Set Up Your Facebook Page
Before you can engage with consumers on Facebook, you’ll need to lay the foundation for your marketing efforts by creating both a personal profile and a page for your real estate business.
Part 1:Create a personal Facebook profile
If you haven’t done so already, create a personal Facebook profile by registering at facebook.com and following the steps in the setup wizard. You’ll be asked to provide your name, email, and mobile number for verification.
Once your account is set up, it’s crucial that you fill it out completely. The more information you provide, the more ways your followers will have to find and connect with you.
- Work: Once you’ve published a page for your business, you can list it as your workplace. This will create a direct link that leads people from your personal profile to your business page. In the meantime, just type in the full name of your brokerage.
- Professional Skills: Here, you can add relevant, searchable professional skills to your profile. Simply start typing, and Facebook will suggest professions, interests, organizations, and fields of study (e.g., “Real Estate Broker,” “Architecture,” “Home Improvement”) from its databases.
- Education: By adding your high school and/or university to your profile, you can leverage your alumni networks to find new customers and professional contacts.
- Current City: Add the city you live in and, if applicable, your neighborhood.
- Contact Info: In addition to any personal contact information, be sure to include your office email and phone number, along with your real estate website URL and social accounts on other networks like Instagram and Twitter.
- Photos: Facebook users don’t trust accounts without photos, and aren’t likely to follow you if you don’t have any. Go with a profile picture that shows users you’re someone they might like to work with. Avoid swimsuits, alcohol, and anything else that might send the wrong message. Also, be sure to include a cover photo (more on that later).
See Facebook’s Help Center for more information on creating an account and setting up your personal profile.
Part 2:Find friends
Once you’ve created your Facebook account, the next step is to build your network by connecting with friends and acquaintances. Facebook provides a few different methods for finding friends.
- Facebook Search. You can use the search bar at the top of the page to search for friends who are already on Facebook. Simply type your friend’s name, email address, or phone number, and Facebook will suggest users who match that information. You can also use the search bar to look for pages and groups that your connections may belong to—for instance, your local REALTOR® association or chamber of commerce. Note that some people may not come up in search due to privacy settings.
- Import contacts. To locate and friend multiple connections at once, you can import your contacts from other places, including your phone and your email account. To do this, click the Friend Requests tab at the top of the page, then select “Find Friends.” At the top right of the page, select the icon of your email service, then enter your credentials. Facebook will use your address book to create a list of your contacts on Facebook.
- Invite friends outside of Facebook. You can also use the “Invite Your Friends” feature at the bottom of the Friend Requests page to reach out to friends and acquaintances who are not on Facebook. Simply type your connection’s email or phone number, then click “Invite Friend.” Facebook will automatically send one invite and up to 2 reminders in your name to each friend you invite.
See Facebook’s Help Center for more information on creating an account and setting up your personal profile.
Build a Facebook Business Page
While you can certainly use your personal Facebook account to help grow your network, you’ll want to create a separate business page to serve as the primary venue for your audience building on Facebook. If you’re an agent, this page should represent you as an individual salesperson. If you’re broker, it should represent your firm or office.
Part 1:Create your page
If you’re an agent, your Facebook Business Page should represent you as an individual salesperson. If you’re broker, it should represent your firm or office.
- Choose your page type. Head to your profile and click the arrow button in the top right corner, then select “Create a Page.” On the following screen, you’ll see several options for your business. Whether you’re building a page for a brokerage or an individual, real estate relies less and less on brick-and-mortar offices, so you’ll probably want to select “Company, Organization or Institution.” Since Facebook doesn’t offer a Real Estate category, select “Small Business” from the dropdown list.
- Name your page. You’ll want to choose a title that avoids confusion with your personal profile page, emphasizes the service you provide, and the brand you’re aligned with: “Jane Reynolds – REALTOR®, Keller Williams,” “Pearson Realty Group,” etc. Once you’ve chosen a name, click “Get Started” to move to the next step.
- Add details. Provide some details about your business, including your website and a description of up to 155 characters. Keep your description short, simple, and informative, including service and location keywords and, if possible, your web address. (For example: “Experienced Century 21 REALTOR® focusing on real estate estate sales in Princeton, New Jersey. www.johndoerealestate.com.”) Then, choose a unique “vanity” web address for your Facebook page, taking care to make it as short and as readable as possible. Choose carefully: this URL can only be changed once.
- Upload a picture. Like your personal profile picture, your business page picture will appear in your posts and news feed. Agents should opt for a headshot in professional attire against a neutral background. If you’re building a page for your entire brokerage, consider using your company logo or name instead. (Have an existing headshot or logo on your website that you’d like to use? Simply select “Import from Website,” then paste in your URL.) Whatever you choose, be sure your photo has a resolution higher than 125×125 pixels—otherwise, it may appear blurry. See Facebook’s Help Center for more information on adding photos to your profile.
