By Jesse McCarl
There has been a lot of buzz about the recent change in Facebook algorithms. The social network is constantly revising itself to make what shows up in your News Feed relevant to you, but the latest shift has ruffled some feathers. Here’s a look at why it may not be the best for most business pages, but is great for you as a real estate agent.
One of the biggest shifts in the new algorithm is that posts from business pages you’ve liked will rarely pop up on your News Feed (the homepage) anymore. One estimate said that business posts would be cut to about a third of the “publicity” they were previously seeing.
The idea behind this shift was that business posts are considered “annoying” by many Facebook users. However, you will still get plenty of posts on your feed from business pages… Only now they will be sponsored posts instead of pages that you’ve already liked. Now you can expect your feed to be polluted with brands you don’t care about, but who paid Facebook the highest bid. It may sound tacky and greedy, but hey, Mark Zuckerberg’s got to pay for his mansion somehow.
This adjustment was felt with the business page at HouseHunt. Even though the page’s number of likes rose as usual the week the shift was made, the number of people who actually saw our posts plummeted.
Facebook is also trying to move away from blowing up your feed with a bunch of obnoxious memes. Taking a cue from Google+, they now want to direct their users towards quality content based on their interests.
This means image based posts that made you giggle will slowly be removed from your friends’ main feeds. Post, instead, links to sites that will effectively show whatever you’re trying to get across.
If you’re anything like me, your thought is something along the lines of, “But the whole Internet is becoming more and more picture-based. Just look at Instagram and Pinterest! Seems like a weird time to diminish photo-based posts.” But to Facebook’s defense, they’ve actually stepped up their game on how they display link-based posts. The image preview is now larger and you have the option to customize it, instead of just choosing from what the linked site has available.
Anytime Facebook makes a change, everyone gets all up in arms and then they get used to it and move on. If Facebook suddenly reverted to the old layout and algorithms, you’d be appalled by how cluttered and non-intuitive it is.
Why Real Estate Agents Are Affected for the Better
Let’s be honest: When you’re a real estate agent, the lines between personal life and work life are very blurred. Business pages may take a back seat with the new algorithm, but your personal page will move to the top of everybody’s feeds!
If you already use your personal Facebook account to discuss real estate business, all the algorithm change has done is help promote you. The new Facebook algorithm is good for real estate agents if you know how to approach it by balancing your personal account!
Your personal profile is a fantastic place to share your business triumphs like a high dollar sale. That is a personal victory that you would naturally want to share with your friends. And the kicker? Advertising real estate successes also happens to be one of the most effective marketing tactics.
When you find an article or infographic about real estate that you find fascinating, promote it on your personal account. It’s obviously something that genuinely intrigued you; sharing on your personal page is entirely justified. But from a business perspective, it demonstrates you have knowledge and authority in the industry.
Or maybe you wrote your own article or created your own infographic! You can promote the link from your personal account and link them straight to your business website/blog/whatever. You can get away with this by making sure it doesn’t sound like it’s a marketing ploy. Just include in the post something like, “Look guys! I made this infographic myself. What do you think?” and it will sound like a personal feat that just so happens to drive business!
But I already have a business page in addition to my personal account! Is it just useless now? If you already have and use a business page, keep it up! Businesses all around the world are going to keep maintaining their pages despite the new algorithm. The page can and will still serve a purpose that your personal account cannot. You may notice a decline in your Page Insights – fewer views, less interaction – but it will still be a great resource for the people specifically seeking you out.
The business page will likely stay the best place to advertise specific listings and provide virtual tours or Open House details. If you post that stuff on your personal page too much, friends will feel daunted and begin to ignore your updates. But if you captivate friends and clients from the personal page (which Facebook is happy to promote on your behalf without even realizing), they will navigate to your more professional platform on their own accord (even without Facebook’s promotion).
The business page also offers “Page Insights” to track your reach, which personal profiles don’t have. Just don’t get discouraged if your reach isn’t what it was before the algorithm change. Your personal page is just doing all the grunt work for you, with benefits that can’t be tracked by website clicks.
You’re essentially ahead of the curve on this one because of the nature of being a real estate professional. You are there for clients first and foremost as a person, not a business. So you will be just fine utilizing your personal page more and your business page a little less.