A Facebook Business Page is a must-have for any real estate agent seeking to brand themselves as a neighborhood expert. Creating a Facebook Group is the next evolutionary step in becoming the local leader of your farm.
Your Facebook Group can serve as a catalyst for meeting new people. With consistent effort, your group can grow into an online hub of local news and information that attracts local residents, from homeowners to renters.
If you already have a business page, creating a Facebook Group should pose little problems for you. Growing your membership, however, will be difficult as you compete for visibility on the world’s most popular social networking site.
In this article, we’ll show you how to plan, launch and build your Facebook Group page.
Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and dominate your farm? Remove the doubt from your mind and let’s begin!
Can a Facebook Group really help me find buyers and sellers in my farm?
Creating a Facebook group is a great tool for building relationships with prospects before they have a need for your services.
Prospects in your farm are already on Facebook daily, but they may not be aware of a need for your real estate services – yet. Renters and homeowners who are not considering a move at the moment are still valuable leads. They can be the source of referral business if you can build trust with them.
By engaging with prospects before they are aware of a need, you can establish yourself as a trusted peer, not just a real estate expert. When they finally reach the critical ZMOT, you’ll already have a relationship with them.
Serve the residents and business owners in your farm with a thoughtful Facebook Group. Help local renters and homeowners discover and meet like-minded individuals in their neighborhood, and your sphere of influence will grow.
Facebook Consumption And Engagement
Adult Facebook users spend approximately 25mn. a day on the social networking giant. In fact, over 70% of US adults log in multiple times per day, surpassing even Instagram in frequency of use:
Consumer engagement with real estate brands on Facebook ranks the 4th highest among industries:
From a business perspective, investing in Facebook promotion for your group is a good idea. No other social network generates higher ROI.
Even with a modest monthly budget, your marketing dollars will go further on Facebook than realtor®-based platforms or listing portals.
Quantity vs Quality
When you decide to build a Facebook Group, your long-term objective should be focused on quality rather than quantity.
The size of your membership isn’t the only measure of your worth. Instead, use your Facebook Group to build relationships and your sphere of influence strategically.
Remember, with more members, there’s also more administrative work to manage. You’ll also need to produce content that keeps pace with the needs and interests of your growing audience.
10 Essential Steps To Planning Your Facebook Group
Building a successful Facebook Group requires a long-term strategy that includes marketing and promotion.
With that in mind, follow our guide to plan and promote your group successfully:
#1) Focus on your local farm.
Geographically, it will be much easier to dominate your local farm online than offline. By focusing on a hyperlocal market, you’ll attract highly qualified leads. Anyone who joins your group is most likely a local resident.
#2) Claim your niche.
It’s highly unlikely that you’re the first agent to launch a Facebook Group for your community. You can, however, find ways to distinguish yourself from other real estate groups.
Groups tend to work best when they share common values, interests or goals:
- Are you a film buff?
- Do you enjoy a recreational sport?
- Is there a local special interest group you belong to?
- Any experience with charitable work
Facebook organizes its groups into convenient categories.
Your Facebook Group doesn’t have to be focused exclusively on your real estate business. While other agents are posting their listings and open-houses, you can capture the interest of prospects who are still quite early in the buying cycle.
By becoming a part of their lives before they have a need, you position yourself to become the obvious choice when they are ready to buy.
Think of where your passion lies, and build your audience around your niche. You’ll be far more motivated to engage and grow your audience if you actually have something in common with them.
#3) Use an SEO-friendly name.
A good name for your Facebook Group should be descriptive and easy to find in a Google Search. Include the name of your community/farm as well as the topic of interest in your name.
- Parkdale Musicians
- Chandler Homemakers
- Ocean Beach Sailing Group
You can also consider an interesting tagline that will distinguish you from other similar groups in your area.
A good tagline should reflect your knowledge of the local culture while reflecting the general tone of your membership (ie quirky, professional, humorous, etc). Members will be more likely to share info from the group with others if they feel like they belong to something unique.
#4) Write a thoughtful description.
Many people who start a Facebook Group overlook the importance of a thoughtful, thorough description. Without an adequate description, your page could get overlooked in searches.
