Facebook Metrics for Realtors

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Facebook metrics - what counts

Facebook Metrics for Realtors – what’s important and what’s not in your real estate business

In this article we’ll cover:

  • Facebook Stats at 30,000 feet and what they mean to you and your business;
  • What Facebook is and is not;
  • Facbook stats – at ground level – what you need to be looking at in your business and why these metrics are important.
  • What you can do to make a difference in your Facebook Page.

Facebook – the Social Media Platform

Monthly Active Users

According to Facebook, as at 1 February 2017 there were over 1.86 billion monthly active users. This has increased 17% since the same period last year.

Facebook is now too big to ignore as a marketing channel.

A few years ago I closed my business’s Facebook Page because it wasn’t a platform I considered a worthwhile use of my time. Although I’m still of that opinion – sort of! – I have revised my stance.

I think Facebook is now a bit like insurance: one of those things we may not necessarily like but – in business at least – one of those necessary things we need to have.

In saying that however, it’s important to always keep in mind that Facebook (and the other social platforms) are more marketing channels than sales channels.

From time to time you may get a hot prospect list a property with you because of something you posted on Facebook, but this situation would be the exception rather than the rule.

Further, they are also spaces over which you have no control. It’s also important to remember that it’s prudent to have other digital platforms (eg, your website) over which you do control.

Mobile Users

As at December 2016 there were 1.15 billion mobile daily users of Facebook. This is an increase of 23% year over year.

Fortunately, Facebook has taken care of all the heavy lifting when it comes to making sure your fans (likers) have a lovely mobile experience on your Facebook page.

However, in saying that, if you’re going down the advertising route on Facebook you need to have cognisance of the fact that mobile advertising needs to be factored into your spend.

Daily Users

As at December 2016 1.23 billion people now log into Facebook on a daily basis. This is an 18% increase year on year.

Facebook continues to get bigger. For how long, who knows? But because it continues to get bigger it’s a space that needs to be taken seriously.

Busiest Time of the Day

The busiest time is between 1pm and 3pm midweek.

Apparently (according to Forbes) posting at 7pm will result in more clicks than posting at 8pm.

And according to Bit.ly, posting on Thursdays and Fridays should give you an 18% increase in engagement.

REFERENCE SOURCE

Fake Profiles

There are approximately 83 million fake profiles. While this sounds a lot this number needs to be taken in the context of 1.86 billion total.

Profile vs Page

Profiles are for personal use. Pages are for business.

If you are using your personal profile to run your realtor business (or any business) you are in violation of Facebook’s Ts & Cs and could result in your profile being shut down.

If you’re in doubt as to whether you’re running your business using the correct Facebook application – personal profiles are “measured” in Friends (makes sense, right?) while Business Pages are measured in “Likes”.

Here’s a screen shot of my personal profile so you can see what you’re looking for “likes” cf “friends”. Because this is my personal profile it shows friends.

Personal Profiles on Facebook show friends

Using a personal profile for business purposes is a breach of Facebook’s Ts & Cs and could result in your profile being closed down.

Jealous competitors can close your Facebook business down

If you think that Facebook wouldn’t bother closing down your “small” (in contravention to their Ts & Cs) profile because they have bigger fish to fry, think again.

All it takes is one very jealous competitor to dob you in and wham! Your profile could be shut down and with it, all the marketing collateral you’ve worked hard to build.

I’ve seen it happen and it’s heart-breaking. Don’t do it. If you’re going to the trouble of investing in Facebook for your business, do it the right way.

If you have (inadvertently of course) running your personal profile as a business page, here’s how to comply to Facebook’s Ts & Cs and swap it over.

Running competitions & promos

And while we’re talking about the correct way to do things, it should come as no surprise to you that Facebook has Ts & Cs relating to how you may conduct competitions and promos.

Again, all it takes is a jealous competitor (who knows what Facebook’s Ts & Cs are) to get you shut down.

Seriously, it’s not worth the risk. Do it correctly or don’t do it at all. At the end of the day all Facebook is wanting to do is completely distance itself from your competition blowing up and somehow, the fallout landing on them.

Here are Facebook’s Ts & Cs relating to promotions. Scroll down to Section E.

Average Time Spent on Facebook

According to Business Insider Australia, the average time spent on the Facebook suite of products (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger but not WhatsApp) is 50 minutes every day!

