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How to Overcome Facebook's New Crackdown on Promotional Posts

January 14 2015

facebook devicesIf you've been using Facebook to promote your open houses, your listings and your expertise as a Realtor®, you know that the social media site has warned businesses to stop posting "overly promotional" items in their News Feeds.

Following this new directive can actually help you expand your sphere of influence. Share meaningful, useful and engaging ideas with the people in your sphere of influence, and they'll share your posts with the people in their sphere of influence. This can bring you more clients.

How do you make your posts more relevant? Try these suggestions:

Make Yourself Useful

Create content that focuses on homeownership. Whether it's raising the value of your current home, getting the best deal when you buy a home, preparing your home for sale, or whatever's going on in your community – homeowners enjoy reading interesting, valuable material.

Write and share engaging tidbits that speak to your sphere of influence, which includes homeowners, as well as those actively buying and selling.

Borrow Our Content

If you need help finding topics, visit the HomeActions Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+ pages. We post an idea every day that you can share on your social media.

Advertise Yourself

When you've got something great to promote, like a new listing, promote it via a Facebook ad. Your ad can drive traffic back to the webpage where you feature your listings and open houses.

Be Visual

Include an image with every post. The right image is the one that entices your viewers to read and share your post. Fotolia.comFotolia.com is a great source of affordable images.

Be Helpful

When possible, include a link for people who want to know more. When you're writing about the local market, include a link to your website page featuring recently sold homes and your new listings.

Add Hashtags

Use hashtags to promote your post. Hashtags create a clickable link that takes the reader to other Facebook posts on the same subject.

A hashtag is all one word, but you can capitalize it to make it easy to read, like this: #HomesForSaleYourCity. Use the search box at the top of your Facebook page to look for hashtags.

Target Your Posts

If you have information that's of interest to a small sector of your sphere of influence, you can send your post only to them.

For example, let's say you're posting the basketball playoff schedule for the high school. It's a great post to send to anyone in your town, so target it by clicking on the cross-hair icon.

ha dona fb new guidelines

Check Your Progress

Track the success of your posts using Insights. This data tells you who's engaging with the content you're posting on your Facebook page. Look at what your Fans Share and Like. That tells you what people want to see more of and the location of people who engage with your posts.

Use that knowledge to pinpoint future Facebook posts and advertisements.

Pay particular attention to Shares. Having a client Share your information, or Like your business, can give your social media efforts a power boost. Facebook claims that when a person sees their friend like your business, your ads drive, on average, 50 percent more recall and 35 percent higher online sales lift.

Compliment Your Sellers

Just because you can't be overly promotional doesn't mean you can't mention your listings. Do this by answering one question before you post: What's in it for my viewer? What can they learn? How can I amuse them?

Think of yourself as a sports color commentator for the real estate channel, and the game you're commenting upon is an open house where the sellers have a great entryway.

Take a photo of the entryway, and post a message about what a great job the sellers did preparing their home for sale.

The Smith house at 123 Gateway Drive in Happytown has a wonderfully welcoming entryway. When people see an image of a doorway like this in an online listing, it inspires them to come visit the house. If your entry could use a lift, it's popular in our area to....

In the final analysis, the Facebook directive could end up doing great things for your social media strategy. If it inspires you to upgrade your posts and share meaningful, useful and engaging ideas, the people in your sphere of influence will benefit and your business will grow.