Using Facebook to Connect and Grow Your Sphere

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams West Sound Realty

Using-Facebook-to-Grow-and-promote-your-business

A lot is being said nowadays about the use of Facebook to grow and promote your business. Many people enter the social media fray with little or no experience/understanding on what constitutes acceptable or effective behavior/practices as it relates to social networking platforms like Facebook.

For most of us real estate professionals, it's been ingrained into our marketing minds very early on to blatantly self-promote ourselves at every opportunity, shamelessly plastering our glamor shots and website addresses on bus benches, shopping carts, refrigerator magnets, and every conceivable vertical surface known to man, ad-nauseam.

Thus, when we first attempt to ride the popular wave of social media marketing, our initial feeble efforts tend to be rather 'spammy' (see definition of SPAM) and somewhat annoying to those who encounter our 'interruption marketing' (See Seth Godin's books 'Unleashing the Idea Virus' and 'Permission Marketing').

Here's just a few practical tips I've learned along the way that may help you better navigate the social media waters and avoid making any painful or unsightly belly flops:

Jump In - The Waters' Fine!

1.   Jump In, the Water's Fine!

It continues to amaze me how many people I encounter who are reluctant to use sites like Facebook for business purposes or refuse to engage in any social media platforms in general. One of the most basic fundamental elements of a successful real estate practice is to develop and expand an active SOI (Sphere of Influence), and make meaningful 'touches' with the people within your sphere. Social media simply offers you one more way to make those 'touches,' through digital means, faster and more efficiently than traditional methods. Social media should never supplant your tried and true traditional marketing methods, but serve to augment/compliment what you've used successfully in the past.

Separation of Church and State

2.   The Separation of Church and State

There are some purists out there who believe you should keep all of your business dealings completely separate from your personal life when it comes to your social network involvements like Facebook. While using a personal profile to promote a business is against the Facebook Terms of Service (The powers that be on Facebook have been known to boot members who do so), I find it difficult and unrealistic to completely remove my Realtor® hat just because I happen to be engaging people socially in a virtual setting. Now that doesn't mean that I post my website URL into every comment that I make or that I publish endless listings to my wall. On the contrary, any real estate related content is the exception, rather than the norm on my personal page. But the point being is that real estate is a huge part of my life and a natural extension of who I am. There is always going to be a certain amount of business bleed-over onto my Facebook personal profile page.

A Page By Any Other Name...

3.   Create a Facebook Business Page

For the purists and non-purists alike, the Facebook Page allows you to publish and promote your business to your heart's content without fear of any TOS repercussions. The real key to achieving solid readership/traffic (Likes) is consistently posting good consumer-valued content to your page. Most of the time, people create a Facebook Page that is agent/broker specific, like 'Bill Smith - Harper County Real Estate.' Consider instead of making a Facebook Page that highlights your specific market area. A perfect example of this would be Dale Chumbley's '365 Things to Do in Vancouver WA.' One of the tools you can use to help efficiently syndicate content to your Facebook Page is Roost.

Go To Where the Conversations Are!

4.   Connections and Communication

At the turn of the century, everyone congregated down at the General Store, sitting around the pot belly stove, sharing their lives. Later, it became the office and gossip around the water cooler. These days, people connect and communicate through the use of social media and mobile technology. Some clients like to text, others tweet or poke.

In one of my former employments, I was responsible for export sales to customers in Japan and made several trips there. I made the point of learning some basics of the Japanese language which made a huge difference in the degree of my success in forging relationships with my foreign clients. The importance of communication never changes, but the way in which we communicate does. We must learn the language that newer generations are speaking.

The power of social media is something we cannot afford to ignore, but need to effectively leverage in order to grow our sphere and expand our digital footprint.

~   o   ~   o   ~   o   ~   o   ~   o   ~

Homes-for-sale-in-Kitsap-County-WA

Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Windermere Real Estate, providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLifeSoundBiteBlog, and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail: kitsapagent@gmail.com

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Re-Bloggged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Connie Harvey 09/02/2011 03:25 PM
  2. Ted J. Macy 09/04/2011 11:55 PM
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Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Groups:
Social Media Marketing
Social Networks
The Lounge at Active Rain
Web 2.0
The Art Of Marketing You
Tags:
facebook for business
social media marketing
spamming
traditional marketing methods
sphere of influence

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Show All Comments
Rainer
232,378
Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY
Rich -great post. Time has changed, if you don't, you will be left behind.
September 02, 2011 08:40 AM
Rainmaker
891,596
Michael Setunsky
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA
Michael's Commercial LLC

Rich, I'm not a big Facebook fan. I do have a business page, but it hasn't proved to be very effective.

September 02, 2011 08:59 AM
Rainer
9,227
Mark Welsh

Great post.  social media has come a long way and like everything, you have to adapt.  Without change, nothing happens.  That won't be good in the end

September 02, 2011 09:07 AM
Rainmaker
263,300
Kim Daugherty
d + b real estate, McKinney, TX REALTOR Broker/Owner
www.RealFamilyRealEstate.com

Rich - I'll be sharing this post with a brand new agent today as well as the other agents in my office. so many think that Facebook is just posting pictures of what you did last night or spilling out the unimportant details of your day. But I love that Facebook is such a powerful FREE tool for a real estate agent's business. Great content!!!