The description of your group can include keywords that you think your target audience might use to find you online. Use popular landmarks, street names, and phrases that local residents would likely use to search for your group.
When prospects search for a group on Facebook, your page will show up at the top of the results as an appropriate match.
#5) Create a team of contributors.
If you really want to grow your membership quickly, assemble a team of contributors. Seek out business owners, community leaders, experts you think would be willing and capable.
Your team of contributors should be individuals you value and respect. They should also be autonomous, self-reliant businesses seeking a strategic partnership. Be sure each one has a business page of their own.
When you approach your contributor candidates, be prepared to discuss in detail the time and level of commitment you would require of each contributor to be effective.
So, for example, if you partner with a local photographer, how many photos each week/month would they need to post? If you connect with a local blogger, how many blog posts each week.
Each contributor can be added to your group as an administrator so that any content you post is immediately shared by them, and vice versa. This way, you’ll gain broader exposure and generate interest from local prospects quickly.
You can also designate specific roles for each contributor:
Local prospects who see you are a Facebook friend with the contributor will accept it as valuable social proof of your credibility. They will share your content in turn, bringing you more brand recognition and increased online exposure.
#5) Start a Google Drive to share documents.
A Google Drive is free and will allow you to store up to 25GB of documents. Plus, a Google Drive can be accessed with your smartphone anywhere there’s WiFi!
You can use your Google Drive to store and share documents with all your contributors. You’ll also be able to grant access to local business owners as you need to.
#6) Plan and schedule an editorial content calendar.
Coming up with posts and interesting topics to share with your Facebook group will get more challenging as the year progresses. You’ll eventually reach a point at which you feel exhausted for topic ideas.
A content calendar will help you plan topics and posts in advance. It will take the guesswork out of your content creation and save you time. Even with a general idea of topics in mind, you’ll be better prepared to take advantage of local trends.
There are a number of web-based content calendar templates you can customize as well.
Aim for a 70/30 ratio of local content vs real estate information. In other words, for every 10 posts, dedicate 7 to promoting your farm, and the remaining 3 to promoting your services, listings, etc.
#7) Set up a closed Facebook Group.
This is important! While you don’t want to appear territorial with other agents, the wrong agents can quickly ruin the group.
With a closed group, you can personally review and approve each member. This is a time-consuming task, but it will preserve the integrity of your group for the long-haul.
Be sure to state clearly your standards for posting and sharing content in your description.
#8) Create a sales funnel strategy to turn Facebook leads into your contacts.
As your membership grows, you’ll want to funnel leads from Facebook to your CRM. You’ll be more effective at capturing leads if you have a sales funnel.
Your sales funnel charts a path from your Facebook Group to a landing page, and, finally, your real estate website.
Surveys, polls, Live broadcasts and other content can be great opportunities to probe members for their real estate needs.
#9) Use Facebook Promotions to raise awareness with local residents.
Facebook offers users several options for advertising and promoting your content. The options are reasonably affordable and accommodating to almost any budget.
You can set thresholds for weekly ad spending and target your reach by geography, age, and other key demographics.
#10) Check Facebook Insights regularly to measure and monitor engagement.
The best way to increase engagement and sharing of your Facebook Group posts is to review the data from your Facebook Insights each week.
Views, reach, engagement, comments, likes, and other signals are measured and displayed on your Facebook Insights dashboard.
The graphs and charts make the results easy to interpret, so you can decide where best to invest your resources. Consider the time of day content is posted as well to gauge the best time for generating the highest engagement.
Your Facebook Insights is easily accessible from your Admin page.
Here’s a YouTube Facebook Group tutorial that’s easy to follow:
9 Tips To Attract More Local Residents To Your Facebook Group
- Don’t just post your listings and open-houses.
- Diversify the type of content you post (eg infographics, video, Live streaming, etc)
- Share personal stories of local residents
- Share personal stories of local business owners
- Post video of interviews with locals
- Host weekly Facebook Live events
- Post daily/weekly/monthly offers from local businesses
- Create and post fun surveys focused on the community
- Comment and engage with others on Facebook regularly.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be on the right path to building momentum with your Facebook Group in no time!
Are you managing a Facebook Group page to generate leads? We’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!