What this means for your business is that you really don’t have long to capture your followers’ attention amidst all the noise.

{But Julie, I hear you cry – they’re on Facebook for 50 minutes – that’s almost an hour! Yes: it is nearly an hour – but that’s spread across three platforms, so that’s only around 15 minutes for Facebook…

… Annnndddd you’re competing against all the competitions, the giveaways, the cat videos and all the other “stuff” that demands their attention…}

Facebook’s Algorithm: organic vs paid reach

In plain simple English, an algorithm is a super-sophisticated mathematical formula for determining who sees what.

In Google, for example, every time you type a query into Google it’s an algorithm that dishes up the search results.

Everything (pretty much) in the digital world is governed by an algorithm.

Organic Reach means those posts that show up in your viewers’ news feeds ‘naturally’ because the algorithm has determined your post is The Best. In other words, they are not Sponsored Posts of advertisements.

Paid Reach – the alternative to organic reach is paid reach. This is where you pay (via Promoted Posts or advertising = Sponsored Posts) to get your posts in front of your followers (and strangers).

We all need to remember that Facebook is a business. It makes its money is from paid advertising.

When it comes to posting on Facebook it’s critical to realise that the chances are high that very few of your followers will ever see what you post.

What Facebook is (and is not)

When it comes to posting on Facebook Pages (ie, for your business)  you’ll have more success if you regard your followers as people you don’t know well but want to get to know better.

For example, a real-life analogy would be people you see often but don’t really know – people who get their regular cup of coffee at the same time as you do … or maybe you see them at church each week … or on the sidelines of your kid’s school sports games, or at the gym, or while you’re out walking your dog.

They’re people you would recognise by sight – enough to nod, smile, say hi to, but not by name.

When you take this type of approach, it becomes much easier to post. Your personality can shine through and you can start conversations.

In the beginning the conversations will feel very one-sided. But after a while – and provided you are posting stuff that is interesting to them, they will join in your conversation.

Facebook is not Trade Me

Facebook is not Trade Me or realestate.co.nz or a national or local community newspaper.

Effective advertising on Facebook is done in a completely different manner to posting.

Ironically, successful Facebook advertising is almost “vintage” in that it incorporates the best of direct marketing tactics.

If all you post on Facebook is your latest property listings or open home dates you’re soon going to lose any followers you once had.

No one (except your mum!) is interested in only hearing about your latest property listing!

You need to mix it up.

The object of the Facebook game is to have a conversation.

The object of the Trade Me game is to get people to your open homes or to make an enquiry.

All traffic should lead to your website

Regardless of which social space you play in – or where you advertise – everything you do should lead your prospects back to your website.

Why?

Because you control your website. You have no control over Facebook or anything else.

We’ve already seen Facebook alter the landscape such that it’s almost next-to-impossible for followers to see what we post without greasing Facebook’s palms with silver… what if it decided to up the ante and start charging a fee to have a Facebook page…? or if it decided that it would only allow paid posts to be seen by your followers…?

Would you be prepared to pay its fee?

However, when you’re redirecting your prospects back to your website you have more control!

The numbers you need to look at on your Facebook Page

In order of Best Possible Outcome for your posts – this is what you should be aiming for every time you post to Facebook:

Share – you want your followers to share what you post (because then their friends may get to see your post via their time line).

Comment – when someone comments you (hopefully!) have the opportunity to start a conversation with them.

Like – likes are better than nothing! They’re a start and at least let you know that they’ve seen your post.

With videos you also want views + shares + comments.

Here are some examples of Facebook pages. In the interests of preserving privacy all identifiable information has been blurred.

Facebook Post Reach

“Reach” means it appeared in someone’s time line but they didn’t necessarily eyeball it.

To appreciate this more – think about your own Facebook news feed – do you look at every single post that appears in it?

{I didn’t think so}

That’s what happens with your posts in your followers’ news feeds – just because it reached their feed doesn’t mean they saw it.

However, in order for people to like, comment or share, it first has to reach them.

Facebook determines whether it should reach people based on the quality (which the algorithm has determined is good or not) of your post.

It also takes into account prior engagement. The better your history the more likely it is that it will allow your posts to reach other people’s news feeds.

Engagement

Engagement is marketing-speak for interaction of some kind.

You want posts that result in high interaction.

