Basketball", "#Basketball Playoffs" or any other relevant terms that people might use for this topic, you can sleep soundly knowing that your post is reaching those specific members of your audience.

4. Keep Your Content Fresh with "Post End Dates"

Ever stumbled across a week old post that was no longer relevant and thought, "Why is this still showing up?" Well, you're not alone. This is why Facebook recently came out with the "Post End Date" feature. Now when you post a piece of content, there's an option for you to specify when that article, video or picture will stop showing up on the newsfeeds of your audience. This will keep people from viewing your content as outdated, so that you don't have that "Happy Independence Day" post showing up two weeks later.

Be sure that you check to see how much traffic you are generating from the post before you pull it, if you see that people are still actively engaging with it then it would probably be worth your while to keep it up. Setting an end date won't delete the post entirely, because it only keeps it from showing up on your follower's newsfeeds. So don't worry, that great piece of content can still be seen when someone visits your page.

Selling homes is your goal as a real estate pro and while spending time optimizing your social media strategy may not be at the top of your priority list. The good news is that using these features will cut down on the time you spend on Facebook while making the time you do spend here far more effective.

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