So you’ve worked hard to build an audience on Facebook – and now you need to keep people engaged. This can be especially difficult for those who offer professional services, as they don’t have the same everyday appeal as big brands, celebrities or fashion retailers, for example.
People don’t need estate agent services every day, so you have to find ways to keep them interested. That way, your name stays in their minds and, even if they’re not buying or selling a property themselves, there’s a good chance they will recommend you to others.
If you’re an estate agent marketing on Facebook wondering how to boost engagement, try some of these ideas to generate more clicks, likes and comments:
- Ask questions. This is a really simple but effective way to start conversations. You’re inviting a response and people love to give advice, opinions or tell stories.
- Opinion: ‘What would put you off/attract you to a house like this?’ (With a relevant photograph added into the post.)
- Tips: ‘What advice would you give someone about to pack up their belongings and move house?’
- Share: ‘We’re thinking of writing a blog about coping with house-move nightmares. We’d love to hear your stories so we could share them with our readers!’
- Post when your audience is online. People use Facebook at different times of the day. Busy professionals might only check their feeds first thing in the morning, at lunchtime, and in the evening. If you post at 10.30am, they might miss it. Facebook offers useful analytics – look on the ‘Insights’ tab of your page and click ‘Posts’ in the left-hand menu. It tells you when your audience is online so you can see when posts are more likely to be seen. You can also see the ‘reach’ of individual posts.
- Engage with other businesses. It’s not just about posting on your own page and talking directly to your own audience. You can ‘like’ other people’s pages as your own (rather than as your personal profile) and follow what they’re up to by clicking ‘See pages feed’ on the right-hand side of your page. Like, comment on and share their content, widening your own network and audience in turn. As an estate agent, relevant pages could include other businesses in your area as well as those relevant to what you do, such as interior furnishings, removals or kitchen designers. Don’t spam – as with any relationship, build it up slowly.
- Use engaging images. Posts with a picture are twice as likely to attract engagement than one which contains purely text. Images should be relevant, colourful and of reasonable quality – your graphic designer will help you or, if you’re doing it yourself, take a look at Canva (https://www.canva.com/) or Pablo (https://pablo.buffer.com/).
- Boost some of your posts. If you’re struggling to reach new people, consider using Facebook’s ‘boost’ tool. You don’t need a huge budget – it can cost as little as £14 for a week and you can create a specific target audience according to gender, age, location and interests. You won’t suddenly attract thousands of ‘likes’, but it’s a quick and easy way to get your best content in front of people who might not otherwise see it. If it’s a great post, there’s also more chance they’ll share it with their own networks in turn – boosting your organic reach.
- Share other content. Your Facebook fans like to know you’re interested in more than simply promoting your own business. Industry news is great, especially if you can show how it will affect them if they’re thinking of buying or selling a house – for example, changes in stamp duty. But people like light-hearted too, or stories with a ‘wow’ factor. If an A-list celeb has just spent £3m on a new home, that’s worth sharing – especially if there are photographs. Humour is good too, as long as it’s relevant and not offensive to anyone.
- Don’t forget to respond! If people have bothered to comment on your posts, it’s only polite to notice. It will take moments and make them feel valued. It doesn’t have to be witty or funny – sometimes, a simple ‘thank you’ is all that’s needed. A little effort goes a long way when it comes to customer loyalty.
- Go ‘live’. Facebook Live makes it easy to stream video and people love that kind of engagement. Whether it’s birthday cake in the office for a member of staff, a day out at a trade show or showing off the scenery on your way to a viewing – film it, share it, and use the opportunity to put personality behind your page. Open your page, click ‘Go Live’, allow access to your camera and microphone and click ‘Start’ after describing your video.
- Take advantage of trending topics. Facebook makes it easy to find out what people are talking about, or if you’re looking local make sure you keep up with events in the area. If the gossip is that Tom Hardy is buying a country retreat somewhere near you, use it as a platform to speculate on the kind of properties he might be interested in – ones on your own books, naturally!
- Hold a competition. Giveaways attract lots of attention, and the good news is they needn’t cost much. A basket of local goodies, a voucher for a spa day, a family ticket for a tourist attraction – there are lots of prizes your audience would love to win. Obviously, the greater the value of the reward, the more engagement you will attract. Be warned that current Facebook rules don’t allow you to include ‘like & share’ as a condition of entry into a competition or prize draw, but there’s nothing to stop you politely asking people to do so.
This list should have given you some ideas for a good mix of content. Don’t forget you need to post every day and respond to your fans; don’t automate your social connections – make sure you keep the human contact and you will see a worthwhile return.