September 02, 2011 09:59 AM
Rainmaker
71,356
Deb McNeill
Fort Worth Real Estate
Flying M Team Small World Realty Fort Worth, Tx

Good post!

I love Facebook, both personally and professionally. It helps that I was on FB for 2.5 years before going into real estate. My friends walked with me through my classes and (long) licensing process. They celebrated with me on my first listings...in fact, FB was responsible for my 2nd listing. My clients aren't on my page, so I'm in the process of developing a business page. Most of my interaction will still be on my personal page where I mix thoughts on gardening, homeschooling, writing, art, faith, family, and more in with a little RE. It's who I am.

 

September 02, 2011 10:44 AM
Rainer
59,558
Delores Campbell
Your St. Louis Real Estate Resource
Keller Williams Realty - Chesterfield

I agree with Deb.  I love Facebook and I use it for personal and professional purposes.  I do have a business page for clients and my SOI but never do my clients have access to my personal page.  I am not always posting professional information on my business page, I also post information on local events, gardning, decorating tips etc.  I like to mix it up and keep people interested.

September 02, 2011 11:06 AM
Rainmaker
133,486
Sherri Wellborn
Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate
Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro

Very informative post.  I have been slow to jump in Facebook but got more dedicated this year.  I have a business page but it is my personal page that most people interact with.

September 02, 2011 11:50 AM
Rainmaker
570,044
Bill Gillhespy
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
16 Sunview Blvd

Hi Rich,  I'm one of those who have resisted the Facebook involvement and know all the excuses by heart.  After your preat post I'm one big step closer !  Have a terrific weekend !

September 02, 2011 12:25 PM
Anonymous #42
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Rich,

Great post, I have been an early facebook user and never really used it to promote my business.  But my Facebook friends know that i am a Realtor ands will ask or solicit information from me on a regular basis

Cheers

Ebrahim

 

September 02, 2011 12:38 PM
Rainmaker
329,504
Judy Jennings
Sales Director
508-209-5000

Rich - Very difficult to separate church from state in this business. I have real estate business bleeding onto my FB page too. It's all good.

September 02, 2011 01:09 PM
Rainmaker
192,027
Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO
Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan

Very well thought out post.  I have bookmarked for future reference.  There has always been a lot of unwritten rules surrounding the issue of how much to market oneself on FB and other social network sites and maintain the proper balance.

September 02, 2011 02:41 PM
Ambassador
832,293
Connie Harvey
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate
Pilkerton Realtors

Rich, I really haven't used Facebook enough. I'm on the edge of jumping off this fence, but I get so busy...

September 02, 2011 02:43 PM
Ambassador
1,227,260
Erica Ramus
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA

FB works for me. I am not a hard hitter constantly reminding people I sell real estate, and I do have a business page too (and a 365 page...) so mixing it up and moving between those pages works for me.

September 02, 2011 02:54 PM
Rainer
137,431
Gabrielle Jeans
Real Estate Web Solution, Real Estate Trainer and Coach
WebTech Dezine, Gabrielle Jeans Real Estate Coach

"At the turn of the century, everyone congregated down at the General Store, sitting around the pot belly stove, sharing their lives. Later, it became the office and gossip around the water cooler. These days, people connect and communicate through the use of social media and mobile technology. Some clients like to text, others tweet or poke." This transition is amazing. Who knows what it will be in the next few years

September 02, 2011 03:47 PM
Ambassador
895,064
Missy Caulk
Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Missy Caulk TEAM

Thoughtful post, I am so torn on it. Even though most agents I know post their listings on their personal page, which is annoying...that is really the place for the business page. 

However, in saying that some promote you are one person and it should always on the the personal page. 

Right now I am doing business and personal but it is hard to keep of with both. 

Anyway food for thought. 

 

September 03, 2011 10:26 AM
Rainmaker
101,521
Paul Franciskato
Asset Brokering Services

I enjoyed reading your tips on growing one's sphere of influence through facebook!  As you indicated, building a presence through facebook and other social media platforms must be done delicately to avoid giving the impression of being a spammer.  Your suggestions may be useful for those who are hesitant to give it a try because of unfamiliarity and/or fear of doing things incorrectly.

September 04, 2011 10:11 PM
Rainmaker
714,252
Larry Brewer
Nashville Real Estate
Benchmark Realty LLc

Rich - good advise for anyone who need a little more conversion in their business. Thanks.

September 04, 2011 10:55 PM
Rainer
40,193
Nettie Carnett - Kennedy
Nettie Kennedy - Pastel Artist

This was a great and very clear way of explaining Facebook and our use as Realtors, or really any business person's use.  I had already done a business page but have some different ideas now of what to put on it.  I too, liked the General Store Analogy

September 08, 2011 05:15 PM
Ambassador
767,381
Robert & Lisa Hammerstein
Bergen County NJ Real Estate
Keller Williams Valley Realty

Hey Rich,

I love pot belly stoves! And Facebook too.  This is most definitely the new way to connect to people on every level.

September 21, 2011 04:01 PM
Rainmaker
327,863
Dinah Lee Griffey
Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties
Windermere Peninsula Properties

Great post. I used to try to keep everything in its own little compartment. I gave up when they started mixing together and I could not stop it. It turned out to be a very good thing.

September 25, 2011 03:33 PM
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Rich Jacobson

Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
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