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Top 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Facebook

March 30 2016

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Did you know that your potential clients spend triple the amount of time on Facebook versus any other website? This makes it a potent online channel for developing and nurturing the relationships that can lead to more sales and referrals for your real estate business.

However, many agents treat the social networking site as their personal billboard, posting mainly self-promotional content that's not engaging to their sphere or, worse, turns followers and potential clients off completely.

So how do agents solve the riddle of how to unlock this massive marketing opportunity? To find out, we turned to former top-producing Realtor Shaun Nilsson. His company, CityBlastCityBlast, directly oversees the social media profiles of over 10,000 real estate agents, and has created and tracked over 3 million posts on their behalf since 2011.

"A successful social media post can be anything really," says Nilsson, "so long as you're always choosing things that are of interest to other people and not specifically focused on you. But nailing your content strategy really is the golden key to pulling huge revenue out of your Facebook network."

In the same spirit, Shaun offered these five tips for creating Facebook content that your audience will love:

1. Share New and Useful Links

When it comes to Facebook, the most difficult thing is often finding quality content to share. To make this process easier, Nilsson suggests finding 10 to 20 reputable publications of local and national real estate news. Rather than visiting each publication's site every day, subscribe to their RSS feed via a tool like FeedlyFeedly. That way, you'll be able to see a list of all article headlines in one place--a much more efficient way to source links to share.

Nilsson also recommends following the Facebook pages of reputable content sources in order to find current and trending content. You can even set up a Facebook Interest List to make it simpler to see what each of these pages are posting.

Finally, consider using a spreadsheet to track which links you've shared in order to stay organized and avoid accidentally posting articles twice.

2. Capture Attention with Engaging Captions

Once you've found a link you want to share, read through the article to find what the "hook" is. What's the most important part of the article that your audience absolutely must know?

After you've determined that, write your caption. Nilsson suggests asking questions and using power words to create a discussion. And don't forget to add a call-to-action; phrases like "learn more" and "comment now" play especially well.

Don't be overly verbose, either! CityBlast's research indicates limiting your caption to 20 words.

3. Always Use Powerful Visuals

Did you know that 80 percent of the time, photos are the reason people click on a post? Strong visuals are a critical part of a successful social media post. Facebook typically pulls images from the webpage you're sharing into a post, but if those images are lackluster, you can also add your own. Nilsson suggests subscribing to a stock photo service like iStockPhotoiStockPhoto or ShutterstockShutterstock for images you can share legally.

When it comes to engagement, not all images are created equally. Look for photos that are clear, colorful and intriguing. Images with contrasting colors are particularly useful in catching the eye--and a great way to stand out in your sphere's Facebook feeds!

4. Post at High Traffic Times

Timing is important on social media, so do your research to understand the optimal days and times to post. Early afternoon is a strong choice; posting at 1pm gets you the most likes, while posting at 3pm gets you the most clicks.

Whatever you do, be consistent. Spread your posts out evenly so that you don't have long stretches with no posts or short stretches that overwhelm your audience with too many posts. According to CityBlast, posting four to five times per weeks is the sweet spot for staying top of mind.

Timing is also important for responding to comments your posts receive. Be sure to reply ASAP to keep engagement levels high.  If you're not on Facebook often, set up an email notification for when you get a comment.

5. Create a Content Calendar

In order to stay consistent and organized, Nilsson suggests creating a calendar to keep track of what you've posted. You can also use it to plan out what you're going to post in advance to save you time.

Another great tip is to set a reminder each day that tells you when to post—just be sure you're available at that time! Consistency is the hidden factor many agents leave out when they commit to a social strategy, and it is absolutely vital to lead generation over time.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know the ins and outs of the perfect Facebook post, you may be wondering where you can find the time to post? It's a massive opportunity that is now dominating the online discussion, but experts recommend spending an hour a day on social media. For busy Realtors, that one hour can be difficult to make room for.

Here's one final tip that top producers use—outsourcing! For example, Nilsson's company, CityBlast, acts as your personal social media manager and does all of this work for you—sharing relevant, professionally crafted posts to your Facebook wall daily on your behalf. Better yet? For a limited time, they're offering a free 2-week demo, and 30% lifetime discount when you sign-up using promo code BIG2016. Visit www.cityblast.comwww.cityblast.com to try it out today.