Facebook Page likes are powerful creatures.
So powerful, that if you are not focused on your page like strategy and consistently growing your page likes, you are missing out on an awesome lead generation aspect of your Facebook business page.
The thing is, it is very hard for real estate agents to see the power in Facebook, let alone the power in Facebook page likes.
Why is the Facebook page like power so hard to see?
Well, for one, real estate agents are being taught how to use Facebook, by people who have no idea how to use Facebook for lead generation.
Oh, they look like experts. They talk about the social aspects, how to engage with people in only 10 minutes each day, how to use it for name recognition and brand awareness, making sure you wish people Happy Birthday in unique ways so your posts stand out on their wall, etc.
They themselves are engaged with their following (people they’ve met in real life or who have made a connection with them in some way – in other words, their sphere of influence.)
All of those things are fine and well and good, if you are doing them from your personal profile and you are simply focusing on your typical ‘networking’ style by reaching out to people you are already connected to.
These experts also say that people will see who you are and what you do, people you don’t know, by your participation on their friends and families posts.
Well, yes, this might be true. Notice I said ‘might’ be true… and it works for a closing or two each year.
But what about those of us who want more than a couple of closings from our Facebook efforts? What about those of us who want to have a steady stream of leads coming in? Leads that are people we are not connected to, leads that are people we do not know. Leads that we wouldn’t have connected with outside of Facebook?
There are those of us who know, in our guts, that Facebook is a powerful lead generation source. The problem is, we just don’t fully understand how, where, what, when and why.
What do real estate agents typically think about Facebook page likes?
Many real estate agents think Facebook page likes are a competition. The more likes the better.
The problem is, when they think this way, they tend to go hog wild and ask anyone and everyone (plus their uncles) to like their business page.
They don’t stop to think whether those people would be interested in their business or services. They pull out the stops and practically guilt their friends and family into liking their page, under the guise of “support me and my new business page.”
Another big issue with this is that Facebook encourages this kind of behavior!
Facebook is constantly reminding page owners that they need to reach their next milestone… whether that milestone is getting a page user name, getting their first 100 likes, or getting 400-500 likes so they can access different analytics and targeting available to pages with more likes.
This encouragement from Facebook is a catch 22 for real estate agents.
They want to achieve those milestones and Facebook isn’t teaching them about truly targeting their likes. They are simply encouraging more likes which unfortunately, is setting up that page to fail, by Facebook’s own algorithm!!
Another group of real estate agents (and their coaches) think that page likes aren’t leads so don’t bother.
This group of agents are usually pretty vocal. They talk about “moving the dial” and that page likes aren’t moving the dial. They firmly believe that page likes shouldn’t be pursued or measured.
The thing is, they are partially right!
Page likes are typically not someone who is ready, willing and able to buy or sell a home right this minute. However, page likes are what I call “thawed out leads.”
In other words, they liked your page for a reason. They have some idea that they either like you, like your business or might possibly need your services in the future. They’ve made the first step towards you and your services.
Now, the above only holds true if you have pursued targeted page likes.
This does not hold true if you’ve asked anyone and everyone (plus their uncles) to like your page. It especially doesn’t hold true if you are asking your colleagues around the country to like your page.
Facebook Page likes are not created equal.
Don’t mistake anything I’ve said above. Not all page likes are equal. Not at all. In fact, there are page likes that are beneficial and page likes that are detrimental.
You want the beneficial page likes and you want to avoid the detrimental page likes.
So what are detrimental page likes?
Detrimental page likes, according to Facebook’s algorithm, are page likes that are not interested in your page. They aren’t likely to engage with anything you post. They are inclined to “unfollow” or “hide” you in their News Feed. Facebook considers those actions negative and will penalize your page by not showing it to as many News Feeds if you have page likes doing this to you.
Detrimental page likes are also likes that are not your target niche or audience. In other words, they aren’t likely to use or recommend your services.
How are detrimental page likes accumulated?
Detrimental page likes are accumulated a number of ways including . . .
When real estate agents start a page, their first goal is typically to accumulate page likes. So they start asking people to like their page. Typically it starts out with family and friends then it quickly moves onto their colleagues around the country.
If those friends and family are not in your target market, they aren’t going to be interested in what you have to say or share on your real estate business page. They end up becoming detrimental page likes.
Those colleagues around the country are not your target market.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you might possibly get a referral from one of those colleagues. Sure you might. But in the mean time, that colleague is not interested in what you have to say or share in your market. They are likely to unfollow or hide your page (or even unlike it.) These are negative behaviors that Facebook will penalize your page for.
Additionally, these friends, family and colleagues that are not in your target market, are watering down your future Facebook advertising efforts. More on this later
Another way detrimental page likes are accumulated is by ‘paying for likes’ via services that promise you a certain amount of likes for a preset sum of money. They even promise that these page likes are real people. Often they’ll promise the page likes are from your specific country.
While you’ll definitely accumulate Facebook page likes this way, you are harming yourself even further. For one, these likes are pointless. They are useless to you. They are detrimental for engaging, targeting and advertising. They will never become leads for you, so why bother?
The third way detrimental page likes are accumulated is through running untargeted or poorly targeted ad campaigns or boosting posts to poorly or untargeted audiences.
