Facebook recently made an announcement, you may have heard about it, and immediately people who run business pages think the sky is falling.
Are you worried that people are going to stop interacting with your page?
In reality, how much were they interacting already?
99% of real estate agent business pages you visit are like a graveyard for posts with no engagement. A lot of people are going to see little to no change in the results from their business page.
If you want your content seen going forward, the trend towards pay to play just got pushed further. Some say thats unfair.
Facebook isn’t a charity or non-profit. They’re a business. You don’t sell houses for free, they don’t sell free advertisements. Going forward you will need to spend some money if you want activity on your business page.
Are you posting good content? Facebook, like they always have, wants you to create great content for their users. Content that generates discussion. That keeps people on Facebook which has value for Facebook so they'll encourage it.
This is a direct quote from the Facebook announcement:
"Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”.
If you’re creating content that people talk about then you’ll barely be affected.
I think for many this is actually good news. Stop worrying about posting every day on your business page for the sake of posting every day on your business page. Start focusing on creating good meaningful content. Only post when you have something interesting to share.
"Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”
If people are going to be spending less time on Facebook then you need to save your posts for only the best content. Back to the central thesis - good content is king.
Facebook wants to see people engage in conversations. They want friends tagging each other and interacting. Real estate is one of the perfect industries for this. Most people love talking about real estate. Its like politics, everyone has an opinion on it whether they know the facts or not.
Directly from their announcement they said "These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to – whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.”
What posts can you make that will get friends talking in the comments? I don’t think that great holiday recipe or the reminder to turn back the clocks is going to do it. You’ll have to put some thought into what matters to me. The easiest way is to pay attention to what your clients talk about when you’re with them in person.
One of the most effective Facebook strategies for real estate is to be a community leader. Posts about the the community will generate discussions, discussions are what Facebook wants.
What are we going to see going forward?
- The cost of Advertising is going to go up. Its been going up for a while as more and more people advertise, this just may speed up the rise in costs.
- When you log on to Facebook, you’re going to see a lot more people, a lot less brands. Good! Build those personal connections and work your sphere. At the end of the day, and this is coming from a marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads, your sphere will almost always be your best source of business.
- Groups. Get ready for agents, businesses, and anyone who does a lot with their page to start launching Facebook groups. Its inevitable. We started The Wheel House over a year ago because we saw that this is where the trend was going. Away from pages and more to community based discussion.
- High quality content is king. You can try and game the system all you want, thats what people did with SEO. You try to learn what takes advantage of the algorithm to get your post to the top. In the long term, do you know what works? Great content that people want to read. The cream always rises to the top. Those who do it by gaming the system may get to the top but they won’t last.
All in all, I’d be surprised if most of you noticed a huge change in how you use your business page. For those getting very little engagement now, you’ll continue getting very little. Those who get a lot may see a decrease but if they’re getting good engagement they’ll continue getting engagement.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out and ask! Once the changes are all fully rolled out and everyone has had time to study the data we'll certainly publish an update.