Finally, add your page to the Favorites section of your personal profile for easy access.
Part 2:Add more details to your page
Once you’ve completed these basic steps, you can fill in your profile with more details that will improve your search visibility and offer visitors more insight on your business.
- Address & Contact Info: Enter your phone number, email, website URL, and office address. This will not only make it easy for visitors to contact you through your Facebook page, but also help prospects find you via Facebook’s search function.
- Long Description: This is your opportunity to expand on you short description and explain to Facebook visitors who you are and why you’re the real estate professional they should work with. Consider your strengths and think about what sets you apart from every other agent in your area.
- Mission: Briefly outline your goals and demonstrate your commitment to delivering superior service.
- Cover Photo: This is the header image that extends the width of your Facebook page. Your cover photo is an opportunity to grab visitors’ attention. For instance, you could use your cover image to show off recently sold listings, or beautiful photography of the market you serve. You might also consider adding your company logo or slogan. Unlike your profile picture, which should remain relatively constant, it’s a good idea to swap out your cover photo regularly. This gives visitors a diverse look at your business and shows you’re an active agent. Be sure to adjust your images to fit the space provided (851×315 pixels), otherwise your photo may get cut off. Visit the Facebook Help Center for a full guide to image formatting and dimensions.
- Tabs: Add an Events tab to your business page to promote open houses and other real estate-related events.
See the Facebook Help Center for more information on setting up your Facebook business page.
Part 3:Invite followers
Finally, the last step in setting up your Facebook page is to invite people to follow you. If you have an established Facebook profile and plenty of friends, the first step is easy. Simply head to your business page and click the “Build Audience” tab in the top right corner, then select “Invite Friends.” This will pull up a list of all your existing Facebook friends, whom you can invite to like and follow your page. You can also refine your list to include friends from your city, or from a particular network, such as your university.
If you don’t have many Facebook friends yet, or want to reach out to people you know outside of Facebook, you can also suggest your page to contacts by uploading your address book from other apps, including email accounts like Gmail and Outlook; email marketing services like MailChimp; or CRMs like Constant Contact. Simply select the tools you use, then enter your credentials and follow the instructions.
Compose Your First Posts
Now that your Facebook page is completely filled out, it’s time to start using it to share engaging and informative updates with your connections. Here are some tips for creating your first Facebook posts.
The most important aspect of a successful Facebook post is, of course, engaging and interesting content. Here are some basic guidelines for the content of your posts.
- Include an image. Research shows that photos account for a staggering 93 percent of brand interaction on Facebook. In other words, you’re far more likely to have someone read, like, share, and comment on your Facebook posts if you include a visual element. Whether it’s a photo, video, or infographic, make sure you use a high-resolution image. If you’re only interested in posting a link, you can still include a thumbnail preview of any photos or videos on that page. Simply paste the link into your status, and Facebook will automatically retrieve images from the page. Choose the thumbnail you want by clicking the arrow buttons.
- Keep it short. Studies show that shorter posts get better results, with posts of 80 words or less driving 66 percent more engagement than longer posts. Don’t give your visitors an opportunity to get bored: keep your posts brief and entertaining. When sharing content outside of Facebook, invite followers to read more by following the link.
- Tune your link titles and descriptions. When you share a link on your page, Facebook will use data from that page to automatically create a preview with a title, description, and thumbnail image (see above). But this preview isn’t always perfect. For instance, heavily formatted text may not display correctly, and titles are limited to 100 characters, which means anything beyond that will get cut off. For best results, optimize your link titles and descriptions simply by clicking the fields and editing text.
With over 4.75 billion links, photos, or videos being shared by Facebook users each day, even the best status updates and can be overlooked. To make your posts easier for others to see and find, you’ll want to make use of Facebook tagging and hashtags.
- Tag everything. One of Facebook’s greatest strengths for any marketer is the ability to mention other Facebook users, groups, pages, places, and events using the @ symbol. People and pages you tag will receive a notification enabling them to see your post. In some cases, your post will also appear on their profile, as well as in their friends and followers’ news feeds. By mentioning other users and pages in a tag, you’ll improve your posts’ visibility among their followers.
- Use hashtags. Like Twitter, Facebook allows users to employ #hashtags in their posts. A hashtag can connect your post to a broader discussion about a trending topic or news item, making it easier for Facebook users to find you in searches. According to one study, posts with hashtags see 60 percent more interactions on average.
For additional tips and strategies for developing a following and engaging prospects on Facebook, check out our Play: Audience Building with Facebook.