Social Networks: Facebook for Business

social networks for business

The world of real estate prospecting has morphed into Facebook friend requests, tweets, chirps and fan pages. Instead of asking for your phone number to talk about your services, clients might instead request you as a LinkedIn connection or message you on Facebook to get updates on a transaction. Facebook is one of the largest social networking sites out there – and real estate agents shouldn’t ignore that fact. But you have to make your impact on social network meaningful and relevant to your target audience; you can’t post a bunch of listings and expect business to rain down on you like manna from heaven. Here are some tips to stand apart from the crowd on Facebook:

After you sign up

* Target your audience (past/current clients, other agents, niche businesses)
* Pay attention to what people are posting about
* Attract friends, followers, connections and subscribers
* Interact and engage with your friends and/or fans

Maximize your exposure

There are three types of accounts on Facebook: personal profiles, groups and business/fan pages. Also, you can place ads to targeted audiences in certain geographic areas for little cost.

Personal pages – Messages are limited to 20 recipients at a time with a personal page. There are strict rules about posting business information on a personal page.

Groups – Groups are set up for more personal interaction and are more directly connected to the people who administer them. Groups can be public or prviate.

Business/Fan pages – This is the ideal way to attract a public following. Here are some business page options:

Geographic area page.Create a page for your county or a specific neighborhood that is solely about that area and has no mention of your business. You’ll get fans instantly and people won’t feel pressured by seeing your business information on the page. Get people to interact on the page by holding photo contests, asking questions that elicit participation (“What’s the best pizza place in town?” or “Where’s the best hiking trail in our county?”) and offering prizes, such as gift cards, dinner for two, etc. Get local businesses to participate; they’ll be more than happy with the free exposure. To spread the word about your business, download a tab called FBML, which allows HTML on the page, such as a framed-in IDX search.

Agent referral page. Add items of value, network with other agents at events posted on Facebook and share referrals.

REO business page. Market your distressed property business and expertise to asset-management companies.

Office or team page. Promote your office or team members, services and more with this page.

Builder/condo page. Reach out to builders, condo associations and other groups who have a vested interest in these niches. Promote your expertise in condos, new construction and niche services.

Read more: How to use social networks for business

4 Social Networking Sites You Need to Participate In

There is no doubt that online social networking has exploded into incredible levels of popularity in the past few years. In fact, social networking is more popular than email, and preferred over email.

Social Networking Sites

Almost seventy percent of recent Internet users report having visited a social networking site at least once in the past year. With these extraordinary numbers, there comes many different ways to monetize social networking.

Facebook and Twitter, currently two of the most popular social networking sites out there, are allowing people to connect with others they will probably never meet in person. Facebook, in particular, is very popular among upper-middle class individuals and is fast-growing among the 35 and up crowd. Twitter is growing in leaps and bounds every day.

While MySpace was originally the flagship social networking site for a few years, it has now been mainly relegated to teens and urban dwellers, rather than businesses hoping to make a living on it. The benefit of MySpace is mostly its heavy HTML orientation, allowing users to customize their pages relatively easily.

Facebook, in contrast, has a cleaner, starker layout that leans heavily toward updating one’s status and reading everyone else’ status updates. It is a terrific social networking tool for sharing links and photos. Some believe that Facebook is too “invasive” in terms of privacy, but the great thing about Facebook is its ability to customize settings to block certain information to network “friends.” Others use Facebook strictly for business purposes, collecting “friends” that share the same business or interests.

LinkedIn is another fantastic social network site that is growing every day. It’s like having your business card and resume out there for the world to see and to network with people that are in your particular business or service industry. LinkedIn is also geared heavily toward upper income individuals and professionals (in contrast to the more “social” MySpace). It is a good website to advertise one’s business and showcase a professional image.

Twitter is the newest social networking tool right now, and it shows tremendous promise for its ability to market to a specific group and for affiliate marketers to make huge profits. It’s very simple to use, fun, requires very little software knowledge (in contrast to MySpace), and can reach a wide or targeted audience at will. The best feature of Twitter is the easy, quick, ability to throw out links to one’s webpage.

Business Facebook Page Compared With Other Social Networks

Marketing a business takes time and hard work. It is through advertising in which businesses get their products seen and to reach their targeted audience. For years this was done, in a variety of different but similar ways for nearly all businesses.

Marketing a business in facebook

In order for a business to be recognized, they often used adverts such as billboard posters, advertisement in a local newspaper, some on occasions, have used advertising on radio and T.V. Although these ways of marketing are still widely used for some advertising, more and more businesses today, are turning to social networking sites in order to advertise or promote a product. Social media is fast becoming the new trend in business marketing. With the options of reaching a wider audience faster, and achieving business goals more efficiently, it is no wonder this way of marketing appeals to many.

Facebook is within the top 3 most popular social networking sites used today. With over a billion users registered on Facebook, there is an endless stream of information, news and trends posted daily.

Fast becoming a favorite way in advertising. Facebook business pages are free to create but there is a small charge for promoting adverts. The option of creating a new profile specifically for your business Facebook account is available, or you can just log into a personal profile and create a Facebook business page.

So how does a business Facebook account fare against other social networking sites such as twitter and LinkedIn? For starters, Facebook is available in over 40 different languages whilst LinkedIn is only available in just over 3 languages.

With a Facebook business page in place, you are able to upload and share photos of products, or videos from other networks such as YouTube. There is no limit on written content per post. Posts can save you time as they can be written in advance and have the option of spacing them with as little as 10 minute intervals, this is an ideal way of keeping customers updated with news about products on a regular basis.

Twitter, on the other hand, limits the number of written content per post. Many businesses often choose to just add a link to another site when using twitter for promoting a business or product. Twitter is particularly popular amongst celebrities and for news links.

Facebook is a social networking site for all. Businesses, celebrities the general public can often be seen using Facebook. Unlike other social networks, Facebook also has instant messaging. This enables you to speak with clients more directly.

In having a Facebook business page you will target your chosen audience more effectively than any other social networking site. Whilst Facebook has a variety of users, LinkedIn is more professional based. This can aid in making contact with other businesses. Although you can, with a business Facebook account, add links to other social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. This will enable any contacts you have on other social networks to find you on Facebook.