Another way detrimental page likes are accumulated is by participating in “like exchanges.” There are Facebook groups dedicated to this practice. When you join one of these groups and share your page asking for likes, and in exchange going through and liking their pages, you are participating in a like exchange.
The final way page likes are accumulated is by running “sweepstakes or contests” on your page that offer something anyone, anywhere can win and receive. Especially when the goal is page likes. It’s a bad and detrimental move to use these sweepstakes or contests as part of your page like strategy.
So how do you avoid detrimental page likes?
You avoid detrimental page likes by not focusing solely on accumulating any likes possible!
Don’t ask anyone and everyone to like your page. Don’t use page like services that promise a certain number of likes for a certain amount of money. Don’t run page like advertising campaigns until you know how to effectively utilize Facebook’s advertising and targeting programs.
OK. I’ve talked about detrimental page likes enough. Now. Let’s move on to beneficial page likes.
What are beneficial page likes?
Beneficial page likes are likes that are your target client. It’s really that simple.
Beneficial page likes include your past & present clients. They include locals who are likely to use your real estate services. They include anyone, anywhere likely to use your services.
However, the better you know your target audience, the more beneficial your page likes will be.
In other words, do you prefer to work with buyers or sellers? Do you prefer to work with first-time home buyers or rental home sellers?
How old are your favorite clients? What’s the price range of home they typically buy or sell? Are they married? Single men? Single women? Have children? Empty nesters? Snow birds?
Only you know your target and your market. You definitely need to focus on your niche here and you need to seriously set aside the whole idea that “you might lose a deal if you define your target and leave someone out” mentality that is held by most real estate agents.
Seriously. Let it go. You’ll have plenty of people within your ideal target that you will be referring out those that want to use your services who aren’t your ideal client.
So how do you accumulate beneficial page likes?
You accumulate beneficial page likes by knowing your audience, deeply and intimately.
You accumulate beneficial page likes by targeting people you know who are already your clients (past & present), locals you know who are your target audience. You ask these people personally to come over and join in the success of your business by liking your page.
Then, you accumulate beneficial page likes by using Facebook’s targeting algorithms and running ads to your targeted audience.
You make sure your page is promoted on your websites & blogsites with a like box. You make sure your page is promoted in your email signatures. You make sure it’s on your business cards. You make sure it’s promoted in your snail mail campaigns.
Yes you want people in your email database, but that is another step of obligation for people to jump to. Facebook page likes are a very easy step for most people. It’s a low threshold. There is no obligation on their end and they feel anonymous. But, they just profiled themselves to you and that is where the power comes in. More on this later.
Why are page likes so powerful?
The thing is, page likes are powerful because, if you’ve accumulate beneficial page likes, you now have a group of people who have made the first step of interest in you and your business. They’ve moved towards you a single step. A small step to be sure, but it’s a step and it’s a step in a powerful database.
And yes, you should think of your page likes as a form of a database. It’s a database that serves as a funnel into your main database (your email database.)
When you have beneficial page likes, you are then able to target those page likes through the content you share, through the things you say and more powerfully, through targeted advertising.
The statistics show that people who like your page are more likely to buy your products or use your services.
I’ve found that fans are most likely to BUY!
Repeatedly when I have a product to promote, I find that fans buy at a very high rate. On the flip side, people who are less likely to know who I am (and trust me) are far less likely to buy.
~ Jon Loomer
The power in page likes is to use Facebook as a real estate sales funnel:
- Build a targeted audience (your page likes)
- Give them what they are looking for in the content you share
- Build their trust
- Get their email addresses
- Nurture them to a closing
This is why page likes are so powerful. They are the targeted audience you are building on Facebook. When you have a targeted audience, you can target them through Facebook advertising.
Detrimental page likes cost you money.
When you are using Facebook advertising to target your page likes, every detrimental page like you have costs you money. You are paying to reach someone who either is a fake profile or is not your target audience and you are paying to reach them repeatedly.
When you have friends, family and colleagues that are not in your target market, they are watering down your Facebook advertising efforts. This costs you money.
Here’s an example…
Say you have grown your Facebook business page to right around 500 page likes. You did this by asking friends and family, past and present clients, and colleagues around the country to like your page. You also joined some groups that do like exchanges with each other.
Let’s break this down a little more. Around 40 of those likes were past and present clients. Another 20 were family and friends. The remaining 440 were from like exchanges, buying likes or other detrimental like accumulating processes I described in detail above.
Any advertising you run targeted towards your Facebook page likes will be less than 10% effective. You’ve only got around 40 targeted likes on your page. So for every $50 you spend on advertising to your page likes, $45 of it is money down the drain.
Beneficial page likes make you money.
When you use Facebook advertising to target your page likes, you are targeting page likes who are interested in your services. The goal with Facebook advertising towards your page likes is to move them along to the next step in the sales funnel process.
When people put that step forward by liking your page, targeted people, they’ve just raised their hand saying “yes, I’m interested in what you have to offer.”
This is them profiling themselves and this is where the power comes in. They’ve raised their hand. They’ve expressed interest. Now, through the content you share on your page and the advertising you do, you can move them through the funnel into your database, where you will further nurture them until they “buy or die.”
So, after reading this, what has changed for you? What are you going to start doing, stop doing, change?