Reach + Comments

FB post reach - screen shot

This is an example of a Facebook post that was engaging – it had a high reach plus a conversation was started.

Things to note about this particular post:

  • Ahead of the good-quality image is an introduction. The owner of this page has encouraged his followers to respond to him (which they did).
  • After they responded, he acknowledged their response by commenting back.
  • A post reach of 155 indicates the good-standing this particular page has in Facebook’s opinion. And, for the record, the page doesn’t have thousands of likes. But the people who like this page really do like it! Because of the quality of posting and conversation that takes place each day.

Comments + Share

FB post reach + share - screen shot

This post is an example of a highly engaged post.

It resulted in emotion being expressed (people went out of their way to click more than “like” – they changed the emoticon into other emotions as well).

It was shared.

Several conversations (comments) took place.

This is what you should be aiming for every time you post something to Facebook.

Things to note about this particular post:

  • No image – posts with images usually have higher engagement. Therefore, this indicates that even though this post has no image, again, it has a good history record.
  • 36 likes – 36 people have gone a little extra out of their way to express an emotion other than “like”.
  • Two-way conversation – the owner of this page has responded back to everyone who commented on her post.
  • One share – she’s posted something that is relevant, topical and struck a chord with her followers.

Again, this Page doesn’t have thousands of followers. But it connects in a real and meaningful way with the followers it does have.

Videos on Facebook

FB Video Views - screen shot

This is the screen shot of multiple videos on one Facebook Page.

This is a snapshot of video views for this calendar year. As you can see, this page (as at writing this article) has almost 6,000 video views.

One video alone has generated over 4,100 views!

These videos are a combination of Facebook Live + YouTube videos uploaded to Facebook.

This realtor is consistent with his video production and it’s paying off.

Each week, together, we analyse the video. We go behind the scenes at the video’s statistics to look at what the numbers tell us.

For example, we look at:

  • how long people stay watching the video for
  • where they drop off
  • we ask what could have triggered any drop off  – was it something he said or did?

Your Action Steps:

Post interesting stuff on your Facebook Page. Use a ratio of about 1:10. For every property post ensure you have around 10 non-property posts.

Create a content marketing calendar. Spend time deciding what sort of information you’re going to post on your page. Activate content aggregation tools to supply you with regular supplies of this information.

{What’s content aggregation? It’s when you automatically collect information around one topic. Set up a Google Alert around your keywords / topics so you’ve always got current and fresh information to work with}

Analyse your own Facebook Page (via Insights) to determine when the best time to post is for your audience. Each audience will be different so make sure you know when’s the best time for your followers. The posts that get the most likes, comments and shares will be a good starting point.

What spins your followers’ wheels? Believe it or not, they’re not only interested in your listings! Vary it up with different topics. By analysing your data (inside Insights) you’ll be able to see what works. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Bulk schedule your posts.  This comes with a caveat; that you need to stay tuned into what’s happening on your Page. Depending on how fast you can navigate your way around a keyboard it will take you approximately 1-2 hours to schedule 30 posts. Set aside a couple of hours once/month to do this – it’s a better use of your time than posting daily.

Delegate. Posting on Facebook is not a dollar-productive, income-producing activity for you (prospecting is!).

Delegate this to your PA or outsource it.

By the way, just because most teenagers “know how to do Facebook” doesn’t mean you should let them loose on your Page! Whoever you delegate this to needs to be professional and respect that this is your business. 


Done-For-You Facebook Service

If all of this sounds like too much hard work, or you can’t be bothered (but know Facebook is good for your business in a necessary-evil-kind-of-way) or you want to focus more on prospecting (yay!) and you’d like to make your Facebook life easier, then please let’s have a chat.

I offer a complete range of Facebook services that start at less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day, allowing you to focus more on dollar-productive income-generating activities to grow your business, get more listings and make more money to do the things you want to do with your life!

You can find my contact details here. I’d love to hear from you I answer all emails personally and believe there’s no such thing as a dumb question.

If YOU would like to do more dollar-productive activities  - like spending more time in front of prospects - then DONE-FOR-YOU-FACEBOOK MARKETING is for you! Click HERE to find out how.
If YOU would like to be MORE DOLLAR PRODUCTIVE in your business - like spending more time in front of prospects - then DONE-FOR-YOU-FACEBOOK MARKETING is for you! Click HERE